Early season on the Blackfoot is much less predictable than either the Bitterroot or The Clark Fork, but when it fishes, it fishes BIG!! If the water temperature warms up to the point where the fish are active, Skwala stoneflies and grey drakes will motivate fish to the surface that will range from 6″ up to 30″. This is a great river for novices and expert alike since littler fish will keep the action hot and heavy while adept casts and drag free drifts can bring up fish that will scare you! Nymphing and streamers are almost always effective this time of year on the Blackfoot.
This is definitely the time of year when you should be on the Blackfoot. This river has a salmonfly hatch that is very intense and lasts longer than any other river in the area…..Rock Creek included. While we don’t have the consistent praise for the Blackfoot in April/May that we do for some of our other rivers, in June, it’s one of the hottest! This is also one of the best times of year to fish streamers for big fish and end up having fish with heads the size of Donald Trump’s come up and eat your size 4 salmonfly dry.
Very consistent fishing to be had this time of year on the Blackfoot, even when the dog days of summer have slowed down the midday fishing on some of the other rivers. A wide variety of hatches that include salmonflies, caddis, grasshoppers and many different mayflies make for some great dryfly fishing on one of the most scenic rivers in the area. The water remains very cold all year long on the Blackfoot and because of this, fish are almost always willing to eat on the surface during the summer. The flip side to this is that the Blackfoot tends to shut down to good dryfly fishing sooner than most other rivers and usually by mid to late September it’s all over with. From the time it begins fishing, however, until it shuts down in the fall, the Blackfoot is hands down the best terrestrial and streamer river in the area.