Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • Announcements

    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

      Fluid forum view allows members only to get right to the meat of this community; the topics. You can toggle between your preferred forum view just below to the left on the main forum entrance. You will see three icons. Try them out and see what you prefer.   Fluid view allows you, if you are a signed up member, to see the newest topic posts in either all forums (select none or all) or in just your favorite forums (select the ones you want to see when you come to Fishing Minnesota). It keeps and in real time with respect to Topic posts and lets YOU SELECT YOUR FAVORITE FORUMS. It can make things fun and easy. This is especially true for less experienced visitors raised on social media. If you, as a members want more specific topics, you can even select a single forum to view. Let us take a look at fluid view in action. We will then break it down and explain how it works in more detail.   The video shows the topic list and the forum filter box. As you can see, it is easy to change the topic list by changing the selected forums. This view replaces the traditional list of categories and forums.   Of course, members only can change the view to better suit your way of browsing.   You will notice a “grid” option. We have moved the grid forum theme setting into the main forum settings. This makes it an option for members only to choose. This screenshot also shows the removal of the forum breadcrumb in fluid view mode. Fluid view remembers your last forum selection so you don’t lose your place when you go back to the listing. The benefit of this feature is easy to see. It removes a potential barrier of entry for members only. It puts the spotlight on topics themselves, and not the hierarchical forum structure. You as a member will enjoy viewing many forums at once and switching between them without leaving the page. We hope that fluid view, the new functionality is an asset that you enjoy .

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  

Fishing Helena area

Recommended Posts

Hi all-

My wife and I are headed out to Helena (June 10-15) to visit my brother. He just moved out there and doesn't fish much. Anyone have any ideas on what/where for some quality adventures? I was thinking of a renting a driftboat on the missouri for a day and maybe hiking into some lakes or streams? Do I need a flyrod or can I get use spinning gear as well? Thanks,


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a lot of varied fishing available in the area. I grew up there and will be back over the 4th to visit my family. I don't know exactly what you like to do but maybe this outline will help.

1. Canyon Ferry, Lake Hauser and Lake Holter all offer trout fishing if you have a boat. There are also walleyes in Canyon Ferry.

2. Missouri River. Can be floated, boated or fished from shore depending on what you have available. From toston to townsend is a nice float with good fishing and you can float. There is a guide shop in Townsend offering float trips on the Missouri and I believe the Smith.

3. Crick fishing- Worm dunking for brook trout is available in about every stream around. I would recommend Dry Creek, Deep Creek, Sixteen mile creek, Crow Creek in the Townsend Area. Wolf creek to the north. Dog creek, Spotted dog Creek and the Little blackfoot river by elliston. Prickly pear and others work towards Boulder. Just use a size 6 or 8 hook with a small split shot and a worm drifted into holes. A nice trip is to drive to the top of the Little Blackfoot, park at the campground or if you have a truck,at the trailhead and hike into the meadows and fish down from there. Easy hike. Great fishing.

4 Mountain Lakes. Park lake for shore fishing and drive to ability. If you want to hike there are many lakes out of Townsend/canyon ferry such as Edith, and Hidden abut these are a tough hike at 8000 feet and are probably still ice covered.

Spinning Rod will do everything fine unless you want to fly fish.

Hope this helps.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey DrKen-

Wow a huge thanks for the great info! I'll be passing this along to my bro for working out a gameplan and will definetly be trying some of the places you mentioned.

He mentioned renting a driftboat and floating the missouri from Craig but I'll look into Toston/townsend as well-how long a float if your fishing it right? 1/2 day or full day?

I think he also mentioned Park lake but thought it had grayling? The crick fishing sounds perfect for taking the wife and dog to enjoy a day.

