Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 9.11.19
By angelamontana

Posted: September 12, 2019

Summer  is almost over. 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

Monty reports,”  Labor Day weekend was good with fishermen.  The bite was still on until the wind came out.  We did not get the rain others got.  People were using cranks for walleye and using colors chartreus and orange to catch them.  The walleye seem to be going north and  towards  Spring Creek fishing at depths of 15 to 20 feet.  People are catching pike and bass.  Go south for the pike bite.  The bass bite is okay right now.  “

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Roger reports, ”  the water level is almost to winter level.  The level is at 3420.  Tongue seems to be fishing a little better.  Only a few crappies  are being caught.  We seem to be seeing some bigger bass being caught. The water temperature is 70 degrees .  We have seen only a few northern pike and a  little bit of perch have been caught.  More cats have been found and caught.   The walleye bite seems to have dropped off. One fellow caught some nice bass.  One was 14 inches and he found it at depths of 18 feet.  He said in the center in low spots.  The frog pond is pretty low and almost empty.“

**The reservation system is now  in effect .  We are part of a new pilot program that allows you to make a reservation one day ahead.  We are hoping that this brings in people who have been unable to use the campground on short notice.  Other spots like  Campers Point, Sandpoint, Peewee, Rattlesnake, Peewee North, and River view below the dam are open to first come, first serve.  They have no electrical.  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

Wade  says ,  “ the reservoir is down a bunch.  This week we have seen some nice bass caught. Some nice size ones.  We saw only a few walleyes caught.  People are starting  to catch some crappie.  Someone caught a 14 ½ inch crappie.  This guy fishes a lot and said he thought the crappie fishing might be improving.  He did not get a limit, but he definitely caught quite a few.  That bite has been good for them.  The other fish bite has  been slow. People have been jigging with worms and leeches.  You really can catch them anyway just drop the line to the bottom with a split shot.

The band that played  last Saturday was Roy Buzzard and the bones and they were great.   We had our first annual corn hole game and had 29 teams.  People loved it.  We will be doing it again next year.    “

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

Layne  reports, ” we had not many people here for Labor  day and this week.  The northern pike bite is decent.  People are using cranks at depths of 10 to 20 feet.

Guys are catching some nice  bass.   You can find some on the main lake.  Head to the rock piles to catch them with a jig and a crawler.

Not many people are chasing walleye right now.  They pretty much are catching them while they are looking for another species. So they are using bottom bouncers at 10 to 20 feet depths using cranks.   ”

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

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

Jamie  explains, “  we did  see the salmon fishing actually stay pretty good.  It was rainy and cold.  It was windy really windy.  Today only one boat went out.  Labor Day saw not many  fishermen going out.  Catching fish with the weather definitely slowed some. The walleye are at 25 to 30 feet depths.  People are using crawlers with bottom bouncers.   You can also find pike and bass at the same depths.  Weather changed things. People keep talking about how they suspect after the storm they predict better fishing.

People are catching  lake trout  running 110  feet down using a down rigger  and  spoons when the weather improves.  ”

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

(Unable to get a report, Scott out of town. No one else had any information)

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

Scott reports, “  the last 2 to 3 days we have had wind  so getting out on the water was difficulty.  That weather has made the bite  up and down.    We have  seen a few more females caught this week.  Before that  salmon fishing was good.   Today (Wednesday) the weather is calm so people are going out and we will see what is caught.  It is predicted to be good weather the rest of the week. They are getting a bite at 45 to 90 feet.  They are biting on Apex spoons, a squid in blue gold, the blue Hawaiian and blue Jack cut plugs.   The water temperature  which right now is  68  degrees.

The walleye fishing has been good.  They are finding  walleye at depths of 15 to 25 feet using a slow death or a smiley blade.

The lake trout are  at 100 to 120 feet of water and going strong.

The bass are fishing okay  down the lake and   towards Gilbert Creek.

