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Fishing Conditions

River Conditions

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Fishing Report Archives


May 31

     Salmon flies have arrived!  I checked the bushes on the first stretch again, and the big bugs were all over them!  Here are a couple photos:

     The next few days are supposed to be pretty warm, so I'd definitely give fishing a shot with some salmon fly patterns.  Stay in the lower section for the time being, but these bugs will climb up the creek quickly, so a lot of river will become fishable very soon (high water be damned!).  We'll give further reports on what parts of the river they're being seen and update you accordingly.  It should be a fun June for stoneflies!  Stay tuned.

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

May 30

     I checked the bushes today, but still didn't see any salmon flies.  This leads me to believe what has been seen are a few early emerging stoneflies.  While it's disappointing to not see them in full force yet, it's a good sign that they're ready to come out en masse.  We're supposed to get some hot days next week, and though it'll bring the water up more, it will hopefully bring out the full hatch as well.  Even in water with low visibility, you can fish salmon flies and golden stones on the banks and get trout to come up and take them.  I'd still be careful about wading or floating for the time being, but with a little luck, things will get back into shape sooner rather than later.  As always, we'll keep you posted on the goings on of Rock Creek and any new developments on the water.

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

May 29

     UPDATE: The first of the salmon flies have been spotted crawling on the road in the lower section!  I'll have pictures tomorrow as well as an updated report.  Rock Creek is about to get some great dry fly action!

May 27

     After another big bump in the water, things have leveled out for the moment, but Rock Creek is still pretty murky and running high and fast at rougly 3200 cfs.  It'll be interesting to see how much more it will come up before it peaks, and it's really anybody's guess as to what that number will be.  For the time being, stick to banks with shelfs or large rocks, or find braids or back channels to give you the best shot at catching some fish.

     Surprisingly, we still haven't seen salmon flies yet.  Though the streamflow levels have been coming up, the water temperature has remained cold for the time of year.  It needs to go up a few more degrees and stay there before the salmon flies come out.  It looks like the big bugs will run later than usual this year, which might actually be a good thing considering the condition of the river at the moment.  I'm checking the bushes on the first stretch of Rock Creek every day, and I'll post a report as soon as I see the big orange bugs on them.  Until then, stick with big stonefly nymphs, pink worms, and yellow/brown streamers.

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

May 21

     The creek is still running high, but cooler conditions have leveled it out, and the banks are clear again.  For the time being, this means you can fish your nymphs and streamers and get some action, though another heat wave will undoubtedly bring the CFS back up and cloudy up the water again.

     It seems like this is going to be the trend through much of the spring; big bumps followed by levelling out.  If you plan on fishing here, be it from a boat or the shore, check the weather forecast for the few days before you plan to fish.  If the weather is overcast, cool, or slightly rainy, Rock Creek will likely get into good fishing shape.  If we have a lot of heat or a large amount of rain, Rock Creek will probably not be fishable.  This weekend, the river will likely bump again as we are supposed to get temperatures in the high 70s.  On the flip side, salmon flies should be emerging any day now, and this hot weather coming might be what gets them on the bushes and flying.  I'll get a few pictures as soon as I seem them here on the lower end of Rock Creek.

     More soon.

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

May 16

     It has been a good week of fishing on Rock Creek!  There are still no salmon flies, but they will hopefully start popping in the next couple weeks.  In the meantime, nymph rigs are getting it done.  A couple of our clients came in and bought some Jumpin Jack Flashes and pink San Juans throughout the week.  Here are some of the fish they caught on that tandem (thanks to Tucker and Garret for sending these photos!):

     We've had some hot weather the past two days, and the streamflow is beginning to climb again which might make fishing tricky for the short term.  But keep an eye on the USGS graph in our River Conditions link, and wait until the cfs either stays level or begins to drop over the span of two days.  As soon as that happens, the creek will clear, and fishing will improve dramatically.  The only exception I'd make for this rule is when salmon flies come out.  When that happens, just fish the big bugs close to the banks, and the trout will come up for them regardless of how murky the water may be. 

     Hopefully we won't get a huge bump in the water and things will level out again.  Next week's forecast looks promising for this, but we will have to wait and see.  Until then, stay safe out there, and happy fishing!

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

May 12

     Rock Creek has come down, leveled out, and regained the majority of its clarity.  While it is still running high and is tough to wade, the side channels and back eddies are increasingly productive, and people are catching fish.  This is because it has been surprisingly cold out the past couple of days.  We've even seen fresh snow on the crests of the surrounding hills.  This reprieve from the runoff won't last very long, because we are supposed to get back into the 70s by the end of the week (and pushing 80 by the weekend), so if you want to catch some trout before the next big bump, now is the time!

      It is still too early for salmon flies, but their nymph counterparts will be fishing well, as will pink San Juan worms and yellow/brown streamers.  We'll also likely see the Mother's Day caddis pop out this week now that it's getting warm again.  There are very few fishermen here because I think most people believe Rock Creek is simply blown out like all the other streams.  But as Doug used to say, Rock Creek is the last river to blow out during runoff season, and the first one to recover.  So keep checking back, and with a little luck, I'll hopefully have some salmon fly pictures coming soon!

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

May 7

     After the big bump last week, the colder weather has leveled off Rock Creek.  It has regained some of its clarity which will improve the nymphing game significantly.  That is one of the beautiful things about this creek; it tends to recover very well and very quickly.  If you're fishing on foot, keep aiming for the banks and shorelines and run your nymphs and streamers (and perhaps a BWO/March Brown) very close to the edges, as this is where most of the fish are holding during run-off season.  You can also search for side channels or areas where the river braids, though these are fewer and farther between than fishing the banks.

     The cloudy, cooler weather is supposed to remain for the next week or so, and as long as we don't get another heat wave or a massive amount of rain, the river conditions will improve each day.  Next week we're going to start scanning the bushes for salmon flies since they are not far off.  In the meantime, try a big stonefly nymph or a Bitch Creek to catch the trout's attention.

     More soon.

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

May 3

     If you've been watching the USGS river report for Rock Creek the past few days, you'll notice the streamflow has increased exponentially since we hit these consecutive 70-degree days.  For the time being, I'd recommend waiting until Rock Creek levels out before fishing it.  My guess is that will happen this coming week because we are supposed to get back down into the 50s as a high. 

     If you are really feeling gung ho about getting out, try big nymphs and streamers, and fish them close to the banks.  You might even be able to get them to rise to a dry if the conditions are right and bugs are flying.  Regardless of how you approach it, it's going to be tough fishing until the streamflow stabilizes for a day or two.  I'll keep you posted on the conditions on Rock Creek in the meantime and let you know if any fish are being caught.  In the meantime, enjoy the nice weather, and fishing will be back soon!

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