Mountain Whitefish

The Mountain Whitefish is a native Montana fish, found in every river and stream in Missoula. While a member of the trout family, and possessing an adipose fin, the Mountain Whitefish is not regarded as highly as their true trout brethren. This may be due to the fact that a summer caught whitefish is not considered a dining delicacy, due to the lack of firmness to their flesh. Despite this prejudice against the “Whistler”, they can provide some tremendous action, as they are very willing feeders. You can find them rising with the trout, as well as wherever trout are taking nymphs. In the Winter, the Mountain Whitefish is a highly sought out species. The cold water firms up their body, and many in Missoula will avidly fish for Whitefish and smoke them. As shop employees, we don’t often get the chance to head out and winter fish, so if any locals with extra smoked Whitefish, our address is 802 South Higgins! The Mountain Whitefish is an indicator of a very healthy freestone fishery, so even if you’re less than enamored of taking them on the fly, having Whitefish in our rivers is a sign that Missoula rivers are healthy and strong. Be happy the rod bent!