Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 8.29.16
By angelamontana

Posted: August 31, 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.

***Please be aware that there are some waters that have been placed on hoot owl restrictions.  Check the FWP site for further information as waters may be placed on or off   restrictions after this report is submitted.  ***

(Report compiled by Carol Henckel)

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

“Brittany   says,” Not many fishermen here this week.  We had some rain and wind at 5 to 10 mph  for  a few days.  Fishermen are heading to the dam to catch salmon.  Size has been between 18 and 20 pounds.”

Tongue River Reservoir /Bob

Bob   says,” Fishing has picked up.  People are  finding fish in the cool  of the evening and at night.  In the heat of the day fishing is of course slower.  One fellow I have known for years  fished for 4hours and was excited to tell me he caught several of every species in Tongue.  The cleaning station is up and running now.  The marina building is getting new carpet as we speak.  The repairs are being handled surprisingly   quick. Don’t know when it will be ready but Wade has his store trailer working and he is open.   ”

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


“The fishing has been decent this week.  They are finding some walleye at 8 to 15 feet depths dragging a jig with a twister tail.  Pink seems to be the hot action color.  They are also catching some bass and crappie.  I have seen some nice sizes.  Some people   are vertical jigging or trolling  with a rip shad.  I have seen some walleye in the 2 to 3 pound range.  Stop in and pick of your supplies.   I   have   fuel,  bait, ice, beer, pop and groceries,” Wade says.


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

Staff tells us ,” they are catching northern pike and bass as they are doing okay.   Walleye fishing has   slowed down.  Fish early  and go real deep.  One smallmouth bass  I heard of was 7 .1 pounds.  The weather this week has been warm and overcast.   “

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 fishing is  good.  They are still catching salmon  this week.  It has tapered of a little.  This week we had some winds and storms.  Sizes range from 8 to 25 pounds.  The majority  of them are 12 to 20 pounds.  Use  flashers and squids.  Head  toward  the dam and Hacksbee Point .  Find them in depths from 115 feet to 180 feet.  For walleyes the guys are going 25 to 35 feet.  A few guys are catching them on minnows and crawlers but spinners are working right now. “


Lake Elmo Billings FWP-Bob Gibson

“ Fishing has slowed down because of the heat but also because of school starting.  The water level is good.  The ospreys  are loving the fishing and doing well.  If guys  are  fishing  they are trying early in the  morning or  late in the day, “ Bob says.


Minnow Bucket

Fishing on the Yellowstone is good for catfish and some bass toward Hysham. The Yellowstone River is NOT  TOTALLY  closed. The news and many other sources are reporting “the Yellowstone is closed for all recreation.” It  is open toward Hysham. From Laurel to the East (Billings, Huntley, Custer, on to North Dakota) the river is OPEN TO ALL RECREATION! We repeat, the Yellowstone River is OPEN in our area. Bass fishing has been great, catfish  and sauger are picking up already. 


Cooney Reservoir  Glenis-John

Jennifer  explains, ” People are saying that fishing is really slow..  The water levels have been way down.   You can only get small boats   in. The docks are still in but   may be pulled soon after Labor Day.  The parking lot on the North shore   will be closed off the evening of the 5th to the 8th   of September  because of sealing.  The Red Lodge and Marshal Cove will be open but the docks will be pulled.  The water is low enough we are not recommending trying to launch at either   spot.  The parking lot will be really nice once it is done.   “

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


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony says, ”  Some salmon are being caught  and a few rainbow trout.  Big boats can NOT get in.  You must   walk   through the mud to get to your boat in   the water.  The lake is very low. The dock has been pulled.  The water is still dropping and will be until   November .   It is dropping   every day as the DNRC   are working on the dam.   “

Campers remember it is now a pay site.


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

Low waters have made fishing difficult  at  Martinsdale. I have heard that fishing   is not  good waters are real low. .  Try rapellas  as they   are working.


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale   explains, “   Spring Creek is fishing well.  Fall patterns are starting to work.    Hoppers   are still working in some spots.

Fishing from  a boat at Achley is working well .  Rainbows are being caught in 10 to 15 feet of water.

He Missouri has too much moss to fish right now around here.

