How to Hook Whitefish in Montana Trout Waters

As a fisherman, there is nothing more frustrating than casting your line, reeling in an exciting catch, and grabbing your line only to realize you’ve hooked yet another trout. Trout-infested waters pepper Montana fly fishing waters, and if you’re here to catch them, then you’re in the right place. However, if you’re on the hunt for a trophy whitefish, hooking one can be easier said than done. 

If you’ve tried everything you can think of to deter the pesky trout and attract the desirable whitefish, and you’ve had little to no success, here are some tactics we have discovered to help you reel in that fish you’re really looking for.

Bobbers are Your Best Bet 

Most guides will tell you that the only way to find success in reeling in fish is a dry that matches the type of insects found in the area you’re fishing. However, when on the hunt for whitefish, it’s best to put the flies away and bring out the bobbers and bead heads. 

It may feel like an old-school move, especially when flies are the sophisticated pieces of artwork they are now, but trust us when we say, bobbers and bead heads and you’ll be reeling in more whitefish than you can eat.

Tiny Flies

If you do end up using flies, the smaller the fly the better. Although we strongly suggest ditching the fly method altogether and sticking to bobbers when it comes to whitefish, in a pinch, a small fly is your best option.

Tight Line Nymphing

This might sound like a confusing tip because some guides will tell you this is an ideal tactic for catching trout, which is what we are trying to avoid, but this method can be highly effective for catching whitefish as well. The key here is that tight line nymphing allows you to fish deeper into lakes and rivers where there can be more abundance of whitefish.

Stay Persistent

If there’s one thing every fisherman knows it’s that you need to keep fishing in order to catch fish. Don’t give up on a technique or your favorite fishing area just because all you are hooking is trout. 

Try out these tips to see which one is the most effective for you, but keep in mind that one technique may work better in one location than another. Keep trying, keep fishing, and eventually the whitefish you are trying for will start to bite.

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