By Montana Grant

Posted: July 19, 2021


As our rivers and smaller tributaries begin to warm up and dry up, it may be time to get out your boat and fish our larger lakes and reservoirs. Montana fishing is more than just trout.

Hoot owl restrictions, fish kills, closures and overfishing of our trout waters has become a problem. Warmer climate and water temperatures continue. Montana is in a drought. This is when fishermen need to look at another fishery for rod and reel action.

Montana has great fisheries that support warm water species as well. Using a boat can be helpful, but not required. These watersheds also have great facilities and opportunities.

I am often asked, what is my favorite kind of fishing. I answer, “The kind I am doing at that moment!” Fishermen are hooked on fishing, not just trout fishing.

Trout Fishing

Canyon Ferry, Clark Canyon, Quake Lake, Flathead Lake, Fort Peck, Georgetown, Hegben, Holter, Lake Elwell-Tiber, Whitefish, and many more.

Bass fishing

Castle Rock Reservoir, Dan Harrigan Reservoir, Fort Peck and Georgetown Lakes, Gartside Reservoir, Noxon, Tongue, Holter, and Fresno reservoirs.

Catfish Lakes

Flathead Lake and Nelson Reservoir are great for Channel cats.

Crappie Lakes

Fort Peck Lake, Nelson Reservoir, and the Tongue River Reservoir hold both white and black Crappies.

Sunfish, perch, and panfish lakes

                Ashley Lake, Canyon Ferry Lake, Fort Peck Lake, Lake Koocanusa, Nelson Reservoir

Walleye Lakes

Fort Peck, Fresno, Holter, Hauser, Lake Elwell-Tiber, Lake Francis, Lake Helena, and Nelson Reservoir.

Some of these areas are rated as excellent fisheries. Fort Peck offers an incredible diversity of fish. Tongue Reservoir offers wonderful small mouth bass opportunities and incredible crappies. Hegben is a great summer trout area with Quake Lake just downstream. The next state record Brown trout lives in Quake Lake. For more summer and lake fishing information, check out the State fishing regs at the MTFWP fisheries website. Regional FWP offices also have great staff and information that can guide you to warmer summer fishing areas.

You can also find many smaller or private ponds loaded with fish that do well in warm weather.

Give our low, warm, fisheries a break! 

Montana Grant

New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing