The last official weekend of summer is here, but the fishing action is far from over. In fact, lower water temperatures resulting from the longer, colder nights will cause fishing action to pick up across much of the state. Enjoy the long weekend, and make sure to leave some time for fishing with family and friends. And even though big game and upland bird seasons are starting, don’t put away your fishing rod just yet—as temperatures cool, some of the best fishing of the year is waiting in the weeks ahead.
Some of the best fishing bets right now:
Bighorn Lake: Excellent smallmouth bass fishing reported on this reservoir on the Wyoming border.
Clark Fork River: Trico mayflies and technical fishing are the main attraction right now, but an evening caddis hatch is worth waiting for as well.
Hauser Reservoir: If you are "boatless," try heading down to the causeway between Hauser and Lake Helena for walleyes and rainbows.
Fort Peck Reservoir: As the water cools, fishing is picking up for walleyes and smallmouth bass. The salmon bite along the dam is not red-hot, but it's steady.
High Mountain Lakes: Just beginning the prettiest time of year for a backpack trip, and there is no finer destination than a mountain lake. Get a topo map for the mountain range closest to home, and go exploring. Bring some ant flies and casting bubble or fly rod—ants are the fly of choice right now.
Middle Missouri River: Fishing for walleye and sauger has been decent, and don’t overlook the channel catfish.
Rock Creek: This has been providing pretty good fishing all summer long near Missoula, but the crowds can get a little busy, so fish early in the morning to enjoy a lot more elbow room.
Tongue River Reservoir: Fishing has been picking up as of late, with crappies providing the bulk of the action.