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River Conditions

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Fishing Report Archives

August 26

 

Streamflow - 179 CFS Temperature - 56-64° F

     If you can tolerate the smoky conditions throughout Montana lately, Rock Creek is a great option for dry fly fishing.  This past week, the dries have come back strong, and we are using lots of different attractor colors.  Purple Hazes, Royal Wulffs, and red and yellow humpies have been catching a number of fish throughout the day.  For the most part, I would keep the patterns on the smaller sizes, but you may want to try a yellow or orange stimulator with a small dropper behind it to see what kind of looks you get.

     When in doubt, you can always resort to nymphs and streamers as well.  Caddis pupae and Hare's Ears are great options this time of year, as are dark stoneflies and girdle bugs.  The San Juans have also be extremely consistent recently.  If you want to go the streamer route, try swtinging black, white or olive buggers.

     The only thing to keep note of is the smoke, which on certain days can be very thick in the valley.  Still, we usually get a wind that blows some of it out and clears it up, and any rain we get knocks it out for awhile as well.  Here's hoping it ends soon, and if you are hesitant to come out because of it, we will write an immediate report when it starts to go away to give you notice.  But if you are willing to brave the smoke, come on out!

Current Hoot Owl Restrictions http://fwp.mt.gov/news/restrictions/waterClosure.html


For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

August 18

 

Streamflow - 202 CFS Temperature - 54-62° F

    This past week, western Montana has been blanketed in a cloud of smoke almost every day.  The main culprits of this are a couple large fires in Idaho and Canada that are having the smoke blow over to our neck of the woods, but Montana also has its own share of fires right now, including one up in the mountains between Philispburg and Rock Creek.  Fortunately, it doesn't seem this fire poses any threat to fishermen or the Rock Creek valley, and there are a number of firefighters building fire lines to contain it.  If it becomes a problem, I will post an immediate report, but as it stands now, I think the smoky air will be more of a concern than the fire.

     For dry fly fishing, the best bet is still in the mornings and evenings, and use small dries like caddis, PMDs, Quill Gordons, or attractors like Purple Hazes and humpies.  Middle of the day is tough on top, though small yellow stimmies or hopper patterns will catch a trout's attention occasionally.  If you fish midday, definitely try more nymphs and streamers.  Girdle bugs, Jumpin' Jacks, and dark stonefly nymph patterns are working best, and try olive or black streamers through the deeper water.

     The water temps on Rock Creek have been gradually declining due to the colder nights we are now experiencing.  This trend will continue the closer to September we get, which will leave the fish in good shape by the time fall fishing arrives.  In the meantime, it's still very quiet here on the weekdays, so you can find several open spots if you have a chance to make it out on the creek!

     More soon.

Current Hoot Owl Restrictions http://fwp.mt.gov/news/restrictions/waterClosure.html


For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

August 11

 

Streamflow - 231 CFS Temperature - 57-64° F

    The beginning of this week has brought hot temperatures, and the following few days are supposed to be the same.  We are going to have temps in the mid-90s, which as many of you know, makes the midday and afternoon fishing relatively hard.  Still, if you hit a shady spot or an area with a cold spring creek flowing into it, you can have some production even in the middle of the day on Rock Creek.  But for the most part, I would aim at fishing in the early mornings and late evenings.  While we don't have hoot owl restrictions, the water temps will jump up to levels that will still stress our trout, so it's good to give them a little break in the hottest parts of the day.

     The spruce moths are still out, but they are definitely on the decline.  Grasshoppers are still about in good numbers, but you have to find areas where they are near the creek, particualarly meadows and grassy shorelines.  The caddis and mayflies are the most consistent dries right now, and fish them mornings and evenings with emergers trailing behind them.  You can also use various attractor patterns like Purple Hazes, Chubby Chernobyls, and humpies.  As for nymphing, small stoneflies, caddis pupae and San Juans have been getting the best results, and you can also try a dark Wonderbugger on the sunny days and get some chasers.

     Fortunately, this latest heat wave is only supposed to last until Friday when the temps will drop down into the low 80s.  The nights have been getting colder and colder as well, and that always leaves the fish in good shape the following morning regardless of the heat of the day.  My recommendation for fishing Rock Creek is to stick to mornings throughout this week, and then fish all day this weekend starting Friday!

Current Hoot Owl Restrictions http://fwp.mt.gov/news/restrictions/waterClosure.html


For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

August 4

 

Streamflow - 242 CFS Temperature - 60-68° F

    This past weekend we had another heat wave with temps ranging in the mid-to-high 90s.  Fortunately, the nights were crisp up Rock Creek, and though the water temps got a little higher than normal during the heat of the day, they never got to truly bad levels and they've recovered nicely each morning.  The heat wave is also past us, and we will have temps in the 70s and 80s over the next week...and potentially some more rain.  I would still suggest fishing primarily in the mornings and evenings, but you can still have some good production in the middle of the day if you find a spot with some shade or with a cold spring creek feeding into Rock Creek.

     The end of July and the beginning of August is excellent for terrestrial patterns.  Spruce moths have been all over the place, and the fish have been taking them vigorously.  We also still have caddis and mayflies out, though I'd keep them on the smaller side this time of year.  Purple haze attractors, as usual, are a great pattern right now too, and it's nymph equivalent is arguably the most effective subsurface bug.  The closer to dawn or dusk you fish, the better streamer fishing will be right now, too.

     One thing to note; Rock Creek is virtually a ghost town in August.  For whatever reason, there are very few fishermen up here this month, and we see the least amount of traffic this time in the summer.  That is probably going to be especially true this year, as people are worried about the hotter weather we've been experiencing this summer.  The other rivers in the area are still under hoot owl restrictions (see the link below), and they'll likely remain that way until September.  I think a lot of people assume Rock Creek will eventually receive restrictions too.  But the combination of the geography of the area and the numerous cold spring creeks constantly feeding into it help immensely, and it's one of the reasons this stream has never gone under hoot owl restrictions.  Naturally I am biased, but I have the utmost faith that this creek will present some great fishing this month, so I highly recommend you come try it!

Current Hoot Owl Restrictions http://fwp.mt.gov/news/restrictions/waterClosure.html


For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net

July 27

 

Streamflow - 284 CFS Temperature - 59-68° F

    The weather is much chillier than usual for July, and we are expected to have solid rain throughout the entire day.  That means today will have excellent nymph and streamer fishing, and there will undoubtedly be some good mayfly action during the breaks in the rain.  The other really good news about this weather pattern is that it will both cool the creek down and bring the water level up!  While that means the next day or two of fishing might be thrown off, the long-term prospects suggest this will help keep Rock Creek in good shape as we head into August.  This has been one of the stranger Julys that I can remember, with big heat waves followed by several rain showers.

     San Juan worms and purple Prince Nymphs will rule the nymphing game today, although I suspect you can use several different subsurface patterns on a rainy day like this and have success.  When the rain breaks, try a yellow PMD or a Purple Haze with a CDC crippled emerger behind it.  This would also be a great day to try a Wonderbugger or an articulated streamer pattern.  Though the rain is supposed to end by tomorrow, I'd suggest keep using nymphs over the next couple of days while the water level adjusts and normalizes.  Once that happens, the dry fly fishing should be excellent!

     More soon.

Current Hoot Owl Restrictions http://fwp.mt.gov/news/restrictions/waterClosure.html


For more details or any questions or comments, please call or e-mail us: (406) 825-6440 / rcmerc@blackfoot.net