The official kick off to summer and the first three day holiday weekend is fast approaching. This Memorial Day Weekend should offer some good fishing opportunities for families on lakes across Montana. There are many lakes with campgrounds to try your luck on and maybe take the family on an overnight camping trip. The first lake that comes to mind for me is Lake Mary Ronan. It is such a pretty lake and should be prescription of relaxation that you are looking for plus Lake Mary Ronan caters to anglers of all ages. It is not uncommon to see boats loaded with anglers young and old reeling in nice size silvers from 9-12 inches. Every day on Lake Mary Ronan, the salmon seem to want something a little bit different. Some days it was raw shrimp with a splash of shrimp oil, the next day it was maggots with a splash of shrimp lotion. You might try orange and pink colored Swedish pimples or try green Most every angler uses glow hooks with about 4 to as much as 10 inches of leader below their weight. Look for the boats anchored out on the lake, most likely they are catching salmon, and join in the fun.
Browns Lake is another very popular lake this time of the year. Boat anglers like trolling lead core line with a long leader. At the end of the leader some have really had good luck with a fly leech pattern.
Flathead Lake has many options when it comes to campgrounds that are located all around the lake. Lake trout fishing is still going strong. Boat anglers are having luck jigging or trolling. You might try your luck on the smallmouth bass on the south end of the lake. Remember the state record smallmouth was caught just a year ago out of Flathead Lake. The perch bite might also still be going on in east Polson Bay. Another lake that you might consider is west of Kalispell. Bitterroot Lake offers some great kokanee fishing at times. Anglers have success both trolling cowbells and a wedding ring or anchoring and jigging with a Swedish pimple and glow hook tipped with corn or maggots.
If you are after kokanee salmon or trout and a very scenic lake then I might suggest Georgetown Lake. Fly fisherman enjoy the lake fishing out of a float tube for trout especially of the high water is keeping them of the rivers. Boat anglers have success trolling meps spinners or Thomas cyclones and salmon anglers so well jigging.
The Seeley Lake area is also a very beautiful part of Western Montana to camp and fish. Salmon, Placid, and Seeley Lake offer nice campgrounds and you can try your hand fishing for many species like northern pike, bass, kokanee salmon and trout. I also heard the northern pike are on the bite at Swan Lake
The Helena area reservoirs are also a very good bet to spend a long three day weekend. Canyon Ferry, Hauser, and Holter Reservoirs are home to trout, walleye, and perch fishing and if you are lucky you might catch an occasional burbot or ling as they are also called.
These are just a few of the options of where you might spend the upcoming weekend. Wherever you go please be safe and remember to clean, drain and dry your fishing vessel and tackle and above all have a safe and Happy Memorial Day!
(Written by Mark Ward – aka the Captain)