Bitterroot River West Fork Fishing Report
Bitterroot River West Fork Fly Fishing trips» Float and Wade Trips Western and Tenkara
The West Fork of the Bitterroot River originates along the south west border of Montana. Flowing out of the Bitterroot mountain range it runs into Painted Rocks reservoir, a man-made lake created by Painted Rocks Dam. Below the dam the river flows for an additional fifteen miles to the confluence with the East Fork, creating the Bitterroot River.
The West Fork above the dam is small and well suited for walk and wade fishing this mountain stream has good numbers of smaller wild trout. The fish here rise readily to almost any dry fly presented to them.
Below Painted Rocks Reservoir, the West Fork consists of pocket water, riffles, runs and rock gardens. The river below the dam remains clear during spring run-off compared to the rest of the system until the water comes over the spillway. Fed by the reservoir, the West Fork maintains cool flows well into the fall. Feeding on prolific Salmon fly, Golden stone fly and spruce moth hatches the West Fork is home to sizable Wild West slope Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown, Brook trout and Mountain whitefish. The West Fork, along with many of the other tributaries in the Bitterroot Valley hold bull trout, a federally protected fish that must be released immediately.
Learn how to identify bull trout
Orvis Fly Fishing Reports for Montana
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