My bro has a canoe and I'm hoping to talk him and our wives into camping on/near a lake/stream so we can maximize fishing time and minimize drive time, hoping to find something fairly remote but not sure how plausible. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction drop me aline if/when your heading up my direction and I'll try to do the same.Tightlines,


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The toston to townsend float is about 10 miles and could be done in 1/2 day I suppose. There is a access about 1/2 way between that could be used to shorten the trip. If you want to camp relatively close, there are a few choices. My favorite camping is up on crow creek. You can acess this from townsend, toston or winston. Take a .22 and you may find some gophers to shoot also. No need for a canoe, just wade in tennis shoes or waders. Second choice, Kading Campground on the little blackfoot. Upstream is the meadows and this is a not motorized area and you can tube the river or wade. No need for canoe here either. Don't be surprised to see a dozen or more mulies come down at dusk. Of course, Helena it self is full of deer. Watch it when driving in town. Not unusual to see 6-12 deer in a few blocks in much of town, esp upper east side by St. Petes. Third, there is a nice campground but often crowded at Park Lake. Canoe would be great here. If there are grayling in that lake, its new to me but possible. Usually they require colder water. Don't be afraid to go into Capitol Sports and ask questions. They are nice people and one of the best gun shops in the state. Be aware, there are black bears and mountain lions in the area. Practice safe food keeping practices and they should be no problem. Never bothered me in all the years I've hunted and fished in the area.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Muchos gracias amigo-I'll post some results when we get back and like I said give a shout if yiour heading up this way.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Drken and fellow FMers-

We just got back from Montana and all I can say is WOW what a trip! We brought my pickup and I built a bed under the topper w/ room for our gear underneath. It took 20 hrs to drive out there and we took our time to enjoy the scenery.

We putzed around dickinson and checked out the newest sculpture "Fishermans Dream" along the enchanted hwy. I thought I might share a pic for all the fish fansfishermansdream.jpg

It rained all the way out there and so we wandered around the badlands, had a burger at the iron horse saloon and came out to a flat tire due to sharp scorria on roads. I changed a tired in the mud and rain, lowpoint ofthe trip and not very fun.

They had alot of rain out west before we got out there and then it got warm so there was alot of snowmelt to blow out the rivers so fishing conditions could have been better in most rivers.

The first night we shored fished below the Holter dam and caught a few browns and bows on spinners and raps. My bro lost a bet for biggest fish and had to go for a swim that night;-).

We camped one night at the Houser reservoir and I fished below the dam next morning, no fish but beautiful canyon scenery.

The next night we camped along the little blackfoot and once again the water was high and cloudy due to snowmelt, I tried flies, spinners and crawlers but no fish-didn't matter cuz it was so scenic I took lots of pics, here's one from our campsitelolaandcampfireLblackfoot.jpg

The next night we camped at Park lake, the next morning I brought out the belly boat and kicked around. managed 10 grayling a small cutthroat on the flyrod-they weren't very big but what a blast!ParkLGreyling.jpg

The following day I put my belly boat in below the holter dam and floated down to Craig and then on to stickney landing.It took about 5 hrs, the water was stained and unusally high and fast at 14,000 cfm when it was normally 8-9,000 cfm. I brought the flyrod and heard san juan worms were working but ended up having the best success w/ a plain hook and nightcrawlers on my spinning gear. I caught 5 chunky browns and a couple rainbows, all the fish were fat and great fighters. Here's a pic of a typical brownAnothersweetmobrown.jpgI would have rather been in a drift boat or raft to be able to slow down and work the sidewaters and eddies but that float to Craig and morning on Park lake made it well worth bringing the belly-boat along.

On our way back we looped through the Madison valley and west yellowstone. The salmonflies were just starting to hatch on the lower madison and I was told the fishing will be great when they are in full swing. There were driftboats, rafts and kids in innnertubes floating downriver everywhere so we stopped and fished for a couple hours and I ended up getting my biggest brown ever on a flyrod. MadisonRBrown.jpg

I'm not a very accomplished flyfisherman so this fish was my best catch of the trip! Caught on a sanjuan worm.

The last night we camped below hebgen dam and I missed a few more fish on the fly but it was still fun. we headed north along the edge of yellowstone park and up through bigsky. The gallatin river was high and muddy and there were lots of whitewater rafters going through some really nasty stuff. Next year we plan on spending more time fishing around yellowstone before heading north. All-in-all it was a fantastic trip and I can't wait to go back, my fly rods saw more action last week than in than the last 5 years. Thanks again DrKen for the great info. We're heading back in october for my bros wedding and i'm hoping I can sneak back out to the missouri and try for some fall browns, if not they'll have to wait til next summer. Great trip, tasty beers,York burgers rock and i can't wait to get out west and do it again. tightlines to all!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you had a good time. They must have planted grayling in Park Lake cuz there were none when I was younger but then it must be nearly 30 years since I spent any time up there. I never fished the missouri by wolf creek and craig except for Beaver Creek by York and below Hauser. Fall and winter fishing below Hauser can be absoulutely magnificent. I concentrate on worm dunking in creeks and love that style of getting into the woods where you have to walk in and stay away from crowds. Sometime, when you go back later in year try Edith Lake btween Townsend and White Sulphur on Back side of Canyon Ferry. You can 4wd to trail head then walk about 3 miles through the saddle between Edith and Baldy mountains (about 10,000 ft elev) then down to lake. Doesn't ice out til July and full of 12-14 inch cuts. Can be a ball. Helena has a varied variety of outdoor opportunities and I miss living there. Leaving myself next Sunday to visit my mother there but don't anticipate any fishing but am packing my .22 and hope to get up in hills to fish and shoot. Might be able to borrow truck from brother. Glad to hear you had a good time.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Redhooks,

Glad to see you enjoyed your taste of the Big Skies. One thing about the Mighty MO, the normal flows for the last 8 years have been closer to the 4000 level and less. So you were flying by in 3+ times the "normal" flows. That is probably why you survived belly boating the MO.(if you mean float tubing with your legs below the surface. Quite a few tube anglers injure themselves on rocks in the powerful currents. I think you were pretty safe with the highwater and it being a tailwater with little debris to worry about. I both float and wade fish my "backyard" river, my favorite being my fishcat pontoon. There are some amazing square tales swimming here.

You may have heard of the two PFD wearing rafters on the Dearborn who lost their lives to a surging snag-filled river. The body of the second one was just recovered this week, under a tree. Things can get tragic in an instant. Not trying to be a downer here, I'm glad you had a good time. If you can time your trip for the first part of July, the water's at it's prime for dry flies with PMDs and Caddis. Right now it's still pretty high at 9700 but fishing surprisingly well below the surface. And the fall browns are monsters.

Drop me a line before your next trip out here and maybe we could rip a few.

Tight Lines and screamin drags


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info guys. Good luck out there DrKen and I'll put your suggestions in the vault for future reference. I'm glad my bro is planning on staying out there so i'll have many more chances to fish out there.

Copperjon, yeah you concerns about catching crossed my mind as well. There was a local guide who was at the landing w/ a driftboat and he figured it would be all right due to the high water but it was still a little creepy and I don't really plan on doing again. the water wasn't high enough for the Madison though and i was pretty jealous of all the guys floating it in rafts, driftboats and pontoon floats so and i'm planning on getting a pontoon style float boat for future trips. I'm heading back out for my bros wedding in october. I'll have Fri Oct 10th open and will prolly rent a drift boat and possibly a guide for the day to try for some big browns,if your interested give a shout and maybe we can hook up. Tightlines and good fishing to you out there in western paradise1


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • be nice if they were back in St. Cloud...  I liked that place....
    • I caught one in a live trap couple years ago. Personally I'd try to rid yourself of them.
    • I grew up with purple Martin's. They seem to like power lines nearby. They eat all sorts of bugs. The diving never bothered us.  As far as the neighbor, I'd have said something.
    • This was my experience, may be completely different than others. I put up a house in my back yard, less than 40 feet from my house, pole was about ten feet tall. Had to remove a lot of sparrow nests until the martins found it, but I did have martins move in. They were beautiful to watch fly for sure. Unfortunately they would dive bomb anyone that came anywhere near, maybe with a taller pole that would not happen? They would fly silently up behind you, then squawk right as they went past. I knew I would not put up the house the following summer when I saw my neighbor, who was working on his boat in his driveway, swinging his landing net at one that was diving at him. From watching them, they would mainly catch dragonflies to feed to the young ones. By the time the mosquitos came out at dusk, the birds were all done flying, so they did not help with mosquitos. This was just my experience. A lot of people have houses and enjoy them, my guess is that if the pole was higher maybe the birds would not see people as a threat. I still have the house, if I ever move to a lake I will try it again.
    •   Yep you are right. I did go to the Sportsman's warehouse up in Anoka and St Cloud when they were here. 
    •   I think you are thinking of Sportsman's Guide- they are in south st. paul,  Sportsman's warehouse was in Woodbury.
    • NORTHWEST Arrowhead Lake
      Ice is 12 inches thick. Black Crappie - Fair: Use minnows or waxworms on a jig in areas with structure anywhere from 10-15 feet deep. Bluegill - Fair: Catch keeper size bluegills with a teardrop jig tipped with a waxworm fished near structure.  Bacon Creek Lake
      Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 27th.   Black Hawk Lake
      The winter aeration system is on in Town Bay. Expect areas of thin ice and open water in Town Bay. Ice thickness is around 15 inches off of Ice House boat ramp. Bluegill - Fair: Use a teardrop jig and waxworm fished off the bottom near Ice House Point and Gunshot Hill, the rock pile off of Gunshot Hill, and the rock pile off Cottonwood Point. Anglers have had luck fishing waxworms in 8 feet of water in the dredge cuts in the east basin. Some sorting is needed. Walleye - Fair: Use a spoon and minnow fished on the rock piles off Cottonwood Point and in the east basin. Low light hours and after sunset are best.  Black Hawk Pits
      Ice is around 10-12 inches thick. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with waxworms fished near the bottom.  Brushy Creek Lake
      Use caution, conditions are variable - drill test holes often and expect less ice near inflows, in the main channel, and near trees. Walleye - Fair: A few walleye are being picked up with jigging spoons and a minnow head. Low numbers, but most are bigger fish with some over 25 inches. Bluegill - Fair: Decent numbers of bluegill catches reported with waxworms on a teardrop jig. Some sorting is needed. Black Crappie - Fair: Use a minnow on a jig fished near structure in 10-15 feet of water.  Moorland Pond
      Rainbow trout were stocked on Jan. 20th. Use small tube jigs tipped with bait or live minnows under a bobber.  Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
      Most ice is around 16-19 inches, but there are variable conditions near shore - some areas of shoreline had open water within the last couple weeks so use caution. Walleye - Fair: Use rattle spoons and jigging spoons with a minnow head in 8 feet of water on the edges of the old dredged area in the west end. Most of the action is at the west end of the lake off Casino Beach, Frank Starr, and College Island. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some perch have been picked up while targeting walleye. Black Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are being picked up while fishing for walleye.  Most lakes in western Iowa are maintaining 10-18 inches of ice. For more information, contact the Black Hawk District office at 712-657-2638. Blue Pit
      Trout are still being caught. Fish near the pier with small jigs tipped with live bait. Rainbow Trout – Fair. Clear Lake
      Ice thickness is 17-20 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Ice heaves have made access on the lake difficult in spots.Yellow Bass - Good: The bite has picked up. Use light tackle and be mobile to stay on fish. The best bite is still at dawn and the last hour of light. Walleye – Fair: Try jigging spoons and minnow heads near the island. The best bite is still at dawn and the last hour of light. Yellow Perch - Fair.  Crystal Lake
