Milltown Dam Update

by Blue Damsel Manager on August 4, 2008

On March 28th of this year, the Milltown Dam was breached, allowing the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers to flow freely for the first time in over a hundred years. Though a definite plus for the long-term health of the drainage, the removal of the dam brought immediate concerns for Missoula anglers: toxins in the dam tailings, heavy sediment, and a surge of stagnated water might have a dire effect on trout and insect life for several years. Many fishermen felt the lower Clark Fork would not be much of an angling option for at least the 2008 season. I was one of them.

I was wrong.
No river in the area has been fishing as consistently and as well as the Clark Fork. Blue Damsel guests have been returning from the river with sore arms and smiles plastered on their faces. It seems our huge run-off this year washed dam tailings past our trout before much harm could be done. The run-off that had us pulling our hair out the last week of June is making us giddy with bent rods and 18 inchers now. 
Here is some evidence:

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