Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 10.7.20
By angelamontana

Posted: October 8, 2020

Autumn  has arrived   and that can bring unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures,  wind  and  water which means  everyone needs to be vigilant when being outside.   Outdoor enthusiasts, including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Surprise storms of 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  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.

***The Fire danger continues to be high  throughout the central part of the state.  Some fire possibilities may be located where you are going, so check before you venture out. Please use care as you drive on tall grass.  Be careful with cigarettes & check often to see if there are fire restrictions mandated by FWP as you camp in beautiful Montana. ***

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports, “ the  fisherman  I spoke to said they  caught a few bass.  They headed across Campers Point to catch them.  He said he caught  one crappie and a few perch.  Others  caught a couple  northern pike.   He said one was a nice one.  The  water temperature is 60 degrees. Last weekend we had 25 campers, so it was busy.  The water has dropped a little more.  Be very  cautious of underwater hazards.  Call the park if you need more information. The docks are still in.  Reservation season  has ended . It is first come first serve.  The winter rates have  started. The  electrical has been turned off.  Campers point 1 to 11 will still have electricity year around.    Just a reminder, we are still  in stage 1 fire restrictions right now. “

  Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg, Payton

Wade  reports , “  a friend went out fishing and he said there were only two boats out that  day when he went out.    The water has dropped and is very  low.  The lowest I have seen in 20 years. He said they went beyond  the frog pond and the jet boat got caught up on the sandbar and it took a lot to get them off it.   The frog pond has no water right now.  If you are going out, you need to pay close attention.

The Marina is  officially closed for the season.  We hope to be open  for  ice fishing.

Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt /1-406-230-1283  for Linda & Neil     Marina number is 1-406-485-2560   

Linda reports, ”people had a hard time getting out on the water because the wind has been really bad.   So no one was catching earlier in the week.  Today the wind was down, and we had two guys who went out.  They caught walleye, bass  and pike.  The pike were mostly large.  They were in the bay for some of their fishing and were using a walleye jig and a live minnow.  The guys said they were going .3 mph.  If you can’t find minnows, they said a black silver gulp also worked. They got their minnows at Lake Ridge. “

We have closed the marina for the season, but fishing can still be done. We just won’t have any services.

To make reservations for next year , please call Monty at 406-465-0241.

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

  Staff  reports”  it has been pretty quiet here.   We have  not had many  boats on the water. I know a 45-inch pike was caught.    The walleye hasn’t come back yet for the autumn bite.  Have not heard of anyone getting any.  Last week people caught a few bass. They seem to be  scattered.  “

We have changed our hours at the marina.  We are open from 7 to 5 on weekdays and 7 to 6 on weekends.    Please be aware of the  fire hazard right now  and people need to be careful and stay aware of that.

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

Eddie  reports, “ we have had slower fishing with some types of fish this week.  The guys going out for pike are doing really well. The pike have been 5 to 7 pounds in weight. The guys were cranking in 5 to 12 feet of water. They were using spoons and dare devils.   Guys I talked took caught a handful of walleye.  Fishing for them is pretty slow. They used  a shiver minnow with a darter.  Lake trout bite is really slow right now.  The water has not turned over yet.  It acts like it is really close to doing it .  In the morning the water temperature is 57 to 58 degrees and after noon the water temperature is 60 to 61 degrees.  We have had some wind.  For salmon people have been snagging slow using spoons and cranks by the shore at night.  FWP was up here shocking on Friday and got 16 and then 9.  Monday  got  9 spawned fish. ”

 We have stocked the tackle shop  and you can find many things you need there.     We have super  Jumbo suckers, shiners, fatheads’ minnows, smelt and herring.  We still have a few  dates open for guiding.  ”

Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

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

 Scott  reports “ walleye fishing- Walleye fishing has been   hit or miss with reports of some fish getting  caught along weed edges but all and all it is pretty slow. This week with the full moon will make the day bite a little tougher.

Northern Pike –Fishing has  really started  picking up again this week. Guys trolling cranks or pitching glyde baits are doing really well along weed edges in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Small mouth- Fish seemed  to have moved out to around 20   feet of water on main lake points.  Guys throwing shiver minnows and jigs have been seeing some fish.

