Early Season Lake Koocanusa

Fishing Lake Koocanusa will 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, this year you cannot keep any bull trout so handle them with care and get them released as soon as possible. The biggest rainbow  went about 9 lbs..

We caught fish on the bucktail flies and Lyman plugs on the surface, also jointed Rapalas. We also caught two bulls 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.

Tight lines

Capt. Bob


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 about the 10th of October. I have several charters on the calender and I am getting anxious to start catching those big rainbows. Book early as this is a short season ending Nov. 30th then starting back up in February thru May.

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

Lake Koocanusa

It is not to early to start booking your dates to fish for the trophy rainbows. I will be moving the boat up to Eureka in Mid October and some of the ideal days are starting to fill up. This is a special time of year for these hard fighting rainbows. Last year was really showing some promise of big fish for the up coming years.

Lets go fishing

Flathead Lake

Summer fishing on Flathead Lake remains steady. Fishing the north end of the center bar is a good area for smaller good eating Lakers.

Also the 300’ of water down the east side of the center bar is holding fish feeding on the shrimp.

Try trolling a dodger houchies combo in either white houchies or green/white combination. (Ultra violet)

#0 dodger from Silver Horde in #013 hammered, #790, and 793 all hammered.

#35 Octopus, houchies, in # 9012 ultra violet, #4014 all work well tied 18-23” behind the dodger.

Look for fish suspended in the 60 to 80’ depths over 120 to 300’ of water.

Early morning and later afternoon/evening is a good time to catch these fish suspended feeding on the shrimp in the deep water.

Tight lines


Summer Fishing

The fishing remains steady on Flathead Lake. Fishing the north end of the lake around the river mouth is your best bet in July and August.

Trolling the usual dodger, flasher, houchies combo still produces the most fish. Good number of eater size lake trout average 3-5lbs.

Also try a few spoons in the perch pattern near the surface. The fish are suspended through out the water column.

Some bigger lake trout off of Woods Bay Point and off the shelf at Yellow Bay are giving up some nice lakers in the 15 to 20 lb. range. Although you probably will only catch two or three of these bigger fish they are a true trophy fish.

Swan Lake pike fishing is in full swing the water has warmed and the pike are in the shallows. Nice size pike averaging 5lbs. with some bigger over 10 pound fish.

Tight lines.

Flathead Lake/Swan Lake

Well, the weather has finally settled down and the fish have turned on! Yesterday and todays charter were the best numbers of the year. 10 to 15 fish to the net is a very good day. All quality fish.We are fishing the delta  just sout and east of the the shallows. The thermal is 45 to 55ft down over the entire area. the fish are stacked in that depth. Very easy to find on the fish finder. Trolling dodgers or flashers with houchies or steamer flies. Mostly chrome flashers or dodger with white or green houchies. Some spoons are also working well in like colors

Also, Swan Lake is fishing real good right now for Pike. The water temp. has warmed up enough for the weeds to start growing and that brings the pike in to the weeds looking for bait fish and some cover. Also trolling for lake trout, cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon.

See you on the water

Spring time fishing Northwest Montana

Flathead Lake:

The lake trout fishing remains steady on Flathead Lake. This time of the season I call it the tansition period. These lakers seem to be moving around due to the run off and fluxuation of the water temperature and oxygen level. Try fishing the  east side of the center bar just off of Woods Bay point. You can fish the entire length of the center bar starting at the delta all the way down to Yellow Bay.

Jigging in 200? of water works well or trolling in 180-200? the typical trolling dodgers and houchies, Brads Super Baits all work well.

Lake Mary Ronan:

Just a reminder, the kokanee fishing will open the third Saturday in May. The limit is 10 kokanee per day 20 in possession. Last year the kokanee limits were caught in a hour or less. This is a fantastic opportunity for catching these tasty hard fighting salmon. 12″ kokanee were the average size.

Lake Koocanusa:

The fishing remains steady for these big rainbows. We did 2 trips last week and the biggest rainbow was 7 lbs. and the biggest bull trout was 9 lbs. Reminder the bull trout are a catch and release only. Great action all day as we put 23 fish in the boat on Saturday and 20 fish in the boat on Sunday. The Koocanusa Resort Derby is the May 16 and 17th. go to Lake Koocanusa Resort.com for all the details.

Swan Lake:

This is the time to fish Swan Lake for a mixed bag. The rainbows, lake trout, bull trout,  pike and kokanee salmon are all biting on this popular lake.

Give us a call if you have any questions about fishing these abundant lakes.

See you on the water


Lake Koocanusa/Spring time fishing

We fished last Friday and Saturday on Lake Koocanusa, it was fantastic! Friday 12 fish in the boat the biggest rainbow was 5.6 lbs. and the biggest bull trout was approx. 8 lbs.

On Saturday it was even better with 13 fish in the boat. The biggest rainbow going almost 7 lbs. and a beautiful bull trout going just over 10 lbs. We also had many more hits and lost the fish while bringing it in. These fish fight so hard that sometimes it is a challenge to get the fish to the boat.

Also, Flathead Lake remains to be steady averaging 5 to 12 fish per trip.


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”