Crystal clear water, stunning views, and mountainous terrain make for some great fishing experiences in northwest Montana.
Fishing access sites monitored by Montana’s Fish, Wildlife & Parks, include Glen Lake, Sophie Lake, and Tetrault Lake. Also see information posted on the agency’s interactive map of fishing sites. For information on fishing regulations, species, and so on, see the state’s online guides.
BigSkyFishing.com has a very comprehensive article on fly fishing in northwest Montana rivers, although the only river mentioned near the Eureka area is the Yaak. This site also covers the lakes mentioned above.
Glacier County MT, mentioned in our Maps & Guides section, has a page on fishing that covers just about everything you need to know, including etiquette and rules & regulations.
Dave Blackburn’s Kootenai Angler website has a wealth of information on fishing the Kootenai River. His outfitter, restaurant, and base for guide services is located 15 minutes north of Libby on MT Hwy 37. The website gives current river conditions, a blog for recent updates in the world of fishing, and anything else you need to know about enjoying fishing on the Kootenai.
For lake fishing, visit the U.S. Forest Service website covering “Lake and Pond Fishing.” Most pertinent to the Eureka area are the sections on the Koocanusa area and the Tobacco area. “Tobacco Valley Country” (page 37) has a detailed description of fishing on Lake Koocanusa. “What to See and Do near Eureka” has a section on the various lakes for fishing and boating.
You can’t fish there, but the Murray Springs Fish Hatchery on Sophie Lake Road north of Eureka knows all about where the fish are in the area. “Tobacco Valley Country” has a full page (page 18) on the hatchery.
Call first for hours if you plan on visiting. 406-889-3489.
Lots of information at their website.
A popular fall season activity in northwestern Montana is snagging – or catching spawning salmon by scooping them out of the water with a hook and line. Small salmon spawn in the Tobacco River, and snagging is usually done on private property. A great source of information on snagging is through Northwest Sports Center, located in Eureka.
Ice fishing has its own rules and regulations, and Glaciermt.com has a comprehensive checklist for this sport.
Lakes in the Eureka area are usually small enough to freeze over in winter. Among these, Dickey Lake and Murphy Lake are visible from Route 93. According to MyFishFinder.com, “Dickey is good for salmon and rainbows, Murphy has pike & bass.”
Lake Koocanusa is too large to freeze over in the winter and thus continues to be a spot for launching a boat.
A valuable website for ice fishing is Kootenai Country Montana.com, which gives information on fish species by body of water.