Copyright 2019 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On Rock Creek In Montana
This is one of Montana's best trout streams. Its waters
are mostly all open to the public to fish. Fly fishing Rock
Creek is a wading angler's paradise, not only because it
is easy to wade, but also because float fishing the river
isn't allowed between July 1 and November 30th. Rock
Creek flows with the Sapphire Mountains on its west side
and the John Long Mountains on its east side.
Rock Creek begins near Philipsburg where its West,
Middle and East Forks, along with the water from Ross
Creek, join to form the main stream. Not far from there it
flows through over thirty miles of National Forest Land
followed by the Rock Creek Road. It exits the Lolo
National Forest and flows for a few more miles where it
enters the Clarke Fork River near Clinton.
Camp sites along the river are plentiful. Rock Creek is
bordered by National Forest for most of its entire
distance. This makes it easy for those who camp
because they don't have to make a long drive to fish
Rock Creek. There are very few rentals, motels, etc., in
Nymph fishing is both popular and a very productive on
the stream. It is so popular that dry fly fishing Rock
Creek is often overlooked. Trout can be taken on dries
throughout the season, especially during one of its
many hatches of aquatic insects. Rock Creek is a fairly
fertile stream with a good pH level and as a result there
are lots of insects for the trout to eat.
The surrounding scenery of Rock Creek is simply
beautiful. Lolo National Forest has snow covered
mountains, canyons and plenty of granite cliffs. One
thing that really turns out to be to the angler's
advantage, is the long, rough, narrow road that follows
the creek the entire way. Its bad enough to keep the
general tourist away, yet navigable enough for you to
safely get to where you want to go.
Rock Creek has boulders the size of rooms in a house
creating pocket water with deep pools and fast flowing
runs and riffles. Its trout are plentiful and in general,
aren't that picky or difficult to catch provided decent
presentations are made.
This beautiful stream offers some of the best small
stream fly fishing opportunities in the western states.
You don't have to worry about not being able to find a
place where your not fishing behind someone. There
are miles of water that offer an opportunity. It can be a
little crowded in some areas at certain times, but that is
rare,not the usual case.
There are only a few places in the United States where
you can fish in the company of Rocky Mountain Sheep.
See the images on your left.
Rock Creek Montana
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 71/2
ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Fly fishing Rock Creek can be great any
day of the season.
Except for the spring runoff, Springtime is
prime time for fishing Rock Creek.
Summertime is the most popular time to fish
the stream which makes it the most
crowded time to fish.
Fly Fishing Guide to Rock Creek
Rock Creek is a pure freestone stream and
it's flows are strictly dependant on melting
snow and rain. Fishing in the headwaters of
Rock Creek is typical of most headwaters.
The fish are generally very plentiful but small
compared to those downstream. Cutthroat,
brown, brook, rainbow and bull trout exist in
Rock Creek. Most of the fish in the
headwaters are brooks, cutts or rainbows.
There are few brown trout.
Below Montana highway #38, the river flows
through the forest. Riffles, runs and deep
pools make up what would be best described
as pocket water. As mentioned, Rock Creek
Road follows along the creek for its entire
length. For the first few miles below the
bridge at highway #38, the fish population
seems to be mostly a mixture of cutthroats,
rainbows and cutbows or hybrids. The fish
are much larger in this area than they are in
the smaller headwater streams. They seem
to increase in size the further downstream
you go although that may be more of a
coincidence than fact.
Several small creeks join Rock Creek on its
way to the Clark Fork River. Below Harry's
Flat Campground, the creek looks more like
a river than a creek. The river gets wider and
slows down some. The lower section has
both rainbow and brown trout but the
rainbows decrease in numbers and the
browns increase the closer the stream gets
to it's confluence with Clark Fork.
The wildlife along this creek is incredible.
Our first trip there, Angie video taped two
Bighorn sheep crossing the creek just below
me. I was not aware they were behind me
and she was staying quite because they
were close to us. When I noticed her
continuously shooting downstream of me,
rather than the whitefish I had on, I yelled to
ask what she was doing. The Bighorns went
into high gear and I only got a short glimpse
of them until I reviewed the tape later that
night. I was not aware that she had been
shooting the sheep for the past few minutes.
Another reason I suppose that stuck with
some is that the creek has a lot of deep
pools. Other than the normal pools that may
be less than five feet deep, for example,
there are many that are much deeper. In
fact, it is difficult to get a nymph down to the
bottom in many places.
I'm not suggesting that anglers should fish a
dry fly when nothing is hatching. I would
tend to always use a nymph or larva
imitation under the "no hatch to match"
situation. That said, I haven't found that the
stream necessarily has any fewer hatches
than any other freestone stream of its type
in the western Rocky Mountains. In fact, it
may have more.
Stoneflies are very plentiful in Rock Creek.
Most of the time you will get far better
results fishing a stonefly nymph than you
would an imitation of the adult, but that is no
different on Rock Creek than anywhere else.
If you pay attention to the hatch times, you
should do well fishing dry fly imitations. We
have been able to catch more trout on the
dries than nymphs, but of course we usually
fish them more often than we do wet flies or
nymphs. We think the "nymph" stream is an
unfair and inaccurate label for Rock Creek.
We hope you will be the final judge of that.
