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 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:
Clark Fork River – The dry fly fishing has been improving as the nights get cooler and the days get shorter.
Cooney Reservoir – The walleye bite has picked up lately, as have the trout.
Lake Frances – Catch rates remain fairly high for walleye, with a very nice average size.
Hebgen Lake – If your looking for some technical fishing with small flies—give the gulpers on Hebgen a try.
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.
Hyalite Reservoir – Located near Bozeman, this mountain lake has been fishing well with spinners and flies.
Kootenai River – Although the river is starting to drop, hopper fishing remains good.
Madison River – Anglers concentrating on the upper river have done well with dry flies.
Noxon Rapids Reservoir: Watch for bass and pike fishing to pick up.
Yellowstone River (Lower) – Smallmouth bass have been biting well, but don’t forget about the catfish.