Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 4-24-2017-Good Conditions

This Clark Fork River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current water and fishing conditions for the lower Clark Fork River below Alberton Gorge. This report is updated frequently or as conditions change.

Flows at St. Regis: 14,000cfs

Water Clarity: stained but very fish-able

Water Temperature: 45 degrees

Best Time Of Day: late morning to evening

Hatches: baetis, skwala stonefly, March brown, gray drakes

Patterns: Pat’s stonefly, bh prince, bh copper john, bh green machine, parachute Adams, purple haze, Rasta Skwala, bullet head skwala, parachute skwala, bugmeister, bh pheasant tail, sj worm

The lower Clark Fork River is very fish-able at the moment. Recent cool temperatures and gray days have slowed runoff in a manner of speaking and conditions are excellent.  It’s starting to feel a bit like spring here in northwest Montana and at least daytime temps are consistently above 50 degrees for the time being.

Bug activity is good especially on cloudy days.  March browns, baetis, and gray drakes now headline hatches.  The skwala stonefly hatch is waining but they are still around to some degree.

Nymphing is your best bet to start the day. Fish are still concentrated in deeper pools, drop offs, and tailouts but are moving toward banks for food during afternoons. Keep in mind with chilly water temps trout are not likely to move very far to eat. Get the flies down, and fish them slowly along the bottom and around structure.

Streamer action might move a few fish but don’t be that aggressive with the retrieve. Let streamers roll and bounce and instead of ripping them back, let them pulse and dead drift some of the time as well. Bigger fish might like a bigger meal this time of year and big black buggers with a #12 Pat’s stonefly nymph as a trailer is a good rig for prospecting while floating.

Dry fly action has been pretty steady but mostly about in afternoons and early evening.  As I mentioned, water temps are still a bit chilly and a couple days of sunshine would actually help the bug situation. Baetis have started to show in really good numbers. If you see a fish rise, slide a small parachute Adams or purple haze over it and you’ll likely get an eat.  Cloud cover is our friend thi time of year.  Gray drakes love soft, cloudy days and some sections of the River have seen good numbers of drakes in the late afternoons.

Expect more rain and dark skies to continue through the week with daytime temperatures in the middle 50’s. Cooler nights will continue which is actually good since that will keep runoff to a minimum.   All in all it’s perfectly warm enough and gray skies are good for fishing. Keep an eye on flows and water clarity as rain will influence both. Expect good conditions to prevail.

Sliding along on the Clark Fork looking for the next rise…

 

 


Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 4-6-2017

This Clark Fork River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current water and fishing conditions for the lower Clark Fork River below Alberton Gorge.  This report is updated frequently or as conditions change.

Flows at St. Regis: 13,500cfs

Water Clarity:  stained but very fish-able

Water Temperature:  40 degrees

Best Time Of Day: late morning to evening

Hatches:  baetis, skwala stonefly, March brown

Patterns:  Pat’s stonefly, bh prince, bh copper john, bh green machine, parachute Adams, purple haze, Rasta Skwala, bullet head skwala, parachute skwala, bugmeister, bh pheasant tail, sj worm

The lower Clark Fork River is very fish-able at the moment.  Recent cool temperatures and gray days have slowed runoff in a manner of speaking and conditions are improving nicely.  It’s starting to feel a bit like spring here in northwest Montana and at least daytime temps are consistently above 45 degrees for the time being.

Bug activity is increasing a bit as well.  March browns, baetis and skwala stoneflies should be hatching but it may take a few warmer, sunnier days to really get bugs active.  Skwala nymphs have been showing up daily especially if there’s some sunshine and adults are floating downstream during afternoons as well.

Nymphing is your best bet to start the day.  Fish are still concentrated in deeper pools, drop offs, and tailouts but are moving toward banks for food during afternoons.  Keep in mind with chilly water temps trout are not likely to move very far to eat.  Get the flies down, and fish them slowly along the bottom and around structure.

Streamer action might move a few fish but don’t be that aggressive with the retrieve.  Let streamers roll and bounce and instead of ripping them back, let them pulse and dead drift some of the time as well.  Bigger fish might like a bigger meal this time of year and big black buggers with a #12 Pat’s stonefly nymph as a trailer is a good rig for prospecting while floating.

Dry fly action should get better in the coming days.  As I mentioned, water temps are still a bit chilly and a couple days of sunshine would actually help the bug situation.  Baetis have started to show but not really in numbers.  If you see a fish rise, slide a small parachute Adams or purple haze over it and you’ll likely get an eat.

Expect more rain and dark skies to continue through the week with daytime temperatures in the high 40s.  It looks like early next week we might see brighter skies but don’t expect much in the way of actually sunshine or high pressure.  Cooler nights will continue which is actually good since that will keep runoff to a minimum.  But all in all it’s perfectly warm enough and gray skies are good for fishing.   Keep an eye on flows and water clarity as rain will influence both.  Expect good conditions to prevail.  The Clark Fork is still actually dropping and it looks like it will continue to drop for the foreseeable future.

