Holter Lake, formed by Holter Dam on the Missouri
River, is a very popular lake, both for fishing and for pleasure
boating in Montana. The lake has very good fishing for rainbow trout,
as well as walleye and perch.
Holter Lake is very popular among the locals, enhanced by the lakes
close proximity to Great Falls and Helena. On a typical summer weekend,
the lake is full of pleasure boats and water-skiers. Many summer homes
and cabins ring this attractive lake. Virtually all services can be found
along the lake, and what can't be found there can be found in the nearby
towns of Craig and Wolf Creek, which cater to the Missouri
River fly fishing crowd.
There is sizable rainbow trout in Holter Lake. These fish won't be caught
from shore, though. A boat, with sinking lines fished down deep, is the
prescription for catching the larger trout, although smaller trout can
be taken near shore on top. Due to the lakes depth and size, spin fishing
for trout is the most popular method, using large spoons or live bait.
Holter Lake is of moderate sized. While a motorboat is preferable, an inflatable
kayak or a traditional canoe can also work well - just beware of
all the motorboats out and about on the lake. As tall hills and small
mountains ring the lake, the wind tends to be less than is encountered
further up the Missouri
River on Canyon Ferry Lake.
Access to Holter Lake is quite good, although lots of private property
is found along the lake on the one side that has a road. Several public
boat ramps exist along with a number of designated fishing access sites
managed by various agencies.
Generally, most fly fishing pressure occurs below Holter Dam, as the
blue ribbon stretch of the Missouri
River is found there. While Holter Lake does receive fly fishing
pressure, most of the use of Holter Lake is for pleasure boating, so
any fisherman needs to be aware that they will be sharing the lake with
waterskiers, high-speed boats and recreational pontoon boats.
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