Lake trout- Lake trout fishing  has been non-existent this week.  The fish are still deep and very lethargic. They should start their trip up shallow to start looking at spawning areas in the next few weeks and fishing will really take off.

Salmon- Fishing remains very, very  slow, unfortunately.    The fish that are starting to show up in the marina bay a little bit and over in Duck Creek bay and Flat Lake.  We have also witnessed more fish moving into the marina bay this week.  The fish that are getting caught are from guys casting cranks and spoons and we are seeing a few fish snagged as well.

Water temps  have been  between 58- 60  degrees. “

The bar and restaurant hours are  as follows: open 7 days a week. Monday to  Thursday 11am to 9 pm, Friday 11am to 10 pm.  Saturday and Sunday 8am to 10 pm.  Please be aware we are practicing social distancing.

Stop in the tackle store for up to date info on fishing along with all the gear you will need to catch any species of fish in Fort Peck Lake.  We are here to help put  you  guys  on  fish.  We are  open 7 days a week as well.  Monday through Thursday 7 to 9, Friday through Sunday 6 to 10.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Good luck on the water.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

James(Slim), Carri Craig, Rick, Gary   406-429-2999 

Gary says, “  Fishing at Crooked Creek has been  slow and steady right now.  A few northern pike have been caught off the shore.  That has not happened in a long time.  Some guys who headed toward Squaw Creek  got 2 crappies and a sauger at 15 to 20 feet depths.  A lady caught a 31 ½ inch walleye early this week.  She was bottom bouncing in 2 to 4 feet depths.   The water hasn’t  turned over yet.   The guys are marking fish everywhere,  but the fish are just not biting.   They just can’t get them to bite regardless of what they try. Some guys ran into a stump with their jet boat and another hit the mud flat going toward Soda Creek going up stream.  So you have to watch for obstructions.   “

Our hours  are 7 to 7 now 7 days a week.  I am so looking forward to seeing everyone.  Please just remember social distancing.

Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David  654-1712

Open 7:30 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday/ 11am to 3 pm Sunday

Dave reports, “  talked to guys this week  and many guys if they did fish instead of hunt found it really windy.  I know the reservoirs are seeing some fishing.  On the BLM reservoirs people say the bass bite has been slowing down.  They are hitting good going south and north. People are catching northern pike at Coal Pond.  They are biting good there.  The perch and walleye are not biting.  Forchette people say has really slowed.  Someone caught a 6- and 12-pound walleye but catching is few and far between.”

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, “  fishing has been fairly good at Cooney.  The perch bite is consistent.  Just about any Rapella  and worm is working.  The trout bite has been good I think because the water has cooled down.  It has been getting better and better.  They are not big.  The water has cleared  some.  The walleye bite has ben difficult at times.  The best times are early at sun up and late in the evening before sun set.  All three docks are still in and the boat ramp is still open for use.  Lots of people have been using them.  The overall water level remains the same. The fish cleaning station is turned off. The water temperature has dropped to 60 degrees.

A  reminder for everyone. Please pack in and  pack out your garbage.  We want everyone to see a clean campground. “

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  fishermen are still fishing off the pier.  Not many people fishing.  The numbers of people using Lake Elmo has gone down.  I think that is because of the weather and the timing of school and the virus we are seeing fewer people. It is 64 degrees today.  The lake is down 2 feet now.

We are asking everyone  to continue to  be careful and  pay attention to how dry the land is.  FWP has put out fire restrictions  on fishing access sites. ”

 The FWP  office is open.  We ask  people to   please use distancing as  you  recreate.”

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat reports,” we have had a  lot of wind this week.   Not many people out  fishing.  We had some people out yesterday and we left to do errands for a short time and came back. They were packing up because of the wind. ”

 Please camp in designated camping areas.  The fire risk is very  high,  and we are in fire restrictions meaning no campfires or open flames. So please  stay aware. “

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

 Terry reports, “  I again heard that they were getting fish at Martinsdale. The fellow said it was picking up. One guy pulled out a 3-pound rainbow and there have been some browns caught.  I hear Deadmans has been really not fishing well. ”

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

 Judy  reports, “ we had a lot of people who did well fishing this week.  It was not bad fishing anywhere. Some people went to Martinsdale and fished in a boat. A 12-year boy caught a  2-pound trout.  They also got a bunch of little fish. Several groups went to Bair.  A grandpa took his four  little grandchildren and they came home all smiles with a stringer full of fish.  Others had good luck as well.  Someone went to Newland and got one big trout and many small ones. ”

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 ,”

Spring Creek- People are seeing a noon caddis hatch right now.  Use a caddis pattern.

