If you were to poll every fly fisherman you know and ask them to describe their perfect trout stream, ninety-five percent of them would talk about Rock Creek. It doesn't matter if you're a dry fly purist or a confirmed bottom bouncer, Rock Creek has your ideal water. It has long runs, magnificent pocket water and deep holes that harbor giant Bull Trout. All this magnificent water is set in one of the most stunningly beautiful canyons in the world. And, believe it or not, except for the month of June when Salmon Flies are hatching, the creek is almost deserted most of the time.
Rock Creek has a fish population of about 2000 per mile. Until recently, it was noted as a rainbow and cutthroat stream. However, in recent years the brown trout population has increased to the point where they are now the dominant species in the creek. It's encouraging, though, to see the numbers of small rainbows increasing as they have done during the last couple of years.
The season on Rock Creek begins in March with the start of the March Brown and Skwala stonefly hatches. If weather permits, this is the best fishing of the entire year. These hatches can last until the end of April or even early May. Mid to late May marks the beginning of the Salmonfly and Golden Stone hatches. This is the only time when the creek gets crowded. The hatch usually occurs during high water and Rock Creek is open to floating during most its duration.
The end of June marks the beginning of summer fishing. The creek supports good hatches of caddis and Pale Morning Duns. Grasshoppers start in July and continue into September. Baetis or Blue Winged Olives usually start in mid August and the Giant Orange Caddis is not too far behind. Both of these hatches usually extend into November. The creek's final hatch of the year is the Mahogany Dun. it starts in September and ends at the same time as the Baetis and caddis hatches.
With its large fish population and its abundant insect life, you'd expect Rock Creek to be heavily fished. But in reality, Rock Creek is one of the most underfished streams in Montana. There are several reasons for this. First is the road. For most of its length, the creek is paralleled by a dirt road that is legendary among Rock Creek aficionados for its roughness. Also, there has been a lack of quality accommodations in the past although that is less of a problem nowadays. Finally, there is the rise in popularity of float fishing. Since Rock Creek can't be floated after June 30, a lot of people stay away and float the other streams. Because of all these things, the creek offers some of the finest fly fishing in the country in a setting of unparalleled beauty and solitude.
Upper Rock Creek
Rock Creek Road