Hunting season is going well for some of the folks who’ve told their tale at our hunting counters. We hope to hear many more stories, but we need some snow first.
The elk and deer numbers are down from last year by 15% across the state, but there are still big elk being taken. Early season scouting reports place a lot of elk in the Highlands this year. Several good size bull elk were taken last weekend near the Bernice/Basin area. If you head down to the southern part of the Bitterroot you might just have some luck, too.
Bird hunters watch out for bear, they seem to be out in full force to get ready for winter. They are still getting a few birds up north, but the best is over in eastern Montana by Great Falls. You will see lots of small birds in second hatch.
Beaver opens on November 1st for trapping districts 1, 2, and 3. November 15th marks the opening of the Bison season.
Certain hunting districts in Northern Montana have closed because of epizootic hemorrhagic disease. This disease has taken a toll on the whitetail population and has led the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to close some districts. The hunting districts are 400, 401, 403, 404 and 406.
Make sure you are checking your hunting area quotas for Mountain Lion and Wolf.
Holding Helena Reservoir: The salmon run has slowed way down but the good news is the perch bite has picked up close to shore. The ling are getting more active towards the evenings.
Missouri river: The ticket on the Missouri river is nymphs of all sorts. Hoppers and anything streamers: fire bead, hot bead, hot head, orange bead, etc. The bite has been steady from dusk till dawn so get out while the fishing is good!
Canyon Ferry: Rainbow trout are biting on just worms and marshmallows. The walleye bite is picking up in a big way. Floating green and yellow jigs seem to be the key. Some say a lavender blade is working fairly well.
Hauser Lake: Below the dam and along steep banks of Hauser Lake, walleye have picked up big as well. Same floating green and yellow jigs with a worm or leaches are working really well. Fishing from shore is also picking using the same jig heads. Walleye fishing at the Causeway is good; using the jig leach set-up.
(Report by Ryan Corwin-Bob Ward and Sons; Cover photo: lewisandclarkexpeditions.com)