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Fishing Report Archives

 

June 25

     First off, I'd like to thank everyone who came in, called, or sent us an e-mail about Hawkeye.  It means a lot to everyone here at the shop.  We'll have a new shop dog eventually, in due time.

     The stoneflies have moved primarily up into the upper stretches of the creek, but the fish are still taking the patterns even in places where they aren't on the bushes anymore.  This has been one of the best salmon fly and golden stone seasons I can remember.  Regardless, they are definitely starting to wind down, and we are beginning to see a lot of caddis on the water which signals the start of our summer hatches.  By July, we should have a healthy number of caddis, PMDs, and yellow sallies flying around.  The Purple Haze is also a good general attractor as well as a substitute for a drake.  We're in one of those transitional periods for the moment, and my guess is this coming weekend will be the last hoorah for our stonefly hatches.  The weather is supposed to get a little cooler in a few days, so we'll see what that does to the current hatches, but fishing is still really good here on Rock Creek.


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

 

June 20

     The sun and warm weather have finally returned to Western Montana, and Rock Creek is doing well with salmon fly fishing again!  I got a report that they re-emerged around Butte Cabin Creek (18 miles upstream), so that's a good sign that this weekend will do well with some secondary hatches or perhaps some golden stones.  Purple Hazes and Gray/Green Drakes are also doing really well mid-afternoon, and the pink San Juan worm has been the best nymph this past week.  All in all, it's shaping up to be a great end of June for floating/fishing on Rock Creek.

     On a more somber note, I wanted to inform those of you who knew him that our shop dog, Hawkeye, passed away last night.  It was unexpected and tragic, and we are all heartbroken here at Rock Creek.  Still, he lived an extraordinary life and there wasn't a person he met who wasn't charmed by him.  I hope he's somewhere with my grandfather right now, possibly swimming in his fishing hole and annoying Doug.  RIP my friend.

 


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

June 15

     We've had some colder, rainier weather roll in the past couple of days, though it doesn't seem like it has deterred the salmon fly fishing up high from the reports I've been receiving from the guides.  Still, I'd have some mayflies, green drakes, purple hazes, and nymph/streamer patterns at the ready just in case they aren't looking up.  The weather is supposed to stay cool and cloudy until this Thursday.

     For salmon flies, I'd definitely venture around to Philipsburg and fish the upper stretches.  A lot of people are still floating, but this will likely die down as we head into the middle of the week, so you foot fishermen will get some reprieve from boat after boat for a few days.  The water has dipped below 1500 cfs, and there are more wadeable spots now.  This trend will continue as we get to the end of June, but as always, pick and choose your spots carefully.

     If you decide to stick down here, keep at it with the golden stones.  And with any luck, we might get a secondary hatch of salmon flies (I'll put in a quick update if that happens).

     Overall, things are in great shape here at Rock Creek, and July looks to be promising as well!


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

June 12

     I've been getting reports of some awesome fishing the past couple of days, especially up at the top of the Creek.  There are tons of salmon flies up there at the moment, and there are surprisingly few people up to take advantage of them, especially in the middle of the week.  The weekend will likely see more crowds, but there should be enough room to fit the anglers.  As the water comes down, more and more wading spots are opening up, but as always, use caution if you decide to wade.

     If you decide to stay in the lower section, switch from salmon flies to golden stones and green drakes.  There aren't a ton of drakes out just yet, but when they pop, the fish are all about them.  Also, whether you fish upstream or downstream, consider adding a secondary fly to your stonefly dry.  The Jumpin' Jack Flash has been an effective dropper, as is the San Juan worm, but I'd actually recommend a Cat Puke without any floatant.  Let it soak up water and sink, and you have the perfect drowned salmon fly imitation to accompany your dry.

     Overall, fishing is really good right now, so come out and strike while the iron's hot!


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

June 10

    The water has been coming down steadily every day, and it looks like we won't get another big bump this year.  That's great news for the wade fishermen, and the end of June should prove really good for those who don't want to float.  Keep an eye on the streamflow and pick and choose your spots carefully, but more and more are opening every day.

