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Author Topic: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?  (Read 605 times)

Offline fridayfish

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ive heard they school up in deep holes in the winter. I might try if I can find the right place for safety and fish.  it sounds a little crazy. ive never noticed anyone icefishing on a river. does anyone do this? how does someone catch there limit of mountain whitefish? any special techniques or ideas? spots near Missoula? .
thanks in advance.

Offline Mogi

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 26, 2013, 04:45 PM »
I haven't tried but you see folks fishin  for whiteys on the bitterroot all winter long. I think they use like 10-12ft rods to reach out beyond the ice shelf. I hear people catch buckets of them.

Offline Cornbread

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 26, 2013, 06:55 PM »
I fish for them up here in winter on the rivers that run too fast to ice over. I use maggots and bounce them along the bottom. I end up losing tackle fairly often because you get snagged a lot so use cheap bait hooks that are small enough to fit in their mouth. They are a salmonid so they are kind of greasy fish but they taste good.

Offline Htech77

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 26, 2013, 06:59 PM »
All these rivers are full of whitey's. If you can find one you'll find a bunch. I think a maggot under a bobber with a weight should do it. I'd shoot for long slightly deep runs fish it from top to bottom. You'll find em. Also pretty easy to catch on a fly rod with a hares ear or brassie, egg etc.

Offline njoy

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 26, 2013, 10:43 PM »
Many times the active whiteys are in the riffles above the deeper holes. We use hares ear or a hook and maggots or both for them. They smoke up great. We just wade fish for them.

Offline gso12

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 26, 2013, 10:54 PM »
I Always catch a bunch with the fly rod with smaller nymphs caught several with a goldenstone during last weeks nicer weather

Offline missoulafish

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #6 on: Dec 27, 2013, 12:07 AM »
This used to be one of my favorite things to do!!! Find a frozen slough on the Clark Fork around Missoula and catch whitefish and trout all day long. Haven't done it for many years though since I started chasing other species. Bobber, split shot, brown whitefish fly and a maggot. Looked for 7-8' of water or a bit more and watched the bobber all day:)
So to answer your question, yes!!! Drive down the south side road and keep your eyes open. TEST THE ICE AT ALL TIMES!!!! Moving water makes for highly variable ice conditions!!!!

Offline salmonator

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #7 on: Dec 27, 2013, 03:35 AM »
I would try by superior bridge. I use a regular pole with a whitefish fly and one spike. Tie a sinker to it so the fly is a foot off the bottom and let it slowly drift down. Killed em last year in that area. Also forest grove just a few miles down can be good to

Offline MTviking

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #8 on: Dec 27, 2013, 09:12 AM »
ive heard they school up in deep holes in the winter. I might try if I can find the right place for safety and fish.  it sounds a little crazy. ive never noticed anyone icefishing on a river. does anyone do this? how does someone catch there limit of mountain whitefish? any special techniques or ideas? spots near Missoula? .
thanks in advance.


I used to catch a ton of them through the ice at Placid.  They're easy to sight fish as well out of a dark icehouse.  Usually would see lots of them cruising only a couple feet below the ice.

Offline fridayfish

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #9 on: Dec 27, 2013, 10:58 AM »
thanks for the good feedback. im definitely going to try this. whats a whitefish fly? I might try placid lake too. that sounds pretty good. is there a particular area on placid where I should target them? how deep of water? thanks again

Offline Mogi

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #10 on: Dec 27, 2013, 11:06 AM »
To more posts and you can access the lakes and conditions page. There is a lot of info on placid there.

Offline fridayfish

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #11 on: Dec 27, 2013, 11:12 AM »
2 more posts? hmmm

Offline Montana89

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #12 on: Dec 27, 2013, 01:07 PM »
keep an eye on some of the side channels around kelly island. i catch lots of whities on nymphs in the spring and summer there. Its been pretty warm here but those side channels do ice up pretty good. safer than the main stem for sure. This is something i want to try as well so i will keep an eye out for ya.

It's All Nice On Ice Alright

Offline salmonator

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Re: anyone icefish for mountain whitefish in the rivers?
« Reply #13 on: Dec 27, 2013, 05:33 PM »
I caught a bunch of white fish by the day area on placid last year. The fly I use is orange or yellow with brown or black hackle wrapped around it. But I've seen all types used. Usually size 8 or 10 hook

 



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