Cabinet Mountain Wilderness Lake
Kootenai River Outfitters Montana
Cabinet Mountain Wilderness Montana Lake

NW Montana & Cabinet Mountain Wilderness Lakes

For the more adventurous among us a bit of hiking will get you into some great mountain lake fishing. The glaciated landscape of Northwest Montana has left behind hundreds of little known and even less fished mountain lakes. The majority of these lakes are great fishing for native Westslope Cutthroats with a few Rainbow and Brookie lakes here and there. And the scenery is second to none. For the most part a couple of attractor patterns are all that is necessary If your fly hits the water, it will be eaten!

A lot of these lakes require a bit of effort to reach, some are an easy day hike, while others will require an over night stay or more to truly enjoy. Some of these lakes may not have seen a fisherman for years. The easiest of these lakes to reach require at least a mile, most several miles, each way and between 1- 4000 or more feet of vertical gain so a little pre-trip exercise will go a long way.

The Kootenai National Forest stretches for millions of acres outside the wilderness area and you will find plenty of other lakes that are 4x4 high clearance vehicle accessible. Some of them have boat ramps and developed camp grounds while others will be day use areas only. Be sure to check the Forest Service web site for more info.

While some of these lakes sustain native reproduction many are aerial stocked every few years by
MT Fish Wildlife and Parks. Bigger fish are generally found 2 to 3 years after a stocking when they have had time to grow.

If you're interested in doing a little research MT - FWP maintains a searchable database here.

Also be sure to check out our map section for more details.

Brook Trout

Cabinet Mountain Lakes MontanaMontana Cutthroat TroutMontana Camping Mountain LakeMountain Lake Cuttie