Many anglers think that Rock Creek is
purely a nymph fishing stream and that the
trout want generally feed on the surface or
take dry flies. I think that is probably
because several articles have been written
that more or less state that. In our several
trips there at different times of the year and
during several different years, we have not
found that to be the case. I certainly
wouldn't go so far as to say that Rock
Creek is a top dry fly stream. I am just
saying that they seem to feed on the
surface there as well as most other places.
Rock Creek Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly and
most available insects and other foods at the
particular time you are fishing. Unlike the
generic fly shop trout flies, we have specific
imitations of all the insects in Rock Creek
and in all stages of life that are applicable to
fishing. If you want to fish better, more
realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.
Like most other trout streams, Rock Creek
has it's share of Blue-winged Olives. They
start hatching in some locations as early as
the middle of March and continues on into
the first week or two of June. These little
mayflies are bi-brooded and will start
hatching again by the first of September.
The second wave of the BWOs will continue
until almost the end of November.
March Brown mayflies start hatching near
the end of March and last through the month
of April. Another species of them hatch out in
late August, September and on into the first
two weeks of October, depending on the
particular section of the stream in August
There's the usual PMD, or Pale Morning Dun
hatch that occurs over a long period of time.
It starts about the first of June and last
almost all the way through September. In
addition, Rock Creek has an "okay" hatch of
Green Drakes, but its usually not a huge
hatch. It starts about the middle of June and
last until the middle of July, depending on
the section of the stream. Mahogany duns
hatch in September and October and Trico
hatch in the slower sections of the stream
There's an early Skwala Stonefly hatch that
occurs, starting about the first of March and
last through most of April. You will also find
some Little Brown Stoneflies hatching during
this same time period. The Salmonfly hatch
often occurs during the runoff. It is hit or
miss, mostly miss hatch at Rock Creek. It
occurs from about the last week of May
through the month of June.
The Golden Stoneflies are often still around
after runoff and they can provide a lot of
action some years. The hatch starts just
before the first of June and last through
The main stonefly attraction at Rock Creek
is the Yellow Sally. They hatch over a long
time at one place or another along the fifty
mile long creek. It starts about the first of
June and last all the way through mid
The most important caddisfly hatches are
those of the Spotted Sedges. They start
hatching about the end of May and last all
the way through the middle of August.
Their Little Sister Caddisflies are not that
plentiful, but can be found hatching from
about the middle of June through August.
From about the middle of June through
July, you will find some Little Short-horned
Sedges. Imitations of these little caddisflies
The Green Sedges are the most important
caddisflies on Rock Creek. Several species
of them hatch from about the middle of
June through the middle of September.
There's usually a very good October
Caddis hatch. It occurs from about the
middle of September until the first or
second week in October.
Terrestrials are important insects to imitate
during the months of July, August and
September. Imitations of grasshopper,
beetles and ants will catch their share of
trout on Rock Creek. Midges hatch
year-round, but are more important when
other insects are not hatching. We show
them important for March and April and
again during October and November, so
you may want to have some midge larva,
pupa and adult imitations with you during
that time period.
Don't forget to have a good selection of
streamers. The stream has plenty of
baitfish, minnows and sculpin. Imitations of
these small fish can produce at times,
especially early and late in the day and
when the water is slightly stained from rain.
Please consider using our "Perfect Flies".
They are not only the most realistic
imitations of the aquatic and terrestrial
insects at Rock Creek, they are the most
effective at catching trout. If you haven't
already done so, we certainly hope you will
give them an opportunity to work for you.
We suggest you use our Rock Creek Hatch
Chart and select the flies for the time
period you will be fishing.
Fall is an excellent time to fish Rock Creek.
The crowds are gone and the fishing is
It is possible to catch trout on many winter
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Headlines; Stream levels are
running just a little above normal
levels and the water stained in
most areas from melting
snow.Skwala stoneflies are
hatching as well as the midges and
little BWOs. Keep a close check on
our weekly updated Rock Creek
fishing report linked above for the
Map of Rock Creek starting at
Philipsburg where the three
01/05/16 Fish the lowest end of the river for the warmest water. Midges, fished in tandem with
the larva the bottom fly is the best option right now. The Winter stonefly nymph is another
good option. Stream levels are in good shape. The weather is a little warmer but that means
more snow. It is in the forecast every day for the next week.
01/12/16 There is snow in the forecast every day for this coming week, so getting to the water
in the upper sections may be a big problem. Fish the lowest section of the creek for the
warmest water. The White Belly and Brown sculpin streamers will work great with all the cloud
cover. Stream levels are in good shape although the gauge isn't working yet.
01/26/16 The weather is actually going to be much warmer with highs in the forties but with
that, comes a lot of snow. Melting snow will keep the water stained. It is about 35 degrees at
the warmest area in the lowest section of the creek. Deep snow along the banks and on the
roads may make it tough to deal with.
02/02/16 About the best thing that has happened to Rock Creek lately, is the USGS gauge is
working again. The stream levels and flows are just fine. The water temperature isn't. It is a
cold 35 to 36 degrees and that makes it very tough to catch trout. If you try it, use Cream
Midges. They do hatch on the coldest days.
02/09/16 The weather is unseasonably warm for Montana this month of February. The melting
snow has actually raised the stream levels some and have them off color in places. Midges
and Winter stoneflies continue to hatch and are the main insects you need to be imitating.
