Our fishing trip to Holter Lake in Montana

Lake Holter is one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever fished. This lake took our breath away. Lake Holter is a reservoir on the Missouri River that was created by a dam built in 1908. The history of this area goes back much further, however, even before Lewis and Clark were the first to document the river in 1805. Early explorers gave the opening facing today’s Holter See the name “Mountain Gates”.

When we reached Lake Holter, we were greeted by two towering cliffs that gave way to a huge lake. What we couldn’t see from the shore were those massive canyon walls that meandered for miles down the river to the gates of the mountains. After observing our surroundings and taking some photos, we will meet our guide for our boat trip.

We started our day with fishing rods in hand catching rainbow trout in Montana. Hannah got her #FirstCatch of the day – a beautiful rainbow trout! We took several photos before taking them back to the lake. We spent the morning cruising the lake catching beautiful rainbow trout and just before lunch we walked through the mountain gates in search of the perch.

We exchange our bait for leeches and leave our rods in the water. The perch seemed to be less hungry than the trout earlier in the day, and we caught several perch as well. Maybe it was our fishing skills or a bit of luck. An imposing white limestone surrounded us and formed a spectacular V-shaped canyon with many interesting rock formations. From the boat our guide pointed out some distinctive “faces” on the rocks and we even saw stone arches.

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For lunch we dock at a picnic area in the Helena National Forest, which is equipped with picnic tables by the lake. It was an excellent location, close to nature and perfect view. From there we photograph the panoramic view of the lake and some of the beautiful stone arches with our drone.

After that we return to the boat and later in the lake we pass the other side of the limestone canyon. At the end of the canyon, we started the trolling engines and slowly made our way back to the north of the lake. During the trip we kept fishing until we saw the gates of the mountains again. Our guide took us downstream to take in the views before heading back to the dock.

The best fishing and sailing adventure

We spent the day fishing and sailing on the lake and caught different types of fish. The rainbow trout loved the little flies we had as bait. While the perch on the other side of the lake liked the leeches better. We were busy fishing and enjoyed the beautiful scenery


Types of fish that you can catch

• Rainbow trout
• To lose
• Leukomas
• Kokanee Salmon
• Brown trout
• White mountain fish

The best scenery is at Holter Lake

We enjoyed a relaxing day on the boat and fished during the day. This place offers a nice scenic walk around the lake. In addition to being a great place for fishing, Lake Holter is easy to navigate. The Missouri’s steep canyon walls are perfect. You can navigate the canyons, look for different faces in the rock formations, and even see the rock arches.


The famous stone arches

When fishing, watch out for the stone arches that you can see from the boat. There are at least two that can be viewed directly while browsing. The largest stone arch in Holter Lake is above the lake line in the middle of the canyon where the Mann Gulch Firefighters Memorial is located.

The history of the Holter lake

The first to document Holter Lake were the famous Lewis & Clark duo. As they made their way upriver on the Missouri, they paddled through the 1,200 foot canyon to a point where the river appeared to stop. As they got closer, two mountains with a river between them appeared to be one huge mountain. From the way the opening appeared, the explorers wrote in their diaries that they looked like huge doors and that the lake is so famous.

To find great places to fish and sail with your family, visit our interactive map and find a location in your state.

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Hannah & Adam

Hannah & Adam

Hannah & Adam are travel writers and photographers who have been calling the streets home since 2013. Her passion for adventurous travel has taken her to 70 countries and counts. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog


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