rock creek winter fishing
Out There

Rock Creek Montana – Winter/Spring Fishing Report

I’ve been fishing Rock Creek a bunch lately and figured I’d throw up a quick report. The Clark Fork is running pretty off-color, the Bitterroot is fishing but there were 9 boat trailers at the Tucker ramp on a windy day recently. There were also a half dozen other wade fisherman. I did manage a really nice rainbow and a few other fish but I’m not big on the crowds. And the Blackfoot, well it’s still pretty cold and many areas have heavy snow. It’ll shape up pretty quick but right now, Rock Creek is producing.

brown trout streamer
Buggers with orange and yellow legs have been crushing.

As always, the creek is crowded on weekends. Weekday afternoons have been quiet though. I’ve been fishing 2 pm to 5 or 6 pm and it’s been productive. The fish seem a little bigger in the lower stretches this year as well. I’ll do a trip to the top end soon and expect it will produce too.

The central section of road isn’t looking great as of 3/24. I went a half mile past the pavement and it was icy and heavily rutted. A good 4wd could probably get a ways past the pavement but it’s just not worth it for me right now. A few years back I was the first rig through and the Forest Service guys on the top end were surprised when my truck plowed past. The curves, ledges and hills were stressful so I’ll just wait it out this year.

High sticking with a rubberlegs, JJ’s style streamer or big prince nymph as the lead and a zebra midge, hare’s ear or frenchie as the dropper as been great. I actually picked up a decent size bull trout on the hare’s ear. Slow streamer retrieves have also been productive. The fish are still concentrated in slow water and deeper runs but they should start spreading out soon.

There have been some BWO’s starting to show and a few risers. Could be decent dry fly fishing but I’ve been too focused on the streamer to play with it. The fish I’ve been seeing on top have been smaller too. As the bug life picks up, this could change.

brown trout fly fishing
Both browns caught this day were good sized fish for Rock Creek. Both ate the streamer.