Sun Set Over Four Horn Lake

My Duck Lake Love Affair

Why I love Fishing Duck Lake and Stillwater

It wasn’t until I landed on Duck Lake here in Northwest Montana, that my love for fly fishing for trout on Stillwater began. The Blackfeet Indian Reservation is known for its productive trout water. There are numerous lakes throughout the reservation that boast of great fishing, but my favorite lake to fish on the reservation is Duck lake. It’s the reason I built the StoneHouse!

East end of Duck Lake-Mountains

East End of Duck Lake

The Views

Duck Lake is approximately 1500 acres and sits on a rise overlooking the Rocky Mountains and the views of Glacier Park to the west are spectacular. Wether it’s  an early morning sunrise lighting up the mountains or the evening sun falling behind Chief Mountain, the lighting is ever-changing and the scenery never disappoints.

The Challenge

Fishing Duck Lake is challenging. The conditions are always changing and the fisherman must learn to adapt. There are many techniques used on stillwater to catch fish which will be discussed in more detail on future post. Even though the fly fishing can be challenging, the spin fisherman always has a good chance of catching trout casting from shore with small spoons and spinners.

A Large variety of Aquatic Life

The variety of aquatic life in Duck Lake is amazing and keeps the fly tier busy throughout the year in preparation for the various hatches. Fresh water shrimp or scud are the major food source for the trout and can be fished at any time with success.  There are several species of Caddis that inhabit the lake all year and hatch at different times throughout the season. There are several techniques used at different stages of the life cycle, but my favorite is the Traveling Sage that hatches and runs across the surface of the lake. Using a large size 6 elk hair Caddis striped vigorously across the surface will trigger trout to chase and explode on the surface.

Freshwater Shrimp or Scud


The damsel fly hatch in mid July is epic followed by a long and productive Mayfly hatch. Minnow imitations as well as leech patterns are always effective and in September, migrating boatmen fall from the sky headlong into the water causing trout to feed enthusiastically.

The Challenge of Changing Conditions

No two days are quite the same on Duck Lake. Yes there are always the go-to fly and technique, but to be consistently successful one must able to continually change and adapt to the various conditions and feeding patterns. To me, this keeps things interesting and there is always something to learn.

No Crowds

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fished alone on Duck Lake, thinking to myself, ” How is it that I am the only one on the lake and the fishing is this good.” It has to be on of the best kept secrets. I am willing to share my knowledge and good fortune, but you will have to meet me half way. Come see for yourself!

A Pristine Environment

Being on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation has been this areas saving grace. The lack of commercial and private development has left the area virtually untouched. The waters of Duck Lake are dark in hue but supper clear against the white rocky bottom, fed by underwater springs from Glacier Park and winter snow melt. The air is crisp and clean and the wildlife abound!

Call or email to get more information on fishing Duck Lake or to book you next adventure at the StoneHouse.

David Walburn



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