Old Man Winter returns to Montana
By Hookemharry

Posted: February 16, 2006

Old Man Winter has been late coming back to Montana since his December stay last year but he is back in the area just in time for the weekend.

Temperatures are expected to be in the sub zero range especially when you factor in wind chill. Moisture is expected to accompany the artic front but this time instead of rain we will see mostly snow on the valley floor. The mountains will continue to add to their above average snow pack for the year when the storm rolls through the area.

Ice fishing has been hit and miss on Georgetown Lake with anglers saying fishing has been slow for about two weeks but has picked up recently. That is always the case this time of the year when reports start to become who hit the lake at the right time and used the right bait seem to be more successful.

An angler told me while I attended the Great Rockies Sport Show in Bozeman last weekend that the south end of Canyon Ferry Lake still had enough ice to be able to ice fish, even though it was about a third of the thickness the lake normally has this time of the year. This cold snap will add a few inches to the 10-12 inches already on the lake. He told me he had a good day fishing last week. He caught a limit of trout jigging through the ice.

Terry McArdle of Townsend Marine was also at the show and sold me some raffle tickets to win a New Yamaha EF 2600 Generator. 100 percent of the proceeds in the raffle will go towards helping restore Hell Creek Marina, which was lost to fire in December on Fort Peck Reservoir. If you want to buy a $5 raffle ticket call 406-266-5700. Drawing will be held March 1.

The end of week two of the annual Perch Pounder being held in Region 1 saw Ed Slavin of Big Fork win the biggest perch of the week. Slavin caught 1.788 pound perch to win top weekly honors, he still trails Amber Pickering who caught a 1.898 pound perch a couple of weeks ago. The Perch Pounder wraps up February 25 if you want to enter call 261-6445.

Also in Region 1 the annual McGregor Lake Tournament was held last weekend. “It was the darndest thing to see with the boats large and small in the open water, people on the ice almost to the middle of the lake and people fishing from shore�, reported Gene Fincher from Kalispell. 420 entrants competed in the derby. Steve Caudill from Kalispell won the rainbow division with a 5.118-pound rainbow. Rick hunter won the Lake Trout division with a 5.155 pounder.

Steelhead fishing reports on Clearwater River in Idaho have been good. Area anglers that have been going down for a couple of days have reported good fishing. Mike Violette from Lolo caught a nice 22-pound steelhead recently. You can see the picture of that beautiful fish on the home page of www.montanaoutdoor.com
The annual fun hunt for the Golden Triangle Sporting Dog Club will take place this Sunday February 19. If you are looking to break out of the winter boredom and extend your hunting season with a non-competitive bird hunt then take the drive over to Great Falls. You will need your 2005 Montana Upland Bird License, $35 and of course your dog. Contact Wayne at 727-2334 or 454-1050 in the evenings for more information. The clubs web site is www.gtsdc.org.