02/16/16 The weather continues to be more spring like than winter. It is still cold with lots of
snow but not as deep as normal because it is often melting. The water is stained and dingy
right now and about 36 degrees. Midges and winter stoneflies are the main insects to imitate
but the brown sculpin should produce some trout as well.
02/23/16 The stream levels are back down in good shape but the water still stained from
melting snow. It will continue to be warmer though Friday. Sculpin streamers like our Brown
Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin should work good now but fish the in the slow water out of the
main current. The water is still very cold.
03/01/16 From the looks of the weather forecast, you would think it is April or May. The
warmer air temperatures is melting a lot of snow. In other words, rain, more snow and the
warmer weather is making a mess. Streamers like our White Belly Sculpin and Brown Sculpin
flies are your best option. Midges are hatching and there are some opportunities to catch
them on top.
03/08/16 The stream is flowing just a little above normal and staying cold due to a lot of
melting snow. It is mostly clear but stained in some areas. Midges, winter stoneflies and little
Blue-winged olives are the insects you should be imitating. There is a lot of rain and snow in
the forecast, so keep a check on the stream levels.
03/15/16 The creek is in good shape, but clear and cold again. The weather is returning to a
more normal pattern for this time of the year. It is back to midges as about the only good
opportunity to fool the fish. If you do want to take the challenge and fish the creek, fish the
lowest section and stick with the slack water areas.
03/22/16 It is still cold and with a chance of snow every day except the weekend. The water
ranges from the mid thirties to near forty degrees. Midges are hatching most days and they
are about your only option for fooling any of the creek's trout. Fish the lowest section near the
warmest part of the day and you may see midges hatching.
03/29/16 The creek is in as good of shape as it could possibly be at this time of the year. The
stream level is normal and the water mostly all free of ice. There is still a lot of snow on the
banks. It is very close to the time the big Skwala stonefly nymphs will come out of their hiding
places for the trout to eat. Get off the couch and on the water.
04/05/16 Rock Creek is in good shape. The stream level is rising and the water a little off
color due to melting snow, but otherwise, conditions are very good for this time of the year.
Midges, little BWOs, and Skwala stonefly nymphs are the foods you need to be imitating. It is
going to be nice and warm this coming week.
04/12/16 The creek is flowing high and stained. There is a lot more rain and snow to come
from now to Saturday, so this is not likely to change. You will just have to watch the levels.
The opportunity will be good as soon as the levels get low enough again. The first fly choice
should probably be a Sculpin streamer. Later, midges and BWOs.
04/19/16 The creek is still high and stained from melting snow. This will continue to be the
case for the coming week with more warm weather. Make sure you check the stream level
before traveling very far to fish the creek. Midges and Blue-winged olives continue to be the
most important insects to imitate. The Sculpin streamers also work good in the stained water.
04/26/16 Hight water levels that are stained is what you can expect more of this coming week.
Last week's warm weather melted a lot of snow in the watershed and rain forecast every day
for this coming week will keep it that way for a few days. Streamer will be about your only
choice for at least two or three days.
05/10/16 The creek is very high and badly stained and little opportunity exist for fly fishing.
We think this will continue for at least the next week. The weather forecast is showing a
chance of rain every day from tomorrow though next Wednesday.
05/17/16 The stream level is down a lot from the past week but still on the high side. Most
areas is still to high too safely wade but much of the creek can be fished from the banks,
especially if you use streamers like our White Belly and Brown sculpin. Little Black caddis and
Skwala stoneflies ae hatching. There is rain in the forecast every day this coming week.
05/24/16 The creek is blown out from Spring runoff of melting snow and ice from the
headwaters and lots of rain. There is more rain in the forecast every day for the coming week.
There isn't any opportunity for fly fishing on Rock Creek and probably won't be for several
more days. You can be getting ready for some red hot action when the levels do drop.
05/31/16 The stream levels and flows are still lower than normal for this time of the year, but
the warmer weather in the forecast for this coming week is likely to increase the runoff in the
headwaters of the creek, so we are not predicting much fly fishing opportunity. All you can do
is watch the stream levels for the next several days.
06/07/16 The creek is in pretty good shape considering it is runoff time. There is rain forecast
everyday this coming week. Salmonflies are hatching and anglers catching some trout on the
hatch dealing with the higher levels. Expect more high water but catch it anytime you can
when it isn't too high to fish.
06/14/16 The weather is turning much cooler and there is rain in the forecast every day for
the coming week. The stream levels are currently down a lot and the creek can be fished at
this time. The water is still stained. It will most likely rise back up. We don't think the runoff is
completely over. Let's just hope it ends early this year.
06/20/16 The creek has really gotten into good shape this past week. The levels are way
down and the water mostly clear. There are a lot of insects hatching and more should start up
this coming week. The weather forecast for the coming week looks good. Salmonflies, some
Golden stoneflies, Spotted Sedges, Green Sedges, and Western Green drakes should be
06/28/16 The creek is in good shape from the headwaters to the lowest section. Our
customers are sending in some good reports. This past weekend was awesome. There are
still a lot of stoneflies hatching, Goldens and Little Yellows, and Pale Morning duns are
hatching in the middle and lower sections of the river.
