Bozeman/Butte Recreation Report by Bob Ward and Sons-12.6.13
By angelamontana

Posted: December 6, 2013


Hunting season is over for most of us and we hope you had one heck of a great season! Archery is still on in the river bottoms so get your cold weather camo and head out. Also still on tap is upland game bird, fall turkey, waterfowl, winter mountain lion and wolf seasons.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks set up an online permitting system to legally take possession of road-killed big game (deer, elk, antelope and moose). This website went operational on Tuesday. Anyone who wants to claim one of those animals they find dead can fill out the online permit, which is free, within 24 hours. State law enforcement officers will also have permits available if they are called to the site. To get your permit go to

Remember to check your area for restrictions, closures, and alerts.



If you are heading out to the rivers please be careful and dress appropriately. We have Korkers ice cleats that are great for walking on ice.

The name of the game for a while is going to be nymphing. Head out with cooper bobs, rubber legs, san juan worms, lighting bugs, bh prince nymphs, and egg patterns.

Streamers will work in some deeper pockets along with sculpins (try the dead drift technique) and definitely pair some of the worms with smaller stone flies.

Right now nothing to report on lakes but we will keep you posted as the season progresses.

Fishing is getting better for those who like to ice fish. Browns Lake has 4″-5″ of ice and Georgetown Lake has 5″-8″ of ice as well. This weekend will be cold so its time to hit the ice.


A few more weeks of cold weather should firm up the ice on most reservoirs of SW Montana. Ice fishing is progressing on Georgetown Lake this week but most fishermen are waiting for the ice to thicken a few more inches. Kokanee fishermen are busy during the early morning hours at Georgetown and are catching a few fish although the ice is thin around the pumphouse. Glo hooks and maggots are great for for catching kokanee, along with cocktail shrimp.

Clark canyon reservoir is frozen and several ice shacks have been locked down for the season. The ling fishermen as well as the trout fishermen are heading out early this season. The ling activity has been good at the south end of the lake at red rocks. Deep water fishermen are reporting catching ling in deep water near the damn.

The Ruby Reservoir is frozen and the rainbow trout are biting. Zinc blue Swedish pimples are an excellent choice for jigging on the Ruby as well as maggots. Nightcrawlers with garlic marshmallows are great in the river channel.

Fall/Winter Sport:

Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Opening day November 28, 2013 Snow depth : 29 inches upper mountain, 20 inches mid mountain, with 5 inches new snow in the last 24 hours. .

Bridger Bowl projected opening date is December 6, 2013. Sporting two new triple chairs for the season. The snow is coming. Bridger has a 42 inch base.

Opening day scheduled for discovery ski resort is planned for Dec 14th, some slopes still need additional snow to open. 5 pack passes are now on sale.

(Report by Ryan Corwin-Bob Ward and Sons)