Early season Clark Fork River rainbow

Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 3-24-2017

This lower Clark Fork River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current fishing and river conditions.  It will be updated frequently and if conditions change.  We have guides available right now and for the summer season.  Give a call anytime if you need more information about the Clark Fork River, Montana fly fishing, or fly fishing in general.

Flows at St. Regis:  15,600cfs

Water Temperature: approximately 4o degrees

Best time of day:  afternoons

Patterns:  Pat’s stonefly nymph, skwala nymphs, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, sj worm, bulletin head skwala, stimulator, foam skwala

The lower Clark Fork River is dropping fast, 2000cfs in the last 48 hours and starting to shape up a bit.  Heavy rains  have eased here in the lower Clark Fork River area which has helped.  It looks like this week might offer some good conditions.

Skwala stoneflies are showing up especially in the afternoons with a bit of warmth.  At this point the river is still olive colored and carrying a bit of color but that’s perfectly all right for this time of year.  How long will this last and might the Clark Fork River continue to offer some fishing for a while.  Weather and conditions look stable for at least a week out.  If it doesn’t rain hard and nighttime temps stay chilly, conditions should improve.

Look for March browns and hatches of olives to start showing up this week as well.  Dry fly action in the afternoon could be pretty good depending on daytime temps.  Look for fish in softer runs, tailouts, and holding close to the banks.

Nymphing will be best bet to start the day but in the afternoon dry/dropper rigs will likely be the way to go.  Think skwala with a pheasant tail or prince below on 3′ of tippet.

Give a shout if you need a guide.  We’re on the water and we have availability.

LOC guide Travis Lee with a nice Clark Fork brown

Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 3-14-2017

This Clark Fork River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current water and fishing conditions for the lower Clark Fork River below Alberton Gorge.  This report is updated frequently or as conditions change.

Flows at St. Regis:  7750cfs

Water Clarity:  stained but very fish-able

Water Temperature:  40 degrees

Best Time Of Day: late morning to evening

Hatches:  baetis, skwala stonefly, March brown

Patterns:  Pat’s stonefly, bh prince, bh copper john, bh green machine, parachute Adams, purple haze, Rasta Skwala, bullet head skwala, parachute skwala, bugmeister, bh pheasant tail, sj worm

The lower Clark Fork River is fish-able at the moment even though it’s on the rise.  Recent rain around Missoula has bumped up the Bitterroot and Blackfoot.  It’s starting to feel a bit like spring here in northwest Montana and at least daytime temps are consistently above freezing for the time being.

Bug activity is still slim.  March browns, baetis and skwala stoneflies should be hatching but it may take a few warmer, sunnier days to really get bugs active.  Skwala nymphs are starting to migrate toward the banks but are not really hatching and very few adults are being seen flying at the moment.

Nymphing is your best bet right now.  Fish are concentrated in deeper pools, drop offs, and tailouts.  Keep in mind with chilly water temps trout are not likely to move very far to eat.  Get the flies down, and fish them slowly along the bottom and around structure.

Streamer action might move a few fish but don’t be that aggressive with the retrieve.  Let streamers roll and bounce and instead of ripping them back, let them pulse and dead drift some of the time as well.  Bigger fish might like a bigger meal this time of year and big black buggers with a #12 Pat’s stonefly nymph as a trailer is a good rig for prospecting while floating.

Dry fly action should get better in the coming days.  As I mentioned, water temps are still a bit chilly and a couple days of sunshine would actually help the bug situation.  Baetis have started to show but not really in numbers.  If you see a fish rise, slide a small parachute Adams or purple haze over it and you’ll likely get an eat.

Expect more rain and dark skies to continue through the week with daytime temperatures in the high 40s.  It looks like early next week we might see some sunshine and high pressure.  Cooler nights might be possible and warmer days will help increase water temps a degree or two which will stimulate insects.  But all in all it’s perfectly warm enough and gray skies are good for fishing.   Keep an eye on flows and water clarity as rain will influence both.  Under these conditions it could be day by day situation.

LOC guest Tom U. with a spring Clark Fork brown trout

 

 

 


Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 8-22-2016

This lower Clark Fork river fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current lower Clark Fork river and fishing conditions.  This Clark Fork river fishing report will be updated frequently or as conditions change.

Current Flows at St. Regis:  approximately 2400cfs

Water Temperature: afternoon water temperature is hanging around 65 degrees

Water Clarity:  very clear with visibility at 60″.

