Water fowl is doing well. The ponds and backwaters on the river are freezing up or frozen. The birds are coming down from the north, so get out there and have some fun. Upland Game Bird season continues until January 1st and duck & geese can be hunted until early January. Check closing dates for your preferred areas.
Keep in mind varmint hunting season is now open and will continue into early 2015. Bob Ward’s is stocked with the ammo, firearms, and calls you need.
The weather is such that, if we see the daily highs around 40 degrees, the Gallatin River, Hyalite Reservoir, Madison Rivers, Pine Creek, Cottonwood Creek, and Cherry Creek will all be primed for nymphing. The cold has slowed the bite so as it warms the fish should be hungry. Keep ice fishing at the front of your mind as the mountain lakes are freezing over.
Ice fishing season is beginning to get underway in SW Montana. The biggest problem has been finding maggots to fish with.
Georgetown Lake was reporting over 9” of ice on most of the lake with freezing temperatures to sustain ice each night. Rainbow Bay, Denton Point, and the Pumphouse are being fihed. Vertical jigs, Ratfinkees, and nuclear ants have been good choices for tackle. Nightcrawlers with garlic marsmallows are a good choice for bait.
Clark Canyon near Dillon is still open water at the present time, but bank fishing has been good. Nightcrawlers and suckermeat are good choices for the trout and ling respectively.
Delmoe Reservoir is frozen over but have not heard how it is fishing. Glo hooks and maggots are always a good bet if you can find the maggots. Blue Swedish Pimples or vertical Rapalas are a good choice of lures.
The Ruby Reservior was frozen over but recent warming temperatures have created open water on the dam end of the lake with receding ice conditions around the shoreline. Locals are hoping for end of December ice fishing.
The Beaverhead River below Pipe Organ Bridge is open and fishing fair. Bait and spinners or crankbait are you best options. Nymphing or streamers are working well for the fly anglers.
The Jefferson River has been plagued with ice flows.
Bridger Bowl is close to opening on December 5th. Has a 23 inch base already but be careful as early season conditions do still exist.
Big Sky and Moonlight opened over Thanksgiving and is slowly expanding its open terrain. They currently have 7% of the mountain open with 394 acres of terrain open.
(Report by Ryan Corwin-Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors)