April is the month where many of us start to enjoy both hunting and fishing. Hunting opportunities start with Spring Turkey season, which opens April 13th, and Spring Bear season that will open April 15th.
The outlook for turkey season is good and the outlook for bear season will be more apparent when the bears start to come out, which is normally closer to May first. The local NRA banquet in Missoula will take place this Friday April 5 at the Doubletree Edgewater. Ticket prices are $40 and can be purchased by contacting Tod Harrison at 406-214-1343. “Last year we had close to 300 attend and we are looking at maybe over that number this year”, said Harrison.
The nice spring weather has fishing reports looking up on the local rivers. The fishing report on Grizzly Hackle’s web site looked like this for Rock Creek, “A good option all over the creek now with stonefly nymphs sizes 8 thru 12, streamers, red collared prince nymphs all sizes, rubber legs, bead head 20 inchers, olive hares ear, all these in 10 and 12.
The upper end of Rock Creek is a great option right now. It’s a bit of a longer drive going up through P-burg, but it’s worth the drive. The fishing report from rcmerc.com for Rock Creek suggest using olive stoneflies on the creek. The Kingfisher fly fishing report for the Blackfoot River, as of Monday, read like this, “The bugs are out and about in greater numbers with the warm-up and the fishing up here reflects that. Caddis and March Browns are taking the most fish for us on top, but the past few days have been streamer happiness for all you depth charge droppers”. If the river continues to rise try the streamers if it falls the dry flies will kick into action. On the Bitterroot River, the skwalas are out and so are the boats. So, make sure you practice your best river etiquette while on the water.
Lake fishing reports keep coming with the spring like conditions. Browns Lake still has ice, but, with the warmer weather, shore anglers might be able to start fishing as the ice moves away from the banks of the lake. At Holter Reservoir, they are using the lower BLM campground boat ramp as well as the Log Gulch campground boat ramp.
As of this past Monday, there were reports of ice still around the Oxbow Bend area of the reservoir, but by the time you read this column the ice more than likely will be off the entire lake. The anglers that have been trolling on Holter are catching trout and the shore anglers by the boat ramps are also starting to catch the trout that are cruising in to spawn.
Dick Zimmer, the Macman from Zimmer Tackle, reported earlier this week that boat anglers were out on east Polson bay on Flathead Lake and they were catching perch. “There is no word on the size and the number of perch that are being caught but there were a lot of boats fishing”, said Zimmer. If the perch are biting now, it should only get better.