Nice Weather Means More Fishing: Captain’s Column (5.7.15)
By angelamontana

Posted: May 7, 2015

The fishing reports have been rolling in from all over Montana. The nice weather the state has been experiencing has definitely made for an uptick on folks getting out and spending time on the water. Matt Mackinaw and I made a trip last week over to Holter Reservoir and we found the trout fishing to be fantastic. We were trolling around the Oxbow Bend area by the cabins for the best luck. A pink syclops and a brown trout colored Viking lure worked best for us as we trolled 2 miles per hour with the lures about 10 feet below the surface. Bob Culp made the trip over to Holter last weekend and he did very well fishing with his grandson from Great Falls, Cash Clark. I also heard from Scott Arnold of the Bitterroot Valley as he made the trip over to Holter and got into the perch, “I found a large school of perch and caught a lot of nice size perch most in the 10-11 inch range”. Arnold reported a friend of his was fishing for walleye by the Gates of the Mountains last weekend on Holter and did very well using jigs tipped with leeches in 20-25 feet of water. Steve Hellegaard from Missoula went to Holter last Friday with Brian Jones and Gregg Cooney, also from Missoula, and they said the trout bite was red hot. So the trout season is to a roaring start over at Holter and as it is at Hauser and Canyon Ferry Reservoirs too! The trout bite is normally good for the whole month of May.

I received a report from Adam Strainer from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks concerning the spring spawning survey on Canyon Ferry Reservoir, “The spawn has yet to materialize at our standard locations on the south end of Canyon Ferry Reservoir or mother nature hasn’t allow us to leave our traps out fishing.  Recent springtime weather patterns simply haven’t produced optimal conditions and the lack of fish continue to tell the same story.  Also, water levels in the reservoir are higher than normal for this time of year and effective sampling may potentially be a factor in 2015.  To date we’ve sampled 105 walleye, primarily males, and almost 900 rainbow trout. Smaller walleye, fewer rainbow trout, and an increase in the number of suckers is what FWP staff is seeing right now in the reservoir and is typically an indicator that the spawning window is closing”.  Strainer also said they are tagging fish but have not reached their objective on that either, “To date we’ve surgically implanted 7 brown trout in the river, 5 walleye in the river and 4 walleye in the reservoir.  Our goal is to implant 10 total brown trout, 10 total northern pike and 8 walleye each in the river and reservoir, respectively.  So, we’re getting closer to meeting our objectives for brown trout and walleye”.

Over east on Fort Peck Reservoir the walleye spawn is over and those big females that head to the Dry Arm to spawn are now on the bite reports Bill from Rock Creek Marina, “Brady Babb from Wolf Point caught a 32.24 inch walleye that weighed 12.15 pounds and then Tim Markle caught a 23 pound catfish near the marina in an area we call the China Wall at McGuire Creek on a minnow”.

(Written by the Captain – aka Mark Ward)