Hanson Dam-I hear fishing is okay at Hanson Dam.  I talked to someone who caught four fish and one was a 12-inch trout. They were using power bait and a night crawler.

Achley-  Achley is slow fishing again this week.  The muskeye  are not feeding much these days.

Crooked Creek- I hear the guys are doing well on pike. The other fishing people tell me is slow.

Missouri- The Missouri is slow fishing  for walleye right now.  The water is down.  The Missouri has cleared some  now.  There seems to be just a little moss

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharen says, “Fishing Canyon Ferry  has been not bad fishing at all. People are catching if they know what they are doing.  You have to work for them.   They are catching walleye and more perch right now.  We still have some algae, but you can escape it by going north.  Trout fishing is also good. The docks are in.  Many places on the reservoir have been pulled but ours are still in. The water temperature is 65 to 66 degrees.

There is still some  blue  and green algae on the water. It is dangerous for children and dogs to swim in. Watch your dog closely.“

Sharon says stop in at the shop or call 266-3100 and she  will give you any  information you need.  The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.  The Pelican is now closed for the season.

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

 Rich says,”  people are saying the river fishing is picking up.  The Jefferson is better than  has been and another fellow did well on the Madison.     I also heard  Canyon Ferry was good fishing right now.  I talked to someone  who was headed  towards Goose Bay and White Earth. He had been there earlier and had caught trout and a walleye.   The other person I talked to had caught a 32 ½ inch walleye.

We have decided to close the shop for the season from October 15th to April 1st, 2021.  ”

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

 Jasmine says, “  the Stillwater has come up a little.  The browns are going up stream.  Try a streamer, a Grinch or a Ray in brown or tan. The hoppers are completely done.  The fish are just not eating them. No one is seeing any hatches. It is still only wade fishing now.

On the Yellowstone people are trying a small dry in a size 10 or 12 as an attractor with a nymph dropper. Through streamers, smaller size ones.  The water is clear.  Watch the channel for places where it is shallow.

I also heard the Madison is starting to fish better.

The Boulder is good fishing.  You have to go up high, but people are catching.

**We are having a big sale in the shop on October 9th and 10th from 9 to 4 pm.  Many things will be 30 % off.  We will have much of the stock and flies reduced. Come see what we have.*

Need a guide? We are still  taking people out.  Call us to make an appointment for  guiding.

Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports,” I fished the last three days on the Yellowstone.  It was good fishing, but it was windy.  I used a hopper dropper.  I used a pheasant tail.  The water is clear and low.

I also fished the Big Horn.  It was very off color.  The fishing was pretty tough.  The fishing is only really nymphing right now.  There is grass in the water. Streamers are working less. “

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

Stephanie  explains,”  there is no surface action. If it is cloudy use a streamer.  The lower part of the Big Horn has less grass.  Nymphing is the way to go right now.  Use a gray Ray.  Try a soft sow bug or an orange or pink scud.  Try a baetes and nymph pattern.  The CFS is 2400.  The water is  off color.  The guys are saying fishing has slowed down some. The lake did turn over.

 The river is open throughout and all fishing access’ sites on the big Horn are open.  We would love to have you come to fish.   “

Our lodge is open so you can stay with us.  We would love to have you  go fishing here and we are making sure to follow the procedures to keep people safe.   Our shuttle service is available. Call and talk to the shop to get  information you need.“

Open  8 am to 12 every day.

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

West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 10/6/20


Upper Madison: With the hopper bite all but dead, nymphing will be your best bet. You could still try throwing one around with an ant or dropper the next few days, but don’t expect a whole lot from it. We have been seeing a few baetis here and there, but they won’t get going in earnest until we get some inclement weather, which we could see some of this coming weekend.

Flies:#8-12 Tan, Pink and Yellow Thunder Thighs, #16-18 Arrick’s Ant, #12-16 Royal Wulