The Bitterroot continues to fish well as we enter the second half of July.
There are still good numbers of bugs emerging and most days produce decent dry fly action. Water levels continue to drop and water temperatures are on the rise. This change in conditions may slow the fishing and fly fishers should adjust their strategies.
The best fishing is above Hamilton and on the Forks. Below Hamilton water temperatures are warming close to 70 in the late afternoon. If you plan on fishing the lower river, get an early start.
The Bitterroot tributaries are another good option this time of year thanks to cold water, lots of eager trout and less fishing pressure.
See ya on the river!
Hatches include: PMD #14-18, golden stone #8-14, Bitterroot stone #14-16, yellow sally # 14 – 16 and tan caddis #12-16 (evening)
— Eddie Olwell, Fishes Eddie O
Bitterroot National Forest
The gate at Lost Horse Road #429 on the Darby/Sula Ranger District is open but please be advised that the road is rough (deep ruts and wash boarded) and is not recommended for trailers or low clearance vehicles. Schumaker Campground and Bear Creek Pass are open.
The Magruder Road Corridor between Darby and Elk City, Idaho, is open and snow free to Horse Heaven Saddle. Nez Perce Pass is open to Paradise Campground. Contact the West Fork Ranger District for road updates, 406-821-3269.
Magruder Road is suitable for high-clearance vehicles only. Travelers are advised to carry a chainsaw in case of a fallen tree on the road and should be aware that there is no cell phone coverage or services for 120 miles.
A reminder for those heading to Lake Como, you will need a recreation pass for parking. Cost of the passes are $5/vehicle or $30 for a season pass and are available at all Forest Service offices, area retailers and on-site at the recreation area.
Day use fees and camping fees are charged at Lake Como from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. The fees are used for the operations and maintenance of the recreation area. Drinking water is available at Lake Como.