      Ice thickness is 17-20 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Black Crappie - Slow: Use a small jig tipped with spikes or a minnow head near the edge of the dredge cut. Bluegill - Fair: Try a small jig tipped with spikes near the edge of the dredge cut.  Rice Lake
      Ice thickness is 17-21 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators. Walleye - Slow.  Silver Lake (Worth)
      Ice thickness is 17-19 inches. Avoid areas near the aerators.   For information on the lakes and rivers in the north central area, contact the Clear Lake Fish and Wildlife office at 641-357-3517.  East Okoboji Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Yellow bass action is picking up; fish traditional sites and move often to find active fish.  Five Island Lake
      Walleye - Fair: Ice anglers have had good pole bending activity with numbers of fish harvested. Yellow Bass - Good: Action has picked up, good numbers of fish have been harvested; fish the dredge cuts for the best action. Black Crappie - Good: Incidental catches by yellow bass anglers reflect bonus numbers in the creel.  Ingham Lake
      Use caution; thin ice conditions around the aeration system. Walleye - Fair: Walleye action has slowed; persistence will be rewarded with a good catch.  Lost Island Lake
      Yellow Bass - Good: Good numbers of fish are being caught; fish the Stoney Point area for the best action. Walleye - Fair: Numbers of fish are reported from Lost Island Lake; change tactics with the changing weather conditions. Yellow Perch - Fair: Some yellow perch and black crappie are being caught by anglers fishing for yellow bass.  Minnewashta Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Report of bluegill being caught; sorting is needed. Anglers are also catching crappie and yellow bass mixed in the bite.  Silver Lake (Dickinson)
      Use caution; thin ice conditions around the aeration system.  Silver Lake (Palo Alto)
      Walleye - Fair: Ice anglers report catching walleye; best bite is during late day. Yellow Perch - Fair: Fishing action has been very variable; ice anglers are catching nice size perch.  Spirit Lake
      Limited access to the lake.  Trumbull Lake
      Yellow Perch - Good: Persistent and patient anglers will be rewarded with good numbers of yellow perch 12 inches and larger in the creel. Northern Pike - Good: Action has picked up; anglers are harvesting northern pike from the lake.  West Okoboji Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Bluegills continue to be fussy; persistence and patience will be rewarded with good numbers of fish caught. Reports of improving water clarity. Northern Pike - Good: Good numbers of fish up to 36 inches are being caught. Tip-up action will improve in the next few weeks.  For more information throughout the week, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.  NORTHEAST Cedar River (above Nashua)
      Ice conditions may change fast with warmer temperatures. Backwaters have about 20 inches of ice. Use caution when going on ice. Check ice depths often. The bite is variable. Bluegill - Slow: Find fish in slack water out of current. Stumps, brush piles, and deep holes hold fish. Use small jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Black Crappie - Fair: Find fish in 8-10 feet water. Use minnows, waxworms, and multi-colored spikes on a teardrop shaped bladed lure.  Decorah District Streams
      Current water clarity is marginal. Weekend clarity will depend on precipitation type and amount. Streams with better watersheds will clear quicker. Slack water in deeper holes may freeze, but should melt in the afternoon With a slower bite, use bigger flashier flies and lures. Parking lots on wildlife management areas are not plowed. Use care when parking along the road. Brook Trout - Fair: Midges hatch all season. Try wholly buggers or a flashy fly for a hungry brookie. Brown Trout - Good: Afternoon melt water should turn on a brownie. Insects will hatch on sunny afternoons. Use small midge patterns. With off color water, try a flashy spinner or fly. Rainbow Trout - Fair: Drift a feathered spinner, crankbait or a hook tipped with worm along an undercut bank.  Lake Hendricks
      Ice thickness is at least 24 inches with snow. Water is stained yellow. Few anglers are out. Anglers finding habitat will find fish. Open water around the aerator. The bite has slowed. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the ice. Black Crappie - Fair: Move around to find fish. Use a small jig tipped with a minnow head. Bluegill - Fair: Use small jigs tipped with waxworms or spikes around structure.  Lake Meyer
      Ice thickness is about 24 inches ice with variable amounts of snow. Water is turbid. Afternoon bite is best. When the bite slows, move to a different spot. Few anglers have been out.  Bluegill - Slow: Use small jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Black Crappie - Slow: Key in to brush and dangle a small jig about a foot or two above the stems. Volga Lake
