Elk Hunting has exploded since the cold front passed and the bulls are screaming! Antelope is on deck, Pheasants are next, and Waterfowl started with a bang….its a great time of year. 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!!!!
Flathead Lake- Lake trout are pushing up shallow and trolling is the ticket. Any bright plugs 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 in the lower river, but it is slow fishing. Don’t forget the Smallmouth and Pike fishing that are getting going as well. Water temps have cooled and the fish 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.
Seeley-Same as Salmon, Bass fishing has improved. Pike fishing is improving and a few big Browns are showing up.
Placid- Kokanee fishing is slowed way down, looks like they are in the spawn here. Trout fishing has started to get better in the early mornings, and trolling gold spoons is the ticket. Think Thomas lures!!! Bass fishing is decent. Don’t forget that it is catch and release only for Bass here.
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- Is starting to pick up for trout. It will be a streamer bite with bigger buggers and Zonker patterns for the active fish. Some are still searching for Damsel Fly Nymphs and adults on top. Look for caddis hatches in the evenings to dark.
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) Walleye fishing has started to show some life. Jigging points with 1/8 -1/4oz jigs tipped with half a crawler or leech fished right on the bottom have been producing OK bites. Target the deeper edges in 20-25’ and fishing low light periods. Perch fishing is picking up on the 18-20’ drop offs near weed beds. Trout fishing is ramping up and should only improve as it cools off. Troll spoons and Rapalas 10-15’ deep and hold on!!! The only bad thing has been the cold and snowy weather.
Canyon Ferry- For walleye, jig points with 1/16-1/8 jigheads tipped with Berkley Fluke minnows. Use a fairly aggressive snap then fall. Berkley Flicker Shad and Rapala Shad raps fished right on the bottom or Crawler harnesses are the ticket to cover water. Look for fish to move deeper as the water temp climbs, and possibly suspend. Use Berkley Flicker shad in smaller sizes either on leaded line with 3-5 colors out, or 20-30’ down off the down rigger.
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 has started to pick up again, and the fish are keying on the 15-20’ drop offs and transition. Water clarity is decent, and should stay ok as long as Avista doesn’t get greedy and keep messing with the water levels. A few decent sized pike are starting to show up, but the Walleye bite is still slow.
Clark Fork-Water clarity is good. This would be a good time to rip big streamers, If you are putting in at Kelly Island, be aware that there is a big snag just down river that has to be portaged around.
Rock Creek- Fishing is good with BWO taking over from the Tricos. Fish are pretty picky and if they see your leader, you’re done. Also have some Hoppers, Ants, and Stimulators for mid day and afternoon!!!!
Bitterroot-Fishing is decent with hoppers and PMD’s. Tricos are fading and being replaced by BWO as well. 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!!!