Things to do in Montana

Plenty to do in the winter outdoors
By Hookemharry

Posted: December 22, 2009

The Christmas holiday is here and for those of you who are lucky enough to get a few days off, there will be plenty for you to do in the great Montana outdoors.

There’s ice fishing, skiing, snowmobiling and even waterfowl hunting yet to enjoy.

“Right now, it seems that the northern mallards have migrated in and are all over some of the local rivers,” my son Harry told me after a successful morning on a river near Missoula. I have also had reports that there are good duck numbers up on the Flathead River.

How long will the ducks stay around before heading south is anybody’s guess, but if you are a duck hunter now is the time grab your decoys and head for some open water.

Ice fishing might also be a good bet. On many lakes, the ice is safe enough to get out and try your luck. Georgetown Lake is always a good bet but some other lakes in the area are also worth a try.

I heard from Dick Zimmer, at Pablo, that the perch fishing was excellent on Crow Reservoir last week. Zimmer said in an e-mail that the fishing offered non-stop catching for about three hours. He also said that along with the perch, he caught some trout too!

Mike Violette from Missoula recently posted some great pictures on Fishing Report page on “Outdoor Chat” on Just viewing the fish photos of what Violette caught and released will get you excited to get out on the ice and try your luck.

As I always emphasize when planning your ice fishing trip, make sure you try and get an ice report before you go. The condition of the ice on any lake can change daily or weekly. It all depends on the weather.

I received an e-mail last week from Connie Loomis of Fort Peck Trophy Fishing, based out of Brusett. She wrote, “What a beautiful day. It is 43 above. On Wednesday morning it was 36 below and Thursday morning 36 above. Yesterday we got some rain that made it really slick. There is about 10 inches of ice at Devils Creek (on Fort Peck Reservoir) and only about 4 inches at Butts Point. The further east you go, the less ice. With a foot of snow on the ice, it won’t get thicker very fast. Have heard they are catching small fish, with as many people already on the ice, I won’t be surprised when they are taking 4 wheelers and pickups out. We will start fishing as soon as the ice is safe; give us a call at 406-557-2787 or e-mail,”

I have also heard reports that Tiber Reservoir has good ice and should offer good ice fishing for the next few days. Call Roberts Bait and Tackle in Great Falls 453-1472 for the latest information on Tiber and areas lakes around Great Falls.

Merry Christmas – and happy ice fishing!