07/05/16 The stream level is low and easy to wade, of course, but it is also easy to spook the
trout. You have to keep a low profile and blend in the with background. Longer, lighter leaders
and tippets may also help. There are a lot of insects hatching and our customers are catching
plenty of them on the surface. That written, keep in mind it is easy to over fish a dry fly.
07/12/16 Rock Creek is in very good shape and our customers are catching trout from the
headwaters to the lowest section of the creek. There are still a lot of insects hatching. Egg
laying stoneflies and caddisflies makes it very important to fish as late as you can. The last
two hours of daylight is the best time to catch fish.
07/19/16 The creek is in good shape from the uppermost headwaters to the lowest end. Our
customers are sending in some good reports. The stream levels are down some but you can
wade about anywhere you desire. You should use stealth and stay hidden from the trout.
Trout are being caught in good numbers in all sections of the creek.
07/26/16 Stream levels are getting a little low. You have to stay hidden from the trout. Stealth
is required as well as good presentations. There are still a lot of insects hatching. Pale
Morning Duns and Spotted sedges are the most plentiful. Fish as late in the day as possible.
The spinner falls and egg laying caddis and stoneflies are bringing a lot of trout to the net.
08/02/16 Hoot Owl restrickions are in effect. The water is getting too warm in the afternoons.
Fish early mornings or choose a different destination. Pale Morning duns are hatching along
with two different species of caddisflies.
08/09/16 Fish the uppermost sections of the creek. The lower section is near getting too
warm. There are still plenty of hatches taking place. Pale Morning duns, two species of
caddisflies, little Yellow stoneflies and others. It is best to fish Sculpin pattern streamers in the
early morning. The best action comes during the last two hours of daylight.
08/16/16 We received a good report from a customer fishing the creek three days this past
week. The upper and middle sections of the stream are cooler and turning out a good number
of trout each day. Terrestrials are working in the afternoons. Caddisfly adults are working the
last two hours of daylight.
08/23/16 Stream levels are a little low. That makes wading easy, but also easy to spook the
trout. Stay low and well hidden from the trout. Early morning has been good to those who
fished our Sculpin streamers. Tricos are hatching with late morning spinner falls. Terrestrials
imitations of ants, beetles and hoppers are also working good.
08/30/16 The creek is in good condition with cooler water but the flows are still a little low.
That makes it easy to wade but easy to spook the trout, so stay low and well hidden. Tricos
are hatching on the lower end of the river. Lots of caddisflies are hatching througout the river.
Fish the egg laying activity the last two or three hours of the day. Fish streamers in the early
09/06/16 Excellent conditions exist on Rock Creek. You should be able to catch plenty of trout
in any section of the stream from the headwaters to the lowest section of the river. Our
customers sent in some good reports from the holiday weekend. The weather is much cooler
and the water temperatures much lower. There are still a lot of insects hatching and terrestrial
imitations are working.
09/13/16 Rock creek is in great shape from its uppermost headwaters to the lowest elevation.
Our customers sent in good reports this past week. One group fished the entire week and in
all sections and reported catching good numbers of trout each day. They used a variety of
flies from hoppers and ants to BWOs and little Yellow stoneflies.
09/20/16 We received some good reports from customers fishing the creek this past week.
They did well on a number of flies but mostly on terrestrials. The cloud cover helped. They
caught some nice ones on the brown Sculpin streamer as well. It is raining as I write this and
the levels will likely come up during the next few days.
09/27/16 Great conditions exist on Rock Creek. Our customers are catching big numbers and
big brown trout. October Caddis, Mahogany duns and Blue-winged olives are hatching good.
Stream levels are just a little below normal and the weather remaining cool. This is a great
time to be fishing the stream. You will have plenty of water and solitude.
10/06/16 The creek is in excellent conditions with good stream flows and levels. Our
customers are all catching good numbers of trout using a variety of methods. October caddis
are hatching good. Blue-winged olives and Mahogany duns are working good. Terrestrials are
also still working. Use brown hoppers, Japanese beetles and carpenter ants.
10/13/16 The stream is in great shape and you can fish anywhere you want to without seeing
another person. Our customers continue to catch some very nice size brown trout and good
numbers of everything. The stream levels ae good and the cloud cover is helping turn out
some big Blue-winged olive hatches. October caddis are getting near their end but Mahogany
duns are still hatching.
10/19/16 Rock Creek is in grat shape right now and only a few locals are fishing there. This is
the usual case in the early fall days., I don't know if it is hunting or football but something is
put in priority to fishing and in my opinion, this is a huge mistake for those that care about fly
fishing for trout. There is some rain in the forecast this coming week and it should be good if it
doesn't get too high.
10/26/16 The creek has been in good shape most of the past week but it currently a little
high. This is likely to continue. There is rain forecast everyday for the coming week. The cloud
cover helps the Blue-winged Olive hatches. They are the main thing to be imitating right now.
Fish BWO nymphs in the morning and duns when the hatch begins.
11/02/16 Great conditions exist and our customers fishing the creek are catching not only
good numbers of trout but some very large brown trout. The Browns ae mostly on Sculpin
streamers like the Black Matuka sculpin and the White Belly sculpin. Great weather and good
stream conditions and few anglers to deal with.
