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Montana Outdoors Magazine

Take advantage of Montana's family fishing access


When I was in grade school, there was a local pond nearby that my friends and I could ride our bikes to and fish. It wasn’t much of a pond (mostly bullheads), but we had fun watching our red-and-white bobbers go under once in a while and just messing around along the shoreline. We dug for worms, turned over rocks, watched gulls and turtles—the fun but unremarkable things kids do when they’re allowed to spend time in nature.

By the time I was in junior high school, our family had moved to a small piece of land in the country. In summer, I’d cut hay all day at the neighbor’s place with their kids, and then afterward we’d all go fishing. Three or four of us—and sometimes my dad, too—would pile into a 16-foot aluminum boat with a little 3½-horsepower motor and cross a nearby lake to fish for perch and sunfish. We also had a little trout stream on our land, where my buddies and I could fish when it wasn’t too muddy.

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