Keeping track of your days spent fishing can be very helpful in making your future fishing trips successful.
I know that many successful trout fishermen take the time to write down key information in a fishing log – things like air temperature, water temperature, river flows, number of fish caught and what flies were working the best.
Tim Christensen, of Missoula, has taken the concept of a fishing log into the future. Christensen, who is one of the main programmers behind the successful online retail electronics store for www.vanns.com, loves to fly-fish. He thought it would be a good idea to develop a software program to help himself remember his days on the water. The end result was the Flog Fly Fishing Log.
Flog enables you to enter your fishing information in one easy software application on your home computer. By doing this, it is Christensen’s hope that you will be able to track your personal fishing history a lot easier and a lot faster.
That is good news to the many who fly fish in western Montana, but there is even better news – Flog is free. All you have to do is go to the www.montanaoutdoor.com home page and click on the Flog logo to get the Fishing Conditions page. From there, you can log onto directly to Flog web site and download the program.
The program is easy to use and, as your personal fishing history grows, you can begin to see patterns that will help you catch more fish in the future.
As we talk about logging information, that brings to mind the Chinook salmon run that will eventually arrive at the Clearwater River in Idaho. For the anglers that experienced the record run last year, there was hope it would be just as good this year. But preliminary counts of adult salmon coming over the first dam of their journey have not been good.
That dam is the Bonneville and the counts so far have been a little below the 10-year average, which means the run likely will not even come close to last year’s numbers. The season opened last Saturday, April 20. Stu Kestner told me on Tuesday, so far there weren’t very many anglers fishing for salmon. Kestner said the Clearwater River was running mostly clear on Tuesday. You can buy your fishing license at one of the local sporting good stores that are Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks licensing agents. As always, Stu Kestner, (208) 476-5418, will have current information on salmon and the steelhead fishing. The steelhead season is open through April 30.
Fishing is picking up on Salmon Lake according to Larry Marx from Roveros Ace Hardware, (406) 677-2445. Marx suggests fishing the weed beds with smelt. Harper Lake is open and starting to pick up with bait. Browns Lake is also open and fishing has been slow. The few fish that have been caught have been 3- to 5-pound rainbows that were taken close to shore with bait. Seeley Lake still has ice but should be open by this weekend. The Blackfoot River was busy with drift boats mostly nymph fishing.
Last Saturday Dick Zimmer, (406) 675-0068, fished the East Bay of Flathead Lake just north of Polson. When he hit the water at 1 p.m. the water temperature was 49 degrees. By the time 4:30 in the afternoon rolled around it had risen to 56 degrees. Fishing in that time span went from poor to spectacular. The optimum temperature was 55 degrees. Zimmer caught 80 perch, many in the 11-12-inch class using a half a worm tipped on a Flash n Glo with a brass spinner blade above a yellow body and a lime crystal tail. Zimmer caught most of the perch in about four feet of water. Warm water temps and calm afternoons should be a good combination to look for when planning a perch outing on Flathead Lake.