Beat the Heat at surrounding Mountains, Streams and Lakes
With an unusually hot dry summer upon us mountains, streams and lakes are a popular destination to beat the heat.
I recently went walleye fishing at Cooney reservoir about 40 minutes south of Billings. On this particular trip we took a small boat and caught quite a few nice walleye, while most were nice eaters in the 12-16 inch(1-2 pound) range we did boat a few in the 3-4 pound range.
We fished early morning using bottom bouncing rigs with a plain ol, nite crawler. A trick that’s been around for ever but you don’t think about is to use a worm blower to air up your nite crawler, it helps it float. It made a big difference.
There were quite a few bank fisherman catching fish from the South shore near the boat launch. Walleye hang out near rocky points and hang near the bottom, leaches and crank bait lures are also effective.
If you’re just looking to cool off or take a short day trip to swim or picnic they have great day use areas and places to swim or boat.
To get to Cooney reservoir take hiway 212 south from Laurel to Boyd , once at Boyd take a right at the Cooney reservoir sign and follow to the lake.
In Billings we have a couple of small lakes to enjoy, Lake Elmo in the heights and Lake Josephine at River Front park at exit 446 off interstate 90 are popular choices if you don’t have a lot of time. Lake Elmo is run by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has a nice beach, swimming area and picnic areas.
Riverfront park is more suited for fishing, kayaking, canoeing and has great trail system for bike riding or walking. Riverfront park is owned and operated by the City of Billings.
For you hunters out there archery antelope opens early august, archery elk and deer opens labor day weekend in September as does upland bird with the exception of pheasant and waterfowl. Its a great time to tune that bow or start getting your bird dogs in shape at your local sport shooting complex or range. Remember to check hunting regulations for opening dates and bag limits.
Something to be mindful of when afield is the stage 2 fire restrictions !
Enjoy our wonderful outdoor opportunities, and take a kid fishing!
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