Clark Fork River, Montana Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
Fly Fishing Map of Clark Fork River, MT
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Clark Fork River, Montana Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
My tips of the week
The Clark is big and running full so is intimidating to many anglers.  But, the high water fishing can be quite good to those willing to break it down into smaller components.  A coupla tips that will help you be successful in big water: 1. Side channels are king.  Not only are they easier to read the fish really congregate there. 2. When nymphing keep it short.  Just because the river is big doesn't mean the fish will hold and feed in deeper water. 4-5" to the first fly is usually sufficient. 3. When you see fish feeding sporadically in an area, be patient, they will stay put unless spooked.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing Clark Fork River is currently Just OK

Water flow: 7180 cfs below Missoula

Visibility: 24 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 64 Degrees F

Water condition: Stained

Best time of day to fish: Morning through evening

Best stretch: The whole river

Best access point: Multiple access points all along the river

Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:

Little yellow sallies, caddis, with pmd's and goldens starting up.

Fish species: Rainbows, cutthroats, cutbows, browns and white fish

Fishing season: Year round; some tributaries closed December 1-third week of May. Check regulations before fishing.

Nearest airport: Missoula

Person Fishing in a stream

Clark Fork River Description

This major fork of the Columbia River, named after Captain William Clark of the Corps of Discovery, is the mother of all our local rivers. In proving her maternal resolve, the Clark Fork today flows clean and vibrant despite the decades of mining abuses imposed upon her by a less than conservation-minded state. Often described locally as two distinct rivers, the Clark Fork provides decidedly different characteristics ...

Techniques & Tips

Dries and droppers are often effective in these conditions but dropping a couple nymphs under a bobber will provide longer drifts in turbulent water and thus produce more fish. Call or email us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in our fly shop and say hi at 3055 North Reserve Street in Missoula for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.

7-Day Forecast

Not many anglers have been fishing the Clark for a while so it could be good.  Various stone flies, caddis and mayflies are hatching and with keen eye toward the willow and back channels you could find yourself fish sipping off the top.


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