Oh sure, hunting season is in full swing, but before you put your fishing gear away, you might want try spending some time out on the water.
River and lake fishing is pretty good right now in certain parts of Big Sky Country, including Western Montana.
“The local rivers continue to fish well,” says Doug Persico, from Rock Creek Fisherman’s Mercantile. “The hopper hatch is pretty much winding down after what many locals call the best hopper fishing they have seen in years.”
Most dry fly anglers are fishing small mayfly patterns, he added. “There are two mayfly hatches going strong right now on our local waters, the blue winged olive and mahogany dun.”
Persico says, “When either of these mayflies is hatching, there are fish rising all over the place.”
Alsom the time to catch big brown trout on streamers is right now. The browns are getting ready to spawn. When this happens, they get real aggressive as spawning nears and will often hit a streamer.
“When the browns take your streamer, it won’t be a little tap — they will nail it hard,” Persico said. Use dark colored flies, with black and olive perhaps the most preferred colors.
Flathead lake anglers have had a slow go of it for about the last three weeks.
Dick Zimmer, from Pablo, reports that the lake trout fishing has been slow, the whitefish have not moved into the river yet and the perch haven’t been active in the East Bay of the lake. He has heard some reports of good perch fishing by Elmo Bay.
Zimmer had a day out on the water last week and did fair by Woods Bay. Zimmer reported that the best fishing for lake trout was by far the south point of Woods Bay. In fact, Zimmer’s party filled a half a cooler with some nice lake trout.
“I was impressed with the length-to-weight proportions (of these lake trout),” Zimmer said. “We were fishing in 100 to 130 feet of water doing best with a white LMR Lead-A-Gator combination on our active rods and with a #05 1 or 2 ounce doodlebug.”
Look for the whitefish to move into the mouth of the Flathead River north of the lake in the near future.
Zimmer, who keeps track of such movements, says the fish are about two weeks behind their pace of a year ago. Zimmer also adds that when the surface temperature reaches the mid-fifties, the whitefish will move into the waters around the Polson bridge.
Perch fishing on Lake Mary Ronan has been pretty good. Zimmer reports that Ray Theiler, of Polson, has been using a drop shot setup. Theiler has been fishing in a 30-foot depth near the cliff area between Christian and Plum Creek camps on the south side of the lake and uses two perch flies baited with night crawlers above a bottom weight and sinker resting at the bottom.
Salmon fishing below Hauser Dam continues to be good. Catches of 3-5 pounders are common while the salmon are right below the dam spawning.
An 1/8-ounce white glow jig with a 2 or 3 inch white tail seems to work the best.
The Goose Blind broadcast hunting crew on the Montana Outdoor Radio Show last weekend had some success. Eighteen hunters joined us this year for the opening of goose season. Despite a bluebird day, we ended up with a three flocks coming in to our blind, some shooting and some geese to take home.