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  • Writer's pictureLadin

Fly Fishing Montana: Goose Lake

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Goose lake is located just north of the famous Duck lake on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. You can see from the picture and the map this is close to Glacier National Park. Just east of the Park, so the mountains are often part of the spectacular view, and add immensely to the overall experience. The elevation is about 5000 feet and being so close to the mountains it is often very windy. There are often Grizzly bears in this area.

This Cutthroat Trout was caught fly fishing with a rubber-tailed leech pattern
A beautiful Cutthroat Trout from Goose Lake

When: Late May

Ice out varies with the year, but is typically sometime in April. Call a local guide or fly shop for details each year. From ice out through June can be the best fishing of the year. In the video above, we are fishing in late May which was during the Cutthroat false-spawn so the fish were coming into the shallows. We fished other lakes during this time and hit the tail end of the Rainbow false-spawn. Of course, the toughest time is in the heat of the summer and the fishing again picks up in the Fall. We have not fished this lake in the Fall but have been told it can be very good. Again, try to get a local report before heading out.

the Mountains of Glacier National Park are a backdrop when fishing Goose Lake
Mountains of Glacier National Park

As you will see from the show, the road into Goose lake is definitely a four-wheel drive road. Sometimes it is not passable even with four-wheel drive, so again, get some local information for current conditions.

This Cutthroat Trout was caught fly fishing with a rubber-tailed leech pattern
Another gorgeous Cutthroat Trout

Early in the season shore fishing works fine, but later personal watercraft would be necessary. The Dogfish boat is a great option or a standard pontoon boat.

Equipment: These fish range from 2 - 4 pounds so a standard nine-foot five weight rods is fine unless it is really windy. We fished dry lines and strike indicators with Prince nymphs and rubber-tail leeches at various depths below the indicator. We also used intermediate sink lines stripping Woolly Buggers. Always wear eye protection.

Ladin catches another Cutthroat while fly fishing
Ladin catches another Cutthroat while fly fishing

We fished with superb guide, David Parsons and his assistant Packy. David is owner of Cutbank Creek Outfitters in Browning, Montana. His phone number is 406-338-5567. David is an authorized Blackfeet guide who knows his stuff. Goose lake is a tough DIY lake in my opinion, mostly due to the difficulties finding and accessing the lake, but it can be done. If you visit the Blackfeet call David, get advice and have him take you to Goose lake if it is fishing well. Then, if you want branch out on your own to the many other great fisheries. We stayed at The Stonehouse at Duck Lake and Mountain Pine Motel in East Glacier. Both were good.

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