11/09/16 The conditions for the middle of November rarely get much better than they are right
now. The stream levels are running at a normal level. Blue-winged olives are hatching and the
few anglers fishing are reporting some good catches. There have been some big post-spawn
brown trout caught on our Brown sculpin streamers lately.
11/16/16 The creek is just a little above normal. The weather is turning much cooler with snow
and rain through Saturday. Hatches will be reduced to Midges and little Blue-winged olives.
The Sculpin streamers should continue to work good. The Brown and White Belly sculpin and
Matuka Sculpin streamers have been catching lots of trout this past month.
11/23/16 The water temperature is down to the low forties. The weather has turned much
colder and there is snow forecast everyday for the next week. Remember, Blue-winged olives
will hatch when it is snowing as long as it isn't too cold. Midges are hatching and probably the
best bet right now. Creams are the most plentiful.
11/30/16 The creek is best fished in the lower sections. The middle and upper sections are in
the mid-thirties, water temperature wise. Sculpin streamers are still catching the larger trout,
but fish them in low light situations. Midges, especially the Cream midges, are hatching good.
Winter stoneflies are starting to hatch.
12/07/16 The weather is even colder. Remember,this is a freestone stream and the water
responds fairly quickly to the air temperature. It isn't going above freezing this coming week. If
you fall in or get wet, you are in serious trouble. If you fish, keep a dry change of clothes
handy. Midges would be the best fly choice. You would do better fishing a nearby tailwater.
12/14/16 Extremely cold weather is forecast everyday for the coming week. The high
temperature will not get close to freezing. There will be a lot of slush ice in the water. We do
not recommend fishing under these conditions. Slipping and falling in the water would be
12/21/16 It is going to be warmer this coming week, but in Montana, that means it is still going
to be as cold as a well digger's xxx. The weather isn't going above freezing all week and that
means the ice in the water will remain there. We recommend fishing a tailwater and waiting
until the water gets a little warmer.
12/28/16 We don't recommend fishing the creek this coming week. The air temperature isn't
going to exceed the freezing mark and there will be lots of slush ice in the water, and ice on
the banks and slow water. Wait until the water warms up a little. There are tailwaters in the
general area that will be a much better choice.
01/04/17 One angler was critical of us saying we didn't recommend fishing it this past week,
and we still don't recommend it, but we do want to qualify what we are reporting. The average
high air temperature this coming week will not be over twenty degrees. The highest will be 29.
The there is slush ice in most of the water even at the lower elevation. Midges will hatch and it
is possible to catch trout, just difficult and slow.
01/12/17 The weather will be clear of snow for a few days this coming week, but still very cold.
The lowest section of the river, which is the warmest, has a lot of slush ice and the water
temperature isn't over 33 degrees. While it is probably possible to catch a trout, we don't think
it is worth the effort.
01/18/17 We still cannot recommend fish the creek. The water is 34 degrees at the warmest.
All of it has some slush ice and lots of it solid ice where there is slow to still water. You would
do much better fishing a tailwater.
01/31/17 The stream is very cold in all sections. The warmest water is at the very lowest
section prior to reaching the Clark Fork. Midges, Creams and Reds (blood midges) are
hatching. Winter stoneflies are hatching. The water has a lot of ice in it and the warmest
temperature is only about 35 degrees but it is possible to catch trout on midges. Rig the pupa
and larva in tandem.
02/08/17 I guess i goofed and didn't post anything last week. I do know I wrote it up. This week
could change things a little. It is going to be much warmer and that should help get rid of some
of the ice in the lower section of the river. The water will still be very cold, barely above
freezing but you may be able to catch some trout on midges. Fish the Creams or red midges
with the larva and pupa in tandem.
02/15/17 The weather has been a little warmer and lots of snow and ice has melted. The
stream levels are currently a little high and likely to remain high or higher. There is rain or
snow in the forecast each day for the coming week. Midges,and Winter stoneflies are
hatching. Fish the Cream or Red midge larva and pupa rigged in tandem. Streamers like the
Brown sculpin should work.
02/24/17 The warmer weather has melted a lot of the snow and ice. The USGS gauge is even
working again. It is slightly stained due to the melt. It is running too high to safely wade, but
falling. It is turning cold again and there is snow forecast everyday for the coming week.
Midges are still the main insect to imitate. Sculpin steamers are still a good choice for flies.
03/01/17 The creek is in good shape with water mostly clear of ice. It averages from the mid
thrities to the low forties depending on where you are fishing. Fish Cream or Red midges, with
the larva and pupa rigged in tandem. Sculpin streamers are working in stained water or when
it is cloudy or snowing. The Black Matuka sculpin is a good one.
03/08/17 The creek is in good shape with low stream levels and clear water. There is a lot
less in the water. Fish the lower section for the warmest water. Midges are still the most
important insects to imitate. Reds and Creams are hatching good. There is a chance of snow
or rain everyday for the next week. Fish the Matuka Sculpin streamers when it is snowing or
03/15/17 The stream levels are up and too high to wade. There is more rain and snow in the
forecast for the coming week, so we expect high flows to continue. The water is stained as
well. There are some little Brown stoneflies and Skwala stoneflies beginning to hatch. Midges
and Blue-winged olives continue to hatch.
03/22/17 To get to the main point quickly, we don't see any good opportunity to fish the creek
anytime during the next week. The weather is going to continue to be warm with a chance of
rain or snow everyday for the next week. The steam levels are very high right now and that
situation will continue through the next week.
