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Clark Fork River

"Let them keep believing the Madison is the best freestone fly fishing stream in the state" is what one, long in the tooth, fly fisherman said to me.  He then added, "The Clark Fork river is the best kept secret in fly fishing!"

 The Clark Fork starts out as a small intimate, almost creek like river, snaking it's way through the upper drainage near Deerlodge. Here you can find ravenous Brown trout that will savagely destroy a streamer or, when the conditions are prime, a fat foamy attractor. As she makes her way down the valley towards Missoula, the Clark Fork begins to pick up volume in the form of cool clean water from tributaries like the Little Blackfoot, and Rock Creek (both world class fisheries themselves, boasting incredibly high fish numbers).

Starting at Rock Creek (about 20 miles east of Missoula)  the Clark Fork doubles in size three times in thirty miles. With the addition of Rock Creek, the Blackfoot and the Bitterroot, the Clark Fork goes from a small quaint stream, to classic western Montana big water.  It is down here, on the big water where you will find the big rainbows the Clark Fork the lower river is best known for.  With water more representative of a giant tail-water fishery than a freestone stream, the hatches on the lower Clark Fork River help to grow big rainbows that are notoriously "HOT!"

With this much diversity, and over two hundred miles of floatable water, we really wouldn't even need any other rivers around to be happy...but we're not complaining!