Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Montana's brookies

Brook trout aren't typically thought of as being terribly ferocious. Voracious, to be sure, but not aggressive per se. They'll collect as many mayflies and midges as their stomachs will hold, but streamers aren't generally used when targeting them. But over the past year, I've learned that they can be quite predatory and will hammer streamers as much or more than brown trout in many situations.
In Montana, most of the best brookie water is kept under wraps. I can tell you a dozen places where rookies could have a good day with small ones, but big brookies are hard to find.
The best place that I know of (that's not a secret) for big brook trout is Georgetown Lake. I've never fished it myself, but I've heard reports recently that they're back with a vengeance (it has suffered in the past 10 to years, apparently due to whirling disease).
Check out this video from Blackfoot River Outfitters (the brook trout action is from about 1:10 to 1:50):

The biggest brookie that Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has surveyed there was about 20.5 inches in 2006. In 2007, about 60,000 4-inchers were stocked and in 2008,another 50,000 er so were added. By 2011, the population should be thinned out a touch, but their lengths should be getting up there. It might be a great year to investigate the brook trout bounty at Georgetown Lake.


Bigerrfish said...

Delete this one if you want but, you know that little creek that runs through the golf course? near Sypes canyon... now that little creek has your brookies, Get this, I found a Brown one day that must have swam out of the east but the thing must have been chowing on baby brookies, eggs er somthin. Anyway it was all of 20 inches and when I scared it, it the trail running, with no end in sight. probably still in there.

Josh said...

So I hear. I've never seen anything like that in there, but there was a last-page-of-the-magazine story that was very vague in a Flyfisherman a couple years ago, that I'm reasonable sure described the same creek.

Will Jordan said...

Impressive brookies in that video! Looks like they were fishing a river? Would love to have a fall brookie honey hole myself! I know of an alpine lake in the Beartooth's that holds some good brookies (15-16" was my best).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Matt "Gilligan" Koles said...

I once took a drive from Rock Creek over to Georgetown Lake. Could have been the most amazing drive ever. Didn't fish, but looked awesome. Frigg'n amazing country.

Josh said...

Will - I think that's the lake. I slowed it down - it's hard to tell but I think it's Georgetown. I thought about going up there this fall to look for some streams where they might run...
Matt - it is gorgeous. The Anaconda-Pintler Scenic Highway is one of the best. I've not done much fishing up there either, but after watching this, I think I might.

Happy Thanksgiving!