Hooked! This Massive Montana Insect Makes The Best Fish Bait
Montana is full of crazy-looking insects, and thankfully most of them are harmless. As we transition into summer, you're most likely going to have to deal with bugs whether you like it or not.
One insect that trout in Montana go absolutely wild for is the Giant Salmonfly. The annual hatch usually happens during the month of June, and if you ask almost any angler, nothing really compares to a good salmonfly hatch. If you want to experience the best trout fishing of your life, do a little research and find out when their hatching.
Trout is one of several different species of fish in the state. There's also walleye, northern pike, sturgeon, bass, salmon, and more. You can learn more about the different species of fish in Montana on the Montana FWP website.
I have a lot of great memories of fishing with my dad from my childhood. Growing up in Idaho, I learned an appreciation for the outdoors and was taught to not take it for granted. Idaho is very similar to Montana in that respect. One of my favorite memories is catfishing with my dad, and there was an insect that we used for bait that was better than anything else we tried. I'm talking about Mormon Crickets.
What is a Mormon Cricket?
Despite the name, it isn't actually a cricket. It looks more like a giant dark brown or black grasshopper. Here's a description from the Montana Field Guide website;
The Mormon Cricket is not a true cricket, but a flightless shieldbacked katydid in the family Tettigoniidae, often referred to as “Dectids” (subfamily Tettigoniinae, tribe Decticinae), subfamily Decticinae [the shieldbacks]). This is a large-sized robust species with short wings concealed by the pronotum.
Sightings of Mormon Crickets have been reported in 33 Montana counties, so your chances of coming across one are pretty good. They're actually very interesting insects and are known for their mass migration. Click here to learn more about Mormon Crickets.