Fishing in Northeastern Montana
The Missouri River Country of northeastern Montana provides a wide range of exciting and unspoiled angling opportunities available only in this unique corner of the Northern Great Plains. Smaller reservoirs, creeks and rivers harbor lunkers yet still offer the intimacy many fishermen seek, while Fort Peck Reservoir and the Big Muddy itself provide the challenges and rewards of big-water fishing. With four-season opportunities and habitually light fishing pressure, it is no wonder that the Missouri River Country is a well-kept angling secret. Shore fishermen, fly fishermen, boat fishermen– no one’s disappointed. It’s so good here that there are those who would rather keep the fifty different species and lunker opportunities to themselves.
Fort Peck Reservoir
Eighty miles west of Poplar and only 60 from Wolf Point lies one of the few waters in the country where an angler can legitimately expect to corner a 12 pound walleye. The largest hydraulic earth-filled dam in the world holds back 49 other species of fish as well as 1,500 miles of shoreline and a body of water 130 miles long. Northern pike to 30 pounds are often caught alongside trophy walleye and sauger. Lakers generally run from 4 to 6 pounds with a few up to 19. Channel cats run to 20 pounds, chinooks over 20 pounds, and those battling paddlefish frequently exceed 100 pounds. Small mouth, crappie, yellow perch, freshwater drum and sturgeon provide welcome breaks in the action. Social butterflies will be sorely disappointed while those who find secret hot spots will feel indulged: it is not unknown to fish all day without encountering a fellow angler. The adjacent river, dredge cuts and below-dam sites are equally species-gifted and challenge boat-, shore- and fly-fishermen to try their luck alongside camping, picnicking and other recreational opportunities afforded by these beautiful river lands. For most, the operative word here is Walleye. Fort Peck fishery is such an exceptional fishery that the Professional Walleye Trail has chosen it as one of its four major tournament sites two years in a row. Walleye fishermen can expect to catch their favorite beasts in the two-to-five pound category regularly with an occasional eight to ten and even twelve pounder rounding out the stringer. In 1995 a monster 16.3 pounder was pulled from the reservoir. It could be your turn next, after mine.
The Missouri River from the Fort Peck Dam east to the North Dakota border holds more excellent fishing opportunities. Near Fort Peck itself, dredge cuts and the cold water river section immediately below the dam show exceptional northern pike and rainbow trout fishing as well as walleye and sauger. Moving eastward, the mouths of in-flowing tributaries, especially the Milk and the Poplar Rivers, are consistent producers and during the spring spawning season provide truly exceptional action. One well-kept secret is the quality of the Poplar River which runs within 100 yards of the Poplar Indian Health Hospital. You must discover the secret yourself. I’m not allowed to blab.
Fishing for Dinosaurs
The Missouri River and Yellowstone River in eastern Montana and western North Dakota offer a unique opportunity to catch the huge, prehistoric fish named for its manner of locomotion. These monsters are traditionally caught by snagging with a treble hooks and weights setup from just after ice out until June. The wise eat their Wheaties, paddlefish of 60 pounds are common with quite a few specimens over 100 pounds caught every year. The flesh is a culinary delight and their eggs are compared favorably with imported caviar.
Hunting Fort Peck at its Very Best
Picture a prairie with stands of cotton wood in the coulees and river bottoms along with vast shore lines. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets encompass the finest hunting in the North American Continent. It will be difficult to decide weather to stalk trophy game or fish for abundant denizen of the deep. The grass lands are home to significant populations of upland game birds including: sage hens, sharptail grouse, hungarian partridge and pheasants which await the wing shoot enthusiast. Geese and ducks are lured to the water fouler who prefers to hunt with flocks of birds, not hunters. Big game hunting for elk, mule deer, white tail deer, antelope and sheep is available of general season hunting. A premier archery season around the Fort Peck reservoir affords the chance to collect a trophy bull elk for those in search of the challenge. Herds of big game are large enough to allow several tags for certain species. The long range marksman will find prairie dog towns that are untouched. There are also many fur bearing species such as coyote, badger, bobcat, mountain lion and others. All of this is readily available on thousands of acres of state, federal, tribal and private land open for public use. If you care to share in the natural splendor, abundant wildlife and stress free way of life, please come join us the Fort Peck Area.
Additional Recreational Sports for All Ages
The Fort Peck Reservation and the surrounding areas have endless recreational opportunities. There are seasonal recreational sports for all ages. For the youth there is Little league, Babe Ruth, and Legion baseball programs as well as softball for girls and adults. Water sports are also available, swimming is available local swimming pools in Wolf Point and Culbertson.
Other recreational sports: Youth – Soccer, Baseball, Football, Wrestling, Volleyball, Girls softball, Swimming, Girls basketball and Boys basketball Adults – Softball, Basketball, Golf, Racquetball, Horseback riding, Bowling, Rodeo, Camping, Tennis, Water skiing and Boating
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Annual Pow Wows on the Fort Peck Reservation
Fort Peck Reservation’s annual celebrations include Red Bottom Celebration in June, Badlands Celebration in June, Fort Kipp Celebration in July, Wadopana Celebration in August and Poplar Indian Days in September.