When we mention fishing in Southwest Montana, most people tend to think of casting flies on one of our extraordinary rivers, or dropping a line into one of the pools of our boulder-strewn mountain streams, and fair enough. Perhaps less well-known are the lakes scattered around the region. From small remote mountain lakes like Bean Lake on the edge of the Scapegoat Wilderness to vast summertime staples like Canyon Ferry, Southwest Montana has the perfect lake for whatever your mood.
The variety of lakes means that there is something for whatever you are looking for. Rainbow trout are the catch of the day in most of the lakes, though in Canyon Ferry and Holter Lake (on the Missouri), you can also find walleye and perch, among other warm and cold water species.
Nearly all of the lakes offer decent shore fishing, but to get the true lake experience, you might want a boat. Canoes and kayaks work perfectly well for most of the lakes (though for the biggest, like Canyon Ferry, you’ll probably want a motor if you hope to venture too far from shore).