West Fork Bitterroot River, Montana Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
Reported by Jim Mitchell
Fly Fishing Map of West Fork Bitterroot River, MT
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West Fork Bitterroot River, Montana Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
My tips of the week
The floating season has ended. The water is at winter levels. Slush ice is floating. Go later let it warm up. Wading will be good near the dam. With the lower levels, the fish are spooky.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing West Fork Bitterroot River is currently Excellent

Water flow: 79.3 cfs

Visibility: 60 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 36 Degrees F

Water condition: Clear

Best time of day to fish: Any

Best stretch: The Dam Down

Best access point: All

Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:


Fish species: Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown, Brook & Bull Trout Mountain White Fish

Fishing season: Year Round Below Painted Rocks Dam (catch and release Dec 1 - 3rd Saturday in May)

Nearest airport: Missoula, MT (MSO)

Bitterroot River, West Fork Description

The West Fork of the Bitterroot River originates along the south west border of Montana. Flowing out of the Bitterroot mountain range it runs into Painted Rocks reservoir, a man-made lake created by Painted Rocks Dam. Below the dam the river flows for an additional fifteen miles to the confluence with the East Fork, creating the Bitterroot River.

The West Fork above the dam is small and well suited ...

Techniques & Tips

Double nymph rigs are the way to go. Dead drifting streamers with a nymph trailer.

7-Day Forecast

Nymphing is the name of the game. Slush ice is floating

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