Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 9.26.16
By angelamontana

Posted: September 28, 2016

The changes into fall   weather means fishermen   should stay aware. The weather and water levels can change drastically.  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 is still a closure and some fishing restrictions in the Paradise Valley area on the Yellowstone in areas. Other areas are open to fishing and floating.  Check the FWP site for further information as waters may change after this report is submitted.  ***

(Report via Carol Henckel)

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

“Bill   says,” I have been   fishing this week and fishing has been pretty good.  The guys have been trolling for northern in 10 feet of water.  Some fishermen found walleye in 12 feet of water with cranks.  One guy got an 8 ½ pounder. I saw one 37 incher that was caught. The docks are being pulled tomorrow. As   of Oct. 1 the marina will be closed.  You can still get gas if someone is around and we will   still have cabins for rent.  So some services will be available if someone is around.”


Tongue River Reservoir /Bob

Bob   says,” this week we had The camp sites are now first come first serve.  Fishing was rather decent.  They did fair on bass.  Somebody actually caught a large mouth bass.  They caught a number of northern pike. Most were 10 to 20 pounds.  Only a few crappie were caught here or there that I heard of.  You  couldn’t ak for better weather. There is no wind now.  The water is way down but the fishing isn’t too bad.  Wade still  has his store trailer open.  ”


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

“  Before the rain the  fishing was good.  We had 2 days of rain.  Since the warm rain free days people are still catching.  Some nice crappies have been caught.  Right now I am watching someone vertical jigging   for a crappie.  Some bass are also being caught.  It may have slowed slightly. Of course you can still catch a northern as well.  The trailer is open for supplies.  We haven’t seen many fishermen on Monday andTuesday so we are closed those days,” Wade says.


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

Staff tells us ,” Fishing is pretty good this week.  Quite a few northern pike are being caught right now.  The cats   have been at 8 to 10 feet depths.  Guys looking for northerns are using   cranks. The small mouth    are deeper.  You can find them in the rock piles. Walleyes are just not biting. “  The bass tournament that was supposed to start the 24th of September because of the rain and if weather permits it will be held in October on the  15th and 16th.

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

Staff say,   ”Salmon fishing is still crazy in the bay.  The average salmon size is about 16 to 18 pounds.  The salmon are in spotting mode.  Snagging starts on Saturday, Oct. 1st.  Some guys are heading out to Duck Creek for walleye. “


Lake Elmo Billings FWP-Bob Gibson

“Fish seem to be feeding quite a bit right now.  In the early morning there seem to be quite a few fishermen.  Usually right after daylight. They are catching rainbows and a few perch,” Bob says.


Cooney Reservoir -Glennis

Glennis   explains, ”  It has been pretty quiet.  I think I have seen one boat on the water this week.  You have to have a little boat that you carry to the water or a boat with a shallow draft.  Even that is pretty tricky because the water is so slow.    A few guys are catching trout from shore using the usual night crawlers and power bait.   We have pulled all the docks.  “

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


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony says, ”  Really slow  this week.   A few guys are catching   salmon.  The water is as low as if it was winter.  A few trout have been caught.  Big boats still can NOT get in. The lake is very low. The dock has been pulled.   “


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

Terry says, “ I hear Deadmans and Martinsdale are really low right now.

At Martinsdale guys are having some luck with green marshmallows and a worm but the water is low.  Right now Martinsdale is two different ponds.  It is mostly off shore fishing.  Guys are catching  off shore.”


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Scott  says, “  The fishing was okay this week despite the rain.  The weather has helped.

On Achley fishing has been good for fly fishermen.  Try dry flies mostly midges and the basic nymphs are also working.

On the Missouri the moss is leaving.  Catfish and sauger are biting.  Things are picking up. “


Crooked Creek-Grant

A few  walleye   are being caught at   Crooked Creek .  Mostly small   size ones.  Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“Fishing was decent this week.  The average have been   18 to 20   inchers   caught for walleye.  The perch have been at 30 feet down.  Head north as there is less algae.  The lake has not turned over yet, “  Sharon says.

