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Today is April 1, also known as April Fool's Day, but I assure you that there's no foolin' going on with this report.

The history of April Fool's Day is uncertain, but interesting. The current thinking is it began around 1582 in France. Back in those days, the folks who had a practical joke played on them were known as "April Fish" because a young, naïve fish is easily caught. It was also a common practice to hook a paper fish on the back of someone as a joke.

Today's column has none of that. The only fish mentioned will be the ones that anglers can catch, or could have caught had they been with my son Harry, his friend Greg Liberko and me Sunday on Holter Reservoir.

Our mission was simple start out trolling for rainbow trout, and if successful try our hand at catching a walleye or two. The first part turned out to be very successful. Despite battling the wind, which was blowing in gusts throughout the day, we were able to haul in some very nice trout.

We used five rods and trolled about 2 mph in the Oxbow area. One rod had leaded line and a mad flash deep diving Thunderstick. The other four rods were equipped with monofilament line. Two of the mono lines were long-lined with a J-7 jointed orange/white Rapala. The other two mono lines were on downriggers with a J-9 brook trout Rapala and a brown trout original Jointed Thunderstick.

After fishing from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for trout, we had 15 in the cooler, and all but one was caught on the orange/white J-7 Rapala.

We then headed to some walleye holes and used jigs tipped with nightcrawlers and a bottom bouncer with a spinner crawler harness setup.

We fished in all depths from five feet to 25 feet up and down the reservoir from Cottonwood Creek to the Gates of the Mountains. We didn't touch a walleye and called it a day at around 6:30 p.m.

The ice is now completely off of Holter Reservoir, and it's ready to boat and fish. To view the trout action, visit

It's also worth noting that folks are starting to catch good numbers of trout fishing from shore as well.

Chris Fortune e-mailed me to let me know that there will be a National Wild Turkey Federation Banquet in Missoula this Saturday. The banquet will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel. For tickets, call Joe at 239-9442.

Mark Ward's statewide Montana Outdoor Radio Show airs Saturdays from 6 to 8 a.m. in Missoula on KGVO 1290 AM. E-mail Ward at


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