Clark Fork River
The Clark Fork River is the only local river with Hoot Owl hours. There’s no fishing between 2:00 PM and Midnight from the junction of Rock Creek east to Warm Springs. The warmer water is also affecting the lower Clark Fork as well, though there are no restrictions in place. However, if you can plan your day to be off the water before the heat hits, that will help the stress levels of the trout.
Goldens and Yellow Sallies are almost done, though the fish will still eat the occasional imitation. Hoppers are starting to establish, and are flying well later in the day, unfortunately. If you stay for the hopper bite, cut your dropper off and drop down a tippet size. Get the fish to hand as quickly as possible, and release it in colder water.
The PMD’s are getting the fish on the lower Clark Fork to pod up, and the dry fly fishing is classic lower Clark. Have some cripples and emergers, as well as classic dries to cover all aspects of the hatch. The Tan caddis and Pale Evening Duns are still coming off at dusk, with the heat of the day pushing them closer to sunset. Ants and Beetles are moving fish along the banks, though attractors have not yet started to make their presence felt.
Big droppers are still moving trout subsurface. TJ Hookers, Pat’s RubberLegs and Zirdles are moving fish deep in the morning. Smaller jigs are also effective, with the G Kes, Yellow Spot and Micro May PMD taking a large proportion of fish.
At first light, a big dry stonefly will take the cruisers still looking for the nocturnal stones. And if you get to the river prior to first light, have a mouse pattern with you. The big fish come out to play at night, and the big fish in the Clark Fork are BIG! Worth getting out of bed for.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional fly patterns and tips!