      Ice thickness is 20+ inches topped with melted snow. Water is stained. Afternoon bite is best. Black Crappie - Slow: Drop your lure about 3 feet above structure and watch them swim up to the bait. Use small teardrop shaped jigs tipped with spikes or waxworms. Bluegill - Slow: Fish around structure in 14-16 feet water about a foot off the bottom.  Expect a wintry mix of precipitation this weekend. Temperatures warm slightly through the weekend with mid 30s by Sunday. Most stream clarity is marginal at best with current runoff activity. For current fishing information, please call the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324.   We have not received any reports this week. Ice edges are getting soft and the bite has been slow; anglers are not getting out. Call the N.E. Iowa district office at 563-927-3276 for more information. MISSISSIPPI RIVER Mississippi River Pool 9
      River level at Lansing has bumped up to 8.2 feet. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet; use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may become unsafe with warmer weather. Ice cleats may be needed as snow disappears. Walleye - No Report: Access to tail-water areas is difficult with large areas of ice flows. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Good: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Sauger - No Report: Use jig and minnows fished off the bottom in the tailwater areas and deeper side channels. Bluegill - Fair: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both rod and reel and tip-up anglers are catching several 15-18 inch bass using red spike waxies through the ice.  Mississippi River Pool 10
      River level at Lynxville has risen to 15.8 feet and may rise slightly over the next week. The tail-water at Lynxville is still iced in. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice; use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may become unsafe with warmer weather. Ice cleats may be needed as snow disappears. Late ice can be good fishing on Bussey Lake. Avoid the boat ramp area as ice is not stable. Park along the south side of causeway road and walk down. Walleye - No Report: Access to tail-water areas is difficult with large areas of ice flows. Yellow Perch - Good: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Bluegill - Fair: Ice anglers are catching bluegill.  Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Slow: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both rod and reel and tip-up anglers are catching several 15-18 inch bass using red spike waxies through the ice. Mississippi River Pool 11
      River level at Guttenberg has risen over a foot to 8.1 feet and may rise slightly over the next week. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice; use caution accessing the ice as shorelines and sloughs may become unsafe with warmer weather. Boat ramps at Guttenberg are still locked in ice, but may recede in the coming weeks. Black Crappie - Slow: Occasional crappie being caught in just 2-4 feet of water just under the ice. Yellow Perch - Good: Late ice can be a good time for perch fishing with some of the larger fish being caught this time of year. Bluegill - Fair: Ice anglers are catching bluegill. Use small teardrop jigs tipped with waxies in 4-5 feet of water with no current. Northern Pike - Fair: Use tip-ups baited with shiners along the edges of deeper cuts with vegetation. Largemouth Bass - Good: Both rod and reel and tip-up anglers are catching several 15-18 inch bass using red spike waxies through the ice.  Upper Mississippi River levels are rising with rains and the breakup of local tributaries. Most ramps are still iced in and areas below the dams covered in ice flows. Warmer weather and runoff have fish more active. Backwater ice is variable with around 2 feet of ice. With thawing snow, shorelines and areas with current may become weak or unsafe; use caution.  Mississippi River Pool 12
      Water levels are stabilizing at 8.7 feet at the Dubuque Lock and the RR bridge is 11.4 feet. This is up several feet from last week. Ice fishing is treacherous with open water now formed along the edges of most backwater areas. Mississippi River Pool 13
      Water levels are stabilizing at 12.4 feet at Bellevue. This is up several feet from last week. Ice fishing is treacherous with open water now formed along the edges of most backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are still rising and are 9.4 feet at Fulton, 12.4 feet at Camanche and 6.7 feet at LeClaire. This is up nearly five feet from last week. Ice fishing is treacherous with open water now formed along the edges of most backwater areas.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are still rising and are 12 feet at Rock Island. This is up five feet from last week. Fishing has been non-existent after the big rain event.   