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The 9 Best Fishing Lakes in Montana

Discover the best fishing lakes in Montana! Learn about the top spots for fly fishing, trout fishing, and more. You’ll also find tips on what bait to use and what fish are in each lake. Get ready for your next fishing adventure in Montana!

Swan Lake

Swan Lake is located in the northwest corner of Montana, near the Idaho border. It covers 14,350 acres, making it one of the largest natural lakes in the state.

  • Types of Fish: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Lake Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, and ice fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at Swan Lake State Park.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Available.
  • Closest Hotels: The Cove Swan Lake Resort, The Lodge at Swan Lake, and The Riverside Inn.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Swan Lake Tackle located 15 miles away.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Montana fishing license.
  • Amenities: Boat ramps, boat docks, fish cleaning stations, and a fish hatchery.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Swan Valley Trading Post located 8 miles away.

Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake is the largest and deepest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, located in northwestern Montana.

  • Types of Fish: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Lake Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass and Yellow Perch.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, and ice fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at several nearby marinas.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Available.
  • Closest Hotels: Hidden Moose Lodge, Hotel Flathead Lake Inn, and Evergreen Motel.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Flathead Lake Outfitters located 10 miles away.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Montana fishing license.
  • Amenities: Boat ramps, boat docks, fish cleaning stations, and RV hookups.
  • Nearest Gas Station: West Glacier Corner Store located 10 miles away.

Whitefish Lake

Whitefish Lake is situated on the edge of the Flathead Valley in northwestern Montana. It is approximately 4,923 acres in size and is approximately 30 feet at its deepest point.

  • Types of Fish: Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Bull Trout, and Yellow Perch.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, and ice fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at Whitefish Lake Marina.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Available.
  • Closest Hotels: Lodge at Whitefish Lake, Whitefish Mountain Resort, and Tenmile Place.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Flathead Lake Outfitters located 12 miles away.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Montana fishing license.
  • Amenities: Boat ramps, boat docks, fish cleaning stations, and a campground.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Whitefish Grocery located 4 miles away.

Foys Lake

Foys Lake is a natural freshwater lake located in northwestern Montana near the town of Kalispell. It is approximately 500 acres in size and is approximately 16 feet at its deepest point.

  • Types of Fish: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Lake Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Northern Pike, and Smallmouth Bass.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, and ice fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Available.
  • Closest Hotels: Hampton Inn Kalispell, Super 8 By Wyndham Kalispell, and Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn and Suites.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Foys Lake Angler located 5 miles away.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Montana fishing license.
  • Amenities: Boat ramps, boat docks, fish cleaning station, and a fish hatchery.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Chevron located 3 miles away.

Hungry Horse Reservoir

The Hungry Horse Reservoir is a large reservoir located near the Flathead Valley in northwestern Montana. It is approximately 10,000 acres in size and is approximately 50 feet at its deepest point.

  • Types of Fish: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Bull Trout, Northern Pike, and Smallmouth Bass.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, and ice fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at North Fork Marina.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Available.
  • Closest Hotels: Hilton Garden Inn Kalispell, Hampton Inn Kalispell, and Holiday Inn Express Kalispell.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Hungry Horse Trading Post located 10 miles away.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Montana fishing license.
  • Amenities: Boat ramps, boat docks, fish cleaning stations, and a campground.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Kalispell Shell located 10 miles away.

Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald is a glacier-fed lake located in Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana. It is approximately 9,400 acres in size and is approximately 420 feet at its deepest point.

  • Types of Fish: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Lake Trout, and Bull Trout.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, and ice fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at Lake McDonald Lodge.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Available.
  • Closest Hotels: Many Glacier Hotel, Lake McDonald Lodge, and Swiftcurrent Motor Inn.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Hungry Horse Trading Post located 25 miles away.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Montana fishing license.
  • Amenities: Boat ramps, boat docks, fish cleaning stations, and a campground.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Apgar Village Store located 6 miles away.

Fishing Bridge Lake

Fishing Bridge Lake is a natural freshwater lake located within Yellowstone National Park in southwestern Montana. It is approximately 1,032 acres in size and is approximately 39 feet at its deepest point.

  • Types of Fish: Cutthroat Trout, Lake Trout, and Northern Pike.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, and ice fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at Fishing Bridge Marina.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Available.
  • Closest Hotels: Grant Village Lodge, Lake Lodge Cabins, and Old Faithful Snow Lodge.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Canyon Village Trading Post located 43 miles away.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Montana fishing license.
  • Amenities: Boat ramps, boat docks, fish cleaning stations, and a campground.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Mammoth Hot Springs General Store located 30 miles away.

Hauser Lake

Hauser Lake is a natural freshwater lake located near Helena in western Montana. It is approximately 3,420 acres in size and is approximately 27 feet at its deepest point.

  • Types of Fish: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Yellow Perch, and Northern Pike.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, and ice fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at Hauser Lake Marina.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Available.
  • Closest Hotels: Economy Inn Motel, Americas Best Value Inn Helena, and La Quinta Inn & Suites Helena.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Hauser Lake Tackle located 4 miles away.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Montana fishing license.
  • Amenities: Boat ramps, boat docks, fish cleaning stations, and RV hookups.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Hauser Lake Store located 2 miles away.

Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake is a natural lake located near the city of Great Falls in north-central Montana. It is approximately 1,694 acres in size and is approximately 15 feet at its deepest point.

  • Types of Fish: Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Lake Trout, and Northern Pike.
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, trolling, and ice fishing.
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at Crystal Lake Resort.
  • Fishing Guide Service: Available.
  • Closest Hotels: Comfort Inn Great Falls, Americas Best Value Inn Great Falls, and Red Lion Inn & Suites Great Falls.
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Fish Chief located 16 miles away.
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Anglers over the age of 16 must have a valid Montana fishing license.
  • Amenities: Boat ramps, boat docks, fish cleaning station, and a campground.
  • Nearest Gas Station: Crystal Lake Store located 3 miles away.

Find Good Fishing Spots in Montana and Other Nearby Lakes on The Map

If you’re looking for the best fishing spots in Montana, the Google Map below can help you out! Explore lakes, rivers, and other fishing locations across the state. Whether you’re looking for a prime spot for fly-fishing or just enjoy exploring the natural beauty of Montana, you’re sure to find something that suits your fishing needs. So take a look and plan your next outdoor adventure!

Check the Weather Forecast for Your Next Fishing Trip to Montana

The weather in Montana is ideal for sport fishing throughout the year. During the spring and summer months, temperatures range from the mid-50s to the low-90s Fahrenheit. The fall brings cooler temperatures, with highs in the mid-50s to the low-70s Fahrenheit. Winter weather is cold and snowy, but temperatures typically stay above 0°F. Montana’s diverse climate provides anglers with opportunities to fish in a variety of environments, from the cold streams and lakes in the mountains to the warm waters of the reservoirs.


Fishing Lakes in Montana
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