Saturday, June 12, 2021

Memorial Day fishing

| May 27, 2021 12:00 AM

For so many across the U.S., Memorial Day kicks off the summer season.

Here in the Rocky Mountain West however, it is just one of many reminders that summer will arrive, eventually, maybe.

While the 10-day forecast has some positive vibes for Saturday through Monday, those of us that have seen a couple dozen or more Memorial Days come and go around these parts know to take that with a bit of skepticism!

But hey, we don’t need sunshine and warm temperatures to go fishing!

Typically, Memorial Day weekend sees a lot of folks camping and fishing, and there are dozens of places here in Region 1 where the two go hand in hand.

One of the most popular places is the Thompson Chain of Lakes, as well as the Thompson River. While often the river is a little high and muddy, the lakes are usually fishing great this time of year.

No matter what type of camping you enjoy, from full hookup RV sites at Logan State Park on Middle Thompson, to minimally developed sites on most of the others, you can be at most, a three-minute walk to the shore, and at some sites, casting from your fire pit!

There are a LOT of shore fishing opportunities on “The Chain.”

Many boating opportunities exist at Loon, Horseshoe, Crystal and the others.

You can bring the bigger boats to Middle, with a great launch site at Logan State Park, and mid size boats can be easily launched at Crystal and Lower.

All the rest are more suitable to smaller craft, with mostly dirt ramps and no docks. One of the things that makes this area such a great place to fish is the diversity in the lakes.

Just about every fish species available in Region 1 can be found here.

Trout, salmon, panfish, pike, bass, even tiger muskie in Horseshoe!

Some great perch fishing can be had in all of the lakes, and some very nice largemouth bass can be caught out of Lower Thompson, right alongside big pike and brown trout!

The only downside I can think of is that if you haven’t already made your plan for the weekend, finding a place to camp may be a bit tough.

Logan State Park fills up fast by mid-week, as most of the sites are available for online booking. But if you are more of an undeveloped site camper and don’t need room for a 40-foot camper, you can usually find a place to call home for the weekend.

If you go, you will find good kokanee in Middle Thompson trolling the ACM Road side of the lake, as well as some good pike fishing just east of the launch.

Perch can be found almost everywhere on Middle, move until you find the big ones! On Lower, I have always found good bass fishing on the southwest corner of the lake among the big submerged logs and good pike in the

South East bay. In Crystal, troll the Kokanee anywhere deeper than 30 feet of water!

As for Flathead Lake, our guides have been out almost daily all month. Our best fishing has been shallow around the mud line, as well as in the bays along the shorelines from Somers to Angel Point.

In fact, Captain Matt McComb had a five-species day on Tuesday, a first in over 30 years of fishing the big lake, landing four types of trout and a smallmouth bass, all in a five-hour charter!

That, folks, is why we are the busiest outfit on the lake! If they are there, WE will catch ‘em!

This Memorial Day, I sincerely hope you will spend some time reflecting on and honoring those that have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend this country and the principals upon which it was founded.

Without them, we would not enjoy the freedoms we all too often take for granted.

I’ll see you on the water.

Howe is the owner/outfitter at Howe’s Fishing, A Able and Mo Fisch Charters. Call 406-257-5214 or at