Hatches: pmds, caddis, hoppers, ants

Patterns:  parachute Adams, purple haze, copper haze, Hellboy Hopper, Morrish hopper, purple chubby, pink chubby, parachute hopper, Bloom’s caddis, elk hair caddis, caddis supa pupa, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, bh copper john, bh lightening bug, green goblin, bh pheasant tail

Cooler weather this week will definitely help the fishing here on the lower Clark Fork river.  Dry fly fishing has been pretty good all summer and at this point for the most part it’s all about hoppers and droppers.  Mornings have been best when the day is still cool and the sun still low.  Above St. Regis be sure to cover water and keep the boat moving.  Look for fish in faster current, along fast banks, and especially in riffles and runs that are moving along.

Keep in mind this time of year is all about fast water down here on the lower Clark Fork river.  Think oxygen and look for fish in riffles and rapids for the most part.

As much as August is about hoppers, don’t get married to a big bug all day.  Afternoons and especially evenings it seems there’s often been better activity on small, more realistic bugs like caddis, pmds, parachutes, that sort of thing.  A great cover all bug to that end is a size 12 tan parachute hopper.

Nymphing will definitely produce some bigger fish from the depths of the rapids if that’s what you’re looking for as fish are concentrated in those areas this time of year.

There are currently no restrictions on the lower Clark Fork and we haven’t had any restrictions yet either.  It’s actually been a fairly average summer and to date we’ve only had a few really hot days.

Expect a nice week of weather with partly sunny skies and average daytime temps in the 70’s and low 80’s.  There is a chance of t-storms through midweek but generally speaking we should have nice, stable run of days and pretty darn good conditions here on the lower Clark Fork River.

Just in time for some small ball on 5x with Bloom's caddis.
Just in time for some small ball on 5x with Bloom’s caddis.

Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 6-29-2016

This Clark Fork River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current River and fishing conditions.  We will update this report every couple days or if conditions change.  And always feel free to call if you need details, a guide, lodging, or anything else surrounding the fly fishing world.

Flows at St Regis: approximately 5000cfs

Water Temperature:  56 degrees

Best Time Of Day: lately all day has been good burn evenings will often offer better dry fly action

Hatches: caddis, pale morning dun mayflies, golden stoneflies, yellow sallies, salmon flies

Patterns: Pat’s stone, bh pheasant tail, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, bh redemption pmd, chubbies, Hellboy, Fat Alberts, stimulator, sj worm, parachute Adams, purple haze, Royal wullf, elk hair caddis, Bloom’s caddis, corn fed caddis, pmd emerger

It’s all systems go here on the Clark Fork at the moment.  The River is in excellent shape and presently fishing well.   Flows are dropping and fish are having to adjust on an almost daily basis.  Keep that in mind and remember that just because you found them in somewhere or in a specific water type one day, they may be in an entirely different place the next day.

Dry/dropper rigs are about all you need for now.  Think chubbies with bh pheasant tail droppers.  LOC guides fished purple Chubbies and pheasant tail droppers the other day and never even thought about changing.  Look for fish down the banks in fast water of 2-4 feet of depth.  Dry action has been great under a bit of cloud cover.  Under sunny skies, expect more dropper eats.  Caddis, pmds, drakes, golden stones are all active and fluttering about.

It’s hot and sunny already so mornings and evenings are best for consistent dry fly action.  If you see rising fish, they are likely very catchable.  Otherwise, expect more dropper action as the afternoon deepens.

If it appears fish are not necessarily looking up or suspended in the water column, fish a pair of Pat’s stones about 5 feet under an indicator and don’t be afraid to jig them or even drag them through riffles and down banks with good current and depth.

Expect high pressure and bright sunshine with daytime temperatures in upper 80’s.  Winds will be very light and variable through the week.  It looks like we’re headed for an extended, early heat wave.  Get on the water early for best results in general.

Montana Fly Company's Jake Chutz with a nice Clark Fork cutthroat
Montana Fly Company’s Jake Chutz with a nice Clark Fork cutthroat

 


CLARK FORK RIVER MONTANA FISHING REPORT 6-22-2016

This Clark Fork River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current River and fishing conditions.  We will update this report every couple days or if conditions change.

Flows at St Regis: approximately 7000cfs

Water Temperature:  54 degrees

Best Time Of Day: lately all day has been good burn evenings will often offer better dry fly action

Hatches: caddis, pale morning dun mayflies, golden stoneflies, yellow sallies, salmon flies

Patterns: Pat’s stone, bh pheasant tail, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, bh redemption pmd, chubbies, Hellboy, Fat Alberts, stimulator, sj worm, parachute Adams, purple haze, Royal wullf, elk hair caddis, Bloom’s caddis, corn fed caddis, pmd emerger

It’s all systems go here on the Clark Fork at the moment.  The River is in excellent shape and presently fishing well.   Flows are perfect and will hopefully hang in there for a while.

