Montana Fly Fishing
Holter Lake

Holter Lake

Holter Lake in Central Montana
Photo Use Guidelines

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 in Central Montana
Photo Use Guidelines

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.

Visiting Montana? Visit our book section to find various books about Montana Fishing, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Fly Fishing Technique and General Montana Travel Books.

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