Spring Fishing: Flathead Lake/Lake Koocanusa

Where to fish:

The fishing on Flathead Lake remains to be steady. We have been averaging 4-10 fish per trip. Typically this time of year the fish are on the move. One day you might find them at 80ft. of water and the next day in 200ft. of water. Be flexible and move around until you find large concentration of fish and then concentrate on that depth. The runoff is going to be the unknown for the next couple months. Depending on the temperature and the amount of rain mix will determine how much runoff we will have day to day. The east side of the center bar in 140ft. of water has been working good.

What to use:

This time of year I try and cover as much area as I can. I usually will fish a dodger or a flasher with a houchie combo, that way I can troll at 1.8 – 2.3 mph. When I find fish then I can try different lures to figure out what they want at that given day. Also Brad’s Super Baits have been catching fish.

I have been having good results using the Cha Cha 4” Salmon Squidder rigs from Mack’s lure #60063 has been a great color, also try #60062. www.mackslure.com

Also the electronic Prochip 8 series from pro-troll has been working good with a mother of pearl houchie tipped with a piece of cut bait is a good go to setup.

Tip of the Day:

In the spring time the weather in NW Montana can be very unpredictable. Keep an eye on the weather; a good rule to follow is that if you think it is to rough it probably is, get off the lake so you can fish another day. Be safe!

Lake Koocanusa:

The rainbow fishing on Lake Koocanusa has been very good in March and I am sure April will continue to be very productive. Last week we caught 3 rainbows and 4 bull trout in a short 5 hrs. the usual lures; Rapala’s, Lyman’s and flies. If one color doesn’t seem to be working be sure and change colors until you find one they want. Also, the cloud cover and the amount of sunshine can effect the color of the lure for that light condition.

“No Bad Days”

Spring time fishing on Lake Koocanusa/Bitteroot Lake

The rainbow fishing has been very good this February and now going into March it should remain to very productive. The ice is gone and the boat ramps are open. 10 fish days have been very common with the surface temp. around 39 degrees. Some nice rainbows in the 8 to 12 lb.range and many smaller 2 to 3 lb. fish. The bull trout remain to be active as well, putting 5 or 6 of them in the mix for the day. Remember you cannot keep any bull trout. Still a surface fishery, trolling Lyman plugs and streamer flies with some Rapala’s thrown in.

Now that the weather is getting more spring like this is a great time to hit Lake Koocanusa and as soon as the ice comes off of Bitteroot Lake you might want to try it. Last spring some real big rainbows were caught on Bitteroot Lake.

Good Luck, see ya on the water

Remember “No Bad Days”

February on Flathead Lake

We took 10 clients out on Flathead Lake using two of our boats this past weekend.  We have had such great spring like conditions we just had to get out and take advantage of it. Last Saturday was a great day putting 12 fish in the boat with a 32″ and a 34″ laker and 10 beautiful 3 to 6 lb. fish for dinner.

Sunday was also a very good day. We got a little later start at 10:00 a.m. but we still put 10 fish in the boat almost a copy of the day before if we hadn’t missed a couple and lost one at the net, it was a perfect day! This spring like weather is perfect fishing conditions for lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake.

We did fish in 200′ of water trolling along the bottom with our favorite flatfish from Worden’s.

Get out on the big lake and take advantage of some great spring fishing.


Spring time Fishing

Okay, it is almost time to get out on the big lake. March, April, May is my favorite time to fish Flathead Lake. We have caught more trophy sized lakers in early spring/late winter than any other time of the year. I’m not sure why that is but I do know where they are and how to catch them?  Using large flatfish trolling right on the bottom in 200 ft. of water is the presentation for these big fish. Lake trout up to 30 lbs. are not that uncommon.  Our best day a couple of years ago was 12 fish in the boat in 4 hours, the largest was 31 lbs. and the smallest was 18 lbs.  On a average day you can expect 8 to 12 fish in the boat ranging from 3 lbs. to 20 lbs.

If you are thinking of booking a trip in March, April or May you better hurry we are filling up fast.

Happy fishing and remember it is not about the destination it is about the journey.

2014 in review

Thanks for another great year!

Lake trout fishing on Flathead Lake was steady all year. Average days were 4 to 8 fish per trip and some special days with 15 to 20 fish days. The biggest laker brought to the boat was a beautiful 28 lb. 39” laker caught last March. This fishery really gets going in late February and early March for some of the season’s biggest fish.

Kokanee salmon fishing was also very good. Lake Mary Ronan produced limits every trip. Remember the Kokanee season will open third Saturday in May, book your dates early as I am sure we will fill up fast for these tasty salmon. Fun for the entire family.


Pike fishing was fantastic early season on Upper Stillwater. These pike were fun on a fly rod. Biggest pike on a fly rod this year went near 10 lbs., that is a hand full with an 8 weight fly rod. Also Swan Lake was very consistent all summer and into fall for pike.


