It’s a big weekend for camping and fishing
By Hookemharry

Posted: July 3, 2008

What better way to celebrate our country’s independence than by enjoying the great Montana outdoors.

There are a lot of places to go to experience great camping and fishing. Let me offer up a few suggestions that might help you or at least get you headed in the right direction.

Missoula area rivers are improving by the day. All the flows are still above normal for this time of year so caution is being advised for anyone floating or try to wade to catch fish.

But there have been reports of better fishing in the upper stretches of the Clark Fork River. The caddis hatch is good and should be your best opportunity to dry fly fish. The Blackfoot River is also starting to clear with a couple of feet of visibility.

The Bitterroot River is also rapidly improving according to the fishing report on on Monday. Dry fly fishing has been best up the West Fork but there have been a parade of boats. Hatches include Salmon flies, Goldens, Sallies, and Green Drakes. Rock Creek should be a great place to go camping and fishing. The campgrounds are spectacular and are just a short distance from Missoula. The creek is beautiful and since floating season ended Monday, the bank and wade anglers will have the creek all to themselves.

If you are fishing on the upper creek, then you might still run into some salmon flies but for most of the the rest of the creek, look for PMD’s, Golden Stones and Caddis, according to Doug Persico from Rock Creek Fisherman’s Mercantile.

Early morning and late evening should be your best fishing times. Once again, Rock Creek is dropping ever day but flows are still above normal so use caution.

Lake fishing is good. Flathead Lake is starting to pick up for lake trout, according to Mo Fisch Charter Service. Jigging has been working well in 85 feet of water while trolling over 140 feet of water seemed to produce the most fish.

Mo Fisch suggests jigging with a whitehead lead head jig with a twister tail and and baited cut bait. Trollers should use flashers with a squid in mother of pearl.

Bass fishing on Kicking Horse has been excellent with good catches reported on the anglers report on The salmon are still biting strong on Lake Mary Ronan. It is advisable to put your fish are ice right away to keep them firm.

Noxon Reservoir bass fishing is good. Remember that it is catch and release until July 15. Georgetown Lake is also a great place to spend the weekend with nice camping and good trout fishing either by boat, float-tube or from shore.

Walleye fishing is fair to good on all the reservoirs over by Helena and the trout fishing is also still fair. Look for the fish to be deeper with the warmer water temperatures.

Have a safe, festive and fun Fourth and good luck in your fishing.