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BLACKFOOT RIVER

green rainbow trout good

WHEN TO FISH THE BLACKFOOT

You will not regret fishing the Blackfoot River during the Salmonfly hatch. While the exact timing depends on what mother nature has up her sleeve with spring runoff. Typically, you will start to see these big bugs toward the very end of May through some or all of June depending on conditions.

During the summer months, the river flows slowly drop, and the abundance of boulder gardens and endless pocket water appear. Trout love to hide in the cracks, crevices, and underwater shelves waiting for a meaty bug to float by. 

The Blackfoot River fishes well all season and with the chance for a variety of species to the net.  Make exploring the Blackfoot River Recreation Corridor one for your bucket list.

FLY FISHING FOR TROUT ON THE BLACKFOOT RIVER IN MONTANA

The headwaters of the Blackfoot River are near the summit of the Continental Divide near Roger’s Pass. The river descends the mountain through thick forests towards the valley surrounding Lincoln, Montana. It meanders through the timber mirroring Highway 200 for several miles before flowing out of view. A float down this river exposes the adventurer to a wide variety of scenery. You will pass through wide open grass fields into rock canyons with towering walls on either side. An abundance of wildlife and evergreen trees line the banks of the crystal clear river. 

The Blackfoot River flows 132 miles from its origin to its confluence with the Clark Fork River near Bonner, Montana. It is a spring-fed river supplemented by mass amounts of snow that piles up during winter months.  Several native Montana fish species consider this river their home including the westslope cutthroat, bull trout, mountain whitefish, and suckerfish. There is also a healthy population of rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. This freestone is one of the most diverse trout fishing rivers in the state.

Bent on the blackfoot river
green rainbow trout good

FAMOUS BLACKFOOT RIVER BUG HATCHES

Home to one of Montana’s most well-known Salmonfly hatches during late spring and early summer. The trees on the banks of the river are alive with hundreds of the big-winged trout delicacy.  Salmonflies are the largest species of mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies growing up to three inches long. During the end of the nymph stage of their lifecycle, they crawl out of the water and onto nearby trees and bushes where they hatch into adults. Typically these large bugs only survive for a few days up to a couple of weeks after hatching, just long enough to mate.

 

 

CLICK FOR DIRECTIONS FROM YOUR LOCATION

Big Blackfoot River Montana Map

When planning this trip into your itinerary, be sure to give yourself 2 hours of drive time from Kalispell, Montana to a common morning meeting spot, the Clearwater Junction. A beautiful drive down Highway 83 (known to locals as “The Swan Highway”) to the intersection of Highway 200. Only 40 minutes from Missoula, Montana, and from Lincoln, Montana. Abundant with forest and wildlife, the scenery alone makes this trip worth it.

RIVER MAPS

Blackfoot river map

Big Blackfoot River Map

Blackfoot river access map

Big Blackfoot River Map

raft on the blackfoot river

USGS CURRENT WATERFLOWS

Here is an up to date graph showing river flows.

BLACKFOOT RIVER

  • Temperature: 46.58 ° F
  • Streamflow: 1240 ft³/s
  • Gage height: 2.94 ft
Temperature GraphStreamflow GraphGage height Graph
USGS
green rainbow trout good
green rainbow trout good
green rainbow trout good
green rainbow trout good
green rainbow trout good