Tips, deals, and advice on traveling the continent on a budget.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fishing Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake is the largest natural body of water found west of the continental divide. It is surrounded by gorgeous mountains on both sides and the water within the lake is home to one of the greatest populations of lake trout in the entire United States. Lake Trout fishing is by far the most popular type of fishing on this lake, but there are many other species of fish present within the lake as well. Some of these species would include: Lake Whitefish, Northern Pike, Bull Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Perch. The bottom line is that Lake Trout are, by far, the fish that most anglers choose to fish for.

Flathead Lake is one of the best lake trout fisheries in the country, with 15-20 pound lake trout being a fairly common occurrence. If you've never fished on Flathead Lake, there are many guides in the area that can take you out for a wonderful day of trout fishing. If you've never fished Flathead Lake, a guide wouldn't be a bad idea, because with the lakes extreme depths finding schools of fish can become a bit tricky. The lake is over 200 feet deep in places. To Fish Flathead Lake effectively, a boat equipped with downriggers is a great idea.

Flathead Lake is also home to an enormous population of Lake Superior Whitefish. In many parts of the country these 3-5 pound beauties are considered a delicacy, and Flathead Lake has plenty of them. In fact in the fall you can even go river fishing for them. Fall is spawning time and they "run" up the Flathead River to spawn. There are so many of them that they get stacked up in almost any hole. In the spring, when the perch fry hatch, Whitefish can be caught in the Elmo area. With the limit of whitefish on Flathead Lake being 100 per angler, a persons freezer can be filled on one fishing trip, although cleaning that many fish would be a nightmare!

Flathead Lake not only offers beautiful scenery, but it offers the angler many opportunities as well. As mentioned earlier, a guide is never a bad idea, especially on a lake of this size. Flathead Lake is 15 miles wide and 32 miles long, so that's a lot of water to cover if you're just visiting. A trip to a local tackle shop to pick up a map and ask a few questions will probably suffice as well.

The bottom line is that fishing opportunities abound in Flathead Lake. And if you happen to be in the market for a trophy Lake Trout, you'll have a hard time finding a better place to search for it than Flathead Lake. Fifteen to twenty pound "Lakers" Are a fairly common occurrence, and trophies are fairly common as well.

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