Posts by angelamontana:
The anticipation for the opening of fishing in May is always high at Lake Mary Ronan. The popular lake just west of Flathead Lake by the town of Proctor has its regulars that have not missed an opening day for many years. “My father in law has not missed an opening day here at Lake Mary Ronan for 40 years,” said Allan Evans from Missoula, “This was his 40th year in a row”. The Evans clan ended up catching and keeping 53 salmon on Saturday and Sunday.
I received a text from Jens Gran of Polson on Saturday it read simply, “Limited in 30 minutes”. Later in the day on Saturday, Jeff Smith from Missoula called, “Everybody is catching fish some folks are done fishing in 20 minutes”.
That was enough to get me excited to head up on Sunday. Angela, from montanaoutdoor.com, and her boyfriend, Jason Maxwell, decided that they would like to try their luck at catching kokanee salmon. It would be their first trip ever to Lake Mary Ronan.
We got on the water by 9:30, and by 11:30 we had our 30 salmon limit. Jason caught the first salmon within minutes. It took Angela a little longer, but with the help of the self-proclaimed Lake Mary Ronan Guru, Jens Gran, she quickly got the hang of the soft biting kokanee. We were using raw shrimp and shrimp oil on a glow hook and a Swedish pimple. We were fishing in 27 feet of water right in front of Camp Tuffitt.
When the fish are biting like that it was an easy decision go fishing again, so on Monday, I planned another trip to Lake Mary Ronan. This trip Steve Hellegaard and Don Beardsley from Missoula and Dick Zimmer from Zimmer’s Tackle joined me. The fishing was even better.
We had our limit of 40 fish in 50 minutes. After the cooler was full we decided to stay a while longer and catch release some salmon, all the while experimenting by using no bait on our glow hooks. The salmon were on the bite, and they hit the bait-less glow hook as if it had shrimp, corn or a maggot tipped on it.
I don’t know how long this exciting salmon bite will last but some of the so-called local experts think it might be going on for a couple more weeks. At one point, Zimmer experimented with a night crawler tipped on a larger green lure to see if he could catch a trout, he was not successful. But, he did end up catching a couple of larger sized kokanee. The average sizes of the fish are running 10-12 inches in length.
If you like a lot of action, Lake Mary Ronan might be a good bet to head for fishing this Memorial Day Weekend. There are, of course, other lakes for you to head to if you want to catch fish this weekend.
Spring Mack Days is over on Flathead Lake, but that doesn’t mean the lake trout have quit biting, and Zimmer also mentioned that he heard that some anglers were catching perch in east Polson Bay on Flathead Lake.
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend no matter where you go fishing!
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds residents to leave deer fawns and other young wildlife where you find them this spring.
It is natural for adult deer and elk to leave their young alone for extended periods of time while they are searching for food, so what appears to be an orphaned animal usually is not.
Young animals picked up by people are often abandoned by adult animals once human scent is transferred to them. Leaving animals alone is the best way to ensure that young wildlife is raised as nature intended—in the wild. So just remember the mantra of wildlife experts: “If you care, leave them there.”
FWP also reminds dog owners to keep their pets leashed or close to their side this spring and summer so they don’t chase, injure or stress young wildlife. To learn more about living with Montana’s wildlife, visit the FWP Wild Things Web page at fwp.mt.gov and click on Living with Wildlife.(Report by Vivaca Crowser – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)
The 2013 Canyon Ferry Reservoir walleye spawning survey officially came to a close on May 8th. The survey was marked by many tough days battling traps in extreme weather, which meant many days of setting and resetting traps. FWP crews tagged 338 walleye this spring, down from 448 in 2012, with fish averaging 14.9-inches. There were 24 females (7%) sampled, with the largest at 24.6-inches and 6.5-pounds.
Over half of the ‘new’ walleye were captured from April 26th to 28th (55%), just after the full moon period, and another large portion of the catch occurred in April during an early warming trend. Considering how many days traps were pushed to shore to avoid weather, we captured quite a few walleye. Ten total northern pike were sampled in 2013 which averaged 38.4-inches and 17.4-pounds.
