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Bitterroot River Fishing Report

Bitterroot River Fishing Report

Our Bitterroot river fishing report comes to you straight from the river! We tell it like it is and take pride in providing the most accurate Missoula fishing report available. When you want to know how the fishing is, what tactics to use, or what flies to tie on, we’re you’re one-stop Missoula fly shop.

Bitterroot River Fishing Report + Rating


May 5, 2024

The Bitterroot is in good shape and is fishing well. Yet, likely some high water on the horizon with rain forecasted for the next few days. If the flows do bump as forecasted, the next few days may be tough fishing. Be careful out there. If the main stem is too big and muddy, search for braided channels that might provide some smaller-water, wading opportunities.  Not as many skwalas out, but fish still eating them on top. Folks on the Upper Bitterroot seem to be having the most luck on skwala dries in the afternoon. Our spring mayflies, however, are out in full force. Gray Drakes, March Brown’s and BWO’s are hatching in the afternoons and fish are loving it! Make sure to be ready with all three as the big fish are being picky as to which ones they want.  Brindle Chutes, Carnage Drakes, Hot Spot Brindles, Tilt Wing Duns, P-Hazes, Extended Bodies and Parachute Adams. Thick hatches of Mother’s Day caddis out and about in the afternoon, too, which makes for an amazing spectacle and awesome fishing subsurface and topwater. Your size 12-16 caddis dries like X-caddis and Trans. Emergers on top, with Jig Hot-Butt Hare/Woodduck Hare’s Ear on the bottom. A skwala/dropper is a good way to prospect for fish before or after the afternoon hatches.  Jig PT’s,  Jig Hare’s Ears, brown and olive Spanish Bullets, Jig Princes, Rubberlegs and San Juans are our go to droppers.  As the flows and clarity changes, keep the streamer box handy.  Again, before or after the hatches will be best. A bump in flows shakes the little fish up, and the big ones take note. Goldies, Rusty Trombones, Big Hole Buggers, Mini Dungeons, Chicago Overcoats, Lil Kim’s and Sparkle Minnows.


There are a lot of downed trees and blockages in the Bitterroot.  Give our Missoula fly shop a call for up-to-date information.

1/2 off Friday’s are still happening, every Friday all year long. (1/2 off your first dozen dries or nymphs)

Current Recommended Flies For Bitterroot Fly Fishing

Find flies for Missoula fly fishing at our Missoula fly shop or online fly shop.

Bitterroot River Flows

See below for current Bitterroot River conditions and flows at multiple USGS gauges along the river.

Bitterroot River Fly Fishing Report, Bitterroot River Fishing Report

Bitterroot Fishing Report, Bitterroot River Fly Fishing

Bitterroot Fishing Report, Bitterroot River Fly Fishing

West Fork Bitterroot River Fishing Report, Bitterroot River Fishing Report

Bitterroot Valley Weather

See the Bitterroot fishing report weather forecast for the next 7-days. For more information on the forecast or detailed weather data, please visit NOAA Weather Data – Stevensville, Montana.

STEVENSVILLE, MT Weather Forecast

Montana SNOTEL Current Snow Water Equivalent % of Normal

SWE is an acronym for Snow Water Equivalent, signifying the quantity of liquid water present in snow. Essentially, if you were to take a certain snow depth and melt it, the resulting water height would be representative of the SWE. This is how we can predict river flows and water levels for fishing season.

Give us a call or stop by our Missoula fly shop for expert tips and advice.

Check out our additional information on Bitterroot River fly fishing!

215 West Front Street
Missoula, MT 59802