Cooler weather has rejuvenated the fishing in Western Montana. In fact, the rains that we received last week have resulted in Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks in lifting voluntary restrictions on some area rivers.
Doug Persico, of Rock Creek Fisherman’s Mercantile, tells me that a new moth-like hatch is taking place on Rock Creek. Persico has made a fly pattern that imitates the fly. The trout are zeroing in on it and it has made for some great fishing on Rock Creek.
Dick Zimmer reports that fishing on Flathead Lake has picked up as well. If you fish the sound end, Zimmer recommends Gravel Bay as your best bet. The lake trout seem to be hanging in about 165 to 200 feet of water. A #0 all glow 1 oz. Trilobite with an LMR Special above has been working well. Zimmer also adds that a #6 green 3 oz. Zorpedo or 1 oz. and 1 ¾ oz. Trilobites in the same color are also catching fish. If the fish seem a little sluggish in taking your offering then you might add a little scent like WD-40, shrimp or even crawdad oil. Zimmer also adds that Rocky Point, Bluebay and Bird Island have been producing some catches too.
I fished Flathead Lake with Glen Hoffman, of Missoula, and Bob Culp, from Frenchtown, last week and had a great time. We were after Lake Superior Whitefish. Hoffman told us we should head for the north end of the lake where he had done well a couple of days before. He was right. We ended the fishing day at about 1 p.m. with close to 70 whitefish in the boat. Not bad since we didn’t start fishing till 8 a.m.
We fished on the East Side of the river delta at the north end of the lake. The fish were concentrated between 40-60 feet of water. We caught them on ¾-ounce silver Kastmaster with a strip of green in the middle. Hoffman pulled in a 7.9-pound whitefish, the largest he has ever caught. It fell 2 pounds short of the state record however, which is 10.08 pounds and was caught at of St Mary Lake in 1995 by Theo Hamby.
Zimmer also says he has reports that the smallmouth bass fishing is still good on the Flathead River located below Kerr Dam. It should be good until the water temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Zimmer recommends you find a deep hole with slow moving water. Cast a nightcrawler above a bottom weight such as No-Snagg sinker into the depths and wait for action. Zimmer has indicated to me that as the water-cools all the fishing will continue to pick up.
SAD NEWS: I received some sad news last week. Roger Larsen, a good friend of Montana sportsmen and sportswomen from Great Falls, died of an apparent heart attack on Sept. 6. I met Larsen through Jaye Johnson from Charlo and we had the chance to hunt and fish over last the last 10 years together a few times. Larsen, 53, was the Executive Director of Walleyes Unlimited. He also was Montana Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sergeant. If you have ever fished Tiber Dam or Lake Frances and done well, you can give part of the credit to Larsen. He was very active the Great Falls Walleye Unlimited chapter and contributed his heart and soul to make hunting and fishing better in Montana for all of us. Personally, Larsen always put a smile on my face and he will be greatly missed by all that knew him.