03/29/17 At first to those who are not very familiar with this part of Montana, the warm weather
seems to be a good thing. The problem is, it isn't runoff time and the warm weather created a
mini-runoff early in the season and to put it bluntly, screws up the normal pattern of hatches. It
is currently blown out and will probably be high for the next week.
04/04/17 The stream is still flowing very high and badly stained. There is rain or snow in the
forecast everyday for the coming week. It is not likely the conditions will be suitable for fly
fishing anytime within the next week. All you can do is stay in touch with us and check the
04/19/17 The stream levels are still high, too high to wade safely most anywhere. You can fish
the creek effectively in some sections. You can cast across it in most places. There are some
good Skwala and little Brown stonefly hatches taking place. There are little Black caddis and
little Blue-winged olives hatching as well.
04/26/17 Stream levels are still high, too high to wade safely. Yu can fish this stream in many
places from the banks. Streamers like the Brown sculpin will catch trout. It is still dingy and
there is more rain and snow in the forecast everyday for this coming week. There are some
hatching Skwala and little Brown stoneflies.
05/03/17 The creek is in good shape for the first time in a long time. The stream level is down
and you can wade most sections of the creek. There are lots of insects starting to hatch
including the Skwala and little Brown stoneflies. There is rain in the forecast later this week, so
get on the water as soon as you can.
05/10/10 The stream levels were down and the creek in good shape for a few days, but it is
back up high again, too high to wade or fish for that matter. All you can do is to stay in touch
with us. We will keep you informed as to the conditions of the creek. Hopefully, it will be in
good shape soon.
05/17/17 The creek is still running high and dingy but way down from last week. The runoff is
still underway and there is rain in the forecast everyday for the coming week. It is too high to
wade in most places but you can fish much of the stream from the banks. Otherwise, keep in
touch with us. We will keep you up to date on the conditions.
05/23/17 The creek is high and muddy to highly stained. Runoff is underway and the creek
isn't worth fishing at this time. All you can do is keep in touch with us . We will keep you
informed as to the status of the stream. You can also send us an email and let us help you
plan that next trip to Rock Creek.
05/31/7 Runoff is underway and the stream levels very high and badly stained. It is too high to
wade or fish for that matter. All you can do is keep in touch with us. You can send us an email
and let us help you plan that next fishing trip. It will be good when it does drop back down.
06/07/17 The runoff is still underway with very high stream levels and dingy to muddy water. It
did drop down some from last week. I'm not sure if that was cooler weather or it is nearing its
peak. All you can do it to check back with us. We can help you plan that next fishing trip.
06/14/17 The stream is blown out from runoff. We hope it has reached its peak but we are not
for sure about that. The flows are at 3550 cfs. The water is very dingy to muddy. The runoff
usually last for most of the month of June. All you can do is to check back with us. We will
keep you informed as to the status of the runoff.
06/22/17 The stream level is down a lot from the past week and the water clearing up some. It
is normally about the third week of June clearing to the point it can be fished. This year
there's a good snowpack and it could be longer. We have listed the insects that are or will with
a week be hatching.
06/29/17 The creek is in good shape now, and should be in very good shape within the next
week. You can wade some areas with caution now. It is still a little high but falling fast. There
are lots of insects hatching including about all the stoneflies. The water still has a little stain
but that shouldn't hurt anything. Remember, drift boats won't be allowed after tomorrow.
07/05/17 The stream is in good condition with good stream levels and clear water. There are
lots of hatches taking place. Some oft he big stoneflies, Goldens and Salmon flies are
hatching. We have added terrestrials to the fly list as they are becoming important. This
coming week should be a good one.
07/12/17 The creek is in great shape with lots of trout being caught from the headwaters to
the lower section of the stream. There are lots of hatches going on and dry fly action is very
good. We keep getting good reports from customers fishing the stream.
07/19/17 The creek is in excellent shape. We had three good reports from customers fishing
the stream this past week. Good numbers of trout are being caught in all sections from the
headwaters to the lower end. There are lots of insects hatching and dry fly fishing has been
good. This coming week should be a good one.
07/26/17 The stream continues to be in very good shape. The levels are good for wading,
running just a little above normal. We continue to get some good reports from customers
fishing the creek. There are still a lot of hatches taking place but they will be slowing down
soon. The middle and upper sections are the best choice at this time.
08/02/17 The creek is in very good shape with good stream levels easy and safe to wade
most places. There are still plenty of hatches taking place and trout being caught. There is a
fire in the area, so make sure you check on that. Tricos are starting to hatch but several other
insects are stil hanging in there.
08/09/17 Fish the middle and upper sections of the creek for the best opportunity. There are
lots of insects still hatching including two species of caddisflies, Pale Morning duns, Tricos
and lots of Little Yellow stoneflies. We received two very good reports from customers fishing
this past week.
08/16/17 The creek is still in very good shape. We are still getting good reports from
customers fishing. We recommend fishing the middle and upper sections of the river. There
are still some good hatches taking place. Imitations of Japanese beetles, Carpenter ants and
hoppers are also taking their share of the trout.