Please contact me if you have any question or are interested in volunteering at any time during the summer months. Thanks.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
The big news is the kokanee fishing at Lake Mary Ronan. If you haven’t caught a limit of fish in an hour or less you are doing something wrong. The Zimmer salmon Ready to Go has a rate of nearly 2 to 1 out-fished any other setups. The great Captain Catch’em (Mark Ward) of the Outdoor Radio Program will probably reluctantly verify that boast. You can catch them on anything from night crawlers to raw shrimp but we preferred maggots because they stayed on the hook a little better. The Captain was experimenting with a bare glow hook and still caught fish.
We were in a 25 foot depth in front of Camp Tuffit on the Northeast part of the lake. Chumming with corn doesn’t hurt. I used some scented with shrimp which I shared with a pair of mallards. I hope they change their friendly ways before next hunting season.
Last Sunday in the latter part of our day I spent fishing with my son (Macman Junior) just east of the Somers public boat ramp near the last shoreline is land in that chain. We were fishing in depths of 10 to 11 feet using wholefish setups and plastic covered jigs tipped with cutbait. Andrew was fishing with his boss and his 2 sons in a separate boat. It was refreshing to hear the excited squeals of those two young boys every time they hooked and landed a mackinaw 2 of which were slot limit fish. They ended up keeping 5 fish. I kept 8 all of which were over 3 Lbs. I released at least that many smaller fish 2 of which were bull trout. Considering the time of day and the size of the fish I was impressed with our afternoon there.
If you are interested in fishing for these lakers with a possibility of bull trout and pike in this shallow water, keep in mind that the surface temperature needs to be at or below 55 degrees for good fish activity. You’ll find the water temp cooler farther East but also muddier until you get to the Bigfork side of the bay where it clears up due to the clean water from the Swan River. A 10 foot water depth seems to be the magic number.
Bait fishing has been great in Polson Bay for the last 2 weeks. We’ve filled cooler after cooler on a no name point about 2 miles from the Polson boat landing on the west side of the bay. Our fish so far have been a combination of pike minnows (Sq.fish) and peamouth. A 2 hook setup tipped with nightcrawlers is effective. The bait fishing from and around the west end of the Armed Forces Memorial Bridge if not already will shortly kick in. Here you’ll be targeting large spawning pike minnows and suckers. Catching these large fish in this fast water can be a real workout. Also during this period there’s an opportunity for fly fishermen to pick up cutthroat trout that move into the area t his time of year. We sell the $10.00 commercial bait fishing licenses and pay $.60 a pound for large fish and $.20 each for fish between 5 and 8 inches.
For more information call us at 406-675-0068 or email us at: email@example.com
Check out our product line at: www.zimmertackle.com
If you’d like to be on our email list for an occasional fishing report contact my wife at any of the above sites.
Report compiled by Carol Henckel
Remember that Spring brings about some changing conditions so please be aware of wind and sudden changes of weather. Remember to be water safe with life jackets and sunscreen. Safety is the main concern. Get out and enjoy the fishing. See you on the water. Walleyes Forever of Montana.
MBill -Rock Creek Marina 1-406-485-2560
“Fishing has been good. Some people left catching 40 to 50 walleyes. I saw 2 that were 30 inches and one 27 inches,” Bill says. Orange jigs with black eyes and minnows seem to work. Worm harness are working.
Walleyes are being caught shallow at 5 to 15 feet. The days have been overcast this week. Lots of Northern Pike being caught. Some nice small mouth being caught as well. I have lots of nice fatheads right now.
Tongue River Reservoir- Bob Peterson
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Colton
“Crappies have started to turn on. They are nice size some 14 inches and above with the majority bigger. Walleye fishing has been
fantastic. Some are nice size at 2 to 5 pound. It has been really good using worm harnesses. A jig and minnow is working as well but they really like leeches. Perch have been steady. They are small but good, ”Colton says.
Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345
Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir
“Good fishing for Northern Pike, walleye and bass are being found in shallow at 4 to 15 feet.Seems to be you get a limit on anythingyou fish for right now. The best places are Sutherland and Snow Creek. Small mouth bass are at 6 to 10 feet in shallow. Spoons are working shallow on pike,” Clint says.
Gene Moore Lake Ridge Motel 1-406-526-3597
Gene Moore, of Lake Ridge says,” Northern Pike are being caught everywhere it seems. Dry arm good for walleye using smelt and a minnow. Lake trout are picking up. Lindy’s are also working.” The dry arm is good for walleye with smelt and minnow. Duck Creek, Bear Creek and Jennings Point are picking up for walleye and northern.Spawn is pretty much done”
Lake Elmo Billings
Lake Elmo is back up after the repairs. The headgate has been repaired now. The water is higher than people have seen in a long time. People can fish and are catching trout and a few catfish.
