Elk Hunting Season in Montana

Hunting and Fishing Opportunities Abound: Captain’s Column
By Matt Schauer


November is upon us.  Halloween is behind us and the valley has already experienced its first dusting of snow. Hunters have been out in force the last couple of weeks and some have been successful.

I am still looking for my elk. I am going to go out and try my luck again this week, so maybe by the time this column hits the news stands on Thursday, my elk tag will be filled.

Hunting is certainly on a lot of folks mind, but a few anglers that have not put their fishing gear away for the winter.  They are still having success in the area rivers and lakes. Chancy from Snappy’s in Kalispell reports the fishing is great. The whitefish are biting on the Flathead River north of Flathead Lake.

“Lake Mary Ronan has been fishing very well despite the colder temperatures,” Chancy said.

Fall Mack days are in their final days and the lake trout are now in the shallow water and anglers are catching them trolling or jigging.

Over in the Helena area Angie from Bob Wards reports with the weather warming up a little, this week, the Missouri River fishing should pick up. Streamer fishing is getting better and better, so get out the natural-colored zonkers, Pearl Minnows or your best black home invader and sink your tips. Baetis continues to be the liveliest bug, just be sure to stick to around size 18.

“Nymphing is scandalously good right now, at a depth of about 4 feet, with lightning bugs, worm and egg imitations used as a reliable go-to,” Angie said.

Miracle nymphs, pheasant tails, or an emerger in size 14-16 might work well to on the Missouri River. Canyon Ferry Reservoir is still seeing some good fishing. There are not many anglers out fishing so you might have the lake to yourself. Sharon from Silos RV on the south end of the lake says you can fish shallow or deep for walleyes.

Sharon reports, “the trout fishing is still good. Walleye fishing is good at the mouth of the river where you will need a flat bottom boat like a jet boat because of the water depths. Remember the Walleyes are hit and miss, if the mouth of the river doesn’t produce then you might try fishing deep 30 to 50 feet down by White Earth or Round Top toward the middle of the reservoir. Most people are using worm harnesses with bottom bouncers.”

If your hunting travels take you hunting mule deer by Fort Peck Reservoir and you can also trailer a boat, then you might find northern fishing a lot of fun! Bill from Rock Creek Marina had this report recently from the lake.

“Fishing is still pretty good. The northern fishing continues and they are biting on anything. A lot of guys are using cranks and minnows. Some guys are catching limits on walleyes. Some guys have caught 4 pounders,” Bill says. “Fishermen are catching nice size lake trout at Haxby Point and at the face of the dam.”

Wherever your outdoor activity takes you be safe and good luck!

-Captain






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