Fly Fish The Clark Fork River
Here at Montana Fishtales
The Montana River of Your Dreams!
The Clark Fork River is one of Montana’s best-kept secrets, hidden in plain sight. Many anglers drive by it on their way to fish other famous Montana rivers like the Bitterroot or Blackfoot. We at Fishtales Outfitting love elbow room and great trout fishing, we think you’ll agree!
The largest river in Montana by volume it begins its 310-mile journey near the town of Butte MT, and as it meanders its way towards its terminus at Lake Pend Oreille it offers hundreds of miles of floatable water. The upper river is a smaller stream with many diverse types of water that mostly holds Brown trout and the occasional Westslope Cutthroat. This is fantastic streamer water with a legitimate shot at a trophy Brown.
As the river heads west along I-90 towards Missoula it gains volume from many tributaries and becomes a large freestone river in a heavily forested corridor. This lower zone is a dry fly fishery that can rival the best hatches on the Missouri River. Large Rainbow, Cutthroats, and hybrid Cut-bows dominate the water here and eagerly come to the surface to devour the many species of mayflies that hatch here.
The lower river also offers the added bonus of being a trophy Northern Pike fishery with some research showing fish of 45″ or better, which can be an exciting change of pace from trout fishing. The Clark Fork is typically pretty low on the visiting anglers’ list of rivers to float fish which makes it one of the lesser crowded in all of western Montana.
Elk Hair Caddis
Rogue River Salmon Fly
Hoppers and Terrestrials
Pat’s Rubber Leg Stonefly Nymph