Montana Fly Fishing
Rock Creek

Rock Creek

Rock Creek

Lower Rock Creek
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The Rock Creek is one of the finest trout streams in Montana. Formed by the confluence of the West and East Forks Rock Creek near Philipsburg in the Philipsburg Valley, the stream flows between the Sapphire Mountains on the west and the John Long Mountains to the east. Shortly after the confluence of the two forks, Rock Creek enters National Forest Land, and travels through it for the next thirty miles. A windy, bumpy, narrow road - the Rock Creek Road - follows the river for its entire length. After leaving National Forest Land, Rock Creek flows for a few more miles before emptying into the Clark Fork at Clinton.

As it flows through public lands for a significant part of it journey, access is excellent on the Rock Creek. The river is also an excellent choice for wade anglers. Rafting restrictions exist that limit the ability to fish while floating. Consequently, Rock Creek is not over-run by guided fly fishing parties. Combining that with the excellent access to the river, all a wade angler has to do is to pull off the side of the road and head for the stream.

Rock Creek itself has "trout water" written all over it. Rock Creek has swift flows, a fairly long whitewater section, extensive riffles, rock gardens and some beautiful deep pools.

Use of the river is heavy, as Rock Creek is well known as one of finest trout streams in Montana. However, the lack of floating parties, combined with the ability to access Rock Creek along the forest road for more than 30 miles, tends to spread anglers out quite well. For the fly fisherman willing to wander away from the obvious access spots (particularly in places where the road is well back from the river), an angler can fly fish in relative solitude.

Several designated campsites and numerous unofficial campsites are found all along Rock Creek.

Overall, for an angler on a Montana fly fishing trip that lacks a boat and wants to have virtually unlimited access to a river, Rock Creek is very hard to beat.

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