Kokanee Fishing

May 23,2012


Yesterday, May 22, I spent a half day with Mark Ward,  Captain Catch’em of the Outdoor Radio Show, and Don Beasley, former owner of the  Sportsman Surplus store in Missoula.  We were targeting kokanee on Lake Mary Ronan.  Though I don’t consider myself  particularly well-versed for these land-locked salmon, I was in company that  filled in my ignorance gaps.  We  anchored close enough to Jens Gran that there was plenty of male conversation  singeing the immediate atmosphere. 

We were using a variety of attracters with the common  denominator being a glow hook baited with uncooked shrimp.  These fish are as high energy as any  I’ve ever caught.  From multiple  aerial acrobatic to runs at you so fast that you think you’ve lost them is the  norm which makes catching them great fun.  We all limited out on Kokanee with a rainbow trout and several perch  thrown in for good measure. 

We were fishing a depth of about 24 feet keeping our  baits close to the bottom.  Of all  the setups we were using the Zimmer Salmon Ready to Go with both the ¼ oz and  1/8 oz Attract-a-Fish caught the most fish. 

Last weekend I spent some time on the East Side of  Polson Bay searching for perch.   We found perch on both the extreme North East and South East sides of the  bay with not much in between.  Even  though they were a little tougher to find than earlier this spring we managed to  bring in a nice mess of perch up to 11 inches along with  3 lake trout.  We used combinations of perch meat and  night crawlers for bait on Zimmer Ready to Go Perch setups. 

For catch and release fly fishermen there is now a  good opportunity for cutthroat trout both on the North West side of the Polson  Armed Forces Memorial Bridge and at Bigfork Harbor where the Swan River empties  into Flathead Lake. 

For more information contact us at Ph. 406-675-0068, my personal  cell number 406-250-0241, or email us at: macman@ronan.net.

We’d also like to see any fishing pictures or read any fish stories  you’d like to send our way.  Check  out our tackle line at: www.zimmertackle.com.   You can order from us online with Paypal or with credit card by phone or  visit our Pablo store. 

Good Fishing,

The Macman

(Dick Zimmer)



The fishing on Flathead Lake remains to be steady. The fish are schooling more to the north end, south of the Delta area. The key this time of year is move around and find the bait and then you will find the lake trout. Try fishing 60’ to 160’ of water just on the south and the east side of the delta. At this time of the season try stacking on your downrigger. The runoff is dumping in enough water, debris and oxygenated water that the fish seem to be from top to bottom. Try some spoons on a flat line or stacking 35 to 60’ down while keeping the downrigger on the bottom for those bottom hugging fish.

Spoons on the long lines and stacking above the bottom hugging flasher/houchie combo’s are a good starting place this time of year. Try some deep diving Rapala’s or some heavy spoons.


Lake Koocanusa:


Rainbows in the 5 to 8 lb. range are the average. Trolling the surface with streamer flies in some dark colors, silver and black, black/white/gold are always good colors. Lyman’s in silver and black or silver with pink are working well.


My biggest worry is that my wife (when I’m dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.

Flathead Lake

Fishing remains steady on Flathead Lake. Trolling in 180-200’ of water off the east side of the center bar. Try Brad’s Super Baits, also try Electronic ProChip 8 Series from Pro-Troll. 8” flashers in #105 glow green, # 746 Mountain Dew Glow on Chartreuse.Tie 28” behind the flasher a Ace Hi Fly in either a #182 Glow Green, or a # 197 UV glow in the dark. Remember keep those baits close to the bottom.

Also fish are showing up at the north end, off the river mouth. Fish are anywhere from 60’ down to 120’. Try using an F-2 chrome flasher from Silver Horde; tie on a Mother of Pearl Houchies #35 (4 1/4”) #2031, or #8011 double glow. You can tip these baits with a small piece of cut bait.


Tip of the Week;

Sweet-Smelling Coolers;

Before you put the cooler away between fishing trips, take a ball of paper towels and put a little artificial vanilla on it. Throw the paper towels in the cooler, and the cooler will smell good as new next time you pull it out. I keep a roll of paper towels and a bottle of cheap artificial vanilla on the shelf right next to the coolers. Many times when I’m getting the coolers ready, I’ll just put the paper towels I pulled out of the cooler on the work bench and re-use them when I get home. The paper towels also soak up that little bit of moisture left over after you wash it out.  “This really works”

I also put a piece of paper towel with the vanilla on it in any little storage area that gets that musty smell.

Tight Lines, Capt. Bob


Flathead Lake/Lake Koocanusa


Fishing on Flathead Lake continues to be steady. Fishing the eastside of the center bar over 200’ of water is the area to fish during the runoff. Staying south far enough to stay out of the mud line and keeping your lures tight to the bottom. These fish are feeding on the mysis shrimp that spend the day light hours on the bottom of the lake far away from the sunlight.

What they are biting on;

Troll deep with the usual dodger and houchies combinations. Silver and green for the dodgers and pearl white for the houchies/white fly.  Also try tipping the front hook with a piece of cut bait. Also try Brad’s Super bait with some cut bait or your favorite scent in the body of this lure. I like the green/chrome color, also try the red/white.

Lake Koocanusa

Lake Koocanusa is still kicking out some Kamloop rainbows, smaller in the 5-8lb. range. Also the Kokanee fishing is very good right now, seems like everyone is limiting out on these great tasting fish.

Tight Lines

Be safe