The Holter Lake was formed by the building of Holter Dam, which began in 1908 and was completed in 1918. Holter Lake is roughly 24 miles long and has a surface area of 4,800 acres. Lewis and Clark made this section of the Missouri River chain famous while on their two year expedition. They are the ones that named the Gates of the Mountains. This is worth the trip alone to see this beautiful section of Montana! The Gates of the Mountains marina located on Upper Holter Lake offers scenic tours of this area. Even if your not going to come fish with us, I would highly recommend scheduling in time to take this tour. Holter Lake holds rainbow trout, brown trout, walleye, perch, carp, burbot (ling) and land locked kokanee salmon.
Upper Holter and the river section below Hauser Dam (also known, as Land Of The Giants, or LOG) is my personal favorite for jigging walleye or chasing large trophy brown & rainbow trout. If I have a day off in March or April this is where you’ll probably find me. Trophy walleye and trout are found here in great numbers. If your looking for the shot at a 30 plus inch walleye or brown trout this is your place. If you want to fly fish or use the jigging rod there is more water then you can possibly cover in a week of fishing. Land of the Giants is where we will spend our time in March and April chasing the large spawning walleye. The river is also full of thousands of rainbows running up the river to spawn at this time. The rainbows are very aggressive and eager to take a fly or jig at this time. For a walleye and trout combo trip there is no place better. If you know of a better place please tell me because I want to go there!
The Gates of the Mountains section holds possibly the largest brown trout in the entire Missouri chain. Catching these giants is another story. Many times we will turn giant browns just to have them follow a jig or fly all the way to the boat and then just sink out of sight like a submarine, leaving everyone speechless and excited to just see them. Every once and awhile we will get one to eat and that needs no words to describe the thrill that brings. This section also holds large numbers of rainbows, perch, and walleye.
Lower Holter Lake provides more of the same. The opportunity for a variety of species everyday exists here. Most our time on Lower Holter Lake will be sent fishing for walleye, perch, and ling. There are much fewer browns but the rainbows are still very abundant and willing to play!