Regional Reports-West

Kelly Creek

A tributary of the North Fork of the Clearwater River, Kelly Creek is a classic freestone stream with riffles and holding pools. No wonder it produces excellent catches of native cutthroat trout that average 12 to 18 inches. But to get there you've got to buck 50 miles of dirt backroads from the nearest paved road (the best access is from I-90 in Montana). Some of the hottest fishing is in the 10-mile section upstream from the Kelly Forks campground. It's suited to four-weight fly rods and 7x tippets. In August, attractor patterns such as Royal Wulffs and Parachute Adamses, along with Pheasant Tails and Hare's Ear nymphs, are the preferred patterns. Spin-fishermen use small spinners and spoons. Barbless single-hook flies and lures are required. All trout must be released. A resident license is $23.50; nonresidents pay $74.50 for the season or $10.50 for one day and $4 for each additional day. Contact: Castaway Fly Fishing Shop (800-410-3133).