Outdoor Report by Neal Cote with Bob Ward’s Sports & Outdoors 10.16.19
By angelamontana

Posted: October 17, 2019

Archery Elk hunting is winding down, but General Antelope is going strong! The remaining snow is melting fast, but it looks like more is on the way. Pheasant opener was decent in some areas, and with these cold fronts that keep pushing through, ducks and geese are already moving down.  Don’t forget the fall fishing either, Browns and Lakers are moving up to spawn, Smallmouth and Northerns are loading up for winter. Too many choices and only a limited amount of time!!!!


Lake Fishing

Flathead Lake- Lake trout are shallow and trolling is the ticket. Any bright plugs and dodger and squid rigs trolled pretty shallow are getting good numbers. You can also drift and rip jig ¼ oz jigs dressed with 4-5” flukes or bigger twister tails on the 20’ drop offs. Whitefish are starting to show up and stage in the deeper runs, but it is slow fishing. Water temps have cooled and the Bass, Perch and Pike are moving up shallower, look for baitfish, and the predators are right with them.

Salmon- Pike fishing is picking up, but make sure to pack your cold weather gear!!!  Look for baitfish schools and target the edges of the schools with big offerings. This is the time to throw the biggest stuff like Magnum Rapalas and Large Spoons.  Perch fishing always heats up this time of year, target deeper weed transitions with a 1/16 ounce jig head tipped with a crawler piece or a Berkley 2” Gulp Minnow. Start deep in 20-25’ on the rock silt line.

Seeley-Same as Salmon, Bass fishing has improved. Pike fishing is improving and a few big Browns are showing up.

Placid- Kokanee Snagging at Owl Creek was pretty good, but the weather has been a big issue. 

Ninepipes- Closed until the very end of waterfowl season

Pablo- Same as Ninepipes, it closes when Waterfowl season kicks off.  If you want to fish bass on the Res, KickingHorse and the Flathead River are your best bets.

Georgetown- Trout fishing near the shorelines is back on as the temps have come back up, sorry ice guys!! But the water has opened up and shore fishing is really good for Big Rainbows and a few Brookies. Thomas Cyclones, Krockodiles and the like are good bets. Big Streamers and Egg patterns if you’re flyfishing.

Browns- Starting to be more productive, with bigger trout on the prowl looking for bigger offerings. Big Buggers for the fly and Rapalas in Rainbow Trout are good choices here.

Holter-(Upper) Trout fishing is heating up as the temps are warming up. Troll spoons and Rapalas 10-15’ deep and hold on!!! The only bad thing has been the wind in the afternoons.

Canyon Ferry- Walleye fishing is slowing, but target 20-25’ with slower and bigger baits and you should get bit. Trout fishing is really good, troll Rapalas, Flicker Shad and Trolling spoons and you will score. Wind will be the biggest issue.

Hauser- Below Canyon Ferry Dam, open water fishing for Trout has picked up. The walleye fishing is slow, but you can get some fish if you Think Jigs teamed with soft plastics like flukes and grubtails. Don’t forget Rapalas and stick baits fished along rock breaks, these could get bit by Walleye, Browns and Rainbows and are great for covering water. 

Noxon- Bass fishing good, and the fish are keying on the 15-20’ drop offs and transition. Water levels are still fluctuating about 1-2’ a day, and midday to afternoon is best. A few decent sized pike are starting to show up, but the Walleye bite is still slow.


River Fishing

Clark Fork-Water clarity is good. This would be a good time to rip big streamers, BWO and Mahogany are the dries of choice, and fishing smaller mayfly nymphs is always good.

Rock Creek- Fishing is good with BWO and Mahogany the dries. Fish are pretty picky and if they see your leader, you’re done. Also bring the nymph box, there isn’t a bad choice fishing sub surface this time of year. Stoneflies and Mayfly nymphs of all makes are catching fish.

Bitterroot-Fishing is decent with BWO as well as Mahoganies. Nymphing with your choice of bead head nymphs in sizes 14-18 will also produce. Look for mid day to afternoon to be best.

Blackfoot-Fishing is good here. October Caddis are showing up, and the fish are looking up and snapping!!! Afternoon is best, and make sure to have a big streamer rod rigged up as well!!

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