MONTANA’S BIG BLACKFOOT RIVER
Arguably the most beautiful freestone river in Montana, the “Big” Blackfoot begins high on the Continental Divide between Craig and Missoula. Numerous headwater creeks tumble from the high peaks and join near the town of Lincoln, where the mainstem becomes a “proper” river. The Blackfoot continues flowing west through the small communities of Ovando, Greenough and Potomac, to it’s confluence with the Clark’s Fork near Missoula. Along the way it gains water and power from smaller streams like the North Fork, Montrose Creek and the Clearwater River, all excellent fisheries in their own right.
It’s a quintessential freestone, with great hatches, diverse scenery and varied geography. You can catch nearly every species of trout that swims in Montana here, but the native Montana Westslope Cutthroat is king. “Cutties” love to rise to dry flies, and the beautiful banks and pocket water of the Blackfoot provide endless targets for the angler. While some don’t considered the Blackfoot to be a “trophy” trout stream, it produces excellent fishing for those who spend the time to know it, and large Cutthroat, Rainbow and Brown trout are caught regularly. Lucky anglers also encounter huge Bull Trout, especially during streamer season. We love to take the short drive “over the hill” to fish this classic river.