Are You Kidding Me? (Captain’s Column – 2.11.16)
By angelamontana

Posted: February 11, 2016

Are you kidding me? That is what I said to myself this past Monday as I pulled up the temperatures in Montana on Monday. I am vacationing in south Florida and down here at Sunny Isle Beach Resort just north of Miami it made a high temperature on Monday of 67 degrees. Billings was 60 degrees and Great Falls checked in at a balmy 62 degrees. Missoula was a chilly 47 but we all know it is February.  There is still ice fishing, skiing and snowmobiling trips I planned on going on when I return to Montana, but at this rate there might not be enough snow or ice thick enough to venture out on. The closeness of temperatures in Montana and Florida is surprising. How long will the warm spell last in Montana?

Looks like into next week. So spring skiing and spring ice conditions will have to do.  I got an e-mail that asked me if I had heard the boat ramp was open on Holter Reservoirs Gates of the Mountain. After a phone call to the Gates office I was informed on Monday that the boat ramp was not open yet. However it was expected to be open by this weekend. In case you are thinking about taking your boat out I would suggest you call the Gates of the Mountain office 406-458-5241 for current information on the boat ramp. As you might imagine the fishing reports over in the area are still focusing on ice fishing but with the warm weather the ice might be harder to get on because of it melting by shore.

This is the ice fishing report on Holter Reservoir down by the Log Gulch area where ice anglers have been targeting perch from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Troy Humphrey on Monday, “Perch fishing is good overall with most being caught at all of the boat ramps and around Holter Dam in 40 to 50 feet of water on jigs and maggots or mealworms. There is 7 to 8 inches of ice around Log Gulch, Departure Point and Holter Ramp; however, the ice has started to break up around the shoreline so it can be challenging to access.  Rainbow fishing has been slow, but most anglers are targeting perch”.  Adam Strainer from FWP had this report from Canyon Ferry Reservoir, “Rainbow trout continue to be caught from Pond 4 to the Silos.  Successful anglers have had best luck early in the morning using jigs and ice flies, tipped with crawlers or maggots, in 10 feet of water or less. Yellow perch are being caught between Hole-in-the-Wall and Confederate Bay in 50 to 60 feet of water using standard yellow perch tactics and gear. A handful of walleye continue to be caught while searching for yellow perch.   Ice conditions have been reported at 13 to 15 inches throughout the south end of the reservoir and 8 to 10 inches on the north end”.


If you are in the Missoula area check out the free fishing seminar by Trevor and Kit Johnson from Kits Tackle at Bretz RV and Marine on Grant Creek Road this Saturday at 10am on Holter Reservoir.  Learn how to jig up eater walleye and jumbo perch in the morning then chase big rainbows and the occasional brown trout in the afternoon with the fly rods”.

(Written by the Captain – aka Mark Ward)