Spring has arrived! At least that is what my calendar tells me regardless of how the weather is outside. One sign of spring is most of the ice fishing reports that I am getting now are really simple to give: “Stay off the ice”. That is certainly the case for most of the lakes but there are two exceptions. “Georgetown Lake is still fishing well through the ice for kokanee salmon and trout”, reports Bill Brown from Bob Wards in Missoula. “The kokanee salmon fishing is excellent right now on Bitterroot Lake west of Kalispell,” added Chancy from Snappys, “most of the lake is still producing some good fishing and sometimes the kokanee are right below the ice in 100 feet of water”. I received those reports a couple of days ago so it would be wise to call and check on the current ice conditions before you head out.
Open water is starting to appear on some of the lakes. Flathead Lake is open and Spring Mack Days anglers are do well. Spring Mac Mania has been cancelled Call Gene Fincher for more information at 406-261-6445.
Steelhead fishing has continued to be good in Idaho. “Steelhead anglers are catching fish up and down the Clearwater River on the north and the south fork”, added Brown, “a lot of anglers are simply using a bead and a hook”. The steelhead count is up and so are the river flows so you will need to adjust your fishing method and techniques to stay on or near the bottom.
Ice is off from the Gates of Mountains on Holter Reservoir to Cottonwood Creek. Anglers are using the boat ramp at the Gates and fishing for trout and walleye. On some of the reservoirs over by Helena there is open water near shore and shore anglers are having some success in catching the trout that are coming in close to shore as they start their spring spawn.
The report out of Rock Creek just east of Missoula is the fly fishers are still waiting for dry fly fishing to improve. “I think we are still a little ways away but nymph fishing has been good”, added John from his RCMERC.com fishing report last weekend, “I recommend fishing Hare’s Ears, Prince Nymphs and San Juans”, John also says that streamer fishing has been doing very well on the creek. The optimal fishing time is from 11am till 4pm and that time will vary depending on where you are fishing on Rock Creek.