Rampant Rainbows-Montana Spring Fishing: Captain’s Column
By angelamontana


(Photo courtesy of angelamontana)

Lakes all across Montana are freeing themselves of ice. This past week, I cleaned the dust off my boat and fishing gear and headed out to the open water of Holter Reservoir. This was my first fishing trip of the year, and a trip to Holter has become an annual outing for me. I look forward to it, because it marks the start of my fishing season, and most of the time I catch fish.

This year, Don Beardsley and Dick Chrest, from Missoula, went with me. The day we went over last week was a bluebird day. The fishing on Holter was slower than I expected even though at the end of the day we boated 12 trout and probably lost as many up to the boat. The trout that day were biting on brown trout, brook trout, and orange/white colored rapalas. We had an occasionally bite also on a green needle fish. Most of the fish that we caught were off my two downriggers that were set at 11 feet depth. What was unusual about this day on the water was that we didn’t catch any fish long lining rapalas about 100 feet in back of the boat. The reason for this might have been that the rapala lures didn’t go deeper enough for the active trout.

Last Sunday, I decided to give Holter another try, and, this time, Angela, the Digital Editor, from montanaoutdoor.com and her boyfriend, Jason Maxwell, came along to try their luck catching trout.  This time, the skies were overcast, and there was a threat of rain for most of the day. We were on the water by 10:30 and the trout started to bite right away. On Sunday, the main lures that were effective in catching trout happen to be a green needlefish and the fire tiger syclops. The rapalas for some reason were not nearly as effective as they were just a few days before. We ended the day at 2:45 with our limit of 15 trout. You can read all about on montanaoutdoor.com.

The fishing reports all across the Helena area are that the trout are biting on Canyon Ferry and Hauser Reservoir too! Ice is off all the lakes in that area and shore and boat anglers are catching trout. “We have had reports of walleyes biting over on pond one and two”, reported Sharon from Silos Rv on the south end of Canyon Ferry.

Bob Orsua from Mo Fisch Charters reported in an e-mail that the lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake is good, “The fish have moved north to the delta area just south of the river mouth. This time of year when the runoff starts the fish move to the more oxygenated water and the colder temperature, also the minnows that get flushed down the river this time of year. Start looking for fish anywhere from 80ft. of water out to 300 feet of water.

Try trolling the stingfish from Pro-Troll. Size 15-51/2” long #385 chrome blue and #351 Rainbow trout have been working good. Remember troll these stingfish very slow, 1 mph, right on the bottom”.






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