Rock Creek flows northward from the Sapphire Mountains to its confluence with the Clark Fork River About 20 miles east of Missoula. Rock Creek Road parallels the waterway for most of its 40 some miles of state and private land. It is generally not a float river other than in late May and the month of June when water levels are high and the salmonfly hatch is going strong. It’s illegal to fish from a boat after July 1st. During the salmonfly hatch, the river tends to be crowded with lots of boats, but it usually doesn’t matter since every boat is usually whacking LOTS of fish. This creek can be very dangerous due to very fast water and midstream obstructions which can change daily. You can get into trouble in a hurry on Rock Creek. If you decide to do a Rock Creek float, you’ll be much better off in a raft than a driftboat just for safety reasons alone, not to mention most of the takeouts on the mid to lower end of the river require some type of portage. During June when the hatch is out in force and the water is high, a 15 or 20 mile float is the norm. Gilles Bridge to Bitterroot Flat or the Concrete Bridge to Bitterroot Flat are both popular floats. If you decide to do a float on Rock Creek, make sure you check locally to see what the latest obstructions and remedies are. Map – Lower Creek
Map – Upper Creek
Major hatches: Rock Creek has excellent hatches of Skwala stoneflies, March Brown mayflies, salmonflies, green drakes, PMD’s, hoppers, October caddis, blue wing olives.