Biterroot River Description
The Bitterroot is a mid sized river that pleasantly splits the Sapphire and Bitterroot Mountain ranges with incredible views of large jagged granite peaks as the back drop while you cast to wild trout. This large fluvial river basin has many side channels, spring up-wellings, and log jams, providing anglers with all the characteristics of a great trout river. The Root has an impressiv trout and insect populations. When conditions line-up, it is one of the the best dry fly rivers in the country. You can pitch attractor patterns to pocket and riffle water on the upper reaches or target a crafty rainbow sipping small mayflies in the flats on the lower.
The Fly Fishing
The upper river above Hamilton, is a bit swifter and smaller in character with the majority of the trout population being cutthroat. This section generally provides the most action with eager cutthroat that are willing to eat attractor dry flies. Mid river has a more equal distribution of cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout. This section also has the most diverse habitat with classic deep holes, long riffled runs, lots of side channels and log jams that give the trout plenty of places to hold. The lower river begins to slow and widen a bit with long slow runs and classic out side hopper banks. These slow flats can have exceptional mayfly fishing with pods of Rainbows and cuttbows sipping steadily during blanket mayfly events. The fishing generally is the easiest on the upper river and becomes more technically challenging as you make your way to Missoula.
This river is a true bug factory with great hatches of stones, mayflies, and caddis. It is not uncommon to have several hatches overlapping at any given time. There are often days you can throw a size 18 may fly and a size 6 foam attractor with success in the same day. We typically like to dry fly or dry dropper fish on this river and often encounter a window of insect activity that provides several hours of good dry fly fishing.