Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 10.16.19
By angelamontana

Posted: October 16, 2019

Fall is 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

**Due to phone difficulties I am unable to reach the parties.

Reports from others state that , some guys have caught a few bass. Not many walleye caught. They were using cranks and worms. The marina is closed for the season. “

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports, ” we only saw a few people fishing this past week. The few people I spoke to said fishing was slow. I caught a bass using a green jig with a worm. I lost it bringing it in . I was fishing after 5:30 pm. Today we have more boats out there because the weather is decent. We only have one camper right now.

The water temperature is 49 degrees and is now at a winter level of 3419. The power and water is turned off. That means the dump station and fish cleaning station are off . Camping spots 1 to 11 have power but no water through the winter months. Reservations are no longer needed for the campground and it is first come first serve. “

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


Wade says , “ The marina is closed. I haven’t heard anything except that guys are waiting for ice to go ice fishing. It is nice today so that means it will be a while for that to happen. ”

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

Clint reports, ” the pike fishing is really good right now. The guys have been knocking them out of the water. They are finding them in 8 to 10 feet of water and catching them on cranks. The bass have schooled up. The walleye and bass bite is spotty and being found in 10 to 25 feet of water. They are mostly being caught while fishing for pike. The water temperature is 52 degrees. We are not seeing lake trout but generally this is when they start. I suspect that will happen in about 10 days. We just are not quite there. They should come into the shallows heading towards the main lake. “

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

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

Jodie reports, “ The salmon are moving into the shoreline in the bay. They are snagging salmon. The average size is 17 to 18 pounds. They were catching lake trout using spoons going shallow in 15 to 30 feet depths. They are pulling a spoon or a crank. Colors like orange, yellow or blue silver are working. During the day try a rattling crank.

For walleye fishermen are using cranks at 40 feet depths. Guys are heading past Duck Creek to Little Duck Creek and York Island to find the walleye . “

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 Monday to Friday 11am to 9am/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am breakfast and open to 10pm Tackle Store is open 7 am to 9pm daily

Scott reports “ the salmon are being caught. Snagging continues to be decent with the majority of the fish getting caught in the early and late hours of the day. The guys fishing them all night seem to be doing much better. Sounds like a good bunch of fish have been coming in around 3:00 A.M.

Lake trout- The lake trout bite continues to get stronger with the falling water temps. They are really starting to come up into the shallows to prepare for the spawn. The best bite has been in 15 to 45 feet of water pulling cranks and big spoons.

Walleye- Not much to report. There just are not too many guys chasing walleyes currently but we anticipate the bite should be getting better with the falling temps. The fish should then start putting the feed bag on in preparation for winter.

Northern pike- The pike bite continues to be good in the back of the bays for guys trolling spoons and crankbaits.

Smallmouth- The bass must have moved into deeper water as they seem to be non-existent in the last couple of weeks.

For the guys wanting to shore fish the face of the dam currently is a good option. They are catching lake trout, salmon, pike and a few walleye casting off the dam. Current water temps are approximately 52 degrees. “

Give us a call at the marina for current up to date fishing report at 1-406-526-3442. “

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

Marina reports ,” we had a few people here this week. People are saying fishing is slow and they are deep. They have been catching only 1 or 2 fish. Some were walleye and some rainbow trout. They have been fishing in boats.

The water has been turned off now. The electricity is also off except at Marshall Cove and Red Lodge campgrounds. The docks are pulled. Soon we will be working on dock repairs after the pre-winter maintenance is done. You no longer need reservations, so the camp sites are first come first serve. The kiosk has the reduced rate for camping listed. Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash.”

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports, “ No one has been out. The cold and wet weather kept people away. The weather knocked down the bite I suspect. Even if the weather is bad, people still come if they are biting so I think the fish just aren’t biting. The weather is supposed to get better so the fish will be biting again. ”

Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

“ There were a few boats out there this week. We had a lot of hunters camping. They are letting water in. The campgrounds are open. No one told us if they were catching, “ Pat said.

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

Jeff explained, “ we heard Deadmans was really good fishing this week. They were trolling cowbells and catching some nice trout we heard. “

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

Rick reports,” I heard that guys fished at Sutherlan Lake and the fishing was really good for salmon. They are spawning. I never knew there was salmon there. It is something new. I heard Martinsdale was slow fishing.

New news on Bair this week. ”

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 , “ I am hearing Achley is really slow fishing for rainbows and muskies.

Missouri- The Missouri is slow, pretty much, because of the moss on it.

Hanson Dam- Hanson Dam has been excellent for rainbow trout this week people say.

Spring Creek- Fishermen are doing well at Spring Creek for browns. The guys are using streamers or spinners and doing well on either.”

