James Marsh fishing Little Blackfoot River
Angie Marsh fishing Little Blackfoot River
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
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Fly Fishing The Little Blackfoot River
The Little Blackfoot River is a small, beautiful, but fragile
trout stream that I have been reluctant to write about
knowing it is too small to become crowded. On the other
hand, I thought it may be good to bring it to everyone's
attention because it needs some help from concerned
anglers. It appears that ranches have done a lot to hurt
the trout by de-watering and altering the flow of the

The Little Blackfoot River flows out of the Boulder
Mountains in a fairly remote or unpopulated section of
Montana. It is not often fished by visitors. Some of the
locals from Helena fish it. It flows mostly through private
property but there's a large part of its headwaters that's
available to the public to fish.

The river is a tributary of the Clark's Fork River. It runs
along highway U. S. Highway #12 from its confluence
with the Clarke Fork at Garrison up to several miles past
Elliston. The river stays cool in the summer because it is
fed by several small springs. The springs also help keep
the water slightly warmer and from freezing over in most
places during the winter.

The stream has a good population of small cutthroats
and brook trout in its headwaters, but most of the trout
are brown trout which exist in most of the stream from its
headwaters all the way to the Clarke Fork River.

Fishing is excellent all year except during the spring
Springs help warm the water during the winter. Fishing
can be very good.
Anytime from about the middle of March on through the
spring, you are subject to be able to catch trout on the
dry fly from hatches of Blue-winged Olives. Fishing is
good until runoff begins.
Runoff usually occurs the later part of June. Fishing can
be excellent just after it ends and for the rest of the
The brown trout spawn in the fall and fishing can be
excellent during that pre-spawn period.

Fly Fishing Guide to the Little Blackfoot River:
There are basically two strategies to use for fly fishing
the Little Blackfoot River. You either fish for the brook
and cutthroat trout in the headwater using small stream
tactics or you fish for the brown trout in other sections of
the river.
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Type of Stream

Brown Trout
Cutthroat Trout
Brook Trout
Mountain Whitefish

Southwestern Montana

Small - 48 miles long

Nearest Towns

General Montana Season with
Extended Season catch and release
only from December 1 to 3rd Sat. in

Good in the headwaters, poor in the
other sections

Non-Resident License
State of Montana

National Weather Service Link

Hatch Chart
Little Blackfoot Hatch Chart

Fly Fishing Guide

Hatches and Flies

Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies

Stream Flow Data:
USGS Real Time Data
Little Blackfoot
River Montana
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Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

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