I suppose it’s official – spring has sprung.
This is Montana, however, which means that you’re just as likely to see nice weather as you are to see a late snowstorm, but we’ll take what we can get.
Trap and skeet club leagues around the state will also be started their warmer weather activities, too, and local sporting good stores have started are promoting good buys on .22 caliber rifles and bricks of .22 shells – just in time for spring gopher hunting. And yes, yes the gophers are out and running on sunny days.
Yes, the signs of spring are all around us. But are we really ready for it? If you’re like me, there are some things I need to do.
Remember that tackle box you sort of pushed into a corner last fall? It’s time to go it box and make a check list of what you need to buy. Check your rods and reels and see what shape they are in.
Replace line on your reel and check the line guides on your fishing rod. Go through your boat and make sure you have a legal supply of life jackets for kids and adults. The fire extinguisher must be in working order and, depending on size; your boat needs to have a throw cushion and other items.
Then inspect the batteries and clean the connections. Inspect your trailer and check tire pressure. Inspect the wiring, bulbs, and ball bearings. It is not a bad idea to also locate the binoculars and rain gear you might have taken out of your boat last fall to use for the hunting season.
Electronics that sit over the winter sometimes seem to have somehow developed operating problems that you wouldn’t normally detect until you are out on the water. That list includes electric trolling motors, fish finders and GPS units.
It is a lot better to fix any problem by going through a check list now, rather than your first day on the water.
Where to go for spring fishing? By most measures, lakes are very good for trout when the ice first comes off. Flathead Lake is also a great place to go trolling or jigging for lake trout.
Spring Mack Days is well underway and runs every Friday through Sunday through Sunday April 26th. You can enter free if you log onto www.mackdays.com Remember it only takes one fish to win.
The rivers are starting to come alive; alive that is with anglers in boats. The floaters are now out chasing after trout that are chasing the skwalas hatch.
There is still some ice fishing to be done. The ice is deteriorating fast so if you have your mind set on drilling some holes in the ice make sure you use caution when heading out on the ice.
After what seems like an extra long winter, I am really looking forward to spring and summer and the fishing they bring.