MT General Fishing Season Opener This Weekend: Captain’s Column (5.14.15)
By angelamontana


The opening of Montana’s general fishing season is this Saturday. Many of the lakes and rivers are open year round in Montana, but this Saturday creeks and some lakes like Georgetown Lake and Lake Mary Ronan are open again for fishing. Georgetown Lake has been ice free for a few weeks which is quite the difference compared to a year ago when the lake still had a good layer of ice on it.”Yes we have open water and we are anticipating a good opening day Saturday and throughout the weekend”, said Bill from the Sunshine Station (406) 859-3450) in Philipsburg.. Lake Mary Ronan anglers are anticipating a good kokanee salmon opener at least that is the way it has been the last couple of years on opening day. In fact last year the bite as so good on opening weekend most anglers spent only about an hour or two on the water before they caught their limit of the tasty salmon. Even though some anglers have their own set-up the standard jigging set- up for anglers on Lake Mary Ronan is a pink for green Swedish pimple with a green or red glow hook about 6 inches below tipped with a piece of white corn and maggot. Some anglers will use that same set-up but tip it with a piece of raw shrimp. The past few years have been very good on opening day on Lake Mary Ronan. If you would like to see first hand how to jig up those tasty kokanee then check out this weeks featured video on fishing for salmon on Lake Mary Ronan on montanaoutdoor.com. Steve Hellegaard and Don Beardsley from Missoula will show you how to catch salmon and Beardsley adds some valuable advice as well on what to look for in the sensitive salmon bite. The video is entertaining and might just help you catch your limit this Saturday so check it out. Reports out of the Clearwater River are starting to pick up for king salmon. Dan Greer from Florence sent a picture to montanaoutdoor.com of a nice 10 pound salmon he caught over the weekend. The king salmon run is up this year and other reports have salmon being caught in the 15 to 18 pound range around Orofino and down river to Lewiston on the Clearwater River.

The trout bite is doing well on Canyon Ferry Reservoir but the walleye bite has been a little slow according to Adam Strainer from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, “   Rainbow trout anglers continue to do well throughout the reservoir. Shoreline anglers are having success at traditional access points using worms, spawn sacks or various bead head fly fishing patterns. Boat anglers are doing well trolling attractors at depths between 5 and 25 feet of water. Walleye fishing has been slow, but look for things to pick up soon throughout the south end and at some locations mid-reservoir.  Some yellow perch are being caught while searching for walleye”.

Last week Arlyn Lemer from Lolo, Alan Evans from Frenchtown and I went over to Holter and had a great day catching nearly 40 walleye. They were small with the biggest being only 15 inches. We were using a jig and a leech or night crawler in about 27 feet of water 400 yards downriver into the Gates of the Mountain entrance on the right side of the river.

This weekend is also the final weekend of Spring Mack Days and my son William and I will be doing the Montana Outdoor Radio Show live from Polson at the Kwa Taq Nuk Resort and Casino this Saturday morning from 6-8am.

(Written by the Captain – aka Mark Ward)






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