Fishing Season: All Year; Tributaries closed December 1-third week of May.

Blackfoot River - MT

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Blackfoot River Outfitters's Tip of the Week

The upper Blackfoot is starting to drop into shape. Clarity and color is improving gradually, and there are plenty of salmonflies and golden stones showing themselves from the middle to upper river. Both the flying and drowned forms of these bugs are attracting eats, though we’re finding more success on the nymph.

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Map of Blackfoot River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 7/1/22

Summer is here and the Blackfoot is shaping up nicely! A few thunderstorms expected over the holiday weekend so check the radar and come prepared with rain gear. Consistent temperatures with cold overnight lows for the next week should make for good fishing conditions.

Techniques & Tips as of 7/1/22

A few sizeable fish are eating salmonfly dries at the moment, but most of our success is happening with a dropper or nymphing setup. Bigger is better when salmonflies and golden stones are active. Try Girdle/Zirdle/Squirdle Bugs, TJ Hookers, Double Bead Stones, and San Juans in #6-8. As the water clears up, Lightning Bug, Jig PT, 2-Bit Hooker, Yellow Spot Frenchie, Duracell, Spanish Bullet or Perdigon in #12-14 should be productive. Don’t hesitate to throw a Wooly, Sparkle Minnow or other small streamer under your indicator to grab attention. Sallies and PMDs are also making an appearance on the Blackfoot, but dry fly attention seems to be on the big bugs for now. Streamer prospecting can yield some big fish on the Blackfoot this time of year. Sparkle Minnows, Kreelexes, Mini Dungeons, and Thin Mints/Buggers are all good to carry on the water. Try speeding up your retrieve with these water temps and visibility to attract a predatory response. Goings on at World Headquarters in Missoula: Visit for more!

Local Species Available All Year; Tributaries closed December 1-third week of May.

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    Trout: rainbows

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    West Slope cutthroats

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    bulls and white fish.

Blackfoot River Outfitters's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Big Sky Salmon Fly N/A 06-08
Larson's Legend Golden Stone Dry N/A 08-12
Bead Head Rubber-Legged Orvis CJ N/A 06-10
Vernille San Juan Worm N/A 08-10
PMD Cripple N/A 14-16
Jig Sparkle Minnow N/A 6
TH 20 Incher N/A 06-10
Conehead Rubber Bugger N/A 04-10
Spanish Bullet N/A 12-14
TJ Hooker N/A 08-12

Big Sky Salmon Fly

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Blackfoot River Outfitters's Recommended Gear

Description: About Blackfoot River

Bottomless emerald pools, boulder strewn pocket water and diamond chop riffles all shaded by moss covered cliffs and towering ponderosa pines combine to make this the epitome of Montana fly-fishing. Thanks to a diligent concerted effort between neighboring landowners, government agencies, conservation organizations and concerned anglers, restored spawning tributaries are continually enhancing trout populations – especially those native to the river. Combining such exceptional juvenile trout recruitment with restrictive creel limits results in a Blackfoot teeming with fish like biceps. Nymphing here is just plain deadly, especially from a boat. We aren't talking about spending the day untangling two pinhead size flies spun tight with 6X tippet around a stick of soft lead and a Don King indicator – this is no tailwater. 4X is as light as we go with 1X common place and bugs often the size of small rodents. Then imagine the same terminal tackle for dries! No stress, just fun. In spite of its familiarity as the inspiration for the big screen hit, "A River Runs Through It," compared to other world class destinations fishing pressure remains relatively light.

Nearest Airport:

Missoula International Airport (MSO)


Salmonflies, Golden Stones, PMDs, Yellow Sallies.

Best Time to Fish:

Early afternoon until evening.

Best Stretch:

The whole river is fishable. If Monture Creek blows out you want to stay above Scotty Brown Bridge.

Best Access:

Multilple access points all along river.