By Robert Lucke
It might be midsummer and and the dog days of fishing, but in this part of Montana, fishing is good to great reports area fish biologist, Kent Gilge with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Bear Paw streams are rated as excellent by Gilge.
Streams in this area are still flowing well for this time of year. There are good catches happening too, said Gilge. People I talk to are doing just dandy in the creeks.
When to fish the creeks is a question that comes up a lot this time of the year as days get more hot.
Darn near any time of day is fine for fishing in the creeks, added Gilge. In some ways it is best to fish in the middle of the day when the sun is overhead so it does not cast shadows into the stream. And evening is good too. The water temperature has warmed and bug hatches occur in late afternoon or evening.
So why is it that so many folks get up at the shank of dawn to fish Bear Paw streams?
The fish dont care when we go fishing, said Gilge, smiling. It is us and our comfort levels, not the fish. It happens that lots of us like to fish best in the mornings so that is when we fish.
A reminder from FWP is that the stream limit is ten trout per day and ten in your possession.
So if you catch your ten fish, you have to eat them before you can catch anymore, added Gilge.
Reservoirs in the region are good these days as well.
Fresno is a steady producer for walleye, Gilge commented. Bailey Reservoir has been real steady for crappie and perch.
Bear Paw Lake has been good this summer for small trout and small bass. From the amount of fishing play it is getting, catch rates must be pretty good.
In Beaver Creek Reservoir it is a perch mainly lake this summer, said Gilge. There are oodles of perch.
The Dry Fork Reservoir north of Chinook is a place that Gilge recommends going this summer for northern pike and perch.
Generally, Gilge is pleased with area fishing so far in 1999.
I havent heard of any disappointments, Gilge explained. It is all going about as expected.
If summer fishing has not been what you expected, Gilges advise for you is adapt, dont quit.
Things can get a little slow this time of year. Sometimes on real hot days mornings and evenings are best for fishing, Gilge related. Big drawbacks are that ponds are really weeded up now and tough to fish. The fish are there. They are just hard to get to. This is a good time for boats and float tubes.
Looking ahead into the fall, fishing should continue to be good.
I guess I dont expect many changes this late. The key is water levels in the fall. That will tell what they are going to be like going into the winter, Gilge stated. In most places we are in good shape. That is encouraging.