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Bitterroot Outdoors

Bitterroot River

The Bitterroot river refuses to drop.

Thanks to heavy rain Saturday - Monday the river has actually risen close to 2000 cfs at Darby.

The Bitterroot usually doesn’t fish well on the rise as fish are being displaced. Wading and floating are both difficult and a challenge. The forecast calls for warmer drier weather in the coming week which should get the river on the drop again.

The river drops quickly after a rain event and once it does fishing should turn on quickly. Please use caution if heading out and always wear a PFD.

Hatches: Salmon fly #4-6, golden stone #6-10, yellow sally # 14, green drake #8-10, PMD #14-16

Eddie Olwell, Fishs Eddy O Outfitter

Bitterroot National Forest

• Lost Horse Road #429 is currently open to motorized vehicles. However, there are a few washouts on the upper sections (past 10 Mile Creek) so the road is not suitable for trailers or low clearance vehicles. Schumaker Campground, Twin Lakes and Bear Creek Pass are not accessible due to snow drifts across the road. Typically, the road doesn’t melt out until the end of June or early July. For more information, contact the Darby/Sula Ranger District at 406-821-3913.

• Willow Creek Road #364 east of Corvallis is re-opened to the public. It closed back in April due to excessive snowmelt causing the road surface to soften. Even though the road is now dry, motorists are advised to be on the lookout for several large rocks that recently broke free and tumbled down onto the road. They are located one mile before the Willow Creek Trailhead. Our trail crew will likely have to blast them at a later date, so please use caution while driving in this area.

• The Magruder Road Corridor between Darby and Elk City, Idfaho, is closed at Observation Point due to snow. Nez Perce Pass is open to Paradise Campground. Contact the West Fork Ranger District for road updates, 406-821-3269.

• We are temporarily opening some roads this summer for the public to access personal use firewood. To learn more about these areas and get maps of each location, stop by our office or visit our website.

Tod McKay, Bitterroot National Fores


Mountain goats

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Rebecca Mowry is putting a general call out the public for help in getting a better understanding of mountain goat populations in the Bitterroot. She would love to hear from anyone who spots mountain goats in either the Bitterroot or Sapphire mountains. People can email the information on how many goats were spotted and where to

Bitterroot Backcountry Horsemen trail clearing

The East Fork Trail is clear from the trailhead to just before Clifford Creek, about mile 3.5. A section of the trail about 150 yards, is washed out and now has water running through it where no stream previously existed. The Forest Service has been made aware of this.

Needle Creek was cleared by one team starting at the top and working down, and a second team starting from the bottom and working up. The entire length of the trail was cleared with the exception of two "birds nest" tree areas that contained 15 trees. An afternnon thunderstorm curtailed work by both work crews, who had to make their way back to the East Fork Trailhead amidst heavy wind, rain, and hail.

Joe Rogish, Bitter Root Back Country Horsemen

The Blodgett Creek Trail has been cleared to about the 10-mile mark. A crew did several recon trips and cut over 50 trees over a three-week period prior to heading up there again on Friday to camp at Seven Mile Meadow. The trail below Seven Mile Meadow had a lot of water on it. In some places it was knee-deep.

Dan Brandborg’s report: After leaving our camp at Seven Mile Meadow on Friday, June 15, we ran into four 18” and bigger logs to clear and started to run into snow drifts up to 3 or 4 feet in depth, but our animals stayed mostly on top and the drift areas were short. We made it to the intersection of two trails at about the ten-mile point: one trail heads right, a short 20 minutes to the pass, and the other, the main canyon trail to the left, goes another 1.5 miles to Blodgett Lake. At the intersection with the main trail we found a small avalanche covering it with snow and debris. We headed right onto the pass trail and after just a few switchbacks we hit a snow field which ended our advance.

Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists host ride

The Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists will be hosting a social ride and BBQ Friday, June 22. We will touring some of the trails proposed in the Como Recreational Plan. This is a great chance to meet other mountain bikers and learn more about mountain biking opportunities in the Valley. Meet at the south shore boat ramp parking at 5:30 p.m.

The group cleared the Camas Creek trail last weekend.

Lance Pysher, Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists