With the exception of the Blackfoot, all the rivers are still pretty high. While the Flathead is flowing at about average at the moment, 22k isn’t an easy flow to find holding water conducive to fly flicking. If you know the spots at these flows you can find some fish but it’s not amateur hour out there right now. There were some rising fish in the afternoon today in a few spots between the blasts of hail and lightning. The weather looks nice for the next couple days so the bugs and fish should stay happy. The only hiccup are the flows. Due to a search and rescue event they really jacked around the flows today. It might put a damper on the fishing. We’ll see… Also, the forecast is calling for a HEAVY rain event for several days starting Sunday. The NOAA prediction graphs are forecasting a substantial spike in flows on all the rivers in western MT. They are often wrong as most weather guessers are but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on. If you’re heading out, look for backwater eddies, side channels and anything that’s off the main channel and moving slow-ish. Stonefly nymphs, SJWs, princes etc underneath a bobber or chubby have been getting fish. PMDs are coming of in the afternoon along with a few sallies and green drakes so a dry fly rod should at the ready.
The Lake fishing has been mostly a bust up at Rogers. Several sour reports from up there this week will probably keep us from going back. That’s the intel we’ve been getting anyway. Some of the higher elevation lakes are likely coming to life so go for a hike if you want to do some still-water fishing.
The Blackfoot has been a bit tougher the last week as well. The fish won’t smash a salmon fly 5 feet from the oar anymore anyway. The crowds have also been thick as it’s still taking the brunt of fishing traffic for all the Missoula area rec and guide traffic. There are still tons of bugs and decent fishing to be had though so it’s a worthy option. Hopefully the rains in the forecast won’t play out as bad as they predict and everyone can start spreading out. Salmon flies, golden stones, sallies, caddis, green drakes, pmds…. A decent angler who commits to the dry should still see some nice fish eat.
If the rain forecast doesn’t materialize we should be coming into the zone this week. Lower Clark & Flathead will shine… If the rains come it’s going to be a tough go for another week. That’s just the cold hard truth.
If you are looking to do some DIY wade fishing, the Thompson river is in great shape. Same bugs as above. PMDs, caddis, Sallies, golden stones etc should all work well. Prince Jigs, P-tial Jigs, Mini Girdle Jigs under a mid sized foam fly for searching. Parachutes, sallies, and elk hairs for the risers.