Streams Outside of Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

01/05/09

Fly Fishing the Blackfoot River - Part Two

I will pick back up with the Blackfoot River at the confluence of the North Fork of the
Blackfoot River. From there down stream for the next dozen miles, to the Clearwater
Bridge, the river changes from the moderate flowing valley stream into a fast water
section that flows through a canyon. This canyon, called the "box canyon" same as the
Henry's Fork in Idaho, is about five miles long. It exits into another valley.

Fishing varies through this section due to the changes in the speed and type of water.
Rainbow trout become more plentiful in the fast water section of the box canyon. Brown
trout begin to decrease.

From the Clearwater Bridge downstream, the river changes character again. This
section would best be described as pocket water. It consist mostly of fast water runs,
riffles and pools. There are some white water sections. This is the most popular section
to fish. It is also used by recreational float trips and white water enthusiast. Most of the
fish are rainbow trout. There is also a good population of Mountain Whitefish.

This is a beautiful area. The river flows through forest of Ponderosa Pine. Prairie Road,
a nine mile long dirt road, follows along part of this section. This is the first section
Angie and I fished several years ago when we first visited the Blackfoot River. It is not a
great distance from Missoula, Montana, making it a popular area for many other types
of recreation use.  

The very first time I crawled down a bank to fish the Blackfoot, I was pleasantly
surprised because on about the fourth cast I hooked a nice fourteen inch rainbow. I
caught four in the same area of the river just below a parking lot off Prairie Road. It was
almost to good to be true. We were there less than thirty minutes and I had four very
nice size rainbow trout from a very short stretch of the river.

We had gone to the Blackfoot for one main reason. That was to do the introduction to
our new DVD,
"Top 85 Tips on Fly Fishing". We selected that location because the
Blackfoot River was considered the home of "A River Runs Through It", the popular
1992 movie centered around fly fishing. The movie helped give the sport a boost of new
anglers. I stopped fishing because we had to set up and do the introduction before the
sun got too low on the horizon. We spent the rest of the daylight time exploring new
areas of the river along Prairie Road.

We returned to the Blackfoot the following day for a full day of fishing. I had not head
much about the river from a fly-fishing standpoint. I had read very little about it. We only
went there to introduce our DVD because of the movie. What I didn't expect was good
trout fishing. The following day we caught approximately thirty rainbow trout at various
places along that section of the Blackfoot River. The third day was spent exploring the
many other sections of the river upstream from there that I have already written about.
What we found was a lot of good brown trout water but a completely different type of
stream that flowed through open valleys for the most part.

I certainly don't want to degrade the upper sections. I am sure there are places that
offer great fishing there. In fact, as I wrote yesterday, our first fishing experience in the
upstream portion produced an eighteen inch brown trout. I am sure there was some
luck involved with that but it does prove that one shouldn't disregard the upper sections.
There will be more Blackfoot River fishing tomorrow.

                                                                                                    Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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