Ice on Montana Lakes starts Ice Fishing Season

High Elevation Lakes Are Safest To Fish: Helena Area Outdoor Report
By Matt Schauer

Posted: December 22, 2012

Hi, it’s Angie from Bob Ward & Sons in HELENA…with Christmas less than a week away, chances of a WHITE one are very good, but a COLD one is certainly in store, so that’ll mean ICE in our very near future!

The MISSOURI RIVER has some slushing up going on, but if you hang out near the Dam at Wolf Creek, or stick to the river around Craig, you’ll find the usual ice-clear fishing going on. The deeps around islands, up against banks or directly after shallower riffles are where the trout like to retreat, as any experienced MO angler will tell ya! This week, we’re hearing that DARK is the Streamer color of choice, or maybe a little gold…Copper Zonkers, Gold Bling Minnows, & Black Home Invaders have been what’s being fished–as for NYMPHS, tempt ’em with Beaded Midge Pupa, Sow Bugs, Beadhead PMDs, or Scuds…temperatures are in the mid to upper 20’s so bundle up, steer clear of wind, & keep an eye out for ice. If you do float, which is a decent option on the lower river, go slowly & pick the deepest holes you can find!

CANYON FERRY & the Lakes have some ice formation, but aren’t being taken seriously just yet as a place to drill…the higher-up lakes are the safest bet yet! Those would include GEORGETOWN, DELMOE, HYALITE over by Bozeman, HEBGEN or HARRISON Lakes! The RUBY RESERVOIR, DAILEY & ENNIS LAKES & CLARK CANYON have all iced over but are standing at about 3″ of ice, with the points fishing well but conditions out on the water a bit dicey…ENNIS may even have some open water still, so my advce is to head for the high hills if you want to drill! Otherwise, typical winter fishing on the Lakes this week, with spicy Streamer action, or Leech Patterns & Crawdads!

GREAT DIVIDE & SHOWDOWN ski areas are both CLOSED Christmas Day, but skiing great every day from 9:30 to 4 PM up until then, and on the days after, too…take the new equipment Santa brought you from Bob Wards on up to either venue, and get your fill of POWDER!

If you’re not fishing, you should be shopping….Santa needs all the help he can get! Fly by Sunday for the Daiwa D-Shock spinning combo, on SALE, or grab a chest pack or a Hodgman Weir Wader for your favorite angler! Bob Ward’s wishes you and yours the merriest of Christmasses…play hard, stay safe, & be well! I’ll catch you next week!