Online Fly Shop

About the Creek

Doug's Rants


Fishing Conditions




Contact Info

Fishing Conditions
Visit our Facebook Page

River Conditions

Weather Conditions

Fishing Report Archives

June 30


Streamflow - 427 CFS Temperature - 62° F

     We had some extremely hot weather over this past weekend, with temps ranging in the high 90s to low 100s.  That is very unseasonably hot for the time of year, and we're going to be having temps ranging in the 90s through the first part of July as well.  While this is not necessarily a deal breaker for fishing Rock Creek, it does mean we highly advise you limit your fishing to the mornings and evenings, as fishing in the middle of the day will stress out the fish (as well as most fishermen).  I doubt we will get Hoot Owl restrictions on Rock Creek, and we've never seen this stream hit consecutive days of water temps at 73° F, but for the sake of the trout, I'd avoid mid-day fishing until this heat wave breaks.

     As for patterns, nymphs are still working great before dawn (the earlier you can make it out the better), and then when the sun hits the water, put on a caddis with a small emerger.  Towards late morning, switch over to some terrestrial patterns like grasshoppers, ants, beetles, and even spruce moths.  You can also use the purple haze or a Yellow Sally at this time too.  If you head out in the evening, I would try mayflies and caddis, as well as red attractors or small PMX hoppers, along with a variety of nymph patterns.

     The heat is undoubtedly going to scare a lot of anglers away, so for those willing to head out, there should be plenty of open water for the beginning of July...just make sure to take a break when it gets too hot.

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

June 24


Streamflow - 489 CFS Temperature - 57° F

     The decrease in the streamflow seems to be leveling off, and the drop is far more gradual now than it was just a week ago.  Guides are still doing trips in certain stretches, but for the most part, we aren't seeing many boats on the water now.  If you are skilled on the oars, you can get in a good float (shorter runs are taking longer now), but I'd probably leave the skinny water floating to the guides at this point, as they go down the water daily and know how to properly navigate some of the more technical spots on the water.

    We have moved to smaller flies, with the color yellow being dominant.  Small golden stones and yellow sallies are working very well, and if you have a red marker, put a small red dot on the back of your yellow stonefly patterns.  We've also been using large PMD patterns to simulate both a yellow sally and a drake, both of which are out it good numbers right now.  Besides the yellow bugs, you can also fish green drakes, hare's ears, and purple hazes to great effect.  In the middle of the day, when the fish are more hesitant to come up to the surface, try a stonefly dry with a crippled emerger or small beadhead dropper behind it, or switch to a pure nymph or streamer rig and get the bugs down to them.  There is a lot of great fishing right now, both above and below the surface.

     If you've been checking the weather reports, you'll see we're in for some hot days ahead.  Depending on how long it lasts, I'd advise to avoid the middle of the day for both the sake of the fish and for your own.  Mornings and evenings are going to be best time to fish when the hot weather arrives, and it will also scare off a lot of anglers, so the river will have a lot of unoccupied water on on those days.  We will give you an update when the water conditions and/or the fly patterns change, but for the time being, it's phenomenal June fishing Rock Creek!

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

June 19


Streamflow - 585 CFS Temperature - 56° F

     There are very few float fishermen up here now, so the time for wading is here.  This weekend is going to be a mix of sunshine and clouds, so I'd highly recommend trying green drake patterns as well as large Parachute Adams and Purple Hazes.  During the sunny portions, you can still use either a golden stone or a yellow sally, both of which have been working well on various spots on the creek.  Caddis are still the main dry flies in the mornings and evenings, but you can also start using some smaller mayfly patterns like PMDs and BWOs.  The hare's ear remains the top nymph, but pheasant tails and Copper Johns are also starting to produce as well.

     It's really great fishing out right now, especially for dry flies, so it should be a fun weekend to come out and fish!  Also, this Saturday and Sunday is free fishing without a license for Father's Day weekend, so if you aren't licensed up yet but still want to fish, this would be the weekend to come out and try it!

