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Fishing Report Archives

May 31, 2017

Streamflow - 1880 CFS Temperature - 49-54°F

     The weather has warmed up this week, but the streamflow didn't spike and has been sitting steady for the past few days.  This is very good news, as it seems less and less likely that there will be any more steep climbs in cfs as the coveted salmon flies work their way up the creek.

    Speaking of the big orange bugs, they have been sighted as far up as the White Bridge but will be strongest in the lower section of the river for the time being.  The weekend will naturally be busy, but the weekdays don't have nearly as many anglers going up and down the road, so if you have a chance to get out, I'd highly recommend Rock Creek right now.

     The Mercantile still has lodging available for the month of June, and John Perry still has guided trips available for Rock Creek as well.  John lives just across from the Merc, and his guides come into the store before taking their clients on the Creek.  Come stay with us, get a delicious breakfast at Ekstrom's, and have a great day of fishing with some of the best guides in the state!  Call or e-mail us at the shop for rates and details.  Tight lines, friends!

Questions or comments?  Please call or e-mail us:
(406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

May 26, 2017

Streamflow - 2190 CFS Temperature - 49-54°F

     Saw a couple more salmon flies on the bushes yesterday afternoon, but the mornings have been so cold still that their movement is going slower than usual.  Over the next week we will be having warmer weather in the 70s and low 80s, and that will undoubtedly get them moving quicker.  We will keep you posted on how far they are being seen up the creek.  In the meantime, I'd keep tossing nymph combinations at them.

     If the mornings stay cold and the days hot, we will see lots of rises and falls in the streamflow.  Yesterday, it bumped almost 1000 cfs, and today it dropped almost 500 cfs.  The fish tend to do best when the water stays at a steady pace and isn't constantly rising and falling, so make sure to check out the USGS page for updates every few hours if you are making plans to come out.

     I've spoken with a few people who are concerned that the coming hot weather and the big snowpack are going to leave Rock Creek one big, messy stream for consecutive weeks.  I am much more optimistic about the forecast, as Rock Creek has a preternatural ability to bounce back into shape in record time.  If you haven't checked out our Facebook account, I am posting much more frequently on there, but I will continue to give you reports on the stream here as well.  Stay tuned, friends.    


Questions or comments?  Please call or e-mail us:
(406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

May 24, 2017

Streamflow - 2190 CFS Temperature - 49-54°F

     They're heeeere! 

     Salmon flies were spotted near the Merc on the bushes.  They should become more and more numerous over the next few days, and we'll hopefully have a nice hatch of them on the lower river by Memorial Day weekend!  In addition, San Juan worms and big girdle bugs have been doing well subsurface.  Keep an eye on the river conditions for the water to level out; when that happens, the fishing improves greatly!

     Get your gear ready, friends, it's time for some salmon fly fishing!

Questions or comments?  Please call or e-mail us:
(406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

May 22, 2017

Streamflow - 1650 CFS Temperature - 46-51°F

     The colder weather last week has brought the streamflow down significantly, and though it's still not ideally wadeable everywhere, much of the river has become fishable again.  San Juan worms and yellow, orange, or brown stoneflies have become hot commodities recently.  We are only hitting one day with hot weather this week, and the rest of the days are moderate weather in the low 60s, so the river shouldn't rise as dramatically as before.  Salmon fly watch also continues, and as soon as we see them on the bushes, we will report it immediately both on this page and on Facebook.  More soon!

Questions or comments?  Please call or e-mail us:
(406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

May 10, 2017

Streamflow - 2540 CFS Temperature - 44-50°F

     Runoff season continues, and the CFS has been as high as 3400 cfs so far.  As you can see, it's dipped since then, but more warm weather is expected the next couple of days and the water should bump again.  After that, we are supposed to have some cooler, cloudier weather, which will bring the flows down again.  It's a proverbial roller coaster with streamflows.

     For those of you who want to try fishing regardless, I would recommend not wading at all, but simply fishing the shorelines where the fish are likely holding.  There was a big hatch of Mother's Day caddis around 6 PM last night, so if you can find a spot where the river isn't raging and perhaps has some clarity, fish those bugs or a large nymph like the Big Hole Crawler.  For the best odds, head up to the top of the Creek near Philipsburg or try the West Fork in the same area.

     Things will improve quickly, and big bugs are right around the corner, so stay tuned, friends!

Questions or comments?  Please call or e-mail us:
(406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

May 5, 2017

Streamflow - 1150 CFS Temperature - 48-56°F

     What a difference a day makes.  The river has shot up and will be difficult to fish for the time being.  Whenever the streamflow goes up or down significantly, the fishing will be unproductive until it levels out.  The good news is that these conditions are good for salmon flies, so the watch is officially on.  Last year was the earliest we had ever seen them arrive, which was May 15th.  So we could be seeing them in as little as a week and a half. 

     Regardless, we'll have to wait for the streamflow to level out before any really good fishing can begin, so keep checking the reports and the USGS river conditions, and start prepping your gear in the meantime!

Questions or comments?  Please call or e-mail us:
(406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

May 4, 2017

Streamflow - 883 CFS Temperature - 46-52°F

     The next couple of days are supposed to be absolutely beautiful outside, with temps ranging in the mid-70s.  Add that to the fact that the streamflow has stayed steady, and that equals good fishing on Rock Creek until our first bump in water levels. 

     That means today and Friday should be the best times to fish the Creek, especially for skwala (and perhaps Mother's Day caddis) dry flies.  In the rainier conditions, fish with a March Brown or a small BWO, or drop a nymph or streamer rig on them.  Brown girdle bugs have been a very good option recently for a lead nymph.

     Before long, we will have salmon flies out, and that is arguably the best time to fish on Rock Creek.  Ideally, a guided float trip is the best way to hit the water, as the streamflow makes it too dangerous to wade at that time.  If you are interested in fishing this time of year, I'd recommend contacting one of the Rock Creek outfitters to book a fishing trip (see our Links page for info on the guides).  The Mercantile also has plenty of open availability in our motel for most of May and June still, so if you are looking for a place to stay, give us a call or write us at the e-mail below.  It should be a stellar salmon fly season!

     More soon.

Questions or comments?  Please call or e-mail us:
(406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

May 1, 2017

Streamflow - 866 CFS Temperature - 44-49°F

     Hello fishermen, I am back full-time in the fly shop and ready to crank out lots of fishing reports for you Rock Creek enthusiasts! 

     Given the type of spring we've had so far, a lot of us are wondering when exactly it's going to warm up enough, especially for some really good dry fly fishing.  The answer might be as soon as this week.  By Thursday and Friday, we are supposed to see some sunny conditions in the 70s!  While this inevitably means that we will see a bump in the streamflows by the weekend, those two days in particular should be promising for March Brown and Skwala dries. 

     As for the first few days of this week, I would resort to a nymph combo or a streamer unless you see fishing rising or a prolific hatch of dries.  Try a Jumpin' Jack Flash with a Silver Lightning Bug or a similar small trailer nymph.  Swinging a Rainbow Wonderbugger or the Brown Trout Bugger should also be effective, especially on these overcast and rainier days.

     I'm still not sure when we are going to see the salmon flies hatching.  Last year, it was as soon as two weeks from today, but I suspect it might take a little longer this year.  We will keep you fully reported and up to date on all the goings on of Rock Creek!

Questions or comments?  Please call or e-mail us:
(406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net