Originally Posted by mrfzx
LOL! I carry the odd numbers, 3-5-7 for freshwater. Its cool how we each have our own preferences.
Hey Mr. Physics, I just found your thread. Mid-July in Western Montana is usually pretty darn good. The Bitterroot should be at a nice flow and still reasonably cool. It has excellent and diverse hatches and gets to be a pretty tough river as the season wares on, but early July it's not at that point. Good for you! The Pale Morning Dun is the major mayfly hatch of the summer and it will be getting under way then, at that time expect a #16 dry to work; it's a pale bug going from pinkish yellow, to pale greenish yellow, with light dun wings -but don't worry too much about that. It's just a real pretty little mayfly, any light bodied parachute or I really prefer the compara dun will work. Also caddis and stoneflies. It's a great river, you won't be alone but you'll love it.
I've actually never fished the Lochsa (because it's in Idaho) but have heard really good things about the cutthroat trout it there. That river is gorgeous! It will still be very cold and tumbling hard down the mountain.
As for your rods: it you have the space take one of each, a 3, 5, and 7. But the only place that 3wt will be used is if you stop to fish some of the tributaries of the Bitterroot and Lochsa, and there are many. Otherwise you won't be using it on those bigger rivers. Your favorite 5wt for dries and the 7 for streamers. You are set.
Anyway, good luck and keep us up to date!