An Overview of the Bitterroot River System
by Sean O'Brien



The Bitterroot, with its eight-five plus meandering miles
is well known as one of the finest dry fly fishing river systems in the country.

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The Bitterroot River -Bitterroot River Fishing Report Fly fishing Bitterroot River Montana Westfork of the Bitterroot River Bitterroot River Fishing Report Fly fishing bitterroot river hamilton Westfork of the Bitterroot River Missoula montana fly fishing trout fishing Guide service Bitterroot River Clark fork River Blackfoot River Missouri River Big Hole River Beaverhead River Rock Creek montana fly fishing Fly shop hamilton montana Lodging bitterroot river - An Overview of the Bitterroot River System by Sean O'Brien
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The Bitterroot River


The Bitterroot is well known as one of the finest dry fly fishing rivers in the state. The dry fly fishing season begins sometime in March, depending on the weather, and ends in late November.

Spring is always blessed with high water that lasts for two to three weeks in late May and early June. This time of year is always good for the trout because of the abundance of food available when rocks are washed along and nymphs uprooted. Once this is over the river returns to its meandering nature and settles in for the summer fun.


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Skwalla -Bitterroot River Fishing Report Fly fishing Bitterroot River Montana Westfork of the Bitterroot River Bitterroot River Fishing Report Fly fishing bitterroot river hamilton Westfork of the Bitterroot River Missoula montana fly fishing trout fishing Guide service Bitterroot River Clark fork River Blackfoot River Missouri River Big Hole River Beaverhead River Rock Creek montana fly fishing Fly shop hamilton montana Lodging bitterroot river - An Overview of the Bitterroot River System by Sean O'Brien
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Skwalla


After the duldrums of winter, the Bitterroot River comes alive with the emergence of the Skwalla, a size 10 olive to dark bodied stonefly. Fortunatly for us while every Western rivers are fishing with size 22 and 24 midges, we are fishing size 10 dries! The emergence of the Skwalla gets the fish very motivated to take properly fished dries and the eats can be very explosive. The hatch typically starts by mid-March and lasts through April.

Weather this time of year can be 70 degrees one day and snowing the next; we are in the Rockies. We suggest if you are going to fish the Skwalla hatch that you come for at least 3-4 days and plan on having at least one day of inclimate weather. That being said, some of the best Skwalla fishing can be in a sideways blizzard.

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Salmonfly -Bitterroot River Fishing Report Fly fishing Bitterroot River Montana Westfork of the Bitterroot River Bitterroot River Fishing Report Fly fishing bitterroot river hamilton Westfork of the Bitterroot River Missoula montana fly fishing trout fishing Guide service Bitterroot River Clark fork River Blackfoot River Missouri River Big Hole River Beaverhead River Rock Creek montana fly fishing Fly shop hamilton montana Lodging bitterroot river - An Overview of the Bitterroot River System by Sean O'Brien
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Salmonfly


BIG WATER, BIG FLIES & BIG FISH ...............When the runoff stops and the water receeds, typically in early June, it time for Salmonflies. For anyone who hasn't experienced fishing with an oversized 2-3 inch bug for overstuffed trout this hatch is a must!

After Salmonfly maddness subsides we start seeing our giant Golden stoneflies hit the water. This is the start to the bugs of Summer that inclued Green Drakes, Pale Morning Dun's, Yellow Sallies, Bitterroot Stones, Caddis, Callibaetis and Grasshoppers, to name a few. The amount of biomass in the Bitterroot is staggering to say the least.

At any given time on any given section of the Bitterroot it is not common in summer to see four to six different types of bugs coming off. When you get frustrated and cannot figure out what bug and in which stage the fish are eating, come on in a one of our guides would be happy to get you on fish with the right bug.

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Bitterroot Bow Skwalla Hatch -Bitterroot River Fishing Report Fly fishing Bitterroot River Montana Westfork of the Bitterroot River Bitterroot River Fishing Report Fly fishing bitterroot river hamilton Westfork of the Bitterroot River Missoula montana fly fishing trout fishing Guide service Bitterroot River Clark fork River Blackfoot River Missouri River Big Hole River Beaverhead River Rock Creek montana fly fishing Fly shop hamilton montana Lodging bitterroot river - An Overview of the Bitterroot River System by Sean O'Brien
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Bitterroot Bow Skwalla Hatch


When the leaves begin to change and the Bitterroot is bursting with color this is the time for small bugs and long leaders. At the end of August and into September is when we start seeing the mico-mayfly know as the Trico.

This bug is a size 20-24 but let it's miniscule size fool you. When the Trico hatch is on you get a great perspective on just how many trout in the Bitterroot River. Hecubas follow the Tricos and this is our last drake hatch of the year. At this point you go from casting a size 22 fly back to throwing size 10-12 mayfly imitations.

As the hecubas spin off Mahogany Duns, Callibaetis and Blue Wing Olives lead us into the winter months and good dry fly fishing fades away at the end of Novemeber.


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