FLY FISHING/CENTRAL MONTANA FLY FISHING DISTRICT
Big Spring Creek is a stream of extraordinary beauty and is a superb fishery. It is a great nymph and dry fly stream, but wet flies also work well. Open to year round fishing, it is fishable when many other streams are blown out from runoff. A wade and walk stream, Big Spring Creek is not a float and fish stream. It is easily wadable, but chest waders are recommended. If you wade wet, shorts are not recommended due to brush, thorns and sun reflection. Originating seven miles southeast of Lewistown where it bubbles out of the ground near the state trout hatchery, Big Spring Creek runs almost twenty-six miles to where it joins the Judith River. With nine state fish and game public access sites within ten miles of town, Lewistown is one of the few towns of some size (population approximately 6,500) that you can often catch fish within the city limits.
ANTELOPE/REGION 4, DISTRICT 420
Lewistown sits in the center of antelope country. All of the pronghorn hunting is restricted to permit only, but several of the surrounding areas have liberal quotas so interested hunters have a reasonable chance of drawing a tag. Central Montana antelope hunting gets you out on the wide open plains of the west during one of the prettiest times of year. This is an excellent place to attempt the challenge of taking a pronghorn with a bow. For the hunter looking for the ultimate challenge, you can spot-and- stock. Either way, the antelope population is rebounding in our area, access is readily available via public lands (mostly BLM), and the challenge awaits!
ELK & DEER/REGION 4, DISTRICT 411
Many opportunities exist in Central Montana for hunting elk and hunters are sure to find a deer that meets their expectations. Archery opens in early September and continues until mid- October. There is a week hiatus of closed season before the rifle season opens in later October. Crossbows are not allowed during archery season, but one can hunt elk during rifle season with archery equipment, including crossbows. Most all of the elk hunting is by permit only. Because elk herd numbers are above or at management plan objectives, the Montana FWP has instituted a number of special hunts to try and control the population. Archery Only Elk, 900-20 Region has an 82% Draw General Season Elk, 411-20 Region has a 19% Draw Drawing odds greatly increased for landowners via the Landowner Preference with Montana FWP.
The upland bird hunting opportunities in central Montana are abundant, yet varied. Our region has excellent habitat for 2 species of mountain grouse (ruffed and blue), 2 species of prairie grouse (sharptails and sage), Hungarian partridge and pheasants.