On the west end of Fort Peck guys are   using  bottom bouncers at 12 to 15 feet depths for walleyes.  Worm harnesses   are   also working. “


Crooked Creek-Grant

Walleye   are being caught at   Crooked Creek .  Decent   size ones   are being   caught.  Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“Walleye   are still  being caught.  They are pretty much   all over the lake.  Most are   at 12 to 20 feet deep.  The perch are at 30 feet depths, “ Sharon says.

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


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

“ Nelson’s  water is real low.    Launching   is difficult.  A few walleye and perch are being caught. .

Forchette is good for small mouth.  Not much catching of walleye right now .  ” Jim said.

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


Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen

McCahen   says,” For Yellowtail   bass fishing is good.  Use tube jigs.   Some  small gulp  minnows are working.

On the  Yellowstone the bass  fishing is real good from billings going East.  Catfish are being caught all over.  Thee sauger bite is picking up.

Fort Peck  fishing is slowing down.  Check out the rocky points going 15 to 20 feet down.  Salmon fishing  is  good at the dam.   Some nice ones being caught.  “


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ Tiber   fishing might be good for others but it was not for me and my friends . We didn’t catch any northerns.  The walleye just were not hungry.  Silver and blue seemed to be working a little.

At Canyon Ferry   walleye are being caught.  Some bigger ones  one person I know caught 3 walleye over 30 inches.  Trout are biting pulling cranks. .

The rivers are still low. The Gallatin is so low it looks more like a creek.    Not much change in fishing as the water is really warm.  Try night crawlers, and grasshoppers.  Follow   the  hoot owl rules

The Missouri looks like it is up.  It looks almost normal/  It is clear I see no moss.


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

We continue to be open.  Our hours may be adjusted because of the closure of the Yellowstone   and Stillwater because of Proliferature Kidney Disease (PKD)   and the fact that we have to travel farther to fish. Our philosophy is adapt, improvise and overcome.  We are  fishing .  We may have to start earlier and drive a bit farther but we are taking care of our customers.  (excerpts from  the website.)


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

“Fishing is  still  good.  It seems to have less grass in it.   There is a big  tricot hatch  early in  the morning.  Nymphing   seems to be a better presentation and works.    There is some   hopper action.    For hoppers  you have got to stay at it.  Try shallow ripples and corner pockets.   Sow bugs and worms are also working. The caddis   are out in the evening.     For dry flies use black cadis and grasshoppers.  After that use nymphs and grasshoppers.  The water is very busy  right now, ” Beau says.


Steven Caldwell  guide

“ Fishing is good.  The tricot and hopper  bite  varys   daily.  The canyon water is grassy.  The dam water is clearer.  The  August   fishing is decent use San  Juan worms  and go slow and deep.  Then alternate with shallow and fast.   Just don’t expect the numbers  .  it is still good fishing just slower and with less people.   Check your bugs and nymph in the morning , “ Steven explains.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Sean  says,  “ The water is warmer.   The tricots have been   coming off well.  From the big Horn to Mallards there are almost too many tricots coming off in the morning.  So the bite can be really good.  Use more dries early in the morning and later in the day.    Nymphing  is not as active.  There is some leaching.  Try the big drop  pulling one or two going slow .  The split mahagony  also works.    Try thin mints on the streams.      Black caddis are also  working.    For streamers try a dirty hippy or something really colorful.  Try bigger bugs after 3 mile as the bugs are bigger.  More people are on the river right now.   Call head for guide   availability.”

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,” The Madison is doing well.  With the Yellowstone closed below the Park fishing is an alternative there.  The only area closed in the park is slough creek.  There is some smoke  in the park but the Madison valley has been clear of it.  The Madison and the Gibbon is smokiest in the morning.  The air has been 80 degrees so be aware of the water temperature and its stress on the fish.  I would suggest staying off the Firehole as the warm water is stressing fish there.  Really be conscious of fish stress right now no matter where you go.  Mornings are most productive nymphing smaller mayflies and caddis patterns. Warm, breezy afternoons are fantastic for a big foam hopper with an ant dropper. For Hebgen Dam  fish the deeper water.  Get those fish back into the water as quickly as possible to reduce stress in this warm weather.


Yellowstone National Park

Hike to higher elevations to   streams and lakes that are cooler.  Bring your bear spray as the bears are berry picking.   Flying ant   patterns or hoppers   midday are the most productive.  IF fish aren’t responding to your dry flies, check your drift or nymph small-midsized flies.  Keep those fish wet and set them free as quickly as possible.