Each summer a crew of Fish, Wildlife & Parks employees backpacks into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Their goal is to sample some of the 350 lakes with fish to see how the trout are surviving. Almost all of the lakes are planted. Part of that sampling effort requires netting and fishing to assess catch rate and to measure and weigh the fish to adjust stocking. Recently, the two crew leaders gave a talk to anglers in Billings outlining, among other things, their three favorite flies. They also demonstrated how they tie those flies. The patterns included a green bodied elk-hair caddis, a brown mohair leech and a soft-hackle nymph. Probably any three flies could work since the fish have such a short summer season and can be pretty greedy. Each year, the crew publishes a lake stocking report on the FWP website. It’s a great document for those wanting to know where to fish for the most or biggest fish, based on when it was last stocked. It also offers info on how far it is to the lake and available camping spots.
To learn more, check out my story at https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/fishing-the-beartooths-fwp-mountain-crew-offers-tips-intel-on-wilderness-waters/article_7b85dcd0-d3fc-11ed-b877-abd0a2fa770c.html.
Written by Brett French | Outdoors editor | Billings Gazette Communications