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Bitterroot Outdoors

Bitterroot River

Summer conditions continue on the Bitterroot.

Increased release from Painted Rocks dam this week should keep the West Fork and upper river cool and fish active.

Spruce moths and PMD’s are providing decent dry fly action in the morning. Terrestrials and big attractors are bringing up some nice fish in the afternoon. If that doesn’t bring up the fish try a dropper nymph about 24 inches under your dry. Trico’s are starting on the lower river but get out early while bugs are on the water and temps are cool.

Hatches include spruce moth, PMD, trico, beetles, hoppers and ants.

Eddie Olwell, Fishs Eddy O

Bitterroot National Forest

The High Lake trail #303 is 2.5 miles in length. Members of Bitterroot National Forest trail crew cleared the trail on Friday, Aug. 3. The trail has not seen maintenance in more than 10 years. Anyone who has this trail on their bucket list, now is the time to go. But, please do not go all at once.

Bitter Root Back Country Horsemen

July 28—30, a small group of Bitterroot Back Country Horsemen camped at the East Fork Cabin on the Bitterroot’s east fork. On Sunday the 29th a few other BBCH members showed up for an early morning ride up the East Fork trail along the river. A two-mile ride up the road from the cabin put them on the trail.

Some weeks before, in early June, BBCH members had made two trips to reconnoiter and then clear about five miles of the trail of downed trees and fix water bars on the trail. On those trips they were ultimately stopped by high water which had damaged the trail at Clifford Creek. (The trail is still a little confused for a short distance there but very passable).

The July ride confirmed that the rehabilitation of the water bars was a great success. The trail was very good. At about two miles in there was a new deadfall across the trail which was easily bypassed. A couple of other fallen trees were no problem to cross.

The trail is beautiful with frequent views of the East Fork of the Bitterroot River. A little over two miles in, the trail enters the burn area of the 2017 Meyers Creek fire. It is hard to think that a burn area could be pretty, but it has a beauty all of its own. Seeing the blooming fireweed and other plants coming back up through the ashes is wonderful.

This is certainly a worthwhile hike or ride into the Anaconda Pintler wilderness. And we did notice at least a couple of flat spots where a tent could be pitched to allow a more detailed search for fish could be made.

Tim Meyer, Bitterroot Backcountry Horsemen

Bitter Root Back Country Horsemen (BRBCH) and the Bitterroot National Forest are partnering on a project taking place this weekend.

The project will occur on August 10-12, on the Darby/Sula Ranger District at Crazy Creek Horse Camp and the trail to Two Good Cabin. One crew will perform horse camp maintenance and a second crew will camp overnight at the Three Forks area and work on nearby trails.

The public should be on alert and watch out for volunteer work crews and stock at these locations. For more information on the projects visit

BRBCH was established in 1976 and was one of the first chapters in the nation. Their goal is to ensure that stock users can continue to access backcountry and wilderness trails. The chapter annually contributes over 600 personal hours and 425 stock hours on projects, most on the National Forest, that create significant benefits for all trail users and for the natural resources.