Sunday, October 5, 2014

Upper Clark Fork River - A River Reborn

Joel and I decided it would be good to stick close to Missoula on Friday and he also wanted to show me a float that he's done a few times this summer on the upper Clark Fork River.  The Clark Fork River underwent a transformation with the removal of the Milltown Dam and along with it the extraction of mining waste and mega tons of silt that had backed up behind the dam over it's many decades of use.  The river now flows again with extensive stream improvements, wood piles and structure added to the edges, and willows planted along the banks that will take hold over the years to come.

We had a bluebird day and mostly fished streamers that moved quite a few fish from out from under the wood.  We also had a few sippers and it was cool to set up on them and pass a dry fly over them.  It wasn't a big fish numbers day by any means but it was cool to see what can be done to improve a river system with a lot of work and determination.  I really believe that this stretch of the Clark Fork will only get better with time.

For more information on this very extensive project, check out the Clark Fork Coalition website.  There is a lot of background on the dam removal process with a couple videos to check out as well.


Mark Zebley said...

just floated the lower Clark fork two weeks ago. great flows. several guys in our group floated the upper section and had good days

Cameron Mortenson said...

Mark...I hear the lower Clark Fork is on fire right now. I wish I could get back out there again soon. No such luck.