Big Rainbows on Lake Koocanusa. This was our best year in the past 3 years. The biggest rainbow came at a whopping 11 lbs. We had days with limits of 8 rainbows over 22”, averaging 6 lbs. This season starts in late October and runs through late November. Book early as this is a short season .

Check out the pictures on our home page of most recent catches for a sample of what to exspect from these great waters in NW Montana.

Have a great Holiday season. I look forward to what next season will bring?

October Fishing Kams/Macs

Fishing Lake Koocanusa can only get better

We fished last weekend on the north end and south of the bridge for the Kamloop rainbows. We did catch 3 rainbows and 3 bull trout. The biggest bull was approx. 5 lbs. remember, you cannot keep any bull trout so handle them with care and get them released as soon as possible. The biggest rainbow went about 4 lbs.

We caught fish on the bucktail flies and Lyman plugs on the surface, also jointed Rapalas. We also caught two bull trout off the downrigger one at 55 ft. and 65 ft.

We did mark a lot of fish on the fish finder, big schools of Kokanee salmon. The surface temperature was 58-59 degrees. In a couple weeks the fishing should get much better and the big fish will start to show up. The best time for this fishery is when the surface water temperature gets down to 55 degrees or less.

Flathead Lake

The fishing remains steady for the Lake Trout. We are averaging 6 to 10 fish per trip.November is the time the lake trout spawn so they are moving in closer to the shore and the islands. Try the normal tackle, dodgers/houchies and some spoons. You can fish in 60 to 100′ of water closer in.

Good Luck, see ya on the water

Flathead Lake, Lake Koocanusa, Bitteroot Lake

The last couple of days out on Flathead Lake have been very good. We have been catching 6 to 10 nice fish averaging 3 to 5 lbs.Also catching a few larger fish up to 10lbs. Try trolling off Angel Pt. I have been pulling chrome dodgers with green/white houtchies. I been having more hits by uping my trolling speed, try going 2.5mph. Also some perch pattern spoons have been picking up some fish.

Kamloop Rainbows

It is not to early to start thinking about fall fishing Lake Koocanusa or Bitteroot Lake for the big rainbows. I usually wait until about October 20th, but I think with the cooler fall weather I will start fishing in the middle of October. I have several charters on the calender and I am getting anxious to start catching those big rainbows. If you have any questions about how and where to fish Lake Koocanusa feel free to give me a call or drop me a email.

Fall fishing is some of the best fishing of the entire year!

Mid Summer bite

Flathead Lake:

The mid summer bite is in full swing. The afternoon bite is yielding a few more fish that the morning trips. Morning trips are producing some bigger fish when we target them, upwards of 20lbs. The afternoon bite is averaging 8-12 fish per trip, these are the good eating lakers from the mid lake area.

Swan Lake:

The pike fishing on Swan Lake is great right now. The pike are averaging 6-10 lbs. The pike can be caught throwing weedless spoons and some jerk baits. Also on Swan Lake we are catching some lakers, bulltrout, cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon, a good mixed bag.

Flathead River:

The fly fishing is at its best right now. The river flow is down and is running very clear. The dry fly action is the way to fish for these cutthroat and rainbow trout.

Missouri River:

Wow, that is all I can say about the mighty Mo. This river has the largest population of trout per mile than any other river we fish. The hopper dry fly’s are fun and catch a lot of big rainbows and browns.

See ya on the water

What’s Hot

Flathead Lake is fishing real well. It is the mid-summer bite. Early morning is the best time to target the bigger trophy size lakers. We have been getting some nice 15 to 20lb. lakers on these morning trips. The afternoon bite has  become steady putting 8-12 fish in the boat. These are the best eating fish averaging 3-4lbs.

Lake Mary Ronan is still producing good limits of kokanee salmon. This a fun trip for the entire family as this is a real hands on fishery.

Fly fishing is getting good on the Flathead River as the water is clearing up and going down, good numbers of cutthroat trout. The Missouri River is red hot right now good numbers of rainbows and brown trout on a fly. The dry fly action is starting to heat up!

What’s Hot

Kokanee fishing is red hot right now! Limits under 2 hours. Nice size salmon big ones are going 13″ average 9-10″.

Pike fishing is good and only going to get better. We caught 10 pike on a streamer fly using our #8 fly rods, lots of fun.

Lake trout fishing is starting to get more consistent as the summer season gets going. We are averaging 5-10 lakers per trip. The run off is still effecting the water clearity and the oxygen levels at the north end of the lake. We are catching most of our fish on the east side of the center bar in 190′ of water.

Grayling fishing on Rogers Lake is very good  right now. Dry flies and nymphs.

Lots of opportunities, see ya on the water.