Cooney Reservoir Jenny
Glena says, “This weekend it was the monsoons out there so not much luck fishing. Some are catching from shore trout. Walleye fishing has picked up by the dam. Walleyes are going deep and they are a look alike minnow trolling. Deep divers rapella has brought good luck. The lake is rising with the rain.”
Fishing is so so at best at Deadmans. Some people are catching a few rainbows.
“Tough fishing at Martinsdale. Fair to okay catching,” Justin said.
The river is higher and muddy but not flood stage.
Don’s Lewistown- Dale
Spring Creek is off color. People are using the “local ties” as well and nymphs. ”Achley Lake is doing well. Fishing well with spin rod and fly fishing rod. Shore fishing for trout is good bait fishing, spin fishing and also using flies,” Dale says. The Missouri has been doing extremely well for catfish. Use standard catfish bait, fish the holes with live minnows for catches.
Due to water levels being too low you cannot fish or use your boat at Crooked Creek. The marina will not be open. It is closed but cabins are still available for other uses just call 1-406-429-2999.
There is a good hatch of may flies on Spring Creek and people are catching trout.
Missouri river doing well you can catch catfish, walleye and northerns off the shore. They are using a hook and sinker and minnows. Water is really muddy.
Minnow Bucket-Allen Camarillo 861-0156
The Yellowstone has blown up. It is dirty, dirty and rising Try Huntley and down for catfish,” Allen says. “Hit the lakes as the river is way too muddy. I caught catfish at the face of the dam using a slip bobber yesterday.”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“Fishing has been excellent for walleyes. Go shallow on the South end on both sides you will get a bite. Rainbows are good fishing right now.
Cranks, bottom bouncers and worms are working right now. The lake is up and the water is cloudy. It is up 8 to 10 inches and is continuing to fill. Broadway Rod and Gun Tournament is moved to Canyon Ferry this year instead of Goose Bay on July 12 th ”,Sharon says.
West Side Sports Dan 1-406-654-1611
“Nelson is fishing good with bottom bouncers nd a night crawler. Some are using worm harnesses for pike, Dan says. “The ditches are bringing in some muddy water. The fisherman are using cranks at 8 to 30 feet,” Dan says.
Forchette is low like Crooked Creek. The ramp could be too low o get into.
Rock Creek at Fort Peck is fishing a shallow bite. They are catching walleye and pike. Bug Creek has nice small mouth.
Cooney is good fishing pre rain. They are using slow death with gulp crawlers.
Hell Creek is picking up again.
Nelson Reservoir is really good. Some have caught 18 inch walleye.
Petrolia is doing well jigging for walleye. I have seen evidence of 6 pound walleye caught. The river is blown out and way too muddy. Just not safe a lot of debris.
Still might catch some catfish.
Rich’s Tackle – Richard
We now have snow in the Snowies, Spanish peaks and the Tabacco mountains.
Rivers are muddy so not great fishing.
Yellowtail/ Big Horn –Dave Egdorf 406-665-3489
“We have had a wet, rainy really ugly week with wind and lots of rain,” Dave says.
“Walleye on the Yellowtail has slowed down and the spawning has slowed down. It is active in the wee hour in the am and pm. Use a jig with a minnow. A few crappies are being caught. Not real big though, “Dave explains.
Willow Creek Reservoir- “They are catching nice rainbow trout, “ Dave says.
Big Horn has had the bite warmed up. It has been good with a variety of bug life. Midge and cattis action. The fish are lower down from the reservoir.
Yellowstone is muddy and slowing down.
Are you in the market for a new truck, but you don’t want to lose any beefiness? Well, according to the following article, written by Justin Houston, Chevies are where you should start!
See how Houston believes you can keep your ride macho without losing functionality:
What we drive is as much of an extension of our personalities as the clothes we wear, the politicians we vote for and the stores we shop in. And, let’s face it, guys: We care more than our wives and kids do about what our cars say about us.
Here are a few Man Vehicles, starting with the a couple from the 2013 Chevy lineup, that can double as a taxi for the kids yet still be macho rides.
2013 Chevrolet Silverado K15 4WD — It gets 18 mpg on the highway, which for a four-wheel drive truck, is pretty decent. It has four doors, so there is plenty of room for the kids in the back. If you add a cap on the back, your camping gear won’t get wet in the rain. Remove the cap and your kid taxi transforms into a work truck with enough space to haul employees around.
2013 Chevrolet Express 1500 2WD Passenger — This is more for the father who needs to haul around tools or tow a boat or camper, but it still has plenty of room for the kids. While it gets the poorest gas mileage of everything on the list at 13 mpg on the highway, it is highly versatile and comfortable. Remove the last row of seats when you need to haul things other than people.
2013 Ford F150 Raptor Pickup 4WD — Ford’s Baja crusher isn’t great on gas, at 16 mpg highway, but it is cool. Its aggressive stance, big tires and sophisticated suspension make is as good off-road as it is on. Available with four doors, it can also haul the kids around.
2013 GMC Sierra 15 Hybrid 4WD — The Sierra beats out both Chevy and Ford for fuel mileage, getting 23 mpg on the highway. This is also a great double-duty truck, with plenty of room for the kids in the four-door model, and plenty of get-up-and-go for towing or work.
2013 Honda Ridgeline Truck 4WD — Honda’s pickup straddles the line of toughness and functionality. It gets 21 mpg on the highway in four-wheel drive. This truck also has four doors, making it super easy to add car seats or to use it for work, towing or other heavy-duty “dad stuff,” even though the bed is a bit shorter than the domestics.
2013 Nissan Titan 4WD — At only 17 mpg on the highway, the Titan is down at the bottom end with Ford as far as fuel mileage. But with its four doors and decent size bed, it makes a great truck for towing, working and as a kid taxi.
2013 Lexus RX 450h — The luxury SUV beats out most others on this list, but it is a hybrid and is not four-wheel drive. That doesn’t mean it’s not versatile, though. At 28 mpg, you can go far, fit the kids in the back and have room in the rear of this SUV to haul fishing gear, camping gear or tools.
2013 Ford Explorer AWD FFV — The Explorer is perfect for those families who insist on a flex fuel vehicle. While running on regular fuel, the Ford Explorer gets 23 mpg on the highway; however, if you use E85, the fuel mileage drops to 17 mpg on the highway. With plenty of room in the back for the family, this all-wheel-drive vehicle will take you anywhere you need to go.
2013 Mazda 5 — The crossover gets an impressive 28 mpg on the highway and is perfect for hauling kids to school functions or for taking the entire family on a long trip. Dads also have space in the rear to store camping gear, fishing gear or tools if they need to use the vehicle for work.
*all MPG stats are courtesy of www.fueleconomy.gov.(Post written by Justin Houston)
FORSYTH, Mont.– A black bear that had been sighted several times since Sunday, including within the city limits of Forsyth was shot and killed Tuesday morning, May 21. The bear was killed a short distance northeast of Forsyth by a local rancher. The rancher believed the bear was threatening livestock. The male bear weighed 190 pounds and was probably searching for new territory.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists are seeing an increase in black bear activity in southeast Montana. Consequently FWP has increased fall black bear harvest quota. Sightings may become more frequent. Warden, Matt Hagedorn states, “ A bear cannot be shot simply because it is sighted near livestock, however, state law says people are not held to criminal liability for the taking of wildlife… if the wildlife is attacking, killing, or threatening to kill a person or livestock.”
FWP urges people who live in areas frequented by bears to make their properties unattractive to bears. Bears that find nothing to eat are likely to move elsewhere.
To keep from attracting bears, people should:
· Keep all garbage indoors or in a bear proof container.
· Thoroughly clean barbecue grills and move them indoors when they are not in use.
· Take down songbird feeders.
· Store horse and pet food in a secure shed. Never leave pet food out overnight.
· Pick up and dispose of rotting fruit or vegetables left from last year’s trees and gardens.
If you, or anybody you know, thinks for a second that there are not any really big monster browns in Rock Creek, then think again!
According to a post on flyfishmissoula.blogspot.com, Ben Hahn was fishing with RFO guide Zack Lazzarri and caught a 29″ brown trout on Rock Creek this past Sunday!
