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Hebgen Lake

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Bozeman, MT 59771



Hebgen Lake, created in 1915, supplies over 12,000 acres of high quality brown and rainbow trout fishing within a few minutes drive of West Yellowstone, Montana. The Madison, Grayling and South Fork arms along with the main lake body provide over 50 miles of shoreline fishing opportunity.

At 6500 feet in elevation the lake experiences a long snowy winter, with 2 to 3 feet of ice formed starting in December and melting by early May. Ice anglers typically concentrate near the dam and fish for rainbow trout with brightly colored jigs and spoons about 10 feet below the ice. Ice fishing tends to improve later in the winter as day length increases. The ice/snow interface can become quite slushy later in the winter requiring waterproof boots.

Shoreline, float tube, and boat anglers do very well at ice out by fishing bait, streamers or trolling plugs. Fishing at Hebgen Hebgen Lake also provides a unique still water dry fly fishing opportunity for large rainbow trout rising to mayfly hatches during the summer months. This form of fishing is locally known as fishing for "Gulpers" as the large fish make a gulping sound as they strike surface flies.

Hebgen Lake is surrounded by both public and private land. Good public access on the north side of the Reservoir exists off of Highway 287 to the west of Red Canyon. The south side of the reservoir is accessible from Forest Service Roads 291 and 167. A boat launching facility exists at the FS Lonesomehurst Camp ground near the South Fork Arm. There are special camping regulations around portions of the lake due to the presence of grizzly bears, please refer to area restrictions on the forest map.

Strong winds and rough water are common on Hebgen Lake, demanding prudent boating skills and a watchful eye on the weather.


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