Fishing Season: Year Round Below Star Falls(catch and release Dec 1 - 3rd Saturday in May)

East Fork Bitterroot River - MT

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Jim Mitchell's Tip of the Week

Go late and let it warm up. Nymphing is the best option early. Rubber legs with a dropper, Worm, Lighting bug, and Pheasant tail. Dry March browns, Purple or Copper Haze, or Brindle Chute later when the March Brown hatch comes off.

Directions open in app

Map of East Fork Bitterroot River

Water Flow Data

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Bitterroot Fly Company
Triple Creek Ranch

5-Day Outlook as of 5/21/24

The river is up and down with the changing weather high water is here.

Techniques & Tips as of 5/21/24

Nymphing early, drys when it gets warm and the hatch comes off. They are looking up.

Local Species Available Year Round Below Star Falls(catch and release Dec 1 - 3rd Saturday in May)

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    Brook & Bull Trout

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    Mountain White Fish

Jim Mitchell's Recommended Fly Patterns

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

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Tunghead Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Jig Yellow/Orange 14-18
Bead Head Prince Peacock 12-14
Adams Purple 12/20
Adam's Purple Parachute Tan 14/16
Chubby Purple 10/14
La Fontaine Sparkle Pupa Tan Brn 14/16
Double Bunny Olive/White 6/2
Quigley Cripple PT 16,14,12

Tunghead Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Jig

A barbless jig-style hook makes this pattern ride hook up, providing a snag-free drift.

Jim Mitchell's Recommended Gear

Description: About East Fork Bitterroot River

The East Fork of the Bitterroot is one of the most beautiful and easily accessed streams in southwestern Montana. It begins on the Continental Divide deep in the Bitterroot National Forest. This freestone is made up of riffles, runs, boulders, and deep pools that hold 8- to 18-inch trout. The East Fork of the Bitterroot River has great fly fishing. As fishing pressure is generally quite low, the trout rise readily to dry flies. The river is quite narrow for most of its length; casting to most spots of the river is quite easy, making it an excellent choice for Tenkara fly fishing. With fast currents and large rocks in the river wading can be a challenge when the flows are up. When the flows are low the water is easy to wade, but most of it can be reached from the banks. Approach carefully: The water is clear, and the fish spook easily. For most of the year the flows on the East Fork of the Bitterroot are too low for floating.

Nearest Airport:

Missoula, MT (MSO)


March brown, BWO, Skwala, and Midges

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