Dry/dropper rigs are about all you need for now.  Think chubbies with bh pheasant tail droppers.  LOC guides fished purple Chubbies and pheasant tail droppers all day and never even thought about changing.  Look for fish down the banks in fast water of 2-4 feet of depth.  Dry action has been great under a bit of cloud cover.  Under sunny skies, expect more dropper eats.

If it appears fish are not necessarily looking up or suspended in the water column, fish a pair of Pat’s stones about 5 feet under an indicator and don’t be afraid to jig them or even drag them through riffles and down banks with good current and depth.

Expect partly sunny skies with a chance of showers through the end of the week, then unfortunately it looks like the sky will blow wide open with sunshine and warm temperatures.  Mornings and evenings will definitely be best as high pressure and hot weather arrives.


Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 6-21-2015

Flows At St Regis: 6180cfs

Water Temperatures:  62-64 degrees

Best Time Of Day:  nymphing is solid throughout the day and dry fly action is best in the afternoons and evenings

Hatches: caddis, pmds, golden stoneflies

Patterns:  bh pheasant tail, bh prince, bh golden stone, pat’s rubber legged, bh hare’s ear, ascending caddis, crystal caddis, stimulator, tan chubby, royal wulff, Bloom’s caddis, supa pupa, golden Hellboy, parachute pmd, parachute Adams, parachute purple haze, yellow haze, Rosenbauer’s rabbits foot pmd emerger

Its’ game on down here on the lower Clark Fork.  Fish are looking up, caddis and pmds are on the way, and golden stones are batting around as well.  The river is in great condition and fishing well.

Nymphing has been solid in the mornings and actually throughout the day in fast, deep water.  Big stonefly patterns with worm or prince nymph droppers will move fish consistently.

Dry fly action is pretty steady.  Golden stones, caddis, and pmds are all popping and fish are looking up in earnest.  Big dries with #16 pmd nymph or caddis droppers are working well all day.  Caddis activity has been solid in the late evenings as soon as the sun of off the water.

Look for great conditions to continue throughout the week with increased dry fly opportunities.  Expect stable weather, warm daytime temps in the high 80’s by midweek and light winds.  This Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company.  We’ve got the guides and the knowledge you’re looking for and look forward to hearing from you.  800-596-0034.

LOC guests Tom and Sue U. with pair of perfect Clark Fork rainbows!
LOC guests Tom and Sue U. with pair of perfect Clark Fork rainbows!

LOWER FORK FORK RIVER MONTANA FISHING REPORT 5-29-2015

FLOWS: 15,000cfs
WATER TEMPERATURES: approximately 50 degrees
BEST TIME OF DAY: nymphing is good throughout the day and dry fly action is best in afternoons and evenings.
HATCHES: Baetis, caddis
PATTERNS: pats rubber legged stonefly, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, bh lightening bug, chubby, parachute Adams, stimulator, Bloom’s caddis, x-caddis, midnight bomber, purple haze

The lower Clark Fork River is carrying a bit of color and flows are hovering around 15,000cfs. Conditions are decent and water visibility is about 24 inches. Fish are eating especially if caddis start to pop in the afternoons. Meantime, nymphing has been moving fish and dry/dropper rigs with a big bug and size 14 bh prince are a good bet for rolling along down the banks in the boat.

Expect warmer, dryer days thought the week and for flows to start falling very soon as well. Caddis should pop and conditions should start improving quickly in the near future. Solid fishing with good dry caddis action is right around the corner. And don’t forget so are golden stones!

This lower Clark Fork River fishing report brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company.

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Lower Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 5-24-2015

Flows:  Present flows at St. Regis, Montana are approximately 15,000cfs

Water Temperature:  approximately 48 degrees

Best Time Of Day:  12:00 pm -8:00 pm

Hatches:  caddis, baetis

Patterns:  bh pheasant tail, bh hare’s ear, bh prince, Bloom’s caddis, headlight caddis, elk hair caddis, caddis pupa, wire worm, purple chubby, tan chubby, royal wulff, parachute Adams

The lower Clark Fork is presently carrying a bit of color and running about 15,000cfs but is still fish-able.  This is likely the peak of runoff…which isn’t saying much this year.  For now conditions are fair but nymphing has been good throughout the day and even dry/dropper rigs are moving fish in the afternoons.  Caddis hatches have started and fish will get on them in softer water and tight to the banks.

Above St. Regis the river is more suited for dry/dropper rigs at the moment.  Below St. Regis nymphing has been good.  Look for conditions to start improving in the next week or so as flows decrease and caddis increase.  Conditions are moving along much faster than normal this year due to low snowpack.  This means by mid-June or even a bit earlier the river will be in fantastic shape unless we start to get heavy rain.

This lower Clark Fork River Montana fishing report brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company.  Give us a call anytime at 800-596-0034.  We’ve got the guides and the knowledge.

Two fisted on the Clark Fork!
Two fisted on the Clark Fork!