We just bought bait from the “Bait Boy’s” in Jordan, MT at 9 O’clock at night. Great service. The bait shop is in the garage attached to their trailer, and a large cat is pawing at the door to get in. From the size of his belly, he looks like he knows what is in the garage. We had been hinted at by a local at the gas station a few minutes ago that they should be home and to just give them a call. Gotta love these small Montana towns. “Tell ‘em Frank told ya to call and wake ‘em up!”
With way more than four dozen live minnows, we are ready to make the 25 mile drive through rough washboarded Montana dirt roads to Hell’s Creek on Fort Peck Reservoir. It feel’s like our fishing this winter has just been preparation for this trip. Fort Peck is known for big, old fish. Lake Trout, Pike, Walleye are our main targets, but Brad, another local Livingston fishing guide, wants to get on some panfish too. So basically, we are just going and hoping for the best. None of us have ice fished this bay before, but were hoping for at least one big fish.
The amount of water in the bay alone is enough to leave you feeling like a tiny insignificant spec, and there’s no way in hell we will bump into a fish in this massive body of water. And we can’t even see the main lake from here. Clint, the owner of the marina there, told us that the bay has 6 inches of ice, and has only been making ice for the past ten days. Pretty late ice this year for them, but were hoping for good fishing since hundreds of people haven’t fished here yet this winter.
On the drive over we start getting each other fired up over a few fish whistles and road sodas. Brad is telling us about the landscape outside, but it is too dark for us to see anything. Well have to just take his word for the beauty we are missing. Hell’s Creek is also where nine out of the eleven full Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons have been found. We are headed to the motherland of the T Rex and other dinosaurs as well. Even though we can’t see outside, all I can do is imagine what it looked like back then and try to picture those animals roaming around. I wonder if a T Rex would like to eat a Lake Trout like us. I’m sure they would eat just about anything, just like my dog Boh, who is also along for the adventure.
We are debating on whether or not to start fishing right when we get there, or just wait for the morning light to get our bearings. Brad is hesitant at first, but come on, we just drove 6 hours to get here, and its Fort Freakin’ Peck, were setting out lines.
“It looks like the Beverly Hillbillies just moved in,” Brad chuckles as we take a look at camp. Brewer and I don’t waste any time – we set out probably ten tip ups. Another cool thing about this trip is Fort Peck is one of the few places in Montana that allows one angler 6 lines in the water. Most lakes only allow two lines per angler. So we feel like we have a good spread out, ranging from 30 feet of water all the way to below 10 ft. All we can do now is wait and see what the morning brings. Now where’s my Twisted Tea?2
2 Comments On Yellowstone Country Chronicles – Feb. 2, 2021 – A Fort Peck Ice Fishing “Teaser!”
Great story. Glad you guys are getting out to that part of the state. Some day, you will have to ask me about the coldwater trout fishing below Fort Peck.