08/23/17 The creek remains in good shape. The stream levels are just a little low but easy
and safe to wade most anywhere. We received on good report this past week. Few anglers
are fishing and you have a choice of a lot of water to fish. Now is a good time fish the creek.
08/30/17 There are some Flavs hatching, or Small western green drakes and lots of
caddisflies. Tricos are hatching on the lower end of the stream. We didn't receive any reports
this past week from anyone fishing, we assume due to the smoke in the area. Hopefully, that
will clear up soon.
09/13/17 Stream levels are just fine and we continue to get good reports from our customers
fishing the creek. The much cooler weather coming this week will change the water
temperature a good bit and the available food the trout have to eat. The cloud cover should
help this coming week.
09/20/17 The stream levels are up a little too high to wade safely in most places. There is
some more rain and snow chances through Saturday, then clearing. We didn't receive any
reports from anyone fishing this past week. The weather is much cooler and fewer hatches will
be taking place, but otherwise, conditions should be good when the levels drop down some.
09/27/17 The creek is in good shape in all sections. October caddis are hatching in the
headwaters and will soon be everywhere. Stream levels are down in good shape and wading
safe and easy most anywhere. There are some other hatching going on including some
BWOs and little Sister caddis.
10/04/17 The stream is in excellent condition, with good levels that are easy and safe to wade
most places. There are hatches of Blue-winged olives and October caddis. We received one
good report from a customer fishing this past week. This coming week should be even better.
10/11/17 The creek is still in very good shape. We had a very good report from a customer
this past week. Blue-winged olives and October Caddis are hatching good. The cooler
weather has the water temperature falling some. Midges will soon be important. Sculpin
streamers are still catching the larger size trout.
10/25/17 We received two good reports this past week from customers fishing. Some good
numbers and two good browns were caught. There are good hatches of Little Blue-winged
olives and Cream midges. Sculpin streamers are catching the larger trout.
11/02/17 The river is in good shape stream levels wise. It is much colder thanks to the colder
weather. Stream temperatures are reaching the high forties in the afternoons. Hatches are
down to mostly Cream and Red midges, and Blue-winged olives. Sculpin streamers continue
to catch the larger trout.
11/17/17 The stream is still flowing at a good level but the water is cold, averaging only 39
degrees in the lower section. Midges, creams and reds or blood midges, are currently the only
insects hatching. Sculpin streamers will probably still work okay. Fish the midge larva and
pupa imitations rigged in tandem for the best results.
11/25/17 Conditions are not ideal by long shot. The water is cold, down to 36 degrees. It is
also high, too high to wade safely. Midges, creams and reds or blood midges, are hatching.
Fish the larva and pupa imitations rigged in tandem for the best results.
12/01/17 Fish the lower section of the creek. The water is getting cold, averaging about 35
degrees. Midges are the only insects hatching. We didn't receive any reports from anyone
fishing this past week. The stream levels are okay.
12/08/17 The water temperature is barely above the freezing mark most anywhere. Midges,
reds and creams, are the only hatches. Stream levels are down to normal.
12/15/17 The creek is very cold with lots of slush and bank ice, even in the lower section. We
don't recommend fishing until it warms up a little.
12/22/17 There is still a lot of slush and bank ice. We recommend a nearby tailwater. The
Clark Fork at Missoula, for example.
01/05/18 Winter stoneflies and Cream and Red or blood midges are hatching. The water is
barely above freezing in most places. There is some slush ice in the water and lots of bank ice
01/12/18 The water is still very cold with lots of slush ice and bank ice. You can catch trout on
midges, even in water temperatures as low as 34 or 35 degrees. That is about the
temperature in the lower section of the creek.
01/23/18 The lowest end of the creek has water that's ranging from 34 to 36 degrees. You
can catch trout on midges at that temperature range. Fish the larva and pupa rigged in
tandem. Fish adults only when you see trout feeding on the surface. Fish winter stonefly
nymphs near the banks.
02/02/18 The weather is going to be a little warmer this coming week. There is rain/snow in
the forecast everyday but this should get rid of the slush ice in the water.
02/23/18 There is lots of snow in the forecast for the coming week. The creek is really too
cold to fish. This isn't saying you can't possibly catch trout. You can do that on midges but it
may be slow. Midges, creams and blood midges, or red ones, are hatching good. Winter
stoneflies are hatching good. Fish the nymphs near the banks as they crawl out of the watr to
03/02/18 The water is in a little better shape and a little warmer. It is still high and cold,
averaging about 35 degrees. If you fish, fish the lowest section of the creek. Midges, winter
and skwala stoneflies are hatching.
03/09/18 The weather forecast for this coming week looks very good. There's little rain and no
snow in the forecast with much warmer temperatures. Most of the slush ice is gone and you
should be able to catch trout on midges in the lower section. Skwala stoneflies are hatching.
03/16/18 The water is getting a little warmer and there are some good Skwala stonefly
hatches taking place. Midges, creams and light greens are also hatching. There is snow
through Tuesday of next week, then clearing.
03/23/18 Melting snow has the stream levels back up high, a little too high to wade safely in
most places. The water temperature was rising to a good level, but is on the way back down.
Midges, creams and light greens, are hatching good. Skwala and a few Winter stoneflies are
03/30/18 Stream levels are still a little too high for safe wading. The water is still cold for most
spring hatches. Skwala stoneflies and Midges are hatching. Blue-winged olives and March
Browns should start as soon as the water temperature comes up a little more.
