Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 9.25.19
By angelamontana

Posted: September 27, 2019

Fall is almost here. This year we are still having very unusual weather and that means sudden changes in weather and water. Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes. Storms like snow and dangerous fire can happen quickly, so fishermen or fisherwomen need to keep in touch with the weather service and let others know where they are for safety sake when out and about. 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, fire and precipitation can come in with fierce strength. 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- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt 1-406-230-1283 for Linda

Marina number is less reliable in winter. 1-406-485-2560

Linda reports,” fishermen have been getting some nice bass and walleye using cranks and worms. Those who went out came back in with some nice walleye. Many are heading toward the dry arm. We had a fisherman named Jason Weathers catch a real nice northern pike. The pike caught on a minnow a pike that was 45 ½ inches and when weighed was 20.2 pounds. It was caught right out in the bay right in front of Rock Creek Marina. “

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports, ” we had a decent number of people fishing this week. I have heard people caught some nice northern pike. They said they were decent size. Some people caught bass at well. Guys have said they were going north toward the island by the dam for them. We did have some rain on the weekend. They are using orange and blue colors which are working. The water temperature is 65 degrees and is now at winter level. As of Sunday reservations are no longer needed for the campground and it is first come first serve. “

On or around October 1st the water and electricity will be shut off. Of course camp sites 1 to 11 will still have electricity through the winter. The docks are in.

Remember to check your regulations for the information for this region about what minnows you may use on Tongue. .

Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg, Fletcher /Warden Jordan Staley

Closed Monday, Tuesday Open Wednesday to Sunday

Fletcher says , “ This week has been pretty slow for seeing fishermen. Some caught a few largemouth bass. Some are catching a few pike and bass. We had the 80’s this past weekend. So we saw a lot of people recreating.” Wade says, “ Come by and support your marina. We would love to visit with you.”

Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne-Kayler 1-406- 557-2345

Donna reports, ” The bite is slow right now. You have to work to find the fish. Every day is different. They are catching northern pike and walleye. This past weekend the bass fishermen did well. The bass bite was good.

The walleye bite is the normal August September bite. It is intermittent. Guys will go out and have a really great day and then the next two days will be so so.

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

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

Carrie reports, “ the weather has slowed the bite. We have had rain and wind. The wind has been 40 mph many days. We have heard that a few salmon are making their way into the bay. Let me say it has only happened with very few at the docks and in the bay. At this time it is not a common event at all, so I do not want people to misinterpret what I said. The wind has slowed people down to get out on the water many days.

On the lake people are catching walleye and northern pike. They are using cranks at 25 to 30 feet. The lake trout right now have had locked jaws. You see them on the monitor, but they just are not biting at all people are saying this week.

We can cover all your needs and if you want to charter a boat, we can help with that too. Our hours are 7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina Jessica & Scott Collinsworth 1-406-565-6283

Open Thursday, Friday and Monday 9am to noon/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 9pm

Staff reports, “ fishing has been very slow. The weather has been part of the reason. The wind has been blowing. They are catching walleye toward the pines. Guys are looking for the salmon in the bay and the dam. The salmon fishermen have said the fishing is slow right now. “

The bait and tackle store are open Thursday thru Monday, and we have everything you need for chasing fish on Fort Peck. We also have campsites available with power for anyone that wants to bring your camper to the lake. The spots are on concrete and right on the lake shore. You can access the lake right from your camper. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Jake

According to other sources reports,” the trout bite is okay. They were catching walleye this week. It was not as slow. The water is off at Red Lodge camp because of construction. The water and electricity will be shut off on October 1st. You no longer need reservations, so the camp sites are first come first serve. “

Please help keep the big fish in the water for breeding by releasing them. Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports, “ There are people out there fishing all of the time. Cooney is still pretty full now. With the cooler weather the fishing should pick up. With all the activity they must be catching. ”

Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

“ People are fishing . Fishermen have said they are catching quite a few trout. The water has gone down some.“ Pat said.

Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261

Terry explains, “ I talked to some people headed to Martinsdale. They said they did catch three or four fish. They were shore fishing from the bank and were just drowning a worm. “

Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373

Judy reports,” a couple of fishermen went out to fish on Sunday and Monday. They headed to Sutherlan and had a good day fishing from a boat. Another group went to a private pond close to Bair. They had a good day as they caught their limit. Martinsdale had too much wind so those who went there could not fish. Martinsdale is known for that problem. ”

Sports Center 120 2nd Ave South Lewistown, MT 535-9308 Colby / John Tognetti

Our hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4pm on Sunday

Colby reports , “ most people coming in are thinking hunting. I have not heard a lot of comments on fishing. So not much of a report this week.

Petrolia- One of the few reports I did hear was on Petrolia. The fishermen said they got eight walleyes on bottom bouncers. They did have good weather when they were there.

Spring Creek- On Spring Creek fishing some say it is okay. Weather has been a factor. Jon has suggested you use terrestrials as they should work .

Achley- At Achley last week they were catching some walleye and an occasional Muskie. I have heard nothing this week. “

Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig, Carri Craig 406-429-2999

The marina is open and in full swing now. We are open 7 am to 7 pm every day.

Gary says, “ Fishing was slow. The water has definitely turned over so that makes it tougher fishing. The clarity is definitely poor. There is a fair amount of moss on the shoreline. The walleye are hard to find right now but people have caught small walleye about 40 feet from shore in the boat. Lots of goldeneyes are being caught.

Some are finding a few northern pike. There is a lot of moss half way down because of the water turning. There have been quite a few people who are bow hunting and fishing. ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “ I would say fishing is decent. No specific spot is better than another. You still have to chase them. The average number caught for a day is 6 to 8. We have had wind. There is some algae out there right now. Some is blue algae. I do not recommend you let your dog swim right now in the water. The word is weather is coming in so keep an eye on that. ”

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

The Flamingo is closed.

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

Jim reports, “ People say Nelson is still good fishing. Fishermen jigging or using a jig wrap with a minnow. The water level is still at a good level.

I have not heard anything about Forchette. In past years it usually is good.”

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

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Jayce reports, “ On Yellowtail I hear they are using minnows for the sauger bite. I am not sure if it has ramped up yet.

Colstrip- I heard at the Colstrip Tournament some nice fish were caught at Castle Rock.

Cooney-Some guys have caught walleye at Cooney. They are finding them here or there. They are saying it is okay fishing. They describe it as okay fishing.

Yellowstone from Columbus to Big Timber. People are catching trout using hoppers. I hear it is slowing down. – The fishing was slower.

Yellowstone River-The Yellowstone is pretty dirty. The Clarks Fork is dumping in lots of dirty water. If you are going to fish the Yellowstone go higher up. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

Rich reports,” I fished at Crooked Creek on Fort Peck. The water has turned over, so no one was catching a lot of walleye. The weather was nice but hot. I got sunburn over my tan. We caught goldeyes, crappies, northern pike but only a few walleye. There were a lot of bow hunters there. There were One fellow with a huge boat went all the way to Timber Creek and came back with only 2 bass.

Canyon Ferry- I hear fishing is okay. They are catching normal size walleye. One guy I talked to using a jig with a 3 oz sinker. He said he caught 50 on Saturday and 29 on Thursday. He did say first you have got to find them.

The rivers are clear. Most people are spin casting because of the moss and weeds. The Madison looks the best. ”

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine

Jim says,”

The Yellowstone is clearing. Try a Grinch, PMX or a nymph. The hopper action has really slowed. The water has gone down from a month ago. It is very floatable.

