Missoula - Staying in town, fishing in town?


Fishin' beats workin'
I'm going to be in Missoula this Thursday through Sunday. I go on a big trip to Montana every year to fish and spend time on the Blackfood and/or Missouri. This trip is primarily about going with the wife and our pooch and hanging out in Missoula, not an epic trout hunt, that is coming....

I might sneak down to Rock Creek for a half day but I was wondering about fishing in town. I have never fished the Clark Fork or the Bitterroot in town and I was wondering if it was worth the trouble. Does it get pounded and the fish are spooked? is it worth giving it a shot in town, if so does anyone have any advice?

I will be stopping into a couple of shops in town and can get some info, but so many times you run into great advice here from someone who says "I was just there last week", or "I lived there for years, this is what I'd do" so I thought I'd see if anyone here can give some advice.

btw: I just bough tickets to the Missoula Osprey baseball game on Thursday night. That nights promotion is called "Bark at the Park". For $20 I get 3 tickets to the game, 2 for my wife and myself and one for the dog. Sit on the grass, breeze off the Clark Fork, couple of hot dogs and beers watching a game. That is my idea of hanging out in Missoula.

Thanks in advance for advice.


Active Member
It's been an early morning, late evening game with this recent heat wave on RC. Sorry, I've no current info on the Clark Fork or Root. Mosquitos are brutal this year.

Sent from my little square phone thingy...
Check out right in front of the Double Tree hotel by the University where Rattlesnake Creek comes in. Also, head East on the Kim Williams (South Side of the Clark Fork) and you should find some spots to get down to. Nice walk for the pup, your lady and you can wet a line!
I've fished the Clark Fork from town downstream to Frenchtown and farther. There's a gravel road on the south side of the river. Good caddis hatches in the evening.


Active Member
I fished RC 4 days last week and had a great time. Mornings did well with PMX, purple haze, royal wolf. During the day stayed on fish pretty constant running double bead prince nymphs with purple copper John droppers all over the river, or swinging streamers with some splitshot to get down and dirty. In afternoon I went back to PMX, purple haze and kept busy. In the evenings different days they keyed on different things...caddis emergers only one evening....PMD only one night, with one evening they would only take a PMD cripple low in the surface film. Purple haze worked well right before dark. Got into some awesome picky trout with a spruce moth as well at one point.
Though that last 30 minutes when you can hardly see your fly anymore is seriously go time. I caught the biggest browns of my life getting bigger each on successive evenings just as I could almost no longer see my fly.
The boulder section of the lower river was good for bigger browns during the day swinging big nasty streamers too.
The grassy meadow lower river was a blast for a few hours one afternoon, where we pulled some stunning cutthroat out of pretty small cutbanks. Nymphs were the ticket there....there were some hoppers in the fields, but not many yet.
I saw a lot of folks fishing and not catching, which was weird because I was always able to figure out what was working to stay on fish throughout the day...guess we had a good run of luck for the week.

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