Fish the Blackfoot River
Why not fish the Blackfoot River on your next Missouri River trip? Many traveling anglers fish/stay for 3-5 days fishing only the Missouri River. While the Missouri is the crown jewel of Montana, the best technical dry fly fishery on earth, you may as well jump over the Continental Divide and visit the Blackfoot River too!
Or, why not fish the Blackfoot on your summer visit exclusively? Food for thought? Maybe, and why would you do that? A change of pace, discovering new water, or just to mix up your fishing routine.
Fish the Blackfoot River this year
Many of you know the Blackfoot as just one more of Montana’s fantastic Blue Ribbon rivers. It is a great freestone that runs about many, many miles from the west divide to the college town of Missoula.
We are graced on our staff a couple of fly fishing guides who cut their teeth fishing and guiding in the Missoula area. Peter and Nick are both really familiar with the Blackfoot and enjoy popping over for a day or two or three to their old stomping grounds. Kurt is also well versed on the Blackfoot River putting in lots of time on the oars across the divide.
So while the Blackfoot River is not our bread and butter, it is certainly worth the short drive to a resource where you not only catch several species of trout, you can toss bigger, bushier, floating flies that any angler with aging eyes can see!!
A Freestone River with fantastic scenery
Expect to fish in a beautiful canyon with big tall pines on a classic freestone. Riffle, runs, and pools hold rainbow, cutthroat, brown, cut-bow, and bull trout. While the numbers per mile do not replicate the Missouri’s overwhelming populations, there are plenty of fish in the Blackfoot River. Dry fly fishing is the preferred method over here for most of the season, nymphing and streamer fishing are both very productive.
The reason we like to fish the Blackfoot River is the opportunity to throw huge floating flies like the Chubby Chernoble, Salmon Fly Patterns. Anything with foam and tons of deer hair lashed onto the hook shank. Yep, flies you can see!
Blackfoot River has lots of Hatches
Hatches include the aforementioned Salmon Fly and stoneflies, Drakes, Sallies, Spruce Moths, Mahogany’s Trico’s, tons of caddis, PMD’s, grasshoppers, ants and a few that we certainly don’t have on the Missouri River near Craig. The fishing is not nearly as technical or difficult as the Missouri River. If you like casting at banks, cliff lines, beautiful seam lines with large attractor flies coupled with outstanding scenery you will love the Blackfoot River.
If you like the nymph game you will be relieved that large PT’s Hare’s Ear’s, and Prince nymphs are the norm here. Lots of split and double beaded stones suspended below a bobber will net you several fish out of those great long rambling riffles.
Dries, nymphs, and streamers too
Those of you who are into big articulated steamers and flies as long as your arm, then you too will like the Blackfoot River. Get out of the boat and explore deeper tailouts with your favorite beastly streamer flies.
We start fishing the Blackfoot River just as run-off is receding generally around the middle of June. If we have lower water years a few guys sneak over earlier in the month. By the time July arrives we should be able to fish it during your Missouri River stay or just book a Blackfoot only trip. The Blackfoot fishes well into the fall as well. You may enjoy this under fished resource nearly any period of the fishing season.
You may like to try the Blackfoot River out this year. Add it on to your fly fishing trip to the Missouri River or make it a stand alone trip. Call the shop if you need additional information about this wonderfully scenic & fishy resource just across the divide.