The pike fishing has been really good as well.  It just has been a good week. “

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

Cynthia  reports,” on  Labor Day we were full, but it was really quiet.  We have not seen a lot of   trout  caught.  On this week of Labor Day I saw 4 trout caught by someone which is a good    thing because that has not been seen a lot. The guy was excited. He was using  worm harnesses.  There were lots of  walleyes  being caught.  People are catching  walleye  with worms and worm harnesses from shore and boat. “

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,  “ Cooney is pretty full  now.  The blooming algae is no longer a concern.  There have been  fishermen  fishing when the weather has been good.  With school starting the number of  people out has  definitely changed.”

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

“ The water has gone down a little .  We  actually have a little more beach.   Deadmans has been better  fishing .  People have said they are catching quite a few trout.  Quite a few trout have been caught.  The water level is at normal level people have said.

Broadwater Pond still has more fish being caught.  Some say more than at Deadman’s.  We keep seeing people fishing early in the morning.  There are people fishing all day ”, Pat says.

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

Terry explains, “ I had no guys buy  worms this week.  Most everyone I have talked to was headed out with their bow and arrow or staying home because of the rain.

Broadview pond has been having people  fishing. They must be catching with the number of people out there. “

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

Judy reports,”  no fishermen came in and said they went out this weekend.

The weather has not been nice.  Most people are going out for archery season. So it has been pretty quiet on fishing.”

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

John  reports , “ The fishing  slowed down.  We had  a lot of  rain all this week.  It was cool to downright cold. People say the hatches have quieted down supposedly.

Spring Creek-  On Spring Creek  fishing there is still hopper action.  I suggest you use terrestrials as they should work .

Achley- Achley  is   slow  fishing with the weather.

Pretty much lots of people are going bull hunting for archery season “

We do have smelt, worms, meal worms, maggots and wax worms.  We have live minnows.

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.

Slim says, “ Not many people came to fish. It was a rainy week.  I know of 3 guys who braved the weather and went out.  They headed to Ghost Cooley.  They caught 14 walleyes, a few northern pike and some crappie.  They were all at 20 to 25 feet depths.  Labor Day was really  slow for people.  We had 60’s  but when the rain came it became muddy.  Right now there is no problem  getting down here.  ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “ we had a great Labor Day.  I think the best one in 10 years.  We had decent weather.  On a scale of 1 to 10  I would say it is a 7 or 8 over all this week.  It was good for trout, walleye and perch. You can find fish pretty much anywhere. You do have to chase them, but they are finding them. There is no algae  on this end.  Come fish.”

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

The Flamingo is closed.

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

Dan  reports, ”In between rainstorms which were all weekend  you could try fishing.   Nelson continues to be good fishing.  Nelson is still full .  Fishermen are now using bottom bouncers, but some   are trying a minnow  and some jigging.  The water level is still at a good level.   It is a little mossy right now.”

Bring your mosquito repellent.

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

 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce  reports, “ Things seem to be slow for fishing.  Everybody is thinking about archery season.  I am heading out in a few days myself.

Stillwater River – It is not good for hoppers.  It is clear and flowing well.  They are catching a few fish.

Boulder- Fishing is good.  I had one guy say he was going up to use Griffiths  or a knat as it usually works at this time. He says he always catches something on that in the beginning of September.

Cooney-Some guys have said it has slowed down a lot.  They are reporting the fish they are catching do not have much size.  They are usually small.

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

Yellowstone in Hysham area-  People are not saying the fishing is good mostly I am hearing it is slow.

Fort Peck- Guys are saying fishing slowed because of weather and the barometer changed.  They are saying the cold front changed the salmon bite.  A lot of time on a daily basis. “


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich reports,”  I have not heard anything on fishing this week. I had the first Friday in a long time and on Labor Day weekend  where I never had a customer.   The weather had something to do with that. So I have not heard anything on fishing. I know a lot of guys went bow hunting.

As far as fly fishing the rivers look weedy which would make using a panther martin hard. It might be better with spin casting right now on them.”

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

Jim says,” The weather has changed and with that so has the fishing.  Hoppers action has slowed on the water. The cooler temperature is part of the reason. Throw a Grinch or a wooly bugger.  People are seeing tricot later in the day. You have got to adjust for the weather and conditions.  Try a nymph hairs ear or Pheasant tail they might work.  Use smaller dries later in the day.