The Stillwater is starting to clear. It is bony to impassable. The lower part is floatable. It is very clear. Throw a Jack Cabe, purple haze or a small dry. If it is hot try a hopper. Think nymphs or a dinngle. “

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

Beau says, “ I have been fishing the Yellowstone from Gardner to Livingston and down from Gardner. The fishing has been pretty good. Try a bead head or a pheasant tail. Some days a hopper works. The water clarity has varied with the weather. It gets muddier closer to Billings

I have talked to people on the Big Horn. People say it has slowed some and is weedy. It is tougher to fish. “

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375 Rick/Stephanie/

Janet says, “ The water level is still at 3200 CFS. The water is a bit off color. It is weedy and has some turbidity. It definitely is a slower bite people say. There are a few tricots just not at a particular time. Use some streamers like a thin mint or dirty hippies when it is cloudy. Try hoppers on a sunny day.

The lake has turned over. It is like at 90 percent full. ”

Our hours are 8 am to 12 every day.

Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg. Open 730am-9pm 406-646-9644.

West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 9/24/19


Upper Madison: Not a whole lot has changed on the Madison. Small nymphs are still the name of the game for consistently catching fish at the moment and baetis, midge and attractor nymphs in the #18-20 range are working best. With the coming weather for the rest of the week, baetis should start to show themselves a little more so keep an eye out for those in the afternoons. Throwing some hoppers and ants around during any nice breaks in the day has been getting a few fish to come up and eat still also.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #10-12 Pink/Tan/Yellow Thunder Thighs, #14-16 Arrick’s Ant, #16 Nyman’s Flying Ant, #14-16 Bogus Beetle, #12-16 Royal Trude, #16-18 Purple Parachute, #10-12 Black Sili Legs, #16 Lake Prince, #16-18 Shop Vac, #18 Red Neck, #16-18 Black Lightning Bug, #16-18 Guide Dip/$3 Dip, #16-18 Krystal Dip, #16-18 Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear, #18 Black/Olive Zebra Midge

Gallatin: The recent rains have blown out the Taylor Fork and thus the Gallatin downstream of there is running a little dirty as well, so sticking somewhere above Taylor Fork and/or in the park stretch will provide your better fishing for the next few days. Nymphing with smaller patterns and rubber legs will provide your most consistent fishing on the Gallatin right now, but don’t be afraid to throw around some terrestrials and attractor dries during the afternoon hours.

Flies: #14-16 Lake Prince, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Red Neck, #12 Pink/Purple Hot Spot Jig, #8-12 Black Sili Legs, #12 Morrish Hopper, #10-12 Thunder Thighs Hopper, #14-16 Lime/Royal Trude, #12-16 Parawulff, #14 409, #8-12 Royal/Peacock/Golden Chubby Chernobyl

Yellowstone National Park

Madison in YNP: Fish continue to work their way up from the lake and while there are definitely some nice fish being caught, we are still probably just a few days or a week out from prime time yet. The weather the rest of the week should be pretty ideal for fishing and will help to get more fish running up as well.

Flies: #8-12 Peacock/Orange/PT & Partridge, #10-12 Partridge and Copper, #8-10 Simi Seal Leech, #6 Sparkle Minnow, #8 Squirrel Leech, #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Firehole: The Firehole continues to fish quite well. Look for baetis to come off on cloudy mornings and afternoons and provide some good dry fly fishing. If nothing is going on, swinging soft hackles has been consistently producing fish as usual.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #14 Tan/Olive Diving Caddis, #10-14 Orange/Green & Partridge, #10 Simi Seal Leech

NE Corner: Flows on the Lamar spiked big time from the rains this past week and are still slowly on the way back down at the time of this writing. When flows return to normal, the fishing should pick back up again with Drake Mackerels, baetis, terrestrials, attractors, and tungsten nymph droppers.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #12 Drake Mackerel Cripple, #10-14 Peacock/Royal Chubby, #16 Longhorn Beetle, #14-16 Bogus Beetle, #14 Arrick’s Ant, #12 Thunder Thighs Hopper, #12-16 Royal/Lime Trude, #12-16 Parawulff Adams, #14 409, #12 Quill Jig, #12 Lucent Jig, #16 Olive Biot Czech