The ice depth is about 9” and temps much warmer this week. Weekend is looking mid thirties with overnights in the twenties. The activity on Northern Pike has picked up a little this week.
Jayme Miller | Castle Rock Live Bait Shop | 416 Wildrye St | Colstrip, MT 59323 | 406-740-2313 | www.castlerockbait.com
January 11 update: 14 to 16 inches from boy scout to lucky; 10 to 12 from there and on the main. Good northern bite at 10 to 14 feet; lakers are at 14 to 20 feet on the edge of the main lake; walleye are at 20 to 25 feet during the day and 12 to 14 at night.
Don’t forget our annual ice fishing tournament, 2/12/22. Hope to see you there!
“Cruised around with the side by side. Could only get a couple small pike on tip ups. Nothing but dink perch on the vexilars all day. Couldn’t find any crappie or walleye. Was a nice day though.
If you do go to Tongue, I recommend just covering areas with tip ups. Seemed to be the only thing working really. We didn’t focus too much on tip ups mostly trying to find the fish and get the jigging going, but out of four tip ups all day got two 4 pound pike is all so if you had more tips out to cover an area might be better. Lost two on tip ups that could been walleyes though”
It can be cold out there. It can be windy. It can be lonely. It can be fishy. Or not. It can be just great to wander around the river. Whatever your motivations are we are gonna give you How to (fish) January on the Mo!
It may not fish well where you are. If you head to that killer run you caught a few big ones from in the summer, spring, or fall…you are in the wrong water.
Find the bucket. Look for water with deep holes, deep edges, just deeper than knee deep. Like waist deep or better. That is where the fish are. Not in cool summer flats. Deep, and cold.
If the water is moving too fast, or at all, don’t fish there. Find water that is deep, and sort of moving. Off the end of a shelf, a deeper edge, that sort of water.
If you are not catching them in an hour, or less…you should move to different water.
If you caught them there last week, but are not having success now, move.
Deep, and slow. That is the theme from here on out.
Water temps below 35F. That is cold. Fish the winter water until water temps over out of the 30’s. And that will be in March, or April.
Nymphing is the word
If you like to catch them you should nymph. In deep and slow water. See above.
Pink is the flavor of fly you need. Sows and scuds and worms and such. Stop in the shop or call for the up to the minute report.
The short list is Ninch’s Bubble Yum, Rainbow Czech Nymph, Barbie Nymph, Ninch’s Thunder Bug, Amex Scud, Tailwater Sow, Tungsten Jig Firebead Soft Spot, Ninch’s Pill Popper, FB Ray Charles, :Caviar Scud, Rainbow FB Weight Fly, Ninch’s Ball Gag Midge, Rainbow Warrior, Arnold’s Sili Scud and so on.
The Swing is on
Trout Spey anglers are getting it done too. The water types that the fish are holding in are fewer than a week ago, and beyond. They are really in the “A” spot(s).
Skagit is King. Put the Scandi away til spring pokes her head out of the winter fog.
Tips? yes, deep ones.
John is writing a report shortly.
Again stop in and see our fishy swing staff before you head out. Always free coffee and info at House of Headhunters in downtown Craig Montana.
Dry Fly Anglers?
Maybe some action. Look for roaming trout in soft eddies. Toss a cluster midge or Adams out there. Wait. Bait and wait. Tie a tiny midge emerger from your top fly. Preferably short.
Not too much happening out there. But it does happen and if you know where to look you will be rewarded more often. But, don’t hold your breath.
On great midge years we see strong top water action in mid February. Will it happen in 2020? Ohh, let’s hope so.
Headhunters Fly Shop Winter Action
Open everyday 8-5. Your only full time fly shop on the Mo. Daily shuttles. Free coffee. Knowledgable staff on site. Booking agents ready to help with your 2022 Mo River Fishing Plans. The Best Flies under the Big Sky procured Scumliner
Guide Trips available. Trout Spey trips, nymphing trips, casting lessons. Call and schedule today! But we will wait until
Happy New Year. Back to work for many. Back to school for many. The Headhunters here in Craig? Oh, we are focussed on fishing the Missouri River. And shoveling snow…
We got yer back man.
“I was on Frenchtown after the big snow on Thursday. Ice was good (5-6”) but covered with lots of water, slush, and snow. Fishing was fantastic, though. Headed back out there for a bit this morning.” – Scott Rouse
We’ll I’m not sure what kind of a ride Mother Nature is taking us on but wow what a different morning. It’s already 30 degrees here at the marina this morning. We might be breaking out the shorts and flip flops today. Have a great day everyone and enjoy the nice weather.
Check out the latest food specials at www.facebook.com/ft.peckmarina.
Fins and Feathers scores the Gallatin a 3/5.
The Gallatin is a good option this week if you can find an area with minimal ice/slush. The canyon is typically the best area for this as there are some springs that feed into the river around Big Sky. Nymphing is the best option with a smaller dark bodied stonefly nymphs or a worm as a top fly. A red copper john, red zebra midge, caddis larvae, or a smaller dark perdigons would all be great bottom fly options. Streamer fishing could be ok with the warm weather following the cold temps. I would fish a small Sculpzilla slow and low through the water column. Sometimes you may see a few fish rising for midges in slow slicks so have a box of dries just in case.
