Canyon Ferry Reservoir
Canyon Ferry Lake was formed when Canyon Ferry Dam was built, blocking
River. Canyon Ferry Lake is very popular and receives the most use
of any lake in the state. This is due to both its size and location.
The lake is quite large, even by Montana standards, measuring more than
thirty-miles long and up to five miles wide. Since the lake lies just
fifteen miles from Helena, the state capital, it receives heavy use during
warm weather and on the weekends.
Canyon Ferry Lake is an excellent lake for fishing for rainbow trout.
The lake is heavily stocked each year, and the large size of the lake
along with its fertility allow the rainbows to grow large and quite quickly.
Due to these large fish, fly fishing for trout on Canyon Ferry Lake
is quite popular. Sinking lines with large streamers are the general
tools for fly fishing on this lake, although some care must be taken
not to fish too deep, as the trout will generally be found above the
fifteen foot mark.
Somewhat surprisingly, shore fishing for rainbows can
actually be done during the spring when the trout spawn near the shoreline.
However, a boat, preferably with a motor, is generally needed to fish
Canyon Ferry Lake. While inflatable
rafts and traditional canoes can
work well for fishing, especially in the bays, the frequent high winds
on the lake combined with its large size lends itself to primarily motor
Access to Canyon Ferry Lake is excellent. Numerous designated access
sites exist all around the lake. Due to the popularity of the lake and
its close proximity to Helena, virtually all services can be found on
or near the lake, particularly along its western edge.
For an out-state angler in search of rainbow trout who wishes to break
away from the popular rivers and try their luck on a lake, Canyon Ferry
Lake is an excellent choice.
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