The Clark Fork flows right through the heart of Missoula, which offers a classic town float. The upper Clark Fork, east of town, and the lower Clark Fork, west of Missoula, could almost be considered two completely different rivers. The upper Clark Fork offers smaller water with undercut banks, drop offs, and logs jams that provide perfect trout habitat. Near Missoula the river slows and widens and The Blackfoot and Bitterroot join in to nearly triple its flow. Farther down, you’ll find large gravel beds, deep pools, sandy beaches, and hungry trout.
Flowing South to North before joining the Clark Fork near Missoula, the Bitterroot River is probably best known for its outstanding dry fly fishing in the early spring. While that is certainly true, the log jams, side channels, undercut banks, drop-offs, and long runs provide for seventy miles of some of the best trout habitat in the country. Combine that with the summer long prolific hatches and the Bitterroot provides some of the best dry fly fishing in the country throughout the season.
The Big Blackfoot, as Norman Maclean called it in his book A River Runs Through It, is right in our backyard! There is a reason why Maclean loved this place. The pocket water and boulder fields along with deep emerald green pools make this an iconic fly fishing experience.