     Yesterday, I went floating on the lower stretch of Rock Creek again.  Big bugs were flying all over the place, and we caught some nice browns and rainbows.  It should be even better up higher, especially over the next couple weeks when golden stones take over as the main stonefly.

     Charene from KYSS FM in Missoula floated with us yesterday, and she put us to shame, catching the most fish as well as the biggest.  Here's Charene with her own video report.  She also blogged about her trip, which you can visit at http://kyssfm.com/caught-so-many-fish-on-rock-creek-yesterday/

 


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

June 7

     Today I took some pictures of the new log jam formations at what is commonly called the "War Zone" below the Upper Fire Ring and Siria Campground (at approximately mile marker 27). It looks really sketchy in a couple different spots this year, and even portaging would be extremely difficult. My advice would be to avoid doing a float trip through this area, and even portaging looks to be difficult here this year.


 
FWP has put up a couple signs including this one before you get to the start of the obstructions. The river forks here, but both sides are blocked off by logs.

 
This is the first series of logs, which are visible at a distance from Rock Creek Road. Here is a close-up I got of the area.
Going downstream and around the bend, there are another series of logs piled on each other. After this, things clear up downstream, but getting past these would be extremely difficult.

 


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

June 6

     Rock Creek has salmon flies in approximately the bottom ten miles of the river right now.  The water is also steadily coming down, and barring an unexpected bump, it should continue to improve over the next couple weeks.  Luke and I went floating yesterday afternoon/evening from Lower Fire Ring to the Tamarack fishing access.  The water is still running pretty fast, and there were spots where fishing from the boat was very tricky due to the speed.  But there were also areas where the fishing was exquisite.  We were throwing Chubby Chernobyls with a Jumpin' Jack Flash dropper.  Though we weren't on the water at the ideal time, we caught some pretty nice trout, mostly on the surface with the Chubby.  The nicest one was this 16-inch brown trout around Sawmill:


 

     If you do decide to float, make sure whoever is rowing is knowledgeable about navigating Rock Creek and is solid on the oars.  No novice rowers for this river.  The good news is there aren't any reports of big log jams to worry about with the exception of the War Zone.  I would still avoid this section for floats, and FWP is going to put up some signs on that section of the Creek to give warning to floaters.  When in doubt, contact us at the shop or the local guides for any info on potential hazards or any new developments.  Rock Creek can easily get new jams, but during this time of the year, the shops and the guides tend to find out about them quickly.  Also, if you go on the lower float like Luke and I did, scout the takeout thoroughly.  This year, the exit is much more subtle, so you want to be very sure of where to pull out if you do this lower float.

     More soon!


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

June 4

     Floating update.  One of the Rock Creek locals floated through the area called "the War Zone" yesterday, and he said the bottom portion of it is extremely clogged and very dangerous right now.  This is the stretch that's a little less than a river mile below Siria Campground which is about 29 miles upstream from the shop.  I'm going to try to get pictures of it in the next day or two, but for the time being, I'd avoid floating this section at the moment.  We'll have more updates later in the week, as the guides are doing their initial runs through Rock Creek right now and will update us on any new log jams or hazards.


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

June 3

     The river is down to 2400 cfs and is looking really good!  Salmon flies are only just getting going, and still in the lower stretches, but they are slowly working their way up, and they'll be in the upper section before long.  There are still not many people up here at the moment, but if the river keeps coming down, that should change pretty soon.  For now, just stay on the banks and drop Chubby Chernobyls or Cat Pukes right where fast water meets slow water (which is usually right near the shoreline at this time of year).

     We'll have to keep an eye on the streamflow and the weather, because the odds are good there will be another big bump before all is said and done.  But for the time being, the beginning of June is looking to be a great one!


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

May 31

     Salmon flies have arrived!  I checked the bushes on the first stretch again, and the big bugs were all over them!  Here are a couple photos:

     The next few days are supposed to be pretty warm, so I'd definitely give fishing a shot with some salmon fly patterns.  Stay in the lower section for the time being, but these bugs will climb up the creek quickly, so a lot of river will become fishable very soon (high water be damned!).  We'll give further reports on what parts of the river they're being seen and update you accordingly.  It should be a fun June for stoneflies!  Stay tuned.


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