For those of you who have fished in Montana before and not fished any of the lakes in southwest Montana, let us show you exactly what you are missing! The majority of people pass on the notion of coming out here to fish a lake. That’s fine of course – different strokes for different folks, but the ones who dip into this realm frequently come back to the shop from the day of fishing with ear to ear grins and a memory card filled with big fish photos! We even have a few clients who come out and exclusively fish lakes with our guides.
If the notion of catching 2-4 pound average trout sounds boring to you, you might want to rethink everything! The fish in many of the lakes we take guests to average 16-20” and are heavy to boot. For us personally, perhaps the least boring factor is the big fish potential. Every year our clients and guides catch 5-8 pound trout and sometimes even larger. We have yet to meet a client that had a bad time watching a 2-foot Rainbow or Brown trout eat a hopper and then take them into their backing
These fish are not pellet fed, lumpy fish! They are typically stocked as fingerlings in the 4-6 inch range, and in a relatively short time period, get huge on the bountiful food supply that these lakes produce. These wild fish are big, beautiful, and in spectacular physical condition. An 18” fish on a lot of these lakes will be between 3-4 pounds! There is also quite a bit of natural reproduction on a few of these lakes as well where fish can run up into small tributary streams.
Good dry fly fishing happens just as much on stillwaters as it does on moving water, and when May and June roll around, Callibaetis Mayflies make for some of the best fishing of the year. On the really magical mornings, it is not uncommon to see gangs of really big trout cruising the edges, feeding on Callibaetis nymphs, emergers, and dries. Sight fishing for these fish can be an amazing up close and personal experience.
The lakes that we guide on offer a unique and varied opportunity for the seasoned angler and beginner alike. On most of the private lakes we can get people with little to no experience into a lot of action relatively easily, making it a great opportunity for someone who is learning to fly fish. For the expert angler sight casting to big fish working a hatch in the skinniest of water, there are opportunities that will test your nerves, eyes and casting abilities.
These lakes are not affected at all by runoff, making them a great choice if you are here early in the season when our rivers and streams are swollen with snowmelt. May and June are prime months to fish these lakes here in SW Montana. The weather can be a bear in April when the ice comes off, but the fishing can be some of the best of the year, not only on the lakes but area rivers as well. The only time the lakes are not a good choice is if they get too hot, in late summer. But from ice-out through July these lakes provide some dynamite fishing.
If you are interested in hearing more about the variety of lakes we offer guided trips on; give us a call at 406-222-7130 or E-mail.