Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 7.25.16
By angelamontana

Posted: July 28, 2016

The summer weather means you should stay aware. The weather and water levels can be very unpredictable.  Enjoy yourself but remember alcohol alters your judgment. So use it sparingly while enjoying the outdoors. Keep an eye on the weather as conditions such as temperature, wind and precipitation can change quickly. This report is compiled on Monday and Tuesday and reflects conditions and results of fishing from the past week.  If you wish other information feel free to contact most parties for current daily information. Good luck fishing from the Montana Outdoor Radio Crew.

 (Report compiled by Carol Henckel) 

Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560

“Monty   says,” fishing was pretty hot this week.   Lots of fish are being   caught.  They are at 18 to 20 feet depths.  Bottom bouncers are working. .  In the heat of the day the fish are going deep

Chartreuse and pink are the colors people say are working.  One guy caught  a 9 to 10 pound walleye.  It was a nice one.  Northern pike  are being caught with green and orange colors.  Crappies are making a comeback from the bank.

Tongue River Reservoir /Bob

“ It has been extremely hot here.  Yesterday was 109 degrees and today it is 108 degrees.  The water is high.  It is   better fishing   early in the dark and late in the day when it is almost dark. People are using the   cleaning station.  I have seen a few crappie   being caught  as well as walleye. Try catching on the bottom where it is cooler,” Bob says.

Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Straley

“Fishing has been terrific!  The heat seems to have turned it on.  It doesn’t make sense but I have seen fish being caught.  Lots of fish.  One guy went out and caught his limit of walleye.  Some guys caught 5 or 6 northern pike on one trip out.  They are jigging this week with a crawler.  They are finding walleye at 5 to 15 feet.  Try using a jig with pink or orange. The rapella and rip-shad  are working.  A few small mouth are also being caught.  Strange, but the heat is turning on the fish,” Wade says.

We are open 7 days a week.  My hours will be Sunday to Thursday 8 am to 6 pm and Friday and Saturday 7 am to 9pm.  I have minnows, leaches and worms on hand. Remember as of April 1st no shiner minnows are allowed on Tongue,” Wade said.

Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345  Marina Matheson-Park Office  Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir east to

Cody   explains,”  Fishing is pretty good. The heat is slowing things down a little.  The tournament was won by 53 pounds.  I don’t have the winners names but know it was a 17 and 19 year old from Billings.  Guys are going east of Crooked Creek.  It seems to be good there. Purple and pink  are colors that are working but others say  just about anything is working.  Try depths of 25 to 35 feet.”

We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now.”

The new park manager for Hell Creek State Park is Marina Matheson. “

Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597

Eddie says, ”The lake trout are biting.    You can catch lake trout and salmon   right now.   I have seen   a   15 pound salmon and a lake trout 13.8 pounds.   Use the usual flashers and squids.  Go down 85 feet.  We got 17 lake trout at that depth heading toward   Hacksbee .  A lot of our fishermen were down at Hell Creek  for the tournament and I heard they were getting walleye.  We all had some windy days this week.  The majority was at the last part of last week.  Lots of catching going on.  Size   is anywhere from 2 ½ to 17 pounds using down riggers at 60 to 85 feet.  Try the face of the dam using smelt.  A 30 incher was caught   going 45 feet deep using a canyon ball.  I do have herring here now. “

Lake Elmo Billings FWP-Bob Gibson

The hot heat has  slowed fishing and made swimming  the thing to do.  The guys who want to fish are trying early morning and late in the day fishing.  Fishermen are using power bait, lures  or worms.

Cooney Reservoir  Glenis-John

John said,”we just don’t know where the  walleye are.   Everyone is looking but I am hearing rainbows are being caught.  The rainbows have been good size.  Yoou can catch them everywhere.    Offshore they are catching some rainbows.  Guys just can’t find the walleyes right now.  They have been using leeches. People just keep trying.”

The new Park Ranger is, Skylar Mitchell a transfer from Dillon.

Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony says, ”  We had rain last night.  The fishing for trout   has been fair. They are catching salmon which are around 1 ½ pounds.  Trout are about 2 pounds.   The water is going down.  People are using marshmallows   and worms from shore and spinners and cowbells from a boat.   “

Campers remember it is now a pay site.

Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22

“People are catching fish at   Martinsdale and Deadmans .  Not a lot of people are sharing that they have caught   anything.  On Martinsdale   in the boat guys  are using  silver colored rapellas . People are not telling of any big catches ,  ” Terry said


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale   explains, “  Fishing has been pretty good around here.  On

Spring Creek  fishing is doing well.  Hoppers are starting.  CDC’s caddis,   and Sally’s  are working.

Achley Lake   is  fair fishing.  The water is on a draw down  with irrigators.  Try  worms and spinners in silver and gold.

On the Missouri river from the PN to the lake is solid for catfish.   Use cutbait for success.

