Permitted to operate
on the Flathead
National Forest

Fish We Outsmart

Rainbow Trout

 Rainbow Trout,
               Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout, Grayling, Brook Trout and Northern Pike Fly Fishing Guided Tours This trout is an olive-green color with heavy black spotting over the length of the body. The adult fish has a red-colored stripe along the lateral line, from the gills to the tail. Rainbow trout in lakes are usually lighter colored or a more silvery color than those in streams. In Montana, the fisheries stock rainbow trout in a variety of waters across the state. Rainbow trout are easy to raise in hatcheries, and are a very hardy and active sport fish. Wild rainbow trout spawn in the spring, but fish culturists have developed fall spawning races. These races allow fish hatcheries to raise young fish over the winter so they can be released at a catchable size in the spring. Rainbow trout can be caught on artificial flies, spoons and small spinners.

Cutthroat Trout

 Rainbow Trout,
               Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout, Grayling, Brook Trout and Northern Pike Fly Fishing Guided Tours Cutthroat trout are named for the bright red-orange streak in the fold under their mouth. These trout are native to the mountain and foothill streams of Montana. They have been introduced into various river systems within Montana and are abundant in the Flathead and Swan Rivers. Cutthroat prefer colder water than do the closely related rainbow trout. Cutthroat trout spawn in the spring, which may be as late as early July in high mountain streams. Cutthroat trout are usually caught on artificial flies, small spoons and small spinners.

Bull Trout (Dolly Varden)

 Rainbow Trout,
               Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout, Grayling, Brook Trout and Northern Pike Fly Fishing Guided Tours Also known by some as the Dolly Varden, the bull trout is a long, slim fish with a large head in proportion to its body. The fish has an olive-green to grey back and silvery sides which are marked with pale yellow to red spots. There are no black spots on the dorsal fin of this trout. Bull trout are found in all the river systems with headwaters in the mountains. They are a native trout with a large natural distribution in Montana. This species is protected in various areas.

Grayling

 Rainbow Trout,
               Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout, Grayling, Brook Trout and Northern Pike Fly Fishing Guided Tours These fish have a colorful and very large dorsal fin, much larger than that of any other cold-water fish. Grayling have large scales with brown or black spots on the body behind the head. They have a black line in the fold under the mouth. The Arctic grayling is native to North America, and is found in many Montana rivers The Arctic grayling is typically found in streams and rivers. Spawning occurs from May to June, depending on the area. Grayling migrate from lakes and larger rivers to smaller streams to spawn. The males on the spawning ground are territorial and will drive away other males when confronted. Actual spawning occurs during daylight. Intense quivering by both the male and female, as the eggs and milt are deposited, displaces some of the bottom material and buries some of the fertilized eggs. No actual nest is built. After spawning, Arctic grayling return to the lakes and larger rivers. The eggs hatch quickly, 13 to 18 days after being deposited. The Arctic grayling's diet consists of a wide range of both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. Fish eggs and small fish may also supplement the diet.

Brook Trout

 Rainbow Trout,
               Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout, Grayling, Brook Trout and Northern Pike Fly Fishing Guided Tours The brook trout is one of the most colorful trouts. The back is dark green with pale wavy lines. The sides have a purple sheen with blue-haloed red spots. The lower fins have a black stripe behind a pale leading edge. They are found in many of our rivers and are stocked in some lakes where the low concentration of oxygen does not favor other species of trout. The brook trout spawns in October and the eggs hatch in the spring. They can first spawn when they are 18 months old and only 6 cm long. This feature causes many brook trout populations to overcrowd their habitat resulting in individuals becoming stunted in size. The diet of brook trout includes aquatic invertebrates (insects, shrimps, etc.), and other fish. Brook trout can be taken with all types of fishing flies, lures, and baits.

Northern Pike

 Rainbow Trout,
               Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout, Grayling, Brook Trout and Northern Pike Fly Fishing Guided Tours Sometimes called jackfish, the northern pike is a long, slender fish with sharp , backward-slanting teeth, duck-like jaws and a long, flat head. Its back and sides are predominantly dark green to olive-green, with yellow to white spots. Because of a tiny gold spot found on the tip of most scales, the pike appears flecked with gold. In Montana, northern pike have been caught weighing up to 50 pounds. A popular sport fish, the pike is found throughout the Americas. Pike prefer shallow, weedy clear waters in lakes and marshes, but also inhabits slow streams and rivers. Spawning occurs in flooded areas of vegetation in early spring, often when ice is still on the lakes. Pike will eat insects, but as voracious predators, they also consume large numbers of fish and other vertebrates, such as frogs, mice, and even ducklings. Because of their size and stealth, the only important predator of the northern pike are people.


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