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Fishing Report Archives

April 23


Streamflow - 932 CFS Temperature - 44° F

      We've had a bump in the streamflow from what is so far an unseasonably hot April, and the river is rising.  Still, the fishing hasn't been thrown completely off, and with some cold nights coming this weekend, it should stabilize the Creek.  There have been very few people coming up to fish, especially during the middle of the week.  If you have the time to get out, the weekdays will give you the best fishing days since the crowds really aren't here yet.  Lots of nymphs and foam/stonefly dry patterns will do well, and you can always drop a big stonefly nymph or worm pattern to catch some trout.  With the water rising, try swinging streamer patterns too.  We currently have an articulated Sparkle Minnow that is performing well, and our own Wonderbuggers are also getting hits, especially in pearl and the yellow/brown.

     This weekend, we are supposed to receive some cloudy, rainy weather and some colder nights.  Not only should this prevent the creek from spiking its streamflow, but it should also be ideal for blue-wings and March Browns, which have been spotted in big numbers recently.

     Floating season is almost upon us, and it's coming earlier than usual this year.  If you are looking to do a float, please make sure you are experienced on the oars since Rock Creek is very technical in specific spots.  Also check with us for information on outfitters and shuttles, both of which should be in action next week.

     This is the earliest I've ever stated this, but I think it's time to start watching the bushes for salmon flies.  I will post an immediate update if I see any, so stay tuned!

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

April 21


Streamflow - 710 CFS Temperature - 49° F

      The warmth over the past week has brought the streamflow on Rock Creek up, but not enough to deter the fishing.  Still, the direct sunlight on the water has made some of the dry fly fishing tricky in the middle of the day.  The best advice I can give is to fish dries in the late mornings and early evenings, and then to fish a black ant/beetle with a dropper in the middle of the days.  Black foam bugs can often take fish that are skittish coming up for other dries on sunny days.  Otherwise, look for shady spots of the creek.

     The nymph and streamer game is still the most consistent form of fishing on Rock Creek, so keep chucking out those rubber legs, San Juan worms, and stonefly nymph patterns.  With streamers, there are reports of several different colors working which vary from black to white to olive.  If the runoff increases and we get murkier water, stick to the bright colors (yellow, white, chartreuse, etc) and you can attract some fish when conditions aren't ideal.  Our big runoff hasn't started yet, but it can't be too far off, so we will keep you updated on river conditions as well as hatches.  More soon.

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

April 15


Streamflow - 600 CFS Temperature - 39° F

      Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind between warm and cold weather lately.  After the warm day on Monday, we had another dip in temperatures and even got some snow in the upper stretches of the creek and in the Philipsburg area.  Fortunately, the weather report indicates that this is the last truly cold weather we'll have for a while, but I would pack some fleece or a warm coat for the mornings and evenings just in case.

     While nymphing has been the better option during this cold spell, the dry fly fishing should improve greatly by this weekend.  Fish low-riding skwalas or foam attractors, and trail either a Copper John or a San Juan or March Brown emerger behind it.  Otherwise, try smaller dries like BWOs, March Browns, or Purple Hazes.  There are also a wide variety of streamer patterns that will work very well right now.  Get your gear ready, it should be some good fishing in the coming week!

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

April 13


Streamflow - 600 CFS Temperature - 38° F

     Winter decided to make a small comeback this past weekend, and we had cold weather and even snow flying.  Regardless, I went on a float yesterday from Concrete Bridge to Upper Upper Fire Ring, and the fishing was good with large dries.  Lots of different skwala patterns were working, and a purple/black Chubby Chernobyl was very good in the afternoon.  We fished until about 7, and though it slowed down the last couple hours, fish were still coming up for dries.  Besides skwalas, there were clouds of blue-wings and March Browns as well.

     There are definitely going to be periods where the fish aren't looking up, so use either a dry/dropper combo (I put on a March Brown emerger behind my Chernobyl and had some luck) or fish a pure nymph or streamer rig.  Girdle bugs continue to be the most consistent nymph, but Princes and Copper Johns are also working very well.

     Though we are supposed to have a little more chilly weather in the next couple of days, the overall forecast shows temperatures reaching the low 60s and even into the 70s the rest of the week.  The streamflow will undoubtedly bump, but not to any levels that will mess up the fishing for any extended period of time, so this week and the coming weekend should be great days of fishing on Rock Creek!  I will keep you all updated on the goings-on of the creek!  More soon.

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

April 8


Streamflow - 710 CFS Temperature - 42° F

     The water has been sitting in the 700s for the past few days now, and that's improved fishing on the Creek.  I've heard a couple reports of more blue-winged olives out recently, so on the cooler days where skwalas might be slower and sluggish, try size 16 BWO or March Brown patterns.  Most of the fishermen are still sticking with nymphs and streamers, so have some Pat's Rubber Legs and Copper Johns ready as well.

     With the early high water, we've been curious about when exactly the salmon flies are going to emerge.  It's very possible our May runoff will be less crazy than usual, and the hatch could start earlier this year, but we will have a better idea of when next month.  We will keep you posted on the salmon fly hatch, as always!

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

April 6


Streamflow - 753 CFS Temperature - 39° F

     The past few days have been tough ones fishing on Rock Creek.  We've had some cold, wet weather rolling in, and combined with the fluctuating streamflow, it's been a battle catching fish on the creek for a number of different anglers.

     Fortunately, the weather is due for an upswing this week, and the water level is also starting to drop.  This combination should bring about more dry fly fishing as well as improve the nymphing game for the time being.  Stick with the Chubby Chernobyls I've been touting the past week, but also try March Browns and BWO patterns when you see smaller bugs flying.  Another good bet is to use a number of different crippled emergers, as some of these fish aren't coming all the way up to the surface.  A small crippled baetis is a great option here, especially during cloudy conditions.

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

April 1


Streamflow - 892 CFS Temperature - 43° F

     We had a small bump in the streamflow and the water became more tea-colored, but the change wasn't enough to deter the fishing.  The tan Chubby Chernobyl is still doing really well in place of a skwala pattern, and Pat's Rubber Leg stones are the dominant nymph.  From what I've been hearing, fishing the nymphs and streamers on the swing is your best bet for the time being.

     Our friends "the Lost Boys" are also up on the Creek for their annual spring fishing trip, and though they've had a rougher time than usual, they are still pulling in lots of fish each day (a bad day of fishing for them is a good one for many other anglers, including me).  They've reported that several bigger fish are moving closer to the shore with the water being higher than normal, so it'd be a good idea to drop a dry or a nymph not too far from the banks and see what you can raise.

     More soon.

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