Fishing might be taking a back seat to all the concerts this week in Missoula and the Western Montana Fair. If you can find the time head out to the water and wet a line it might be productive and a nice break from the crowds.
Last week in my column, I mentioned that the smallmouth bass fishing on the Flathead River would begin to be good when the river flow stabilized. Fishing reports recently have indicated that to be true as the river flow is now around 9000 cubic feet per second.
Orion and Roman with their pike
“The smallmouth bass fishing is way on”, said Shawn Plakke who fishes the river where it flows into the Clark Fork River on a regular basis this time of year. Plakke said that he and his son Orion, along with Orion’s buddy, fellow baseball All Star Roman Sparks had a great time last weekend. “The two kids paired up after they realized they hooked a nice pike,” he said, “They took turns reeling it in and had a great time”. Plakke said that they experienced good smallmouth bass fishing using a floating jig tipped with a crawler or crawdad meat off the bottom. Brandt Hamernick also has had some good days on the Flathead River recently. “The bass were biting pretty well and I even saw a rattlesnake swimming the river”, he added, “That was a first for me so I snapped a photo of it with my phone”. You may view the pictures of the rattlesnake along with some nice bass and the kid’s northern pike on montanaoutdoor.com
a rattlesnake swimming in the Flathead River…
John Perry my outfitter friend sent me this e-mail on fishing the Blackfoot River and Rock Creek, “Spruce moth action is in full force on the Blackfoot and Rock Creek. Size 10 splayed winged tan elk hair caddis is currently a great pattern to use”. Perry recommends that you fish the rivers early in the day or early evening and give yourself and the fish a break in the hot afternoons.
The fishing reports for whitefish from Flathead Lake have not been good. Anglers that I have spoken with have caught a whitefish here and there but nothing that would indicate the bite is on. I did hear a lake trout fishing report from Jim Johnson of Lincoln, “We fished last Sunday for about 6 hours in 80-110 feet of water and only picked up one 27 inch lake trout”. Johnson was using the whole bait set-up off the bottom and tried different depths and locations around Finley Point but couldn’t get the fish to bite. The whole-bait set-up is a method of fishing for lake trout that is normally effective this time of year on Flathead Lake. Trolling for the lake trout might be a good option as the fish seem to be suspended. Try trolling a squid or a flatfish behind a flasher for best results. Some spots that you might try around the lake are around Wild Horse Island on the west shore or up in the River Delta on the north end of the lake.