Fishing For Salmon In Montana
Guide to fishing for coho and kokanee salmon in MT.
Montana is not typically known for salmon fishing, as it is a landlocked state without direct access to the ocean. However, it does offer opportunities for anglers to target landlocked salmon, also known as kokanee salmon, in select lakes and reservoirs.
Kokanee salmon are a popular sport fish in Montana and can be found in certain bodies of water such as Flathead Lake, Georgetown Lake, and Canyon Ferry Reservoir. These salmon are not the same as the ocean-run salmon species, but they still provide an exciting angling experience. Kokanee salmon are known for their hard-fighting nature and vibrant colors, making them a sought-after catch among anglers.
Flathead Lake is one of the top destinations for kokanee salmon fishing in Montana. The lake supports a healthy population of kokanee, and anglers can target them using downriggers, trolling with small spoons, or jigging with small lures. The spring and fall seasons are generally the most productive for kokanee salmon fishing in Flathead Lake.
Georgetown Lake is another notable fishery for landlocked salmon in Montana. The lake is regularly stocked with kokanee salmon, providing ample opportunities for anglers to catch these prized fish. Trolling with downriggers or using light tackle with small lures are effective methods for targeting kokanee in Georgetown Lake.
Canyon Ferry Reservoir, located on the Missouri River, also offers opportunities for kokanee salmon fishing. Anglers can find success by trolling or jigging near drop-offs and underwater structures. The reservoir's deep waters provide suitable habitat for kokanee salmon to thrive.
It's important to note that fishing regulations and limits for kokanee salmon may vary depending on the specific water body and season. Anglers should consult the Montana Fishing Regulations and obtain the necessary licenses before pursuing salmon fishing in the state.
While Montana may not be widely recognized as a salmon fishing destination, its landlocked salmon fisheries provide anglers with a unique opportunity to experience the thrill of catching these feisty and beautiful fish. Whether it's trolling on a scenic lake or jigging in a reservoir, Montana's salmon fishing offers a chance to reel in some impressive kokanee salmon and enjoy the natural beauty of the state's waterways.
Salmon Fishing Lakes in Montana
There is a nice variety of salmon fishing in MT. Several major lakes including Ashley Lake, Fort Peck Lake, Fresno Reservoir, Georgetown Lake, Hauser Lake, Holter Reservoir, Lake Helena, Lake Koocanusa, McDonald Lake, Noxon Reservoir, Seeley Lake and Swan Lake all have populations of salmon. Also try your luck in the tributary rivers that flow into or out of these lakes.
World record: 97 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 31.13 lbs
World record: 33 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 4.88 lbs
World record: 9 lbs 10 oz
State Record: 7.85 lbs
Click the images and links above for species details.
Montana State Record Salmon
The state record chinook salmon came from Fort Peck Reservoir.
The state record coho salmon was caught in Fort Peck Reservoir.
The record kokanee salmon was taken out of Hauser Lake
About The Pacific Salmon Family
Pacific Salmon are born in and remain in freshwater streams for the early years of life. The number varies by species. Afterward they migrate to the Pacific Ocean waters where they bulk up and prepare for their once in a lifetime spawning run up the freshwater stream where they were born. They will instinctively return to their birthplace, spawn and die. They are found in the streams which empty into the ocean, and adjoining ocean waters.
The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies. For more details check here for articles about fly fishing.
Montana Salmon Fishing
The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies, as well as a variety of other lures and baits.
Salmon fishing waters and information, by state.
Learn the life cycle of salmon
The more you know about the life cycle and seasonal migration of salmon, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Montana salmon fishing waters. Visit the salmon fishing page for more information about the life cycle of the different species of salmon.
Contribute MT Salmon Fishing Knowledge
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