The River changed dramatically this week due to the heavy rainfall on frozen ground. The River rose from 3 to 5 feet throughout the district. Ice conditions changed considerably and tailwaters are somewhat open for boat launching, but the water clarity is poor. Ice fishing will be tough with open water near shorelines. If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.  Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 10.68 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 5 feet since Monday. Current forecasts have the tailwater stage reaching 11.7 feet. Unsafe ice conditions with the recent rain, warm weather, and rising river levels.   Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 9.6 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 5 feet since Monday. Tailwater stage is forecasted to reach 10.9 feet by the weekend. River stage at Muscatine is 11.7 feet and forecasted to reach 12.7 feet. The ramp and parking lot at Big Timber is closed due to flooding. There are unsafe ice conditions due to recent rains, warm weather, and rising river levels.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 12.18 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. Tailwater stage has risen close to 6 feet since Monday. The current forecast has the tailwater stage reaching 14.7 feet. Flood stage is 15 feet. Unsafe ice conditions due to recent rains, warm weather, and rising river levels.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 7.90 feet at Lock and Dam 18 above Burlington and is rising. Tailwater stage at Lock and Dam 18 has risen close to 5 feet since Monday. River stage at Burlington is 12.95 feet and forecasted to reach 14.9 feet. Flood stage at Burlington is 15 feet. Unsafe ice conditions due to recent rains, warm weather, and rising river levels. River stages have been on the rise this past week with the recent rains and warm weather. Water clarity is poor. Tailwater fishing for walleye and saugers has been slow. There are unsafe ice conditions with the recent rains, warm weather, and rising river conditions. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062. SOUTHEAST Big Hollow Lake
      Unsafe ice conditions. Lake Belva Deer
      Unsafe ice conditions. Lake Darling
      Unsafe ice conditions. 60 degrees and rain on Monday. 43 degrees and rain on Monday night into Tuesday has ruined what ice was left. Last couple of days of colder weather has refrozen open water, hiding the bad spots.  Lake Geode
      Drained for renovation work scheduled for later this year.  For more information on the fishing at the above lakes and rivers, contact the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319-694-2430. Central Park Lake
      The lake is drained for the renovation project that is going on now.  Coralville Reservoir
      The lake is holding at winter pool of 683.4 feet. Ice conditions are deteriorating with the runoff and increase in flow. Water clarity is poor.  Diamond Lake
      There is open water around the lake and ice conditions are not safe.  Grundy County Lake
      There is still 12 inches of ice, but the edges may be getting soft by the weekend.  Hannen Lake
      There is 10 feet of open water around the edges. Ice fishing is not recommended.  Iowa Lake (Iowa Co.)
      There is open water around the lake;  ice conditions are not safe.  Kent Park Lake
      The lake is drained for the renovation project that will take place next winter.  Lake Macbride
      The lake edges are either open or soft. You need a plank to access most areas. The remaining ice away from the shore is 6-8 inches in most areas, but use caution. There have been a few anglers around the main ramp, under the highlines, across from the beach, and on the south arm. A plank may be needed to get on. Some people have been walking off the boat rental docks; use caution. Bluegill - Fair: Use a jig/waxie around any brush or deeper rock. Size is marginal at best as these fish top out at 7.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: It is day to day on good catches. Some days have been good and others are slow. Fish over deeper wood or stumps or look for suspended fish over the deeper basin with a jig/waxie.  Otter Creek Lake
      The edges are soft and open in some areas. The remaining ice is reported as about 8-10 inches. There was an angler out yet on the 21st; use caution.  Pleasant Creek Lake
      The lake is still 8.5 feet low from the restoration project. The lake came up some with the runoff, so shorelines are bad and accessing the ice may be extremely difficult. The remaining ice may be fishable; use caution.  Rodgers Park Lake
      There is 6 feet of open water around the edges of the upper end. The lower end is a little better. Ice fishing is not recommended.  Sand Lake
      Ice fishing is not recommended. Union Grove Lake
      The edges are soft and open in places. The aeration hole is very large.  Wapsipinicon River (Troy Mills to Oxford Junction)
