Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 10.9.19
By angelamontana

Posted: October 9, 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

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

Spencer reports, ” we saw lots of people fishing this past weekend. Right now there are only two boats out. I only heard of two fish caught. The water temperature is 55 degrees and is now at a level of 3419. The power and water was turned off this past week. 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


A Fishermen says , “ The marina is closed but I still went out and I caught very few fish. This was before the weather changed. I marked some big fish but could not get them to bite ”

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

Clint reports, ” The weather this week was okay. There has been some wind this week. The guys that were fishing were catching northern pike. They were pulling cranks in 8 to 10 feet. That really was the only fishing happening this week. Today it is 25 degrees outside. The bass has schooled up. No one knows where the walleye are right now. “

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

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

Eddie reports, “ Nothing has been happening this week. There were only a few guys out. They fished at the base of the dam. They were catching lake trout using spoons. The lake trout are moving into the shallow water. We have had a lot of wind this week.

I have heard they have snagged a few salmon. A few in the marina bay.

Some guys headed to Duck Creek. They caught like 20 salmon. They are just getting started.

The northern pike are being found back in the bay; they are in the weed beds. I only heard of a few walleye being caught. The weather being as it is, means the fish are not coming in. “

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 snagging is getting better every day. Today, there have been a good number of fish snagged in the marina bay as well as at Duck Creek. We are also seeing numbers of salmon and lake trout being caught off the face of the dam. The laker bite is starting to kick off with numbers of fish showing up in 15-25 feet of water. We expect that bite to strengthen each day as water temps continue to fall with the cold front.

Walleye fishing- There have not been many reports as most anglers are chasing lakers and salmon and weather hasn’t permitted much activity in the boats.

Pike fishing continues to be strong back in the bays along weed edges.

Water temps are currently around 50 degrees “

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 people fishing this week. They have been catching walleye and rainbow trout. People say they are finding them deep. The bite the fishermen say is slow. They have been fishing in boats, not much shore fishing happening. One fellow who has fished for years fished the last 7 days and only caught 2-3 fish per day.

We pulled the buoys today. The water has been turned off now. The electricity is also off except at Marshall Cove and Red Lodge campgrounds. We pulled the docks last week and soon we will be working on dock repairs as soon as we get the pre-winter maintenance 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, “ There was a lot of wind on the water this week. I did see a couple of people out fishing off the dock. I did see he caught a small trout with a lure of some kind. ”

Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

“ We talked to a father and his two kids who were headed out fishing this week, but we never heard how they did . The campgrounds are open. We did people fishing and catching at Broadwater Pond when we were in town, “ Pat said.

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

Staff explained, “ No one has been heading out to fish. Most everyone is out hunting. “

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

Rick reports,” I heard that guys fished at Martinsdale and caught a few fish. Martinsdale’s water is at winter pool level now.

Others told me they went to Bair and did good fishing with worms and some lures. The water is down a little at Bair. Everyone was complaining about wind at booth places.

I did not hear a thing about Sutherlan and fishing 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

Colby reports , “ we had 8 inches of snow this week and lots of cold. I heard no news on fishing this week. I did have some guys head to Crooked Creek, but I did not hear how they did. Fishing was just not on people’s minds this week and of course now we have more weather moving in. It may help hunting but not fishing. ”

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 only fishing going on was before the storm. We had a couple of guys out fishing and they caught a few catfish. They found the fishing slow. Of course now we have snow and weather coming in. We did wind this week. ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “ the weather is definitely changing. We have had wind at times and today is 4 – 5 inches of snow. The few people who have been out this week say fishing is decent. The fishermen are heading way down to the mouth of the river. They caught a few walleye and perch. ”

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, guys were catching fish walleye at 20 to 30 feet depths jigging. I was there this week and people were jigging at 30 to 40 feet with minnows. We were catching walleye and so were others. Guys were catching pike from the bank with a minnow there.

Fishermen were catching walleye at Nelson this week. They were jigging with a minnow. The water level is still at a good level. ”

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. They have been catching sauger along the cliffs. Guys are using jigs at depths of 15 to 20 feet. One fisherman caught a nice 23-inch fish. It was a nice one.

Cooney-I talked to one man who a brown on Cooney on a flicker shade. He said he caught some small walleye at Cooney. None of them were big in size.

Yellowstone- On the Yellowstone in the Hysham – Forsyte area I have heard some are guys are out fishing. They have been catching walleye, sauger and bass. Not a really hot and heavy bite at this time.

Yellowstone River- I went hunting in Paradise Valley and the Upper Yellowstone had lots of fishermen floating the river. So they must be having good luck fishing. The river was very busy with fishermen. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

A source reports,” A few fishermen have fished at Canyon Ferry. The weather included wind, so people struggled to go out. With the weather coming the fish were spottier.

They were doing well on the Madison river. The rivers were clear earlier in the week. Most people are spin casting because of the moss and weeds. ”

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

Jim says,” try a double nymph on the Stillwater. I would suggest a large flashback pheasant tail or a green copper John in 5/16. No one is talking about fishing on the Yellowstone as most are on the Stillwater. Later in the day you may see a hatch. Try a purple fly or an elk hair caddis which does seem to be working. If it is cloudy use a streamer. Try a Grinch, Cory’s electric goldfish or a black wooly bugger. You just have to try everything looking at the weather to tell you what to use as well as water conditions. If it is lousy weather come in and stock up. We have lots to pick from. “

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. Fishing has been decent. Try a bead head or a pheasant tail. Some days a hopper works. The water clarity changes with the weather.

People on the Big Horn tells me it has slowed, and it is weedy. Just tougher to fish. “

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

Rick says, “ fishing was tough. There is moss on the water. 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. The lake has turned over.

***I want to invite people to the Grand Opening of the River Alliance new building location in Billings at 500 South gate Drive. It is on October 10th from 5 to 7 pm. Come join us in celebrating. We have lots of things that will be happening in the weeks and months to come and it will be good to have a location in Billings close to what is happening. ”

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: Fishing remains consistent on the Madison below Quake with smaller nymphs still being the name of the game right now. On the cloudier days we have been seeing some baetis coming off in the early afternoons. Look for fish rising in slower slicks behind larger rocks and tight to the banks. Be sure you have small enough flies and are getting a good drift as these fish can be pretty picky this time of year. There should be some good fish hanging between the lakes right now. Much like the stretch below Quake, nymphing will be your best bet. Rubber legs, worms and smaller nymphs should do the trick. Throwing some streamers around in this stretch is never a bad idea in there this time of year as well.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #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: Nymphing will be your best bet on the Gallatin. Rubber legs with a smaller midge or baetis 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: There’s plenty of fish in the system at this point and fishing has been about as consistent as we could hope for. All techniques whether nymphing, swinging soft hackles or stripping streamers have been producing. It’s definitely that time of year to get out there and see if you can land that one fish that makes it all worth it. In the early afternoons during some of the cloudier days, it pays to be on the lookout for baetis coming off in some of the slower stretches 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, #6 Mini Bangtail, #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Firehole: No surprises here as the Firehole continues to fish really well. In the right weather, look for fish to be rising to baetis starting around noon. Swinging soft hackles throughout the day is always a great option and will produce before, during and after the hatch.

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: Slough, Lamar and Soda Butte are all fishing well and are good options right now if you want to get away from some of the crowds on the Madison and Firehole. These rivers that are usually packed with anglers during July and August tend to thin out considerably this time of year. Look for drake mackerels and baetis in the late mornings and early afternoons. If the weather clears up this weekend and the sun comes out, it wouldn’t hurt to try fishing some hoppers, beetles and ants.

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