Salmonfly Hatch on Rock Creek

The Salmonfly hatch is the most anticipated hatch in the West. The huge bugs are a big meal for hungry trout. With its tree-lined banks, Rock Creek is arguably one of the best places to fish during the hatch.

The insects swim up to the riverbank, then crawl up onto branches of bushes or low willows where they leave their shuck behind as their new wings dry. Their first flight often involves crossing the creek. Not strong fliers, the salmonfly sometimes crash into the water below.

Big trout await along the bank in slower water and slurp up the disadvantaged salmonfly as they fall into the water.

Salmonfly Hatching on a branch by the river

A newly hatched Salmonfly and the shuck it left behind.

Underbelly of an adult salmonfly on Rock Creek

Matching the Hatch

Here is a great example of an adult male salmonfly. It’s orange underbelly it what a trout sees as it looks up through the water column at its prey.

Size is important to match as well as the color. Salmonflys are nearly 3 inches long. That’s a big bug! Fish flies sized 2-8; don’t be afraid to throw a big one.

Flies For the Salmonfly Hatch on Rock Creek

  • Cat Puke
  • Orange Stimulator
  • Madam X
  • Fat Freddie
  • Stonefly Nymph
  • Girdle Bug
  • Chubby Chernobyl

Local fly shops such as the Rock Creek Mercantile or the Missoulian Angler sell these patterns and more.

Cat Puke Fly Salmonfly Intimation
Spring Fishing Rock Creek Montana

The Weather and River Levels

Timing the hatch exactly can be hard. Salmonflies like a consistent water temperature at or above 50 degrees. These conditions usually occur during run-off in very late May or early June on Rock Creek.

The hatch begins where the river exits the canyon and joins the Clark Fork. The hatch moves steadily upstream daily. Staying ahead of the hatch can a challenge.

Fishing from a boat (preferably a raft) is the most productive way to fishing the hatch. Book a day on the river with our local outfitter.

Spring Cabin Availability

Golden Stone and Sawmill is available year round and are the perfect cabins for fishing the salmonfly hatch on Rock Creek.

Save over 20% in April and May

We offer unbeatable special Spring Rates. June starts or regular season rates.

Catching Trout on Rock Creek in April