I fished on the West Rosebud for about an hour the other day.  The water was clear.  I used a hairs ear and I got some action.  “

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

Beau says, “ I am not fishing the Big Horn right now.  I found the fishing poor and the water grassy and murky.  So I have been fishing the Yellowstone from Gardner to Livingston and down from Gardner.  The fishing has been  pretty good.  Use a bead head or a pheasant tail.  Crayfish are also working.  I have seen no hatches. okay this week. It has been slow  nymphing.  Use an orange scud in the morning.   You can use a pheasant tail and hoppers are working okay.“


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

Stephanie says, “   fishing is okay right now.  The water is   off color and the grass is  breaking up.  There are tricots in the early morning still in some parts.    The water level is still at 3200 CFS.  Nymphing has been pretty good.  Some people are catching.  It is sporadic some days.  Some guys are doing well, and some others are not. There still are hoppers out there.  ”

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 9/3/19


Upper Madison: We all knew the excellent hopper fishing we have had so far this season would slow down at some point, and that time seems to have arrived. Summer seemed to turn to fall pretty much overnight and this cooler rainy weather that has moved in the last few days looks like it’s here to stay for a while. We are even expecting some snow in the early mornings over the next few days. You could still throw some hoppers, ants and other terrestrials around throughout the day with some success, it just won’t be nearly as consistent as the past few weeks have been. The good news that comes with some of this nasty weather is that we should see some baetes in the near future, so be on the lookout for them on these inclement weather days. The nymph bite remains consistent with the same smaller nymphs we have been using lately and we have also seen a return to fish eating rubber legs over the last few days.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Sparkle Dun, #10-12 Pink/Tan/Yellow Thunder Thighs, #10-12 Morrish Hopper, #14-16 Arrick’s Ant, #16 Nyman’s Flying Ant, #14-16 Bogus Beetle, #12-16 Royal Trude, #16-18 Rusty Spinner, #16-18 Purple Parachute, #10-12 Black Sili Legs, #16 Lake Prince, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Red Neck, #16-18 Green/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

Hebgen: This cooler weather will definitely slow things down on the lake as far as the callibaetis go. When this is the case, switching strategies to suspended nymphs and leeches/streamers is a good bet. Fish should be starting to stage up in both the Madison and Grayling arms so both of these spots would be good to try.

Flies: #16 Callibaetis Parachute, #16 Callibaetis Sparkle Dun, #16 Callibaetis Cripple, #16 Turkey Callibaetis, #16-18 Olive Flashback Hare’s ear, #8 Simi Seal Leech

Gallatin: Given the recent turn in the weather nymphing will be your most consistent way of catching fish now, especially during the cooler mornings. If you do get a little break with some sun and warmth in the afternoon, terrestrials and attractors should still fish well both inside and outside the park.

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

NE Corner: When the weather turns in the fall like this, we start to see really good emergences of Drake Mackerels on Slough, Soda Butte and Lamar as these drakes come off strongest in cloudy weather. Don’t head over there without some of these in your box from now until the end of the season. Terrestrials and attractor patterns should continue to produce as well, especially on the warmer and sunnier days.

Flies: #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

Madison in YNP: Another piece of good news that comes with this cold and rainy weather is that it has cooled down rivers like the Madison and Firehole, so these are now becoming fishable again. This type of weather should start getting some of those lake fish moving upriver into the Madison and we have already had reports of lake fish being hooked all the way up to Barns. So begins the fall fishing madness. Please remember to be respectful and courteous out there this fall. Use common sense when it comes to interacting with other anglers and if you’re not sure of the etiquette that goes with fall park fishing, never hesitate to ask!

Flies: #8-12 Peacock/Orange/PT & Partridge, #10-12 Partridge and Copper, #8-10 Simi Seal Leech, #6 Sparkle Minnow, #8 Squirrel Leech

Firehole: The Firehole has been cooling down a little more each day but is still running just a touch warm in the afternoons. However, it is totally fishable in the mornings and should fish well with soft hackles, small streamers and baetes.

Flies: #14 Tan/Olive Diving Caddis, #10-14 Orange/Green & Partridge, #10 Simi Seal Leech