The Clark Fork River

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The Clark Fork River


The Clark Fork is characterized in two distinct sections. The upper Clark Fork starts at Warm Springs but the fishing is nothing to get excited about until it flows by Drummond. From Drummond to Milltown the Clark Fork is primarily a brown trout fishery. It resembles most of western Montana's trout fisheries with long riffles, plunge pools, and long grassy, undercut banks.

The upper Clark Fork is a true freestone river and accordingly has all the associated bug life, including but not limited too Skwalas, Salmonflies, Goldenstones, Green & Grey Drakes, PMD, Blue-winged Olvies, caddis and terrestrials.

The lower Clark Fork (below Missoula) is in steep contrast to the upper. Here slick water and big foam back eddies are the norm. After the confluence with the Bitterroot, with the exception if the Alberton Gorge section, the river spreads out and slows down. The lower section receives almost the same hatches as the upper section.

However, the most notable insect missing is the Salmonfly. On the lower Clark Fork long leaders, small bugs and immaculate drifts are the norm. However, there are quite large rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout as well as Northern pike and bass on the lower Clark Fork.

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