Salmonflies are out on Montana waters
By Hookemharry

Posted: June 17, 2006

Salmonflies! Salmonflies! It deserves repeating to let all the fly fishers know that the famous hatch on Rock Creek is in full swing.

In fact, all the local rivers are finally starting to round into shape after the recent bout of moisture the area has received and the associated high, muddy flows that go with it.

Rock creek is still the star of the show with lots of salmonflies still out and the golden stone hatch in full swing. The big stoneflies are out along most of the creek, according to Doug Persico of Rock Creek Fisherman’s Mercantile.

They camp overnight on the streamside bushes and begin to fly in the late mornings and early afternoons when the air and the water have both warmed a little from their overnight low temperatures.

Last weekend rains threw the Blackfoot back off color, just as it was starting to round into shape. Anglers have been fishing streamers there in anticipation of the salmonfly hatch. As soon as the river is clear enough to fish, fly fishers can expect to see some of the big orange bugs along the lower stretches.

The Bitterroot River is also starting to fish well. The West Fork was really fishing well with salmonflies starting to hatch. This weekend should have some pretty good salmonfly fishing for all.

The lower Clark Fork River is another story of a river rounding into shape only to be set back by our recent rainy weather.

Unlike the other streams, the Clark Fork doesn’t have a big stonefly hatch in June. Instead, look for some good PMD and caddis hatches. The good news is that when the weather improves, all the local rivers will clear and fishing will start to really be excellent.

Right now, if you want to experience the ultimate in fly fishing, my recommendation we be to head for Rock Creek. The blue-ribbon trout stream just a few miles east of Missoula will certainly give you all the action that you have come to expect from it’s famous salmonfly hatch.

Remember, when you head out fishing, to exercise some patience as you won’t be the only one looking for some great fishing. Between the floaters and the wade fisherman, let’s make sure everyone has a good and safe time.

Trapper Badovinac author of a new book Fly Fishing the Solitude Montana will be in Missoula for local book signings. We will have him as a special guest on the Montana Outdoor Radio Show Saturday morning from 6 to 8 a.m.

You are invited to call 800-568-5309 and ask Badovinac questions about fly-fishing Montana waters during the show. We will also be giving away signed copies of his new book and have fishing reports from rivers and lakes from throughout Montana.

The statewide radio show airs in Missoula on KGVO-1290AM, Polson KERR-750AM, Hamilton KLYQ-1240AM, and Kalispell KJJR-880AM.