Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Clark Fork - Deer Lodge - Montana

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon 18-20 Zebra Midges, Griffith's Gnats
February Midges Afternoon 18-20 Zebra Midges, Griffith's Gnats
March Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 16-20 Parachute Adams, Pheasant Tail Nymph
April Blue Winged Olives, Skwala Stoneflies Afternoon 12-16, 8-10 Parachute Adams, Pat's Rubber Legs
May Sally Stones, Green Drakes Morning/Afternoon 14-16, 10-12 Yellow Stimulator, Comparadun Green Drake
June Pale Morning Duns, Golden Stones Morning/Afternoon 14-18, 6-8 Parachute PMD, Pat's Rubber Legs
July Caddis, Yellow Sallies Morning/Late Evening 14-18, 12-14 Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Stimulator
August Terrestrials, Caddis All Day 14-18, 10-16 Chernobyl Ant, Elk Hair Caddis
September Hoppers, Ants All Day 8-12, 16-20 Foam Hopper, Parachute Ant
October Blue Winged Olives, Mahogany Duns Afternoon 16-20, 14-16 Parachute Adams, Comparadun Mahogany
November Midges Afternoon 18-22 Zebra Midges, Griffith's Gnats
December Midges Afternoon 18-22 Zebra Midges, Griffith's Gnats

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

Fly fishing enthusiasts should consider visiting the Clark Fork – Deer Lodge area. Among the top spots for this pastime activity are:

  • Rock Creek: Famous for its high trout population, it’s a must-see for angling enthusiasts.
  • Big Hole River: Known for its varieties of trout, this is an ideal spot for both beginners and seasoned anglers.
  • Georgetown Lake: Popular for ice fishing, but summer fishing on a pontoon is also a favorite.

The following spots offer great fly fishing options too, but remember these are catch-and-release areas:

  1. Upper Clark Fork: Here you can find brown and rainbow trout, as well as mountain whitefish.
  2. Bitterroot River: Renowned for its Westslope Cutthroat trout along with Rainbow and Brown trout.
  3. Blackfoot River: This iconic river boasts a robust population of Rainbow and Brown trout.

Best Access Points

The Clark Fork River in Deer Lodge is an excellent place for fly fishing due to its abundant aquatic life and serene environment. Below are some of the best access points:

  • Galena Gulch: Located in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Galena Gulch is known for its high fish populations.
  • Lower Clark Fork: This access point off the town of Deer Lodge is popular for large trout fishing.
  • Raccoon Point: Situated in the upper flat section of the Clark Fork River, this spot is ideal for anglers who enjoy wading.

It is important to remember that:

  1. All fishermen should have a valid Montana fishing license.
  2. Anglers should respect private properties.
  3. Follow catch and release practices to preserve the fish population.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: One of the most targeted species by fly fishermen on the Clark Fork due to their abundance and size.
  • Rainbow Trout: Known for their strength and beautiful colors, they provide a thrilling catch for any angler.
  • Bull Trout: Despite being endangered and a catch-and-release species in many regions, it’s a highly prized fish among fly fishers.
  • Westslope Cutthroat Trout: A native species to Clark Fork, they are aggressive towards flies and offer a fun catch.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Although not as popular as trout, they are a fun catch due to their large numbers in the river.
  • Northern Pike: This aggressive predator is a thrill to catch on a fly rod. You will find them mainly in ponds and backwaters.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Though not a native species, these fish are aggressive and give a good fight, making them favorite targets for fly fishermen.
  • Brook Trout: They are smaller compared to other trout species in the Clark Fork and are found in the cooler, upper tributaries.

About The River

Welcome to Clark Fork-Deer Lodge, an astonishing blend of natural beauty and fascinating history. The river, known as Clark Fork, originates in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains, meanders across Montana, and eventually flows into Lake Pend Oreille.

Its rich history dates back to the early 19th century, when William Clark, a famous explorer from the Lewis and Clark expedition, named it. The fertile Deer Lodge Valley, irrigated by the Clark Fork, was a welcoming site for early settlers. In the late 1800s, the discovery of significant copper deposits catapulted the region into a new era of prosperity.

  • The Clark Fork River is Montana’s largest river by volume.
  • The river’s name honours William Clark, the legendary American explorer.
  • Deer Lodge, enriched by the Clark Fork, was a popular destination for early settlers.
  • Clark Fork-Deer Lodge experienced a boom in the 1800s due to abundant copper deposits.
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