Don’t put away those fishing rods yet
By Hookemharry

Posted: October 30, 2006

The first of November means it’s a great time to hit the rivers and lakes.

That may sound odd. Yes, I know most of Montanans are out hunting big game, waterfowl or pheasants, but that might just be another reason to take to the water.

Everybody needs a little solitude and when you fish at this time of the year, you will find it – that’s for sure.

Nice weather days are still in the forecast. Take a look at the extended forecast and make plans to spend at least one day in the next couple of weeks trying to catch the Big One.

Big fish are on the feed right now, getting ready for winter themselves so your chances are considerably better to hook into a lunker.

Brown trout fishing has been excellent up Rock Creek.

In fact, all the area rivers are fishing well as the bigger fish are coming out from their deep summer holes ready to fatten up for the winter. Check with the local fly shops and sporting good stores for where to go and what patterns will give you the best luck.

The trout fishing over in the Helena area lakes at Canyon Ferry, Hauser and Holter are fishing well. Trollers are pulling a Rapala in 5-15 feet of water and have some very good luck on trout.

Walleye fishing has been slow, but Woody Shuler from Townsend did say that some walleyes were caught last week on Canyon Ferry.

If you want to catch perch, then head to Flathead Lake.

“The perch fishing remains hot in Big Arm and Elmo Bays,” said Dick Zimmer from Pablo. “Anglers are catching perch 9 inches and over in water at depths of 40 to 50 feet.”

Use a large piece of cut bait on a two-fly setup above a bottom weight. Zimmer recommends the bottom weight needs to be one to two feet below the bait depending on the weed depth.

With the perch congregated in those areas, then expect to hook into a feeding lake trout now and then as well.

If you want to key into the lake trout on Flathead Lake, then look for deep water right off a rocky shoreline.

The west shore seems to be better then the east shore this time of the year. Use lead spoons like The Country Mile or Trilobites to spin jig or vertical jig with two-ounce Lead-A-Gators or 1 ¾ ounce Trilobites.

Lake superior whitefish are being caught in the Flathead River above the lake. The south end of the lake where the water flows into the Flathead River is loaded with whitefish, but they are not biting just yet.

“The whitefish are schooling near the middle of Polson Bridge and can be observed from the sidewalk after dark just below the shade line,” reported Zimmer.

When the water-cools down to the surface temp of the mid 40s, the bite will be on. Use dark green flies that are tipped with maggots. The bottom is rocky so use 12 to 20 pound test to help pull your rig off the bottom when it gets caught up.

For updated fishing information on lakes in Western Montana, call Zimmer at 675-0068.

If you don’t mind traveling a few miles, the Kamloops fishing is great on Lake Koocanusa, according to Matt McCombs from Mo Fisch. If you want to find out more on how to fish for these great fighters, then call 755-4414.