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


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

“ Fishing I would say is spotty.  The water at Nelson is still low.    Launching   is very   difficult. You access on the north end.   Guys are catching a   few walleye.  There are more northern pike being caught.

At   Forchette the walleye seem to be deeper but   are being   caught with a jig and a minnow.  Some people have caught a few northern pike in more shallow water, ” Jim said.

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


Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen

McCahen   says,” I was not here a lot of the week. I am still hearing  the   Yellowstone river east  is still great for cats, sauger and the small mouth bass.   Sauger bite has improved. Use gulp or minnows with a shiner.  The walleye are still   biting in the Hysham and Miles City area.

The Tongue has had some crappie being caught and I hear things have slowed for small mouth bass.  People say the walleye bite is slow. Fishing is okay I hear.

On Yellowtail small mouth bass are biting.  They are using tube jigs mostly in dark brown and green  colors. “


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “The rivers have been good off and on for trout.  Trout fishing is up a little.  Fly fishers are finding trout.

Canyon Ferry was interesting this week.  FWP did their gill net survey.  They got 130   walleye.  The bigger ones were caught in the middle.  I was told this was the best netting in a while.  I heard 50 up from the last time.  The little one were found mostly south.

I am hearing that walleye are being caught that are a little bigger by the fishermen.  Trout are biting pulling cranks. .

The rivers are up quite a bit.  The west branch of the Jefferson is actually flowing.  It has not done that since July.  The fly fishers are catching trout on the rivers from shore.  . Try night crawlers, and grasshoppers.

The Missouri is still pretty shallow in places.

The lake is still low.  I talked to one guy who said at White Earth it is really low.  He said you can get in with a boat but good luck turning around.”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Chris tells us, “the fishing on the Yellowstone is pretty good.  Floating on the Yellowstone is good.  Streamers have worked okay.  Try black bugger or the Grinch.  The  Stillwater is fishing   pretty well wading.  The Stillwater   is low so you can’t float it. Try dry flies.  Use a fat Frank hopper in the middle of the day.  Use a nymph like a copper john or pheasant tail.  We are still doing float trips, just call the shop.  Our hours now are 9 to 5 Monday to Saturday and 9 to 1 pm on Sunday. ”


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

“It is still good   river   fishing .  The lake seems to be kind of turning.  It is a little fater and shallow.  The   tricot hatch is almost done. The trico are smaller and only a few.   The fall baetes hatch starts around 3 to 4 pm.  Streamers are working pretty well. The grass is starting to break loose. The water level seems to be up but I think that is because of the height of the grass pushing it up, ” Beau says.


Steven Caldwell  guide No new report this week.

“When fishing head to the dam.  You can do well towards Wolf Creek.  At the bridge the water keeps you moving around a lot. Really stay alert.  The Canyon   is good fishing   The trico hatch seems to be done.    Try using size 26 pseudo baetes .  Nymphing is not working well.  If you try nymphs try a Hogan 5 size 16 or S & M, “ Steven explains.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Stephanie   says,  “ The tricots are not as many   .  Use more dries early in the morning and later in the day.    Nymphing   is slower now.     Use the   thin mints on the streams.      Black caddis are   working.    For streamers try a dirty hippy or something really colorful.  To catch fish try later as the hatch of PMV’s are there.  We still are doing a lot of trips.  Call ahead 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

Madison  No new report this week.

Alice says,” On the Madison fish are being caught on the small caddis and stonefly nymphs. On the warm, breezy, sunny days there are still a few hoppers around. Louis dollars or Blue winged olive mayflies have started to hatch on the cloudy days so we should   start to see more fish rising for those small mayflies.


Yellowstone National Park

Cold nights have cooled off most of the water in Yellowstone.  Higher elevation streams are still seeing some hatches, but fishing is better in the middle of the day once everything has warmed up a bit. The Madison, Firehole and Gibbon rivers are starting to fish better again with the arrival of fall. Caddis and Blue winged olives have been the most productive, on all of the above waters. If you don’t see fish rising try swinging a soft hackle or nymphing smaller flies. Don’t forget your bear spray!