Fly Tying Classes
Gallatin River Webcam – Located at Karst, which is about 1/2 way between Bozeman and Big Sky on HWY 191.
“I hit cooney yesterday was in 20ft of water off the point south of north shore. Landed 7 rainbows and missed 3 more. Using a gold jig with a small minnow plastic tipped with a wax worm.”
Weather has been unseasonably warm! Ice is changing minute by minute. Trust your Spud bar and stay safe out there!!
Murphy Lake – 6-8 Inches of solid ice
Glen Lake – 3 Inches of clear ice / 3 inches of junk on top
Smith Lake – 8 Inches of solid ice
Rogers Lake – 6 inches
Lower Stillwater – 8 Inches plus some slush
Blanchard – 6-8 inches on the main body
Island Lake – 6-8 inches of ice
Dog Lake – 6-8 inches and snowmobile/hike in only
Church Slough – 7 Inches solid (Always been mindful of current on river/sloughs)
Echo Lake – 4-5 Inches (Watch for bad spots)
Loon Lake – 5 Inches of ice
Foys Lake – 3-4 Inches (Watch for bad spots)
Upper Thompson – 5 Inches of ice
Middle Thompson – 3-5 Inches of ice (Watch for bad spots)
Lower Thompson – 3-5 inches of ice (Watch for bad spots)
Little late on this, but Happy New Year in this first fishing report of 2022! Our year started off with a wintry bang with lots of snow and some cold, cold temps. Every inch of snow we get right now is just that much better water for next season. This is also the time of year to ski, snowshoe, tie flies, organize gear, and just generally take it easy.
Looking at the weather we are out of the wintry blast for a bit. Highs are forecast to be in the upper 30s and even low 40s every day in the 10-day. While this is great for getting out and about, remember what warm weather this time of year brings: wind. Our abnormally windy season is about to come roaring back.
After the very cold weather we had a few weeks ago, the Yellowstone River has a lot of shelf ice and slush. The photo above was taken Thursday morning at Mayor’s Landing here in town. These warm days will help a bit, but honestly, give it a rest. Nothing much is happening, and if you’ve really got the itch there are better options. If you don’t feel like driving far, book a day on the spring creeks.
The Lower Madison is about the best bet for right now in our local(ish) area. Same as on the Yellowstone, mind the shelf ice, watch for floating ice chunks, and be careful wading. Also, be ready to deal with the wind. Crawfish patterns and dead drifted streamers fished down low in the rock gardens are a good option. Bring the midge box too… We’re still a bit early for the prime midge days out there but with these warm temps you never know!
The Gallatin in the canyon is a good spot this time of year too. There’s been considerable ice jamming down lower in the river, and that’s always a concern in the canyon as well. Especially with warmer temps. Be mindful and be safe!
If you’re not into getting blown around and breaking ice out of your guides every few minutes come down to the shop to stock up on fly tying material. There’s no better time than now to fill those boxes! Come on down to the shop for the latest info, gear to keep you warm, and flies you need.
“Canyon ferry has plenty of ice. 13” a mile out. See a couple trucks. Anyone else running a wood stove?” – Kyle Langsdale
“Canyon ferry has lots of ice, wheelers and side by sides everywhere. I’d suggest going to the silos and going north on the ice from there about half a mile. Use small jigs in the usual colors tipped with maggots for walleye and perch in 20-55 fow near the bottom. If you are targeting trout set up shallower and fish half way down the water column. Electronics help. Use the “canyon ferry fish finder” and look where people are clumped together.” – Pat Maccarthy
This Kootenai River Montana fishing report is being brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Linehan Outfitting. This report will be updated weekly to provide current conditions, weather, hatches, patterns, and flows to our local waters and across the state.
Flows from Libby Dam: Flows from Libby Dam will continue to fluctuate in the 20,000-27,000 cfs range for the foreseeable future.
water temperature at Libby Dam: 42 degrees
hatches: midge, baetis
patterns: zebra midge, parachute Adams, parachute pmd, Rosenbauer’s olive rabbit foot emerger, purple haze, purple chubby, red chubby, olive sparkle dun,bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers
The mighty Kootenai River is big and wide and pretty much unfishable right now. This time of year it’s normal for the flows from Libby Dam to be maximized for power production. Depending on weather, flows may drop during the winter. Keep in mind flows around 15,000 or lower offers good fishing conditions this time of year. Anything over 15,000cfs is really just not worth the effort.
Stay tuned for more information especially when flows start to level out and or drop significantly. When might that be? Generally speaking we can expect to see lower flows as we approach March.
In Boston Red Sox news, the sox have made some trade moves lately and we all welcome Jackie Bradley Jr. back to Boston!
Give a call anytime if you need more Kootenai River details or information on any of our hunting or fishing adventures. And please check out our e-commerce site for all Linehan Outfitting branded swag and Orvis gear. https://linehan-outfitting.myshopify.com/
We look forward to hearing from you. 406-295-4872.
“the ice is 14 inches in the bays and 10-12 on the main lake. We hit 44 degrees yesterday and it sounds like it softened up the pressure ridges pretty good. They ridges moved quite a bit. I talked with 2’different groups that crossed them on snow mobiles and both said the same thing. It is currently windy and warm. I will keep everyone updated on this end as the week progresses.” -Scott Collinsworth
The park is closed for the season! Check back next May. See you next season!
(Click here for image licensing information)