Hahn released the monster fish, so there is the chance it might get caught again! All I can say is holy cow–or holy FISH rather!!
Rock on, Ben!
You have probably wondered what women keep in their purses–especially the bigger purses. I can’t even tell you how many times I have needed something random like a safety pin or even whiteout, and somebody around me digs through their purse and produces exactly what I need.
Well, the girl in the video has purse contents more similar to what I have in mine. See what her top 5 items to pack in her purse are, and make sure you watch number five! As long as you know how to safely and accurately use and store everything you “carry”, more power to you!
(Adhere to all safety precautions when handling firearms, and it is strongly recommended to not carry a firearm unless you know how to safely do so and know how to use it)
The Western Montana Chapter of SCI would like to invite all members to send in nominations for the Board of Directors. Nominations must be received by Monday, May 27th and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directors assist in selecting projects, participate in outreach and help plan the annual banquet. Board Meetings are generally held monthly (sometimes by teleconference) and Directors serve 3-year terms. If you want to make a difference in Western Montana – please consider volunteering!(Report by Western Montana Cahpter SCI)
Put your fishing poles away while checking out the rainbow trout at the Jocko River Trout Hatchery. The hatchery, which sits on 62 acres in Arlee, Montana, is owned by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. I have never seen so many trout at once, and it was pretty cool to feed them and watch them act like piranhas getting to the food.
“The Arlee strain of rainbow trout is used extensively in Fish, Wildlife & Parks management of lakes and reservoirs,” according to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website. ”Arlee rainbow trout eggs are produced here and are shipped to other Montana state production stations where they are raised for stocking.”
We were greeted by Ron Snyder, an FWP fish culturist working at the hatchery, when the Captain, Jason Maxwell and I stopped by to check out the facility. Ron gave us a tour of one of the buildings that included hundreds of young, recently hatched rainbows that were completely albino.
There were a few big albinos (pictured above) hanging with the older ones outside of the building, too. Although, they have no plans on stocking the albinos at this time, it’s cool to see them there. I had never been to a fish hatchery before, so it was pretty awesome to see rainbows as big as we did and also to see as many as we did–and feed them!
So, the next time you are heading through Arlee, if you aren’t on a time crunch, I suggest you stop by the Jocko River Trout Hatchery, just off of Hwy 93, and make sure you say hello to Ron and take a look and see how big the big rainbows have gotten.
Be sure to post any pictures on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/montanaoutdoor) when you do make it there!(Video below is what it looks like when you feed the fish:)
Sign up time is here for the popular Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters program.
Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters is a voluntary program that pays landowners an add-on payment for lands enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program. Open Fields is aimed at conserving Montana’s productive game bird habitats enrolled in CRP—and at providing additional public hunting access for upland game bird hunting.
Counties eligible for program participation are: Cascade, Chouteau, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Fergus, Glacier, McCone, Pondera, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Teton, Toole, Valley, and Wibaux. The program is available for new or existing CRP-enrolled lands that have a minimum of three years left on the contract.
“Open Fields clearly has helped producers with their decision to enroll their land in CRP,” said Jeff Hagener, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Helena.
For contract terms five years and greater, the CRP acres may incur one haying or grazing event. Scheduled maintenance or an emergency provision is considered one event. CRP acres enrolled for three and four years are not eligible for any haying or grazing events.
In return, participating landowners receive $5-per-acre each year the land is enrolled in the program. Enrolled lands must be clearly posted for walk-in game bird hunting. Because this program is intended to expand areas open to the public for game bird hunting, lands that are already enrolled in FWP’s Block Management Program or the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program do not qualify.
Applications for Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters may be submitted May 20 through June 14. For more information and an application, visit FWP online at fwp.mt.gov; then click “For Fish & Wildlife Information.”
Send applications to: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks – Wildlife Division; Attention: Upland Game Bird Habitat Enhancement Program; P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59620.
For details, contact FWP at: 406-444-2612, or by e-mail: email@example.com.(Report by Cathy Stewart – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)
Do you love early season boating and fishing, but you are not a fan of bulky life vests? Maybe you want a little bit of extra protection while you’re ice fishing or trapping on the water? Well, this fantastic invention brings a whole new meaning to the term life “jacket”!