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, “ the fishing has been slow this week. We had not many fishermen this week. The ones that were here I heard went up the river. They did catch catfish off the bank. No one has headed towards the lake. Today the wind is terrible. The weather otherwise was good in the bay at the end of the week. ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “ the weather is gorgeous today. No wind or any other weather. If guys are into trout fishermen are saying the trout fishing is amazing. They are catching some big ones, like 3 to 4 pounders. The walleye are also doing well. They seem to be going north for them. The water level is the same. ”

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, “ At Forchette there has been wind, rain and snow so the roads were wet and no one wanted to drive their boat on wet roads.

At Nelson this week guys are catching walleye and northern pike. They were jigging with a minnow. The walleye seem to be moving deeper. Guys are catching some nice eaters in the 2 to 3-pound range. ”

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

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Jayce reports, “some guys I talked to headed to Yellowtail. The sauger bite was heating up there. Guys are using jigs at depths of 15 to 20 feet. A few guys said they were using cranks and catching them.

Cooney- Someone said they did good for walleye.

Yellowstone- On the Yellowstone at Forsyte I have heard some are guys were catching sauger. Just starting to bite at this time. With the weather changing I think that will make the bite better.

Stillwater-On the Stillwater people have said they are catching with nymphs like a hairs ear.

Broadwater Pond- Someone told me at Broadwater Pond the guys were catching bass by pitching towards the bank. Pull back with a minnow on or use a Chatter bait.

Fort Peck- I hear the salmon are starting at Fort Peck. They are coming in the bay.

Some have said that they were catching small mouth bass at Hell Creek. They did not think it would happen for long as the water temperature was dropping fast. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

Rich reports,” Fishing was slow this week partly because of the wind and weather. We are supposed to get 60-degree temperatures and that will help. Guys are catching in the rivers. They are catching some nice walleye and rainbows. They are catching the walleye below Totson. At the Helena Regulating reservoir guys are snagging salmon right now. A few fishermen have fished at Canyon Ferry and said it was cold and windy. One guy caught twenty small walleye and three trout.”

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

Chris says, “the weather is better, so both the Stillwater and the Yellowstone are better fishing. A double nymph works on the Stillwater. You could also try a large flashback pheasant tail or a green copper John . Most guys are on the Stillwater. Later in the day you may see a hatch. Try a purple fly or an elk hair caddis. If it is cloudy use a streamer. Try a Grinch, Cory’s electric goldfish or a black wooly bugger. “

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

Beau says, “ I have been fishing the Yellowstone from big Timber to Park City. Fishing has been great using hoppers. It is a better bite after noon. Drop a rubber leg off of a hopper. The water clarity is decent, and the float is good.

People on the Big Horn tell me it is slow fishing and weedy. Just tougher to fish. “

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

Rick says, “ fishing is okay. There is more moss breaking off on the water but that is good because it will definitely clear things. The water is way off color. People are seeing a little baetes right at dark. The water is 58 degrees. Some people have had some nice fish on using a thin mint, a small leach or a black pine squirrel. Try nymphing. Use a soft gray Ray or an orange scud. Try a San Quan worm or a two-toned red wine-colored fly. A black pheasant also works. Dries are just not working. The water level is 3200 CFS. Try throwing streamers. Try a dirty hippie or thin mint or a dark wooly leach pattern. ”

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 10/7/19


Upper Madison: Nymphing will be the most consistent vehicle for fish catching throughout the day down in the wade and float sections. We have definitely been having most of our success using smaller patterns on the #16-20 range, but there has been somewhat of a consistent rubber legs bite most days. Look for baetis to come off starting mid-afternoon, especially on the cloudier days.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #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: Much like the Madison, nymphing will be your best bet right now on the Gallatin. Rubber legs with a smaller size #16-20 dropper will be the best producers. As usual and especially this time of year, no need to get to the river too early. Give things some time to warm up until the late morning or early 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, #14-16 Lime/Royal Trude, #12-16 Parawulff, #14 409, #8-12 Royal/Peacock/Golden Chubby Chernobyl

Yellowstone National Park

Madison in YNP: From many of the reports we have heard over the past week, it sounds like fishing has been a little tough. That being said, a slow week or two each fall is not at all unusual and things should only pick up and get better from here on out. Whether your game is nymphing, swinging soft hackles or streamers, get out there and keep getting after it for these last few weeks of the season.

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

Firehole: The Firehole continues to fish quite well. Look for a pretty consistent afternoon baetis hatch and swinging soft hackles and smaller leeches the rest of the time is a good option.

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: Look for baetis and drake mackerels to provide some action for dry fly fishing, especially on cloudy days. If not, throwing around some hoppers or chubbies with tungsten head droppers is always a good strategy.

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