Captain’s Column: From Wolf Hunting to Fly Fishing
Last weekend the eastern part of the state had sub-zero temperatures while western Montana remained in the 30’s and 40’s. The ice fishing has remained fairly good from the reports that I have had. “Georgetown lake is producing some salmon off Comer and Finely Points, ‘added Bill Brown from Bob Wards in Missoula, ‘they are fishing in 10-18 feet of water using rocker jigs in black and white and pink and white colors”. Reports out of Browns lake say that the roads sometime is a little bit of a challenge to get travel on and the fishing is fair. Seeley Lake is producing some trout by the outlet.Up north of Missoula and west of Kalispell Bitterroot Lake is starting to produce some kokanee salmon. The lake has 5-6 inches of ice on most of the lake and anglers have been fishing the north and south ends of the lake in deep water in the 240-250 feet range. Typically when fishing that deep you will catch larger kokanee salmon in the 18 inch class. Chancy from Snappys went to Lake Mary Ronan and did well on perch in the 9-10 inch range.
River fishing is starting to pick up. If the nice weather continues in Western Montana it might be a great idea to head out and try your luck in one of our area rivers. You just might find some great fishing and also very few fisherman. Steelhead fishing on the Salmon River in Idaho has been good with smaller steelhead in the 4-8 pound range being caught. The Clearwater River has been low but lately it has started to come up. Anglers are bouncing eggs off the bottom or using jigs with yarn.“The Thompson River was good for me one day and not so good another day”, reports Scott Anderson from the Montana Fishing Company. There have also been reports that the Bitterroot River has been fishing well. Be careful while you are out fishing the rivers they still have ice on their banks in some areas. Make sure you know where you are stepping.
The wolf season ended last Tuesday February 15 in Montana. It appears that we will be coming up far short of the 220 wolf harvest goal the FWP set last fall for all of the states Wolf Management Units combined. Folks interested in where wolves possibly have been in Montana might want to log onto www.northwestwolfsightings.org . This non-profit web site was created by Dr Damon Popovics from Idaho last September. The web site contains a Northwest wolf sighting interactive Google map which shows citizen reports of wolf sightings in the Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. The site was created by Dr Popovics as a place that residents could go to educate themselves about wolf sightings and encounters. Along with the actual sighting of wolves, citizens can also report sightings of wolf scat, wolf tracks, wolf harvest and a wolf killed animal. Although it is impossible to verify 100 percent of the sightings according to Dr Popovics, he does however make an effort to verify information through photos, state fish and game data or mainstream media outlets. Dr Popovics can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org