The Onyx Type III Flotation Jacket, in particular, is a heavy-duty jacket that has a built-in personal flotation device that is Coast Guard approved! According to sportsmansguide.com, these jackets provide better hypothermia protection than a traditional life vest and are comfortable for all-day wear.
The coolest thing about these is that a lot of people don’t wear life jackets while they are boating, but they have life jackets in the boat. With a flotation jacket, you are protected as long as you’re wearing your jacket!
The price tag on this particular PFD jacket is somewhere around $100.00. I am pretty sure I will be adding one of these to my hunting/trapping/fishing wardrobe collection.
On May 16, 2013, Wardens investigated a dead grizzly bear in the Star Meadows area northwest of Kalispell, more specifically Sanko Creek. Initial investigation showed that the light colored bear died from a gunshot wound. Anyone with any information is urged to call 1-800-TIPMONT, or Game Warden Chris Crane 406-249-6231.
Callers can remain anonymous and a reward may be available.(Report by John Fraley – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)
Canyon Ferry: The spring rainbow trout spawn is slowing down a bit, but some fish continue to cruise shorelines throughout the reservoir. Shore anglers are doing well at most access points, especially Chainmen’s, the Outhouse and Confederate using worms, spoons or bead head nymphs. Boat anglers are doing fair by tolling cowbells (tipped with worms), crankbaits or spoons in 5 to 30 feet of water. Walleye anglers are catching fish when the weather allows throughout the south end of the reservoir. Trolling shallow with crankbaits or worm harnesses is producing the most fish. No report for yellow perch or ling. Use caution at boat ramps throughout the reservoir as water levels are low in preparation for spring runoff. Adam Strainer, FWP, Helena
Hauser: Some rainbows are being caught at York Bridge and Riverside from shore while using marshmallows or worms. Boat anglers are finding rainbows while trolling cowbells or rapalas around Devil’s Elbow, Riverside and Black Sandy. Lake Helena walleye fishing is slow with only a few being caught. Hauser walleye and perch fishing is slow. Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena
Holter: Good rainbow fishing can be found while trolling cowbells tipped with a worm, Little Cleo’s or Triple Teasers around Split Rock and Cottonwood Creek. Shore action is fair around Departure Point and Log Gulch while using Powerbait or worms. An occasional walleye or perch is being caught while using bottom bouncers. Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena(Report by Adam Strainer and Troy Humphrey – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)
If you went by the Lolo Community Center this past weekend, then you most likely saw the full parking lot at the Montana Trappers Association’s Heritage Celebration!
One of the interesting seminars that I checked out at the event was a muskrat trapping seminar. It was really neat to learn the benefits of trapping them and how to go about it, even if you have never done it before. Lloyd Priest of Lolo, who was decked out in his buckskins, demonstrating how bullets were casted and described how primitive things were back in the day. He even shot his musket, using a cork as ammo, for safety reasons.
Miss Rodeo and Miss Teen Rodeo were on-site selling raffle tickets and signing autographs. They were especially blinged out this past weekend wearing their awesome fur vests donated by the Montana Trappers Association.
One of my favorite events was the trap-setting contests. There were youth and adult categories, and let me tell ya that it is impressive to watch these! The District 2 Director of the Montana Trappers Association, Toby Walrath, decided to test his trap-setting skills in the video below and ended up placing 1st in one adult contest category and 2nd in another. Way to go!
After bidding on silent auction items, purchasing raffle tickets and checking out the various vendor booths, it was time to head out–but, not before taking a walk through a historical trapper’s cabin. There was even way more going on than what we experienced, so I look forward to trying to catch everything next year.
It was a very fun and educational weekend, and I will definitely be back–I hope to see you there, too!
The day started with three anglers…all seeking professional slots at some point, and a couple believing they are already there (not naming names). It was salmon fishing time at Lake Mary Ronan this past Sunday. JIGGIN TIME!
The Captain, Jason Maxwell and Angela Montana (that’s me) all set out on a mission to see who could catch the most salmon…Jason ended up with the first catch (pictured on the left), while the Captain followed suit doing his part in filling the cooler.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to get a bite to save my life! Fish after fish, Jason and the Captain were bringing them in the boat, while I just kept checking my line to make sure my bait was still there.
