HELENA – If you want to see dad smile this father’s day weekend, tell him fishing is free.

According to Fish Wildlife and Parks, no license is required to fish Montana’s lakes and rivers this weekend.

Steve bails and his son were out Friday fly fishing near wolf creek Friday.

“I’ve been waiting to do this for quite a while,” Bales said. “I came here in December and it was all white. So we came back in June and it’s beautiful!”

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While they hadn’t caught any fish yet, Jim Stein, Shop Manager at CrossCurrents Fly Shop, said there is more to it than that.

“Fishing isn’t necessarily about catching fish. I’ve often said that a great day for fishing with me is just being out there. Not necessarily catching the fish, but the adventure of where you’re going or who you’re going with – or maybe who you’re not going with,” Stein said.

Brian Bollwitte hit the water with his group of friends for his bachelor party.

Saturday and Sunday, the group will be fishing for free.

“A lot of the guys that are out of state and saw the prices for out of state fishing licenses were pretty excited when we had the father’s day fishing opportunity,” Bollwitte said.

Before heading out to the lakes and rivers, beware of the water levels.

Because of heavy rainfall this spring and a large snowpack, the water levels are still high.

Tail water fisheries are the best for catching fish. Those are areas downstream from dams where the waters are calmer.

Stein also advices anglers to try something new this weekend.

“Get off the interstates, get off the paved roads, get on to gravel and dirty roads and about any piece of water that you drive across likely has a fish in it. Stop and give it a go,” Stein said.

While fishing is free this weekend, all other fishing rules and regulations remain in place.

FWP is also cautioning anglers about high water levels.

For a boater’s checklist and more safety resources, click here.

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