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Fishing Conditions

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Fishing Report Archives


August 29

     Things have picked up over the past couple of days, and one of our clients who stayed in our motel did extremely well with hopper patterns on Wednesday and Thursday.  You still have to choose your hopper fishing spots wisely as they aren't working on all stretches of the Creek.  But where they are working, they are productive.  There has also been a light-colored caddis that has emerged recently, and you can fish patterns that resemble it in the mornings and evenings.  You can also still use red and purple attractors, along with humpies of different colors.  Nymphing continues to be the most productive type of fishing, but the more stable weather has brought about better dry fly fishing.  The water temps have also dropped and stabilized, so the fish themselves are becoming more active.

     So far we haven't seen too many people coming up for Labor Day weekend, though it's morning as I write this, and things could change by the afternoon.  Still, I suspect the Creek will be relatively quiet this weekend, so if you're looking for a good camping/fishing getaway, Rock Creek will be your place!

For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

August 27

     What an incredibly boring couple of weeks up here at Rock Creek.  There haven't been many fishermen at all, and the few that have gone out have been struggling recently.  Fortunately, we're supposed to have warm, mild weather and very little rain in the forseeable future, so conditions and hatches should be stable for awhile.  Also, with September right around the corner, that means our Mahogany Dun hatch is not far off, and that will be the next good hatch that will stir the fish out of their current lethargy.

     If you decide to come out now, your best bet is to stick to the mornings and evenings with small dry flies like Purple Hazes, Parachute Adams, and Royal Wulffs (this one especially in the evening).  Depending on what section of Rock Creek you fish, grasshoppers can be either hit or miss.  Most people I've been speaking to have been staying in the lower sections, but I'd consider going up higher into the Microburst/Morgan Case areas, as they are seeing very few fishermen right now.  The far and away most consistent type of fishing right now is nymphing.  Try a big double-bead Prince Nymph with a red Copper John behind it, or try your purple nymphs.  Another option is to strip olive or black streamers through not only the deep pools, but also the riffles and the shallower water.  However you go about it, it's going to be a bit of a fight to catch them, but with the lack of people around right now, you'll likely not run into many people.

     Stay tuned for some September fishing news!  It should be a good fall season on Rock Creek, especially with the water levels being what they are!

For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

August 20

     It's been a slow week both at the Mercantile and on Rock Creek.  On the plus side, we've received a lot of rain recently, and that put the kibosh on fire hazards while simultaneously bringing the streamflows up and the water temps down to healthy levels.  The on the down side, fishing has been very tough as of late because of the unstable weather.  On the hot days, the best chance is still with large terrestrial patterns, while on the rainier days, mayflies and attractors are the better options.

     If you do decide to come out and try it, adjust accordingly to what the weather is giving you.  The biggest advantage you'll have is that there are very few anglers up here right now, and the pressure is way down.  It will probably stay this way until September when we get our Mahogany Dun hatch.  Until then, keep hammering away and also try lots of nymphs and streamers as they will be the most consistant patterns for the time being.  You can still get into fish, but for now it'll be more work than usual.

For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

August 13

     Although we've been seeing fewer fishermen, the fishing itself has still been good despite the high heat we've received the past couple weeks.  Spruce moths are still working well, but they are slowly dying down.  Taking its place are different terrestrials like beetle and ant patterns.  Along with grasshoppers, you can trail droppers behind any of these and have a productive day, even in the heat of the afternoons.

     Attractors are the other option for dry flies.  Purple Hazes have picked up steam lately, and red attractors are still very good options in the evenings.  We still have our PMD and caddis hatches as well, so fish those patterns mornings and evenings.  My recommendation is to use a goddard caddis, because it will serve doubly as a spruce moth pattern as well as a caddis.  The profile and the coloring are perfect for moths this year.

    When in doubt, drop some nymphs and streamers down.  Jumpin' Jack Flashes are still great nymphs to use this time of year, and black streamers have been great in the early mornings and late evenings.  My personal favorite is the double purple combo of a Psycho Prince and a purple San Juan.  That has been an excellent tandem this summer so far.

     In non-fishing news, we've had a couple interesting tidbits happen up Rock Creek this past week.  The first thing of note is that there is a fire in the mountains above Bitterroot Flat campground across from Alder Creek.  It's approximately 60 acres, but the Forest Service is working diligently on it, and they sound optimistic that it'll be contained soon.  I'll give you updates on the fire as I hear them. 
The second bit of news is that a hiker found a body miles up the Welcome Creek trail.  It's supposedly several years old, and we're all left scratching our heads as to whom it might be, because we haven't heard of anyone going missing up there.  Perhaps it's that fugitive that disappeared into the Lolo wilderness a few years ago?  We'll have to wait and see.

     Besides fires and bodies, things have been pretty boring otherwise (now THAT is a weird sentence), but the fishing is still good, so come on up if you have some free time and wet a line!

For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

August 7

     It's been a pretty quiet August so far on Rock Creek.  Even the infamous Testy Fest was low-key in comparison to other years.  I suspect most people are turned off by the summer heat.  There hasn't been a whole lot of traffic, especially on the weekdays.  This bodes well for the few anglers who are coming up to fish, since there is still a very healthy amount of water flowing and creating good fishing habitat.

     For the most part, I'd aim for the mornings and evenings.  Midday and the early afternoons have been tricky fishing due to rising water temps.  The river still hasn't hit the dreaded 70 degrees, but it's been getting into the high 60s recently, so I'd consider avoiding fishing when it gets that warm.  The best bet is to get here before dawn and fish nymphs until the sun hits the water, then switch over to mayflies, spruce moths, or attractor patterns.  In the late morning, either keep fishing the moths, or switch to hopper/dropper combos.  After that, I'd either take a siesta or fish nymphs in a shady area or a spot with a cold stream flowing into Rock Creek.  Towards the evening, try out some caddis or the spruce moth again, or give it a shot with red attractors like a Royal Wulff or our Red Machine pattern.

     My guess is Rock Creek isn't going to see a whole lot of fishermen until September arrives, so if you get a hankering to do some fishing, this would be a good under-the-radar spot to fish...so long as you stick to mornings and evenings.

For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net