September Fly Fishing on the Thompson River
Last September, fall rains brought a welcomed end to the stale, smoky air which darkened the days since mid-August. Since sitting in a camper with two dogs while it rains is not appealing, instead, we spent rain days exploring.
We were camped along the Clark Fork River just east of St Regis, Montana. Earlier in the week, we caught lots of cutthroats, rainbows, and browns in the Clark Fork.
We opened the atlas and looked for nearby blue lines. The Thompson River would be our target.
Tributary of the Clark Fork River
The Thompson River is a tributary of the Clark Fork and joins the Pacific-bound waterway near Thompson Falls, Montana. Thompson River Road, a good gravel road, follows the river closely for much of its 43 miles.
Signs, as you enter the area, warn that bull trout must be immediately released, however, only the water in the last mile before the confluence with the Clark Fork looked interesting enough for bull trout.
Access to the River
Access to the Thomspon is ample. Both the Thompson River Road lies to the west of the stream while the ACM Road lies to the east. For such a small waterway, it’s a little strange to have a road on each side. But this area is a big timber area and the roads were built to access vast tracts of forest.
Numerous primitive campsites dot the streambank and make perfect access points for fishing as well as picnicking or camping.
On that rainy Saturday, we drove along the river, first on the westside road, then near the 17-mile marker, crossed a bridge, and returned on the ACM road, making note of places to try when the weather improved. We were impressed with the small river and were excited to return.