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Fishing Report Archives

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

July 21


Streamflow - 311 CFS Temperature - 59-69° F

    This morning before getting into the car to head to work, I saw a number of moths covering my windshield and driver side window.  Spruce moths have come out in good numbers:

These little guys are big attractors for the fish, and though they are most prevalent in the mornings, I've fished the patterns into the afternoons and evenings as well.  We typically use an overly fuzzy elkhair caddis pattern to imitate the spruce moth, but there are a number of different variations on them out there.  Aside from salmon flies, these bugs are some of the most successful patterns for dry fly fishing on Rock Creek.

     Besides the moth, we are also using Purple Hazes, red attractors, stimulators, and various ant, beetle and grasshopper patterns.  There are also some takes on streamer patterns, and the nymphing is pretty consistent with Jumpin' Jack Flashes and Psycho Prince Nymphs.  The middle of the day is starting to get hot again, so waiting until later in the evening or finding a spring creek feeding into Rock Creek would be a good idea again.  Mornings are definitely best at the moment, but there are fish being caught in the evenings as well.

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 15


Streamflow - 388 CFS Temperature - 57-66° F

     Rock Creek bumped to over 400 cfs after the big rain this weekend, and though it's slowly coming down again, it's getting closer to the normal water level for the time of year.  The only downside was that the bump in the water threw off some of the dry fly fishing early in the week.  It was much more of a nymphing and streaming game, though a Purple Haze attractor and a Red Machine were producing for some anglers as well. 

     In the mornings, I'd recommend a goddard caddis with a CDC caddis emerger trailing behind it.  The CDC in particular has been very effective lately, as it sits under the surface of the water and is a much bigger draw for fish.  If it's overcast, replace your caddis with PMD patterns, or you can try the attractor patterns as well.  When in doubt, go for a pure nymph rig by fishing a big stonefly pattern with a Copper John or San Juan worm trailing behind it.

     After an alarming start to the month, things are looking much better for July here on Rock Creek.  I think the great fishing will carry on through the rest of the month...and hopefully into August.  We will keep you updated, as always. 

 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 11


Streamflow - 382 CFS Temperature - 58-66° F

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

    We've received some much needed rain, which has slightly bumped the water and created some cooler overall conditions here on Rock Creek, and we're supposed to have some minor precipitation off and on throughout the next few days.  That will leave the stream in great fishing condition, with lots of mayflies and nymphs/streamers working well during the current weather pattern.  There is also virtually nobody here fishing, which is highly unusual for July, so you will have access to lots of open spots should you choose to come up.

     I've received several inquiries asking if Rock Creek has been shut down in the afternoons like the other rivers.  So just to put it on record: Rock Creek is under no restrictions, and I highly doubt it will.  The water is low for the time of year, but it's not even close to unfishable and every day the yearly average cfs gets closer to our current streamflow.  This rain will leave the water in good shape for the forseeable future, so hopefully you don't have any hesitations about coming out; it will be worth it!

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

July 7


Streamflow - 361 CFS Temperature - 58-68° F

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

     It looks like we are out of the big heat wave from the past couple of weeks, and Rock Creek's water temperatures are in much better shape now, with the high only reaching the upper 60s.  Middle of the day might still be slow, but the fish will be less stressed, so fishing with hopper dropper/patterns in the afternoons and early evenings will be a good bet.  That being said, the best fishing is still in the mornings and evenings.  During those times of day, try caddis, PMDs, and spruce moths, or go for purple, red or yellow attractor patterns.  The Quill Gordon has also been an effective fly recently, especially in the evenings.  And when in doubt, pop on a pure nymph rig with either a Purple Prince, Jumpin' Jack Flash, or even a good old San Juan worm, and you will get results.

     More when the conditions change, but for now, things are looking really good up Rock Creek!

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

July 2


Streamflow - 404 CFS Temperature - 61° F

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

     Last night, FWP announced that the Clark Fork, Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers are going to be put under hoot owl restrictions starting tomorrow.  That means those rivers hit 73° F for three consecutive days and will be closed to fishing from 2PM-Midnight until the restrictions are lifted.  I'm going to leave a link to FWP's closure page at the top of each report for the time being, and we will give you an update on here and our Facebook page when the restrictions are taken off those waters.

     Fortunately, Rock Creek hasn't been included in the hoot owl list, but as I've been saying in the past couple reports, limit your fishing here primarily to the mornings.  If you want to head out in the evenings, try to fish below where the various spring creeks feed into Rock Creek since they will keep the water downstream from them much cooler and with fewer stressed and more active fish in those spots. 

     As you can see on the morning temperature reports, Rock Creek cools down significantly overnight, so mornings are easily the best time to get out here and catch some trout.  Spruce moth patterns have been very effective, and we have a specific pattern that works doubly as a caddis, which is also working well in the mornings.  Crippled emergers behind any of the small dries have also been very effective, especially the CDC caddis and mayflies.  When the morning starts to heat up, you can use hopper/dropper combos as well as ants, beetles, bees, and attractor patterns like the Purple Haze.  A nymph or a streamer will also get some big fish, especially before the sun hits the water.

     So there you have it...stick to morning fishing mostly, take a siesta in the middle of the day, and aim for parts of Rock Creek where cold spring creeks feed into it in the evenings.  We'll have more updates coming up in the next few days, so stay tuned!

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


June 30


Streamflow - 427 CFS Temperature - 62° F

     We had some extremely hot weather over this past weekend, with temps ranging in the high 90s to low 100s.  That is very unseasonably hot for the time of year, and we're going to be having temps ranging in the 90s through the first part of July as well.  While this is not necessarily a deal breaker for fishing Rock Creek, it does mean we highly advise you limit your fishing to the mornings and evenings, as fishing in the middle of the day will stress out the fish (as well as most fishermen).  I doubt we will get Hoot Owl restrictions on Rock Creek, and we've never seen this stream hit consecutive days of water temps at 73° F, but for the sake of the trout, I'd avoid mid-day fishing until this heat wave breaks.

     As for patterns, nymphs are still working great before dawn (the earlier you can make it out the better), and then when the sun hits the water, put on a caddis with a small emerger.  Towards late morning, switch over to some terrestrial patterns like grasshoppers, ants, beetles, and even spruce moths.  You can also use the purple haze or a Yellow Sally at this time too.  If you head out in the evening, I would try mayflies and caddis, as well as red attractors or small PMX hoppers, along with a variety of nymph patterns.

     The heat is undoubtedly going to scare a lot of anglers away, so for those willing to head out, there should be plenty of open water for the beginning of July...just make sure to take a break when it gets too hot.

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