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

June 16


Streamflow - 653 CFS Temperature - 54° F

     It's a nice time to fish Rock Creek because we are right in the middle of late spring and early summer hatches, so flies from both seasons are working well right now.  Caddis flies have made a big appearance over the past week, and especially in the mornings and evenings they're the top bug.  We also still have golden stones, yellow sallies and even some salmon flies, but keep these three patterns on the smaller side..  From the reports I've been receiving, a lot of the fish are now holding in shallower water, so look for spots only a couple feet deep with a healthy rapid waterflow, especially if you are dry fly fishing.  When in doubt, try a Purple Haze or Parachute Adams, or go nymph and stick with Hare's Ears and Prince Nymphs.  You can also fish a dark streamer or a classic rainbow Wonderbugger.

     If you are more into wading than floating, Rock Creek is the place to be right now.  There are very few float fishermen here, and the water level is down enough to the point where most (though not all) spots are wadeable now.  So come on out and give it a shot!

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

June 12


Streamflow - 789 CFS Temperature - 59° F

     The combination of golden stones, yellow sallies, purple hazes, and hare's ear nymphs have been producing very well these past few days, but there have been very few people coming up to take advantage of this fishing.  Even the floating numbers are way down this year, which is partially due to the lower than average streamflow.

     While it's still floatable, Rock Creek is becoming increasingly accessible for wade fishermen every day, and now that salmon flies have emerged on the neighboring Blackfoot and Bitterroot Rivers, the crowds are way down here.  So I would highly recommend coming out, especially on the weekdays when there is nary a soul to be seen on the water.  Keep fishing those stonefly/dropper combos, because fish are still chasing them aggressively, but also have some caddis, drake, and attractor patterns ready, especially in the mornings and evenings.

     More in a few days.

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

June 9


Streamflow - 922 CFS Temperature - 57° F

     We are currently going through a heat wave that is supposed to last until about Friday.  After that, we'll have more normal temperatures for the time of year, but until that point consider fishing in the mornings and evenings.  There is a lot of sun and heat right now, and both the fish and the fishermen will feel it in the mid to late afternoon.

     The salmon flies are all the way up the creek, and the popular float this week has been Gilles (Bohrnsen) Bridge to the Upper Fire Ring.  This is where the big bugs will be fishing best, and it also helps to avoid the log jams.  Try darker patterns with black silhouettes in conditions like these; the Gypsy King attractor pattern works well in this case.  If you stay down lower, try some Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies, and use nymphs like the Jumpin' Jack Flash or a brown or black stonefly imitation.  You can also fish a San Juan to great effect, and dark buggers are the best option for streamer fishing at the moment.

     The water is coming down, but we still having decent fishing.  We just need to ride out this heat wave, and things will improve.

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

June 5


Streamflow - 1090 CFS Temperature - 51° F

     Salmon flies are strongest from the Gilles Bridge down to roughly the Microburst now, but you'll likely still see a few below even that, and the patterns are still working on the entire river.  The golden stones have also been moving up the creek, so try some yellow in addition to orange.  As you can see, the streamflow has been steadily decreasing.  We will see if the incoming hot weather will release some snow and bump it, but for the time being, Rock Creek is good for both rowing and wading, a rare combination.

     Try darker patterns on these sunny days, and after the sun leaves the water, throw on a Cat Puke or a green drake, and you should see some strikes.  When it's sunny like this, sometimes the fish will be hesitant to rise all the way to the surface and will short strike or nose your flies.  If that happens, put on a dropper or wet fly behind your main dry to get some subsurface action.

     It's going to be a fun weekend here on the creek!  Stay safe out there, and happy fishing everybody!

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

June 2


Streamflow - 1340 CFS Temperature - 50° F

     It's crazy to think the salmon flies have been out two straight weeks and it's only the beginning of June.  The big orange bugs are in the middle to upper stretches now.  I did a float yesterday from Concrete Bridge down to White Bridge, and they were flying from the put-in to the Microburst, but we also still saw them on the bushes even below that.  They will likely be in the same spots today, or perhaps just a little higher.  Try bright orange patterns in the early afternoon, and then as you get on later in the day, switch over to darker, more subtle patterns.  Gravatt stimmies, orange Chubbies, and golden cat pukes were the top producers yesterday, but we were also throwing basic bullethead salmon fly patterns and catching fish.

     There is virtually nobody here on the weekdays, which is very strange because it is stellar fishing right now.  The weekends are a different story, and this past one had lots of boats and foot fishermen heading up the creek.  So if you can manage to make it out after work Monday thru Thursday (sometimes Friday), you will find not a whole lot of anglers, but a whole lot of eager fish.  And it's even better if you can find a good rower to take you through the upper stretches.

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