View Full Version : Fishing in Misoula, Montana...advice?

09-12-2007, 02:36 PM
Going to Misoula, montana in a few weeks, we are doing some river/stream fishing for trout and I wanted some advice on some good lures to use.


09-13-2007, 12:54 PM
You will be right on the clark fork river there which can be pretty good. Last time I fished the Clark fork, flys were the only real way to catch fish. They were not hitting anything else. Right now, I would use small bead head nymphs. You can also try dry fly's. Depending on the hatch, I would probably use a hopper with a small dry fly as a trailer. You could also try cathcing a few grass hoppers and put them on a hook and fly line them. This will catch fish in any river or stream around. Just be careful as some of the streams are artificial bait only such as lours and flys.

I just got back from a Montana run a couple weeks ago. We fishsed from kalispell to yellowstone.

Panther Martins were the hot lour. Yellow with red spots worked well as did black panter martins. For fly fishing, I used little bead head nymphs on a lake that we hiked to in Yellowstone and caught some of the nicest trout I have EVER seen and I have caught many trout.

I happened to live about a 100 mile from Missoula back in the mid 80's.. It is a great town in one of the most beautiful states in the country.

If it were me, I would hook up with a guide for one day or a half day to get the lay of the land and best technique for that area. It will really help if your goal is to be productive fishing there. There are also a number of good fly shops in that area that will be able to help with bait choices as well as where to drop a line.

One other thing for the Clark fork.... I would also run around and look for places that streams and other rivers hit the river. I found that the mouths of creeks flowing into the fork can be very productive with spinners.

There is a lot of good spots along the fork both north and south of Missoula so, hop in the car and drive along and look for holes. The fork is a big river and covers hundreds of miles..

FYI, you are going there at probably the best time of the year for fishing. The only issue I can see is that the lack of rainfall this year has created low flows with warmer then usual water and a high amount of weeds in the water, but with summer passing, water levels are now on the rise as water being diverted to farmers is mostly a summer thing.

I would also consider some of the lakes around there. If you are up for a drive, I would think about heading towards Anaconda and fishing some of the lakes up there.

Good luck and MAKE SURE YOU POST A REPORT!!! I am really jealous!

09-13-2007, 01:07 PM
thanks for the advice.

I have absolutely no fly fishing experience so hopefully lures will entice a few. I finally get to visit my brother in Montana so I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks again and I will report.


09-13-2007, 01:31 PM
I didnt have fly fishing experience either last time I was in Missoula.. I fished with lours and couldnt catch a cold if my life depended on it that time. I watched other people catching fish after fish on flies.. At that point, I got the bug and went to a fly shop and bought a rod, reel and some flies. They gave me minimal advice and back to the fork I went. I spent about an hour figuring out how to get the line out and before I knew it, I was catching fish.. As fisher we tend to have a ton of gear.. While my fly rods rarely get used, there are those times when it is the only way to hook up. The quality of the rod and reel is not a huge factor but more so the line, leader, tippet and fly being used.

If it were me, I would get a decent but cheap fly combo and practice on the river in a spot without obstructions behind me.. While there is an art to fly fishing, casting is pretty easy.. Setting up the line properly is an easily learned art that any reputable fly shop will help you with.

You could always fly line bugs that you catch near shore and use regular spinning tackle but casting would be nearly impossible without the use of weight. I would also invest in some decent chest waders if you dont already have them. Sport Chalet had some good deals last month on them and the seperate boots which work much better than the heavy rubber waders and are much more comfortable.

10-10-2007, 10:41 AM
How did the Missoula Montana trip go? That's the place I call my homeland. I hear there are no fish there and the scenery is really ugly. hahaha. Don't beleive what you see on legends of the fall and a river runs through it.