The following is a list of items we recommend for our fly fishing trips.

Fly Rods

  • Preferable: 3-5 weight rods, 7’6 to 8’6 (4 weight 8′-8’6 are best suited for the White River)
  • 4-6 weight rods 8’6-9’6 (5 weight 9′ is ideal for the Southfork of the Flathead River)

Pack rods are the most convenient.

Fly Reels

  • Preferable: Reel most suitable for rod weight if anything the reel should be on weight less than rod weight for delicate presentations on the White River.

Fly Line

The fly line should be compatible with the rod and reel weights. The best suited fly line for the White and Flathead Rivers are weight forward floating fly lines. Double tapered floating lines are also a good choice.


  • 3X: Good leader for early season fishing in very fast moving water as well as a large streamer fishing on the White and Flathead Rivers.
  • 4X: Good leader for the large dry flies, nymphs and small streamers. This is a good all around leader for the summer.
  • 5X: The best all around leader for the White River. Great for making delicate presentations with small dry flies, as well as nymph fishing in slow moving water.
  • 6X: Necessary for very delicate small dry-fly presentations in slow moving water.


2-6 lb tippet is a good bet for all fishing situations encountered on the trips.  2-4 lb tippet is most suitable for the White River whereas 4-6 lb is most suitable for the Southfork of the Flathead River.


Dry Flies Size #
Adams 14, 16, 18
Adams Irresistible 14, 16, 18
Parachute Adams 14, 16, 18
PMD (Pale Morning Dun) 14, 16, 18
Blue Winged Olive 14, 16
Grey Drake 12, 14, 16
Elk Hair Caddis 16, 18, 20
Small Brown Fluttering Caddis 16, 18
Stone-Fly 10, 12, 14
Royal Wulff 14, 16, 18
Royal Coachman 14, 16, 18
Black Nat 16, 18, 20
Mosquito 14, 16
Dark Midge 18, 20, 22
Light Midge 18, 20, 22
Yellow Humpy 14, 16
Red Humpy 14, 16
Black Humpy 14, 16, 18

May flies comprise the main food source for top water action on the White River. There are consistent mayfly hatches throughout the season including the pale morning dun hatches and the gray drake hatches nearing the end of the season. Therefore it is necessary to be prepared for a variety of mayfly patterns that may be hatching on any given day.