Montana Fly Fishing
Ashley Lake

Big Hole River

Ashley Lake

Ashley Lake
Photo Use Guidelines

Ashley Lake lies not far from Kalispell up a bumpy, thirteen-mile gravel road. Despite lying in a national forest, many summer homes are found around the lake, although it is far from being a typical summer hideaway lake. It is a popular lake both for pleasure boating as well as for fly fishing, as some very large rainbow trout can be pulled out of this lake.

Ashley Lake is quite large, more than a mile in width and 5 miles in length, and is very deep in spots. The whole area around Ashley Lake is heavily forested (and logged). Numerous scars from clear cuts mar the otherwise scenic setting Ashley Lake lies in.

Rainbow trout and cutthroat trout are the primary fish species found in Ashley Lake. Some of the rainbows, particularly the hybrid rainbows that are planted in this lake, can get huge. Fish exceeding five pounds are fairly common and it is not unheard of taking rainbow trout exceeding ten pounds.

Ashley Lake
Photo Use Guidelines

The best fly fishing on Ashley Lake for these trout will be along the shoreline, particularly in the morning and evening hours, as well as near the inlets of the various feeder creeks and streams.

Ashley Lake receives quite a bit of use, particularly during the summer and especially on weekends. Lots of fishermen make their way to Ashley Lake to chase the large trout that are found here. Due to the lakes large size and private property that is scattered along the lake, a boat is really need to successfully fish it. Canoes, motorboats, inflatable rafts, inflatable kayaks, pontoon boats and even float tubes all will work fine for Ashley Lake, as it is generally not horribly windy on this lake. A boat ramp is on the lake to make launching motorboats easier. A campground is also on Ashley Lake.

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