It is Christmas day, and I hope that your holiday season has been a good one so far. Many of you have some extended time off of work and school the next few days. The weather has been a little inconsistent with mostly warmer days for this time of the year leading up to today. If you have been busy trying to get ready for Christmas you might not have had the time to pay attention to what lakes have ice.
This has been such a unpredictable winter that for the next few days there will be some lakes that will be able to offer both hard and open water. Yes, it has been that sort of winter weather, so far. Georgetown Lake has reasonable ice. The anglers that have reported to me say they have days when the kokanee salmon are really on the bite. Then, the next day, somebody reports that they hardly had a bite. There is one thing for certain for the next few days on Georgetown Lake, there will be a lot of angler activity so it might be a good idea to plan a trip because with all that activity you will find out first hand if the fish are on biting.
I have heard reports that the ice is only 3 inches on Lake Mary Ronan. In fact a couple of days ago Dick Zimmer reported that there was even some open water on the lake. Because ice and open water conditions change from day to day, Zimmer would be a good contact if you plan on fishing some of the lakes around Pablo. He can be reached at 406-250-0241. “The Crow Reservoir still has ice and trout fishing has been fair with some days being better than others”, added Zimmer.
Flathead Lake has mostly open water but if you do find ice it probably would be in the East Polson Bay but use caution. The lake trout have come off the spawn so they are now deeper and more spread out. You can fish by boat but watch for ice on the boat ramps.
The same open water conditions are currently over in Helena area. Both Trevor Johnson from Kits Tackle in Helena and Leonard from Roberts Bait and Tackle out of Great Falls told me that all the main reservoirs from Canyon Ferry to Hauser and Holter still have plenty of open water. “The trout fishing was fantastic last week as my dad and I took the boat on Holter we ended up catching over 60 trout and a couple of nice walleyes on Friday,” said Johnson. However these conditions might not last long. You might only have a couple more days of open water because the weatherman calls for some ice making temperatures starting on Sunday.
John Harris’s last report from Trout Creek by Noxon Reservoir indicated they were waiting on ice and snow up in that area in Western Montana too.
I plan on heading to Tiber Reservoir which is north of Great Falls on Saturday for a couple of days of ice fishing. I have heard reports that they have ice on the Willow Creek and Bootlegger arms but the main lake by the dam was still open. If you plan on going fishing call a local bait shop or sporting goods store for current conditions on the lake before you head out and have a safe and happy holidays.
(Written by the Captain)