The Big Blackfoot River is probably one of my favorite rivers in the state to fish and guide. Outstanding scenery and exceptional dry fly fishing make this river a must for any angler. Our new house is located on the banks of the Blackfoot River, and with direct access to the river it’s my go-to option when folks come to visit Montana.
The Blackfoot is a freestone river that originates from springs and snowmelt along the continental divide near Rogers pass and flows westerly for approximately 130 miles toward the town of Bonner where it dumps into the Clark Fork River. The canyons and valleys of the Blackfoot River were formed by the glacial lake Missoula outburst floods that occurred during the end of the last ice age. The scenery is as diverse as the wildlife, and a float along any section of the Blackfoot will leave a lasting impression.
The Blackfoot River is well known for its eager West Slope Cutthroat trout who will take dry flies from spring to late fall. Large, predatory bull trout are extremely aggressive at certain times of the year and really add to the excitement. It’s not uncommon to be reeling in a cutthroat and have a big bull trout come out from nowhere and devour your fish. For that reason, the Blackfoot offers a legitimate chance at a trout grand slam.
The upper sections of the Blackfoot and the North Fork of the Blackfoot offer the best wade fish opportunities. The most popular sections for floating begin at the River Junction campground and numerous day float opportunities exist. You’ll need a boat if you want to experience the Box Canyon section of the Blackfoot or other less accessible sections of the river.