The ice fishing season is winding down and it appears that the perch fishing is still good up in northwest Montana, at for anglers participating in the Perch Pounder. “Fishing has been very good and the fish that they are bringing in are bigger than the first two weeks”, said Gene Fincher the organizer of the annual month long fishing contest. This week two of the perch that were brought in took over the overall first and second places for the Pounder. First place – Chance Evenson is now in first place with a 1.956 pound perch (pictured on the left), and second place is now owned by Jack Hagel with a 1.920 pound perch. We have 130 anglers registered so far and we are still taking registrations, but this is the final week, “added Fincher, “We wrap everything up this Saturday with an awards ceremony and perch fish fry at the Scoreboard Pub in Kalispell”.
Anglers are on the rivers and having some success John Perry, from johnperryflyfishing.com, e-mailed me this fishing report on the Missoula Area Rivers and the Missouri River over by Wolf Creek, “ Here is a little fly fishing report from some of my favorite rivers. Rock Creek has been fair to good with Pat’s rubber legs size 10 and 12 –dead drifting. Best colors are dark brown and black. Best time of day seems to be from about noon until 4 pm. Some fly fishers are having success using dry midge patterns up in the Microburst area.
The Bitterroot has been fair to good with very small dries during warmth of the day and hot and cold fishing with medium to small sized simple nymphs in bright colors.
I would say the best bet for consistent fishing now is the Missouri up by the dam above Wolf Creek Bridge. All kinds and colors of nymphs are catching fish – either single or double nymphing. If you catch a calm day you will have a chance with dry midge action. Slow stripped streamer action is still good-best colors are off white, brown, and olive”.
Steelhead fishing reports have been hit and miss from Idaho. Tom Steinbrenner from Missoula spent last weekend fishing with Bill Scullion and Gary Thompson from Lolo on the Clearwater River by Orofino. “We fished below the Orofino Bridge to about Pink House on the Clearwater and did well”, added Steinbrenner, “Saturday was slower than Sunday but Sunday ended up being one of the better days that I have had this year”.. Steinbrenner fly fished as he side drifted using a bobber while fishing the seams with hand tied egg patterns. “There are about half the fish as last year but if you have had success catching steelhead in the past you should still catch fish”. The North Fork stretch of river catch rate is slow according Steinbrenner.
Wolf season closes February 28, and the harvest rate is climbing with most of the wolves as of late harvested by trappers. 207 wolves have been harvested with 86 coming from trappers as of Monday according to FWP.