04/06/18 The stream level is up a little high, too high to wade safely. There is rain and snow in
the forecast everyday this coming week. It should be a little warmer. The water temperature
has lost ground during the past week, but should come back up this coming week.
04/13/18 The weather and water is still very cold with a chance of rain or snow everyday this
coming week. The stream levels are high, too high to wade safely. There are still hatches of
Midges, some BWOs and some Skwala stoneflies and March Browns taking place.
04/20/18 The creek is getting in better shape, but still a little too cold in most sections for
many hatches to take place. The water temperature needs to come up a few more degrees
and there will be some major hatches, including the big stoneflies. There are some March
Browns hatching now.
05/05/18 The creek is very high and dingy. It is far too high to wade and there is rain in the
forecast for the next four days. We expect the levels to be high at least though next
Wednesday. Hatches are going pretty good. The water should get a little warmer this coming
05/12/18 The creek is blown out. The weather forecast for the coming week is rain everyday,
so the high water conditions aren't likely to change. Stay in touch with us and we will keep you
05/19/18 Stream levels are still extremely high and likely to remain high for the next few days.
Keep in touch with us and we will let you know when it drops back down. It will be red hot
fishing when it does.
05/26/18 Runoff continues. The river is too high to fish in any section, as well as from highly
stained to muddy. This will last a few more days, so stay in touch. We will let you know when it
clears and drops.
06/02/18 The stream levels are down a lot from last week, but still high, too high to fish in our
opinion All you can do is to keep checking back with us. We will keep you informed.
06/09/18 Runoff is still underway and the creek is high and dirty. This is likely to last through
the coming week or more. All you can do is to stay in touch with us. We will keep you informed.
06/17/18 The runoff is still underway and the stream levels are too high to wade or fish. There
are lots of new hatches taking place, including the big stoneflies and Western Green drakes
and PMDs. These start during the runoff as usual.
06/23/18 Stream levels are almost the same as last week. There are lots of hatches taking
place, including the big stoneflies, but it isn't doing anyone much good, just feeding the trout.
Hopefully, runoff is getting near the end. Check back with us. We will keep you updated.
06/30/18 The creek stream levels are down a lot from this past week. It is still a little too high
to fish but falling fast. We don't thnk it will be very long before it is in good shape, just a very
few days. There are lots of hatches taking place including the big stoneflies.
07/07/18 The stream levels continue to fall and get in better shape. It is still a little too high to
wade in most places but some can be waded with caution. It will be low enough to wade
anywhere very soon. There are lots of insects hatching. You can fish most of this creek from
07/14/18 The creek levels are finally down and in good shape. The stream can be safely
waded in most areas but always use caution. We started getting good reports very recently.
The hatches are going strong including the big stoneflies.
07/21/18 The creek is in good shape with good stream levels and good hatches. We received
some very good reports from this past week. The forecast looks good for the coming week
and we think it will be another good one.
08/04/18 The lower section of the river is getting a little warm. Fish the middle and upper
sections. The stream levels are still down and in good shape. There are lots of hatches taking
place but keep in mind they vary greatly with the elevation. We received some good reports
08/18/18 The weather is cooler and the stream in great shape. Trout are being caught in all
sections in good numbers. There are still lots of hatches taking place. Now is a very good
time to be fishing the creek and few anglers are taking advantage of it.
08/25/18 The stream is running a little high but falling fast. There is no rain in the forecast for
the coming week. The weather is still cooler and lots of insects are hatching. We received two
good reports before the water came up.
09/01/18 The flows are still a little high but it can be waded in most places, with caution.
There are good numbers of trout being caught by the few anglers fishing the creek.
Terrestrials are working good as well as imitating the hatches that are taking place.
09/15/18 We received two good reports from this past week. Conditions remain very good.
The stream is flowing just a little above normal levels and wading safe and easy in most
places. There are good numbers of trout being caught. There are still some hatches and
terrestrials are also working good.
09/25/18 The stream levels are in good shape and wading safe and easy most anywhere.
The few anglers fishing are catching lots of trout. There are still some hatches taking place
and terrestrial and streamers are also working good.
10/09/18 Conditions are very good . The stream levels are normal. The weather and water
will be getting a little colder and that will help the fishing conditions. There are still good
numbers of hatches taking place.
02/01/19 Little change, except the water is colder. Open for catch and release only. The
stream is still in good shape with stream levels just about normal. The water is colder or
about 39 degrees. There are still some good hatches and trout are being caught in good
02/15/19 The creek is in good shape for the middle of February. Few anglers are fishing but
those that are, manage to catch trout. Midges and winter stoneflies are hatching good.
02/22/19 The creek is in good shape in the lowest section. There is some slush ice but
mostly clear of it. The middle and upper sections are just too cold to fish. Midges, and winter
stoneflies are hatching and trout can be caught.
03/10/19 The creek is very cold with lots of slush ice in the water, much bank ice and snow
and some shelf ice where the water is slow. Wait until it warms up and degree or two.
03/17/19 The stream is in good shape with levels a little below normal and the water slightly
warmer than it has been. There are good midge hatches taking place, mostly light green
ones. This coming week is going to be a very good one and get rid of a lot of ice thanks to
the much warmer weather.