Thank goodness, Jens, the LMR Guru, showed up on his white horse after approximately half an hour of nothing for me. Okay, he was in a boat and not really on a horse, and he was with his buddy Rick, but they might as well have been a horse, as his tips and suggestions were exactly what I needed to get the salmon biting on my line. Who knew shrimp could be so appealing in a lake that doesn’t even normally have shrimp in it?
Anyway, after approximately two hours, the three of us limited out with a total of 30 salmon, with my biggest being 11 1/2 inches long….which is one of the biggest fish we caught–just sayin..and we decided to do some catch-and-release for a bit before we headed back to shore.
It was a phenomenal day on the water with the skies remaining, for the most part, overcast, but the temperature sticking on the mild side at around 55 degrees. We started out using shrimp and maggots with some Lunker Lotion (aka “juice”), and, eventually, ditched the maggots and just used shrimp while chumming with corn. The Captain even ended up catching his last catch-and-release salmon using just corn and “juice”.
Let me tell ya…I am looking forward to heading back out there soon, as I can officially say that I love jiggin for salmon!
Special thanks to the Captain, Jason, Jens and Rick for a great day!
Attention Montana Bear Hunters:
This is Joe from the Yellowstone Country Bear Hunters Association with your weekly bear hunting tip.
Utilization of a predator call can be a very effective way to hunt mid/late spring black bears. As spring progresses so does a bears appetite. In mid to late may bears, especially boars are covering a lot of ground looking for food other than grass and clover. Find an area with good sign and bear habitats. The ideal situation for calling is to spot a bear and then begin calling. Be patient and continue calling the entire sit. Bears have a short attention span, so if one is headed your way DON’T STOP CALLING.
Stay tuned next week for another calling tip!
For more bear hunting tips and tricks visit our website at www.ycbha.org or follow us on Facebook & Twitter.
Let’s get some safety tips and key dates out of the way first:
- Run-off has started so be careful if you are wading and wear your PFD!
- Creeks and Streams open to fishing Saturday.
On the Missouri River some run-off has begun, but water is not getting cloudy yet so fishing has remained good. For dry flies, concentrate on the wulff patterns. Beatis, caddis and midges are working well. Pheasant tails and Czech Nymphs are worth trying. Streamers are an option on cloudy days or before a storm.
At Canyon Ferry if aiming for trout, try trolling cowbell rigs with streamers or spoons. We are still waiting on the leeches to arrive, so trolling the drop-offs or ridges morning to mid-day and hitting the flats in the evening for walleye is your best bet. Focus on perch or rainbow rapalas or worm rigs with bottom bouncers.
The Lake Helena Walleyes are slowing down on average but success depends on the day. Trolling shallow rapalas behind plainer boards is still the preferred way to go.
Boulder River success lies in medium and large nymphs. Prince and Hare’s ears are two options to try. Red and purple are producing and are generally easier to follow in cloudier water.(Report by Ryan Corwin – Bob Ward & Sons)
TOMORROW is your last chance to qualify to win a Pelican Elite cooler!!! Call the Montana Outdoor Radio Show between 6am and 8am to be entered into the drawing that will take place toward the end of the show!
Remember that these heavy-duty coolers have an ice retention of up to TEN DAYS!! They are perfect for everything you would need a cooler for and can withstand rough and tough environments!
After taking a couple more qualifiers tomorrow, the winner will be announced! Make sure you don’t miss your chance to win this phenomenal cooler provided by Joe Moline at Affirmed Medical Services in Lewistown (for more information, reach Joe at 1-800-662-9087)!
(All photos courtesy of PelicanProGear.com)
Butte Rec Report
The upper Wise river is running lower than last week and fishing is fair but watch out for area wildfires. The Wise River and Big Hole are copper to chocolate depending on your access point and plenty of water is flowing.
Large Double Body Epoxy Black Ants in size 6 or 8, black Salmonfly nymphs, and a few beadheads are good choices in the Big Hole. Fish are hugging the bottom so weight your nymph to get it down. A few Panther Martin and Mepps Spinners are showing promise as well.
Clark Canyon will be open below the spillway, and the Beaverhead will fully open this weekend. Egg Sacs and Night Crawlers should be good choices below the dam. Blue Winged Olives and a few caddis on sunny days with streamers fished along the banks will garner some excitement.
The Jefferson River has been good fishing in the Hells Canyon Area for bait fisherman or diving Rapalas on spinning gear. Mayflies and Caddis with Hares Ear nymph droppers are great choices around Silver Star.