      Ice conditions on the river and backwaters are not safe.  Most of the smaller lakes are unsafe to ice fish. Some of the larger lakes have decent ice, but the edges are soft or open; use extreme caution. For more information, contact the Lake Macbride Fisheries Station at 319-624-3615. Lake Miami
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Lake Sugema
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended. Lake Sugema is about 25% open water and Tug Forks West is open.  Lake Wapello
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Rathbun Reservoir
      The current lake level is 903.19 msl. Normal operating elevation is 904.0 msl. Lake Rathbun has zebra mussels, so make sure to properly drain, clean, and dry equipment before transporting to another water body. The ramps at the Rathbun marina are closed for the season and all the campgrounds are closed. Unsafe ice conditions. The main lake has areas of open water. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Red Haw Lake
      Unsafe ice conditions. Getting on the ice is not recommended.  Unsafe ice conditions across the district. The district includes Mahaska, Lucas, Wayne, Monroe, Appanoose, Wapello, Davis and Van Buren counties. Contact the Rathbun Fish Hatchery at 641-647-2406 with questions about fishing in south central Iowa.   SOUTHWEST Ada Hayden Heritage Park Lake
      Rainbow Trout - Good: Use spoons or small panfish jigs tipped with waxworms or live minnows. Trout tend to swim the perimeter, so set up close to shore in 3 to 10 feet of water.  Big Creek Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers fishing mid-lake, generally out from the beach area and marina area in 25 to 35 feet of water are finding a fair crappie bite.  Des Moines River (Saylorville to Red Rock)
      Walleye - Fair: Anglers are catching fair numbers of walleyes below the Saylorville spillway slowly fishing jigs tipped with twister tails and/or minnows.  Don Williams Lake
      Black Crappie - Fair: Anglers are catching crappies suspended 10-15 feet down in 20-30 feet of water in the late afternoon and evenings. Midday they are also being found shallower near sunken habitat in 10-15 feet of water. Two size ranges are being caught. Expect to fish through many 5-7 inch fish for the 9-10 inch fish.  Hickory Grove Lake
      Bluegill - Good: Catch 7-8 inch bluegills over brush piles and suspended in deeper water. Move around to stay on active fish. Black Crappie - Slow: Most anglers are finding the crappie fishing to be slow, but when fish are caught the size is good. Crappie catches have been mostly limited to dawn and dusk.  Lake Petocka
      Rainbow Trout - Good: Trout were stocked Feb. 10th. Fish the perimeter of the lake with small panfish jigs and jigging spoons tipped with waxworms.  Ice thicknesses in Central Iowa are staying in the 8 to 14 inch range with some edge deterioration from rain runoff. For more information on Central Iowa lakes and rivers, contact Andy Otting or Ben Dodd at 515-432-2823.
        Lake Anita
      Ice has started to deteriorate on the main lake. Use extreme caution. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill fishing is best in the afternoon. Catch fish up to 9.5 inches. Black Crappie - Fair: Best bite is late afternoon and after dark. Fish will average 9 inches.  Littlefield Lake
      Anglers report 6 to 8 inches of ice and fair fishing. Use extreme caution this week as ice will start to get soft and be unsafe. Bluegill - Good: Fishing is good around the cedar tree piles for bluegills up to 9 inches. Morning and late afternoon bite is best. Be prepared to sort for larger fish. Black Crappie - Slow: A few 10 to 12 inch black crappies are being caught around the tree piles.  Prairie Rose Lake
      Prairie Rose still has fishable ice, but it will start to deteriorate this week. Bluegill - Fair: The best bluegill fishing has moved to the morning bite. Fish will average 8.5 inches. Black Crappie - Slow: Black crappie become active just before dark. Fish are 9.5 inches.  Lakes and ponds in the southern part of the district are unsafe to fish. Use extreme caution; ice will start to deteriorate this week. For more information, call the Cold Springs District Office at 712-769-2587.
    • Little bit of an ugly win last night but two points is two points, Stalock was pretty incredible too, so close on that empty netter. Time to crush the rangers and get a little winning streak going here. 
    • Please delete if not allowed.
      Retriever Training
      Have a opening in April. First time taking clients. I train my 3 labs 5-6 days a week all summer and also run a few hunt test's. Would like to make it a full time job. Prefer to take on dogs with good prey drive and a willingness to please, I will be choosie on what dogs I will take with a one week trial period free of charge. Can do everything from obedience to Master level dogs. Your dogs will be kept in outside kennel runs on concrete. Please contact me for details. Located in Squaw Lake, MN. 218-553-0176
    • Is this a lug nut wrench?....Maybe.