Outdoor Recreation Report by Neal Cote with Bob Ward’s 12.20.19
By angelamontana

Posted: December 23, 2019
Well, there is some Elk shoulder seasons still rolling, upland birds still have a few weeks, and waterfowl is still going but has been pretty slow due to the warm temps and lack of snow. Ice fishing in some places is great while the warm weather is making the ice very unstable. Don’t forget to wrap up your Christmas shopping!!!

Fishing

Rivers

Clarkfork- A little flowing ice today, but the afternoons have been good for nymphing. Pheasant Tails, Prince, and all the basic patterns are good bets for sticking a few Whitefish and a Rainbow or two.
Rock Creek- Same as the Clark, with a little more snow and shore ice.
Bitterroot- Nymphing is the ticket here, afternoon are best. Also some streamer fishing in the deeper holes.
Blackfoot- Um, yeah…there are places that are open, but shore ice is pretty sketchy along the canyon. Maybe the upper by Scotty Browns bridge.

Lakes

Georgetown- fishing on and off. Probably best ice locally. There is slush in spots so be careful.
Browns- Ice is OK, but again be careful and check as you go. This one usually fished best before Christmas.
Salmon- has 5” of ice in most places, but fishing has been slow for all fish species.
Seeley- has 4-5”of ice, but be very careful near the inlet and outlet, it can get thin quick.
As for the Helena area lakes, the Regulating Reservoir has been fishing OK and has OK ice, but all the other reservoirs have had open water so if you see ice, take the time to check thickness as you go!!!