This is a brief synopsis of fishing conditions and reports from select waters across the state. For more detailed information, contact a fly shop, bait store, or boat marina for the particular water. For detailed information on river flows, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mt/nwis/current?type=flow
The news last week of a tragic lightning strike on Canyon Ferry Lake which resulted in the death of a Helena man should serve as a reminder to anglers across Montana about the dangers of lightning when fishing. This is one of the most active times of year for thunderstorms, and mountainous terrain can hide approaching storms until they are close enough to be dangerous. If a storm approaches, head back to camp. If camp or a vehicle is too far away, get to the nearest shore as soon as possible and seek shelter. Don’t take a chance by continuing to fish, or even by staying out on the water- the fish will be there tomorrow, make sure you will be, too.
Some of the best fishing bets right now:-
Beaverhead River - Good reports have been coming from experienced nymph fishermen.
Bighorn Lake - Good option for walleyes and smallmouth bass.
Canyon Ferry – The walleye bite is going strong, and rainbows can still be found cruising along shore.
Dailey Lake - This lake, located south of Livingston, offers fishing for walleye, trout and perch. Pay attention, as it gets a bit windy down in the valley once in a while.
Fort Peck Reservoir - The walleye activity seems to be improving every day on Fort Peck.
Kalispell Community Ponds - These small waters in and around Kalispell offer a great opportunity for kids and beginning anglers. Some of the best fishing of the year is right now.
Madison River – Both the upper and lower Madison have been fishing well lately. Since the warm, low flows of summer shut off the fishing in the lower river, that may be the place to head now while you still can.
Lower Missouri River - Since the season closed on the Yellowstone, the Missouri is the only remaining option if you'd like to chase a paddlefish.
Upper Missouri River - Hatches are starting to appear, and as the water warms, the fishing is improving.
Rock Creek – Probably the best option for wade fishing near Missoula at this time.
Tongue River Reservoir - Crappies are a rite of spring in southeast Montana, and Tongue River is the place to be. Don't expect any solitude, however.