The North West shore of Georgetown Lake will be open Saturday for fisherman. Please see regulations for areas closed for spawning trout.
Bozeman Rec Report
Fishing has been great as of lately, with the Mother’s day Caddis hatch over the past week. If you get into a big hatch, just remember that sometimes “not” matching the hatch attracts the attention of a feeding fish. Also, some subsurface emergers hung below your dry fly have been producing some great results. Fishing season officially opens on Saturday.
As of right now, the East and main Gallatin Rivers are running very muddy. Not too high, but dark and the fish are hanging in the pockets and next to shore. Some streamers may grab their attention right now.
The lower Madison is still pretty clear and probably the best chance of good fishing with reported Caddis hatches just before dark. The upper Madison opens to fishing this Saturday. The upper stretches were running a bit off color last weekend, and will probably still be quite fishable on opening day.
The Jefferson is also a bit off color, but seems pretty steady in terms of flow and fishability. The Yellowstone is the river that has really come up and dirty. Actually kind of at a dangerous flow right now, so word is to go to other spots and wait for the Stone to lower and the Salmon Fly hatch.
Hebgen Lake has iced off, and the fish are starting to cruise the shore lines. This is the time to get to Hebgen for some unbelievable fishing. I saw lots of Crayfish moving around on the rocky shorelines, so I am sure the fish will be targeting anything that looks like a crayfish.
The road to Hyalite Reservoir opens tomorrow, the 16th. I anticipate the lake is fairly ice free and the fishing will be outstanding for the next few weeks. Hyalite is a great place to fish from a float tube or pontoon boat, and of course Bob Ward’s has a large selection of both.
Yellowstone park waters open to fishing on May 25th, and we have park fishing permits in store.
The next big hatch a few weeks away is the annual Salmon fly hatch. We have a huge variety of Salmon Fly patterns, so get them early. Once the hatch hits, the anglers hit the fly bins and it will be slim pickings when you need them the most.(Report by Ryan Corwin – Bob Ward & Sons)
The Cody Firearm Museum in Wyoming has some unbelievable old weapons on display. It’s no wonder, they have a collection of about 7,000 pieces. For the next three months, the museum is displaying 64 unique items it received on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The pieces include the pistol pictured above that was a prototype of a chain fed 20-shot revolver.
It seemed like many of the improvements and advances in firearms were made to increase the ability to fire more rounds more quickly. There is also a 7-foot long musket that was given to President Thomas Jefferson by the Bey of Tunisia after the U.S. Navy kicked the tails of the Barbary Coast pirates.
The musket has intricate gold filigree along its entire length. The firearms museum is just one wing of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo. It’s a great place to spend several hours on the way to and from Yellowstone National Park. You might want to add it to your travel itinerary this summer.
To read a story about the exhibit, visit The Billings Gazette’s Outdoors page online at: http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/(This post was written by Brett French, Outdoors Editor of the Billings Gazette)
The Duluth International Airport was recently the location of a crash landing–only airplanes were not involved!
According to an article on grindtv.com, two bald eagles were apparently fighting in the air when their talons were dug so deeply into each other, they were locked together.
They ended up crashing on the runway, and both birds were very much alive.
Randy Hanzal, a Minnesota conservation officer, was called to the scene and reported the following to GrindTV: “Surprisingly, the two eagles were remarkably calm as I grabbed them both and loaded them into the back of my truck. I think they were still more intent on winning the battle than any concern for me.”
During the transport to the rehabilitation center, after noticing a “ruckus” in the back of his truck, Hanzal saw that one of the eagles had gotten free and ended up making it to the tailgate. He flew away, apparently without injuries, while the other eagle stuck around for some medical attention that included anti-biotics, fluids and pain medication.
While both eagles were expected to fully recover, another wildlife expert reported how rare of a situation it is for eagles to actually hit the ground as a result of a territory dispute.
For the full article by GrindTV, click HERE.
The Ravalli County Fish & Wildlife Association is hosting an elk summit presentation by Montana FWP on Tuesday, May 21st, 6:30 p.m. at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton.
Topics covered will be the spring elk flight survey, updates on the elk research program in the upper Bitterroot and data from the newly completed Bitterroot mountain lion study.
This presentation is free of charge and open to the public.(written by Linda Habeck)