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.
A newly hatched Salmonfly and the shuck it left behind.
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.
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.