Ashley Lake Fishing Report Guide

Ashley Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, friends!Today we’re diving into the beautiful Ashley Lake in Montana. This pristine lake is a hidden gem for fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just looking to relax by the water, Ashley Lake offers something for everyone. Let’s explore what makes this lake so special.

Ashley Lake is located in the Flathead National Forest, about 20 miles west of Kalispell, Montana. It’s known for its clear turquoise waters and serene surroundings, making it a perfect spot for fishing and outdoor activities. Surrounded by forested hills and with minimal development, Ashley Lake provides a peaceful retreat into nature.

Ashley Lake Fishing Details

Here are some quick facts and figures about Ashley Lake to help you get familiar with the place:

  • Water Surface: 4,000 acres
  • Shoreline: 16 miles
  • Average Depth: 60 feet
  • Max Depth: 90 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 3,500 feet
  • Location: Flathead County, Montana
  • Coordinates: 48.2556° N, 114.6419° W
  • Accessibility: Accessible via Ashley Lake Road, with a well-maintained gravel road leading to the lake
  • Type of Lake: Natural lake
  • Lake Amenities: Boat ramps, picnic areas, restrooms, and camping areas

Types of Fish in Ashley Lake

Ashley Lake is a fantastic spot for fishing, with a variety of fish species to catch. Here’s a closer look at the fish you can expect to find and where they might be located in the lake:

  • Rainbow Trout: These are the most common fish in Ashley Lake. They can be found throughout the lake but are often near deeper, cooler waters during the summer months.
  • Kokanee Salmon: These fish are usually found in the deeper parts of the lake, particularly during the warmer months. They tend to school together.
  • Yellow Perch: Often found in weedy areas and along the shoreline. They can also be found in schools in shallower parts of the lake.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Typically found near rocky outcrops and submerged structures. They are more active during the warmer months.
  • Largemouth Bass: Found around vegetation and submerged logs. They thrive in warmer, shallower areas of the lake.
  • Cutthroat Trout: These fish prefer cooler waters and can be found in deeper parts of the lake.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle

Choosing the right bait, lures, and tackle can make a big difference in your fishing success at Ashley Lake. Here are some recommendations for each type of fish:

  • Rainbow Trout: Use PowerBait, worms, and small spinners. Fly fishing with nymphs and dry flies can also be very effective.
  • Kokanee Salmon: Try using small spoons, spinners, and corn. Trolling is a popular method for catching these fish.
  • Yellow Perch: Small jigs, worms, and minnows are effective. Fish near weedy areas and in schools.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Use jigs, soft plastics, and crankbaits. Topwater lures are effective during the early morning and late evening.
  • Largemouth Bass: Plastic worms, spinnerbaits, and live bait like minnows work best. Look for them around vegetation and structures.
  • Cutthroat Trout: Use spoons, flies, and small spinners. These fish prefer cooler, deeper waters.
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Best Fishing Spot Locations

Finding the best fishing spots at Ashley Lake can enhance your fishing experience. Here are some top locations to consider:

  • North Shore: This area is popular for shore fishing and offers easy access to deeper waters. Good for catching trout and bass.
  • East Inlet: The inflow stream on the east side of the lake is excellent for trout, especially in the cooler months.
  • South Cove: This quieter area is ideal for bass and yellow perch. The weedy and vegetated areas attract these species.
  • West Shore: Known for its rocky structures, this spot is perfect for smallmouth bass. The underwater formations attract these fish.
  • Central Basin: Great for trolling for kokanee salmon and cutthroat trout. The deeper waters in the middle of the lake are ideal for these species.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your fishing trip to Ashley Lake:

  • Timing: Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish, especially during the warmer months.
  • Weather: Check the weather forecast before you go. Overcast days can be particularly good for fishing.
  • Gear: Bring a variety of lures and baits to see what the fish are biting on that day. Lightweight gear is generally sufficient for most fish in Ashley Lake.
  • Regulations: Always check local fishing regulations and ensure you have the necessary permits. Ashley Lake is managed by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
  • Safety: Stay hydrated and wear sun protection. The higher elevation can make the sun feel more intense.

Ashley Lake Fishing Reviews

Here are five positive reviews from anglers who have enjoyed fishing at Ashley Lake:

  1. Jim S.: “Ashley Lake is my go-to spot for trout fishing. The scenery is stunning, and the fishing is great. Caught several nice rainbow trout!”
  2. Lisa M.: “Had an amazing time fishing near the east inlet. The cutthroat trout were biting, and the surroundings are so peaceful.”
  3. Mark T.: “The north shore is my favorite spot. Great for shore fishing and easy access to deeper waters. Landed a big smallmouth bass!”
  4. Nancy W.: “Loved fishing at the south cove. It’s perfect for bass fishing. The weedy areas provide excellent cover for fish.”
  5. Tom H.: “The central basin is fantastic for kokanee salmon. Trolling here was very productive. Can’t wait to go back!”

Top-Rated RV Parks, RV Resorts, and Campgrounds

If you’re planning an extended stay, here are five top-rated RV parks and campgrounds near Ashley Lake:

  1. Ashley Lake North Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Hiking trails, fishing access, scenic views
    • Distance to Lake: 0 miles (within the Ashley Lake area)
  2. Whitefish Lake State Park Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, showers, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Beach access, hiking trails, scenic views
    • Distance to Lake: 20 miles
  3. Glacier Campground:
    • Features: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities
    • Amenities: Wi-Fi, pet-friendly, picnic areas
    • Distance to Lake: 30 miles
  4. Big Creek Campground:
    • Features: Tent and RV sites, restrooms, picnic areas
    • Amenities: Hiking trails, fishing access, scenic views
    • Distance to Lake: 25 miles
  5. West Glacier KOA Resort:
    • Features: Full hookups, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi
    • Amenities: Pool, playground, picnic areas, camp store
    • Distance to Lake: 35 miles

Ashley Lake Fishing Summary

Ashley Lake is a fantastic fishing destination with its clear waters and diverse fish population. Whether you’re targeting rainbow trout, bass, or kokanee salmon, this lake has it all. The beautiful surroundings and well-maintained facilities make it a perfect spot for a day of fishing or a longer stay. Don’t forget to check out the nearby RV parks and campgrounds for a comfortable and convenient base. Happy fishing, and I hope to see you out on the water!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the best time of year to fish at Ashley Lake?
    • The best times are spring and fall when the temperatures are milder, and fish are more active.
  2. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Ashley Lake?
    • Yes, you need a Montana state fishing license.
  3. Are there boat rentals available at Ashley Lake?
    • No, Ashley Lake is primarily a shore fishing and small boat fishing destination. You’ll need to bring your own boat.
  4. Can I fish from the shore at Ashley Lake?
    • Absolutely! There are plenty of good shore fishing spots around the lake.
  5. Is camping allowed at Ashley Lake?
    • Yes, there are several campgrounds within the Ashley Lake area that offer camping options.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this guide helpful. Tight lines, everyone, and happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Ashley Lake Fishing Report Guide: