The Blackfoot River
The Blackfoot River is well known to local anglers and floaters. It’s a lovely, un-dammed river noted for its variety of fish habitats and its 30 miles of “recreation corridor”, which allows easy public access to the river.
The Blackfoot River allows for fishing along open meadows and pastures, deep canyons, rolling hills and heavily timbered slopes. Wading and floating the river are both popular with many access points. Deep pools, gravel bars, and white water foam lines add to the variety in fishing the Blackfoot.
Meriwether Lewis traveled along the Blackfoot River on his return trip across Montana. The Big Blackfoot is surrounded by unsurpassed beauty and is the centerpiece of Normal MacLean’s classic “A River Runs Through It”.
Fishing, especially for the native West slope Cutthroat, has long been a major preoccupation in the Blackfoot Valley. Rainbow, Brown‘s and Bull trout also populate the Blackfoot and its tributaries: the North Fork of the Blackfoot River, Monture Creek, and the Clearwater River. The Blackfoot is a fly fisherman’s dream.
Brown’s Lake is a popular local lake, notorious for the “hog” size rainbow trout that come out of it during spring spawning. A ten pound trout is not just for wild tales but for the taking. The shallow 300 acre lake situated between Ovando and Helmville on a large flat grass and sagebrush valley, is also popular for Ice Fishing during the winter.
With camping available around the lake it is a year around destination for both fishermen, and wind surfers. The latter, especially fond of the winds that can whip through the region during the summer afternoons.
The Marshy areas within the lake also provide excellent bird watching opportunities.
A small lake with a huge view, Upsata Lake is located just west of Ovando 4 miles down Woodworth Road. Surrounded by private property, the lake has one access, a boat ramp that allows you to take your canoe, row boat, tubes or other small boat onto the lake to fish for the large population of Perch and Bass. The bass were reintroduced, so must be catch and release only. Due to the private property issues, there is no walking access, only boat access.
The lake has a no-wake policy that the adjacent land owners will make sure you adhere to. The view is unsurpassed with large peaks leading up into the Bob Marshall Wilderness to your north and grassy prairie knobs to your south.
A cold, deep, crystal clear lake in high timbered country this is a special, not heavily used lake to spend a day on. The lack of people is usually because the fishing can sometimes be only “so-so”. Not a lot of action, but spending a day there to catch maybe only one trout is still a day spent well.