Whitefish bite is on at Flathead Lake
By Hookemharry

Posted: July 31, 2003

“The moment that many of us have been waiting for has arrived!” That’s how Dick Zimmer started his latest fishing report.

That moment for anglers is the annual Lake Superior whitefish bite on Flathead Lake. Though some anglers have had mixed results since last week, all anglers are catching some fish in Elmo Bay.

Anglers should look for fish in 40-55 feet of water just north of the Big Arm State Park boundary. “Fish can be found also in 80 feet with an abundance of lake trout being mixed in with the whitefish,” added Zimmer. “A variety of yellow and chartreuse-bodied LMR special flies have been working.”

Zimmer says these variations includee yellow and black with or without hackle or yellow chartreuse and gold with a crystal flash or latex tail and chartreuse hackle. Fish these two combinations above a bottom weight with an up to two foot spread between them. Tip the jigs with maggots and fish them with a variety of jigging actions holding your rod still as much as your are moving it.

A drop shot approach, where your weight is resting on the bottom so that your line is slightly slack, can also be successful.

Other anglers have reported using a Swedish pimple, like Daryl Gadbow of The Missoulian, who told me he was fishing last Thursday afternoon.

“I got on the water at mid-afternoon and nobody else was there” says Gadbow. ” I thought the fish must have moved but found out they were there and caught whitefish from 1-4 p.m. pretty consistently.”

Gadbow also told me he caught some nice perch that same afternoon, too. Most anglers hit the water for whitefish about 6 or 7a.m. It has seemed to be a morning bite for the most part.

Also on Flathead Lake, the Great Montana Mack Attack is this weekend on the north end of the lake. That’s always a popular tournament. I will be broadcasting live Saturday morning on location to kick off then two-day derby with the Montana Outdoor Radio Show from 6-8 a.m. Then we will have a special edition show from 3-4 p.m. on Sunday to announce the winners and talk to area experts about the lake. You can hear both shows on KGVO 1290 in Missoula and KJJR 880 in Kalispell.

Zimmer also reports that the smallmouth bass are biting in the Flathead River from below Kerr Dam to the confluence of the Clark Fork River. Look for deep holes with sharp rocky ledges.

Gene Garrison, from Mountain Meadows Lodge and Resort at Lake Mary Ronan, says some anglers are having success fishing for salmon. Jig fisherman seemed to be doing better than trollers are.

Reports are the walleye fishing is slow on Canyon Ferry, average on Holter and has started to pick up in the causeway on Hauser Lake, according to Reg Brewer from Helena.

Paul, at the Canyon Store, says they are pickup up some salmon and trout on Holter mostly at night. Gerry, at the Silos RV on Canyon Ferry, says the trout fishing has been decent, with good size trout being taken, south of White Earth campground on the lake in the 20-30 foot depth.