Clark Fork River Fly Fishing Hatches2016-11-28T23:28:04+00:00

Clark Fork River Fly Fishing Hatch Chart & Fly Patterns

Blackfoot River Fly Fishing Hatches

Clark Fork River Fly Fishing Hatches

The majority of our guided fly fishing trips are on the Lower Clark Fork River so we will focus our hatch info on that section of river. Due to its relatively light fishing pressure, the Clark Fork fishes well with attractor patterns most of the year. Starting in early spring, sometime in March, the Clark Fork starts to get its first significant hatches. Skwala stones, March browns, grey drakes, and blue wing olives all make an appearance in March, April, & May, when water conditions are conducive. As run-off subsides, golden stones, green drakes, pmds, and caddis offer good dry fly opportunities until the heat of the summer burns off the aquatic insect activity. When the heat of the summer is in full swing, terrestrial fishing with ants and hoppers is the way to go. There are also opportunities to cast to rising fish in the late summer mornings when trico mayfly events bring fish up to eat the spinner fall.

Terrestrial fishing starts to fade in late fall with the cool fall temps and the arrival of more mayflies. Hecuba, Mahogany, & BWO mayflies can show up as early as late August and typically last through Oct and even into November when weather permits.

This information is a basic run-down of the hatch schedule for the Clark Fork River. Every Year is slightly different. Snow-pack, run-off, and weather conditions can alter the hatch times considerably. There are dozens of commercial nymph and dry fly patterns available for each individual insect. Although we tie a lot of our own flies, we have listed a few basic patterns that will help give you direction when purchasing or tying your own.

Fall Drake

Early Season Skwala Eater

Skwala Fly Fishing

Clark Fork River Fly Fishing Patterns

Midges (Black & Green body, white wing)
Dry Fly – Griffiths Gnat, Poly wing midge, purple haze
Nymph – Brassie, Green machine, shop vac

BWOs – (pale olive body grey wing)
Dry Fly – Para Adams, Para Haze, Sparkle, Dun, Marabou Cripple
Nymph – Pheasant tails, Green Machine, loop wing, Pheasant tail variations

Winter Stones (dark brown & black body, dark grey wing)
Dry Fly – Sparse Dark Simulators
Nymph – Prince, copper johns, Epoxy back stones

Skwala (pale olive under body w/dark grey wing)
Dry Fly – Bullet heads, CDC Bullet heads, stimulators, Rogue Foam, Chubby Chernbyl, Foam variations
Nymph – Pats Rubber Legs, Double bead stones, Epoxy back stones

Caddis (tan, green, brown body w/tan wing)
Dry Fly – Elk hair, parachute elk hair, cdc
Nymph – Sparkle pupa, birds nest

Green Drake Pale olive under body w/dark grey wing)
Dry Fly – Purple Haze, Para Adams, sparkle dun, Marabou Cripple
Nymph – Pheasant tails variations, loop wing

Sally Stones (pale yellow and lime green under body w/light grey wing)
Dry Fly – Para hair wing, para cdc wing, stimulator
Nymph – Epoxy stones, sally stone nymphs

Golden Stone (golden yellow body w/medium brown wing)
Dry Fly –
Foam extended body, bullet heads, Chernobyl variations, stimulator, bugmeister, PMX
Nymph – Girdle Bug, epoxy back stone, double bead stone,

PMD (Pale yellow body with light grey wing)
Dry Fly
– Para Adams, Para Haze, Sparkle, Dun, Marabou Cripple, sparkle cripple
Nymph – Pheasant tails, Green Machine, loop wing, Pheasant tail variations

Mohagany Dun (mohagany body w/dark grey wing)
Dry Fly – Purple Haze, Para Adams, Sparkle Dun, Sparkle Criple, Marabou Cripple
Nymph – Pheasant tail variations

Hecuba Mayfly / Fall drake (tan/pale olive under body w/dark grey wing)
Dry Fly – Purple Haze, Para Adams, Sparkle Dun, Sparkle Criple, Marabou Cripple
Nymph – Pheasant tail variations

Terrestrials – Ants, Beetles, Hoppers (various colors and wing types)
Dry Fly – Foam Hoppers, Foam Beetles, Sparkle Ants, Bullet head hoppers, Para ants, para hoppers
Nymph – Drowned versions of all the above

Clark Fork River Fly Images

Skwala Stone Fly

Clark Fork River Skwala Fly Fishing

Mahogany Dun

Caddis

Grasshopper