Summer fishing in full swing
The summer solstice has come and gone, all the lakes and rivers are clearing up and temperatures are hot, so it is time to think SUMMER!
If you are a trout angler, you know that (for the most part) cool water is critical. Fishing the early mornings and late afternoons is often the key, and especially for those who plan on releasing fish.
Deep water fish in lakes are often found right at the thermocline, where the coolest water exists.
If you are targeting the warmer water species, such as bass, pike and panfish, then those mid-day bites can fill the void quite nicely.
Often, while waiting for the water to warm up, or fishing the shallows that warm more quickly, will reward the angler looking for these fish.
There are a lot of lakes in our area that really offer the best of both worlds for someone looking to fish all day. Take the Thompson Chain. You can fish trout early in the morning, then target bass, pike, perch in the mid-day, maybe fish for some deeper Kokanee, then finish off when the evening bug hatch happens.
Or Swan Lake…fish the shorelines in the early morning, go deep for lake trout and Kokanee mid-day, then perhaps take advantage of the cool water the river is bringing in before hitting the shoreline again.
It is pretty much the same story on any of the multi species lakes across Region 1.
You can even vary your tactics, fly fish in the morning and evening, spin or bait cast or even troll in the afternoons. Lakes such as Echo Lake, Lake Five and Glen Lake up toward Eureka can keep an angler going for days on end with multiple opportunities, along with the previous mentioned lakes.
You just need to get out there and get after it!
As for Flathead Lake, this is typically the time of year when, as the waters in the bays and harbors clear up, we expect an amazing bite near the surface.
As the water warms near 60 degrees on the surface, young of the year perch, pygmy whitefish and red side shiners all seem to be in the upper water column.
You have to be ready for anything, with an assortment of crank baits, flies behind dodgers and flashers and even jigs, as long as you have a way to put those lures at the proper depths.
With all the forage however, you need to convince these fish your offering is a better choice than live food, and also to understand that just because you are seeing them on your
electronics, they may not be feeding fish.
Lake Trout can and do go 24-48 hours or longer between feeding so move, move, move until you find the biters!
Have a safe and fun summer fishing season, use sunscreen or better yet clothing that has UPF protection and drink lots of fluids.
I’ll see you on the water!
Mike Howe is the owner/outfitter at Howe’s Fishing, A Able and Mo Fisch Charters. Call 406-257-5214 or at www.howesfishing.com