Montana > Ice Fishing Montana

Where would you go in Bozeman?


Hey there from Wyoming.  I have a problem and I figured you guys in Montana would be just the ones to help.  I live in Jackson, WY, and have a brother going to school in Bozeman.  I am constantly promising to come up and visit with him for the weekend, but have been very busy with work, hunting, open-water fishing, and now, ice-fishing.  If I knew a reliable, easy-to-get-to spot that holds a decent lake-trout or other fish population with the possibility of catching some lunkers within relatively close proximity to Bozeman, I could better justify breaking away from my local early-season honey holes.  I know nobody wants to give away their secret spots, but maybe you could just instant-message me, and I promise, if I ever even fish it more than this once, it would be very infrequent, and I wouldn't tell anyone else.  Thanks

I don't know of anywhere near Bozeman where they catch lake trout.  A lot of Bozeman guys go up to Canyon Ferry which is about an hour away.  Canyon Ferry has a good walleye and trout population.  The perch numbers have been down the last several years.  You should also be able to get some ling.  Just go to the silos (2 big brick structures in the middle of a field outside of Townsend- you can't miss them) and look for the crowd. 

Maybe someone from Bozeman can give you some better info. I am from Helena.

jig-jig THUMP:
I used to live in Bozeman but moved to PA a few years back.  The closest halfway decent lake to icefish is Hyalite Res which is in the mountains about 20 minutes south of town.  Trout only in there and I never caught them bigger than 16".  Canyon Ferry Res (first res on the Missouri River) is about an hour NW of town and easy to get to.  I caught rainbows in there up to about 24", lots of perch and a few walleye (I've heard the walleye are in better numbers there now).  I caught the trout about anywhere out there and it is a big open lake.  Fish were often 10-15 ft down over 40 ft of water.  Keep driving north a couple of miles past Townsend towards Helena.  You'll see the Silos on the right.  Drive down that road and there's a good tackle shop there that should be able to steer you to success.  By the way, you can't use live minnows in any lakes of the region that Bozeman is in (don't think that law has changed).  I did well with pimples for perch and sometimes trout.  Trout seemed to like small jigs and maggots best.

I don't think it's safe ice there just yet (maybe call the shop- I think it's called The Silos Tackle Shop but not sure).

Last option I can suggest is Dailey Lake which is about an hour or so drive (east over the pass to Livingston then south down Paradise Valley).  Also has perch, trout, and walleye.  This lake is up on a bluff to the left above the main highway headed south.  Find it on a map to know which secondary roads to take.
Being from WY am sure that you know about the wind.  Dailey is often blowing pretty good.  Good luck.


nice.  thanks.

Take a few extra days off, load your brother up, and head to Fort Peck.  It's not close to Bozeman, but well worth the drive.  1700 miles of shoreline, lakers, walleye, pike, you name it.  Do a search in pictures, and you'll see what I'm talking about.


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