For Crooked Creek expect to get a lot of crappie.  Use a worm harness with a night crawler or leech.”

Crooked Creek-Grant

Lots of guys are catching at Crooked Creek .  At  Crooked Creek  walleye are being  caught.  Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“ Fishing  has been  good .   Head   south  to White Earth and then to Goose Bay. For the walleye try bottom bouncers in pink and purple.  Use bright colors.  Try  crank baits and bottom bouncers. Rainbows   are biting  all over,” Sharon said.

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.

West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611

 The  walleye are being caught on Nelson .   Spinners are working.  For walleye and pike go 18 to 22 feet deep.  Use a jig with a worm and go deep.  Crappie fishing   on Forchette  is good.  Go shallow right now.  Some guys are catching walleye by going deeper like 25 to 45 feet.    Use multiple tactics. Most are working well.

Access has changed drastically as they lower the levels.  To access you have to go to the gravel near the north  ramp.  You can launch from there.   The water is definitely down.”

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.

Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen

McCahen  says,” At  Hell Creek fish shallow of deep for walleye.  Depths of 12 to 20 feet are finding fish.  The walleye are scattered.  Try bottom bouncers and crawlers.  For bigger walleye try cranks they seem to be bringing in bigger fish for some.

For Yellowtail   bass fishing is good.  Use tube jigs.   The walleye fishing is slow.

The Yellowstone river   is doing well for bass right now.

At Cooney they are catching smaller  walleye.   Mostly   late in the day.    “

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ At Canyon Ferry walleye are biting but there is not a lot of size.

The Gallatin is lower.  The rivers are clearer than last week but it is getting mossy.  I heard Lake Francis is fishing good.  Mostly walleye and perch.  Perch fishing at Holter is good.

The rivers are getting mossy and are definitely lower.  The Missouri appears to be the worst.  All are pretty hard to fish right now.  Don’t forget   the Madison hoot  owl  rules are in effect. ”

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

“ Fishing has slowed  because of the warm weather.  Water temps are up.  On both the Stillwater and the Yellowstone   use nymph fishing.  Stay on the bottom or in shady spots in the heat .  Crease along the coolest area.   Try a large dropper.  For nymphs any soft tackle like hairs ear.

The Yellowstone   is fishing okay.  Drop nymphs when floating.  Use dries in the evening.  We are seeing some caddis and PMD’s out there,  “ Bill says.

Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

“We are seeing a few tricot in the morning.  Only a few.  The big Horn is at  cfs 2200.  The  float is grassy from 6 mile to Afterbay .  There is still  so much grass   you just can’t nymph unless  you want to clean the line constantly.  Beginner fishermen find that really frustrating and difficult.  After noon to the evening   look for a caddis hatch. The feeding is not strong.   The   float is better at 3 mile.  For dry fly action use black cadis and grasshoppers.  After that use nymphs and grasshoppers.   We are attracting some big browns and lots of rainbows,” Beau says.

Steven Caldwell  guide

On   the Missouri you will see tricot in the morning and the spinner at 9 to 10:30 am.  There is a start of moss right now.  Check your bugs and nymph in the morning .  The key to fishing right now is early on and early off.  The other way is to start fishing at 4 pm and get off the water after dark.  Caddis fishing is not the best.  Try in the afternoon up at the dam to the Craig.  At the canyon try a crayfish pattern my favorite is a mayfly pattern.   The water level  is average for August.      For spin try   6 feet below the water with a bottom bouncer with a split indicator.  The cfs is 4320 to 4330, “ Stephen explains.

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

“Fishing is  good.  The cfs is the same as last week  at  2200. Water temp is around  56 degrees.   We are seeing   black caddis,   yellow Sally’s and  PMDs .  Nymphing   is working on the water.   The upper 3 mile is grassy on the bottom.  Try    gray Rays or tan Rays in a 16 or 18 or soft   tackle .  Try a two tone worm sow.   PMD’s   and black caddis are  working .  For streamers   try zonkers and thin mints.  We are seeing some tricots and the hoppers are  better,” Stephanie   said.

Our shop hours are 7 am to 7 pm now Monday to Sunday.

Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698

 Alice says, “On the Madison- We still have some bug hatches despite the warm air temperatures.  Pale Morning Duns and Caddis in the mornings are keeping fish up. There are still a few yellow sally stoneflies around the upper Madison. Nymphing during the middle of the day has been productive with smaller mayfly and caddis patterns. The middle of the Madison River towards Ennis has more hoppers on the water and fish looking for them each day. Terrestrial fishing should continue to improve closer to August.

Yellowstone National Park

The fishing is all about the cool water and higher elevations. Fish are very interested in hoppers and beetle patterns in the open meadows. You may still find some fish eating mayflies, mostly Pale Morning Dun in the deeper pools.  Keep those fish wet, quickly release them back into the water. Don’t forget your bear spray!