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! You can find the best fishing spots on the river where it confluences with the Flathead River with our experienced Clark Fork River fishing guide.

To many, it’s a surprise that Clark Fork has any fishing sections. In the past, this river went through tremendous damage but now it has been restored to its natural, clean state. This river is a testament to how nature thrives and overcomes man-made environmental issues. Today, Clark Fork hosts an abundance of brown and rainbow trout and has numerous spots for fishing which you can explore with our Clark Fork River fishing guide. We look forward to fishing with you!

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.

Brown Trout Clark Fork River
Rainbow Trout

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.

Recommended Flies

Dry Flies

Elk Hair Caddis
Rogue River Salmon Fly
Purple Haze
Chubby Chernobyl
Hoppers and Terrestrials

Nymphs

Pheasant Tail
Prince Nymph
Copper John
Pat’s Rubber Leg Stonefly Nymph
Perdigon

Streamers

Boogie Man
Sparkle Minnow
Dragon
Zonker
Sex Dungeon