We have just over a week left in September. In past years September has been a favorite fishing month of mine. It is a month that you can discover some great fishing. For most of this year in September we have experience more hot days than we normally do. Because of the heat fishing has been slower than normal on some of the area lakes and rivers. Now that cooler temperatures have arrived the fall fishing should start to heat up.
One lake that I love to fish in September is Holter Reservoir. The rainbow trout fishing can be the phenomenal. I like to troll for the trout. The fall days with high daytime temperatures in the 70’s are just right for enjoying a day on the water. In the fall I have had most of my success fishing around Cottonwood Creek just up the reservoir from Oxbow Bend. With another person in the boat I am able to fish with four rods. I long line two of my monofillment rods out about 135 feet trolling a j-7 orange back white belly jointed rapala on one line and a fire tiger j-7 jointed rapala on the other. My other two lines I put on my downriggers. I will only go 8-9 feet deep trolling a fire tiger 1/16 mepps syclops lure. I place the lure about 50 feet behind my downrigger ball. On the other downrigger I will vary my depth from 10-16 feet and troll either a green needle fish or a small brooke or brown trout colored countdown rapala. My trolling speed will vary between 1.7 and 2 miles per hour. Most of the time the trout you catch on Holter Reservoir during this time of the year will be in the 3-4 pound range. It is not uncommon to catch your limit of nice size trout. In the later afternoon I then try my luck walleye fishing. There are a number of walleye holes on the east side of the reservoir as you head for the Gates of the Mountain. Look for structure that goes from 10-20 feet then drops off to 30 to 50 feet of water. When the walleyes go on the bite they will come up in the 10 to 15 feet depth. This usually happens around 5pm-7pm depending on where the sun is. On overcast days you might start to fish for walleyes around 4pm. I use a ½ ounce jig normally in green or orange. I tip my jig with a night crawler. If you find that you are getting bites but they are biting the tail off your bait just short of the jig hook, then put a stinger hook on your jig. That should solve that problem. On the other rod I will normally troll a ¼ ounce bottom bouncer with a floating jig head also tipped with a crawler on a 24 inch leader. I troll for walleyes very slow. There is no doubt about it, fishing for trout and walleye is a great way to spend a day on the water during this great time of the year in Montana.
By Montana Grant
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