Bitterroot River Scores 3/5 from Blackfoot River Outfitters 7.4.21
By angelamontana

Posted: July 7, 2021
BRO’s Tips of the Week:
Rope up!  As water temperatures rise be sure to size up your tippet to help quickly and safely land fish.  2X to 3X is a safe bet.  Carry a thermometer and stop fishing for trout when water temperatures hit 67 degrees.  Give the trout a rest and try to catch some pike!

7 Day Outlook:
Mid to high 90’s for the next week with no rain in forecast.  If you’re going fishing get out there early and get off the water early.  Water temps are rising and we expect to see more hoot owl regulations in the near future.

Our Recommendations for the Best Techniques and Patterns:

Dry-dropper or double dry is the name of the game right now.  Try a Water Walker, Rastaman or Rogue Stone in a golden stone colorway in size #08-12 for your first fly.  Fish a smaller golden, green drake or yellow sally as your second dry.  TJ Hookers, Girdle Bugs, Duracells and PTs have all been productive as a dropper.  As the water clears perdigons/spanish bullets are going to be deadly.

Goings on at World Headquarters in Missoula:

Call or email us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in- WE HAVE MOVED TO OUR BRAND NEW LOCATION AT 275 N. RUSSELL STREET IN MISSOULA- for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.



Conditions are good on the Bitterroot right now. Be aware of water temperatures and use good fish handling practices.


Golden Stones #8-12, PMDs #14-16, Yellow Sallies #12-16, Green Drakes #10-12


DRIES – Water Walker #06-16, Rogue Golden #08-12, Parachute Sally #12-16, Parachute PMD #14-16, Parachute Green Drake #10-12 NYMPHS – Worms – Red or Pink, Princes #10-#16, Rubber Legs or TJ Hookers #8-#12, Jig Perdigons in #14-16, Frenchies #12-16, Duracells #14-16, Jig Yellow Spot and Pheasant Tails #14-16, Spanish Bullet #14-16. STREAMERS – Sparkle Minnow #6 (Sculpin color is a favorite), Zonkers #6 & #8 in Natural, Olive, or Yellow, Kreelex Fly #6 in Copper/Gold


Water Flow

1450cfs (below average for this time of year)



Water temperature at mid-day

64-70 degrees

Water Condition


Best time of day to fish

Fish in the morning when water temperatures are at their coldest. Quit fishing for trout when water temperatures hit 67 degrees.

Best stretch

The entire river is fishable right now. Large tree down below Victor bridge in the left channel – stick to the right channel. Lately, larger fish size but lower numbers below Hamilton, more fish but smaller up stream. Keep in mind the high water can cause the Bitterroot to change rapidly. Keep your head up and be careful!

Best access point

Multiple fishing access points along the river.

Fish species

Rainbows, browns, cutthroats, cutbows, and whitefish.

Fishing season

All year

Nearest airport

Missoula international Airport (MSO)

Recommended fly fishing leader

From a boat – 7.5′ 3x-4x. Wading step it up to 9′

Recommended fly fishing tippet

3x top bug and 4x for second or 4x to 5x for smaller rigs

Best fly fishing rod

9ft 5 or 6 weights for nymphing and dries – 7wt for streamers

Best floating fly line

WF 5wt or 6wt

Best sinking fly line


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