Fishing Season: Year round; some tributaries closed December 1-third week of May. Check regulations before fishing.

Clark Fork River - MT

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Blackfoot River Outfitters's Tip of the Week

Big chunks of ice are drifting down the Clark Fork right now, and parts of the river will freeze over as we get into single digits this week. You might nymph up a fish or two, but it’s probably a better move to tie flies for warmer days right now.

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Map of Clark Fork River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 11/17/22

Single digit winter is here! Highs in the 20s this week and lows of almost 0 degrees will make the fishing tough. Think about tying some flies this week until days warm into the 40s around Thanksgiving.

Techniques & Tips as of 11/17/22

If you’re particularly dedicated, nymphing is the way to go at the moment. Try a TJ Hooker, Hot Bead San Juan, Rubber Legs, or Wooly Bugger with a smaller option like a Jig PT or Zebra Midge to increase your odds. Spanish Bullets, Frenchies, Prince Nymphs, Duracells, Two-Bit Hookers, Dunnigan’s Panty Dropper, Fire Starters, and Perdigons will also hunt. For streamers, a darker pattern in the Gonga, Dungeon, Bugger, or Peanut Envy can get the job done. The new Online Store is live! Check it out! Call us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.

Local Species Available Year round; some tributaries closed December 1-third week of May. Check regulations before fishing.

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    browns and white fish

Blackfoot River Outfitters's Recommended Fly Patterns

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

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Blue Wing Olive Parachute N/A 16-20
Bead Head Rubber-Legged Orvis CJ N/A 06-10
Black Gnat N/A 18-20
Vernille San Juan Worm N/A 10-14
Jig Sparkle Minnow N/A 6
Brindlechute N/A 14-16
Tungsten Cone Head Woolly Bugger N/A 04-10
Bead Head Brassie™ N/A 16-20
Spanish Bullet N/A 12-14
TJ Hooker N/A 08-12

Blue Wing Olive Parachute

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Blackfoot River Outfitters's Recommended Gear

Description: About Clark Fork River

This major fork of the Columbia River, named after Captain William Clark of the Corps of Discovery, is the mother of all our local rivers. In proving her maternal resolve, the Clark Fork today flows clean and vibrant despite the decades of mining abuses imposed upon her by a less than conservation-minded state. Often described locally as two distinct rivers, the Clark Fork provides decidedly different characteristics on its upper and lower reaches. In the snaking meanders upstream of Missoula, butter-bellied browns explode on baitfish darting from deadfall snags and hoppers haplessly bumping along grassy undercuts. Following her confluence of the Blackfoot and Bitterroot, the Clark Fork through and below town widens and slows. (A dam was recently removed from this location and the river should continue to get better for years to come!) This is the ultimate for anglers hunting line-ripping rainbows and cutthroats on light tippets. Here, the biggest fish sip little duns and chase swimming nymphs around over knee-deep gravel bars. No matter your passion – #20 trico spinners delicately placed in rise ring lanes, dangling a needle-thin phez tail under a big bushy hoppers, or chuck'n and duck'n streamers – the Clark Fork offers a season and section for you.

Nearest Airport:



BWOs, gnats, midges.

Best Time to Fish:

Early afternoon until evening.

Best Stretch:

Some stretches are frozen over. When Monture/Blackfoot blows fish above Turah or below Superior.

Best Access:

Multiple access points all along the river