As the fly fishing season slows down, the hunting season comes to an end, one of our favorite seasons is just beginning. Ice fishing in Montana can be some of the most fun of the year. If you’ve hung around our shop enough then you probably already know that some of our staff and guides are die-hard ice fisherman. From building our own ice fishing rods to tying our own ice fishing flies, you can quickly tell that we have a bit of an ice fishing problem. For us it’s a chance to fish bodies of water that the we don’t often fish and catching many different species like Trout, Bass, Perch, Pike, Walleye, Salmon and more.
While the amazing ice fishing we have in Montana is no secret, ice fishing with flies is often looked past or never even thought of. We use a variety of flies jigging under the ice to fool fish. Many times the bite will be hot in the morning and die down mid-day. These mid-day lulls are when we start experimenting with different tactics. Often, we will see fish refuse our traditional ice fishing jigs like Swedish Pimples, Rockers, Jigging Rapalas and many more. These picky fish will often take smaller flies more readily then some of the bigger traditional ice fishing jigs in Montana. So next time when you’re having a slow day, try tying on one of these flies listed and you may be surprised. We fish these flies all day while ice fishing and usually outperform the classic ice fishing jigs.
Flies like Scud patterns and Damsel Fly nymphs work great but some of the most effective flies we use are varieties of tungsten jig nymphs that are heavily weighted and sink quickly.
We stock 196 different varieties of jig nymph flies used for ice fishing here at The Missoulian Angler Fly Shop. Stop in and check them out or you can order from our limited selection online (here), try a couple and we are confident that you will have success when many other people aren’t. Many of us start with flies early morning and never change all day. We have done many experiments where half of us will be fishing traditional ice fishing jigs and the other half fishing jig flies and the jig flies will more often then not out fish the traditional hard-body traditional jigs. Not always but especially on days where the fish are less aggressive, this can be the key to a successful day of ice fishing in Montana.
Not sure which Jig Flies to try?
Give our assorted pre loaded ice fishing box a try with 10 hand selected patterns that consists of our tried and true ice flies and a few of our hottest patterns of recent. Click link below for more information.
Or select from a variety of different Ice Jig Flies from our Ice Flies selection by clicking here
You can also pick from our Top 10 Ice Flies below by clicking any image. These are some of our favorite and most consistent Jig Flies.
Here we have highlighted some of the best ice fishing flies. This list is primarily focused on Trout but will work for other species like Salmon, Perch and more.
If you decide to pick from our Top 10 list then don’t forget to pick a size. For ice fishing we suggest to pick the largest size of each of these flies.