The Bitterroot River provides your best opportunity to catch brown trout over 22″ on a dryfly. More than any of the other area rivers, the Bitterroot during the spring skwala hatch is the place to be for big trout on dries. Notorious for very heavy aquatic insect hatches, the Bitterroot is another scenic and classic Montana trout river. There’s something to be said for fishing water of this quality as it runs through sandy cottonwood river bottoms in the shadow of the ominous Bitterroot Mountain Range directly to the west. As the season progresses into summer and fall you can expect to catch a wide variety of fish including rainbow trout, cutthroat, the accidental bull trout (actually a char) and even the occasional brook trout (also a char).
The Traveler’s Rest area on the lower river near the town of Lolo is the spot where the Lewis and Clark expedition camped for a couple of days in September of 1805 before heading on West and building Fort Clatsop near Astoria, Oregon. It was here they wintered from December 1805 until March 1806 when they returned spending a few days again at Travelers Rest before reaching St Louis later that year. Between the history of the area, the amazing scenery and the great fishing, you’ll love being on the Bitterroot spring, summer or fall!