CFS: 1900

Water Temp: 53 - 58°F

Dries: Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, Green Drakes

Nymphs: Jumpin' Jack Flash, Pink Worms, sz 8-12 Stonefly Nymphs

It seems like the salmon flies only popped out a few days ago, but here we are three weeks later, and now Rock Creek is better for golden stone and drake patterns. We are also quickly transitioning into our summer hatches of caddis and mayflies. My personal favorite for this time of year has always been the yellow sally from late June to mid-July:

Yellow Sally Pattern

In addition to Sallies, Golden Stones, Green Drakes, and attractors like Parachute Adams and Purple Hazes are great options. Some people still like to use salmon flies, but my recommendation is to keep them on the smaller side if you fish them here (bigger patterns will still work on the Blackfoot). And of course, the nymphing game is excellent right now; we've even seen bull trout caught on basic nymph patterns. The water is still big, so streamers are another good option too. I've had a lot of requests for white lately, so I'm cranking out some White Wonderbuggers currently.

We have one more week of float fishing until we become a wade-fishing only stream starting July. I always like to wait for that time of year as the pressure goes down, the fishing is better in the mornings and evenings (aka before and after work hours!) We are technically open from 7-7 most days, but we have been staying open late most evenings slinging beers and beverages to people finishing off the day. So whether you're coming up or down Rock Creek, we hope to see you soon!

CFS: 1520

Water Temp: 43 - 48°F

Dries: Purple Haze, possible Mother's Day Caddis

Nymphs: Black Stonefly, Bitch Creek, Red San Juan

We are in that time of the year where the first major runoff has already begun, but fortunately the streamflow has leveled off and is actually decreasing for the time being and adding extra clarity to the Creek:

Until we see either a lot of rain (possibly by the middle of next week) or a jump in the overall air temperature, the water will remain clear and Rock Creek will have good fishing. If you haven't created a link for it already, check out the USGS streamflow for Rock Creek. It has real-time data and is a great tool for determining whether the water will be fishable on any given day. If the cubic feet per second (cfs) spikes or plummets, the trout tend to hunker down and become harder to catch until the streamflow becomes steady (like the chart below).

While we are already seeing some rafts and drift boats, fishing on foot can be a fun day in these conditions too. It cannot be stressed enough to minimize your wading in this kind of water. The fish are being escaping the fast water in the middle and moving to the edges, so wading out to them is unnecessary. Most of our wading this time of year is simply to get through marshy land to reach the main water.

Look for the calmer water near the shoreline and drop some big nymphs or San Juans. This does require more traveling and "hoofing it" to find the good spots, since they are fewer and farther between this time of year, but this is personally one of my favorite times to get out and test the various holes. If you're lucky, you might get some fish to rise to a March Brown or a caddis pattern, but my go-to dry right now is the Purple Haze.

If you are floating, please check with either us or your local guides to inquire about potential hazards in the water. Most of the floaters have been going to the upper stretches near Philipsburg thus far, but that will change soon.

Currently, we are open from 9-2 each day until June, but we have been working on re-organizing and cleaning the shop, so we are often here well after our official business hours. If you see the lights on, stop on by and pay us a visit! Salmon flies are not far off, friends! More soon.

CFS: 201

Water Temp: 39 - 44°F

Dries: March Brown, Skwala, Parachute Adams, Purple Haze

Nymphs: Dark Pat's RL, Copper John, San Juan

There has been a noticeable change in the air temperature here on the lower end of the creek. The snowy, frigid days were suddenly replaced by what feels more like actual spring. Fly fishing Rock Creek in April is one of my favorite times to get out on the water, which I was able to do yesterday afternoon. I saw fish rising in the early afternoon and a nice mayfly hatch later in the day. Alas, I was accompanied by my dogs, who are obsessed with swimming, so I didn't have much luck:

With warm weather forecast all this week, the water temp will bump a few degrees and the bug and fish movement should improve significantly. We've had a good March Brown hatch here recently, which I consider the most underrated dry fly on Rock Creek. Skwalas get all the glory on the rivers around here, but when the March Brown mayfly is out, fish will eagerly sip on these guys (and their subsurface equivalents).

Late morning and into the afternoon will be the best time to get out. To date, I haven't heard of anyone making the entire trip up Rock Creek Road, but I'd recommend having 4-wheel drive if you are heading up to the Hogbacks. Weekends are crowded up here, but I've seen very little traffic on the weekdays, so that would be the best time to fish the creek without much pressure.

I am in the process of getting some of our "hot flies"up and on the website, as well as some other goodies. I'll give you all a heads up when it's ready. We're hoping things will get back to normal in time for salmon fly season, but at this point, it's anyone's guess. If you do head out this week, practice good social distancing, and stay safe out there, friends! More soon.

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73 Rock Creek Rd, Clinton, MT 59825, USA

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