Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Bitterroot River, Montana
The hatches on the Bitterroot River varies with the sections of the river. Some of the insects
are only found in certain types of water, so keep that in mind. You want find Trico mayflies in
the fast water of the headwater sections, for example.

The Blue-winged Olives are among the most important hatches. The BWOs start hatching
about the middle of March. It can last until the end of April. A second hatch takes place starting
about near the end of September. It can last until the first of November, depending on the

Another important mayfly is the Pale Morning Dun. They hatch starting about the middle of
June and lasting until as late as the first of August. There is a Brown Dun hatch that takes
place about the last week of March and through the month of April.

The only other substantial hatch of mayflies are the Tricos. These hatch on the slower,
smoother sections of water during August and September.

Caddisflies can be the most important insects at times. Spotted Sedges are the most plentiful
species. They start hatching around the middle of July and can last through the month of
August. There is a Little Black Caddis hatch, called the Mother's Day Hatch, that starts in mid
April and last through the month of May, depending on the section. The big October Caddis
hatch from about the middle of September through October. There are several other species
of caddisflies in the Bitterroot River but they usually don't exist in plentiful quantities.

About the first of March you will find two species of stoneflies on the Bitterroot River. The
Winter Stoneflies hatch until about the middle of April. Skwala Stoneflies start abut the middle
of March and last through the middle of April. The Salmonflies usually start about the first of
June and last through July, depending on the section of the river. About the first of June the
Golden Stoneflies start hatching. They hatch through the month of July, depending on the
section of the river. Yellow Sallies, or Little Yellow Stoneflies, hatch from the middle of May all
the way through the middle of August, again, depending on the section of the river.

Make sure you have a good selection of streamer flies. The river has plenty of minnows,
baitfish species and sculpin. Streamers work great early and late in the day, and when the
water is stained from heavy rains.

Terrestrials become very important during the months of July, August and September.
Imitations of ants, beetles, and grasshoppers work great at times.

Midges hatch throughout the year but are most important during the months of March and

Use our
"Perfect Fly" hatch chart" and select your flies for the time you will be fishing. Please
give our flies a chance to work for you if you haven't done so already. We feel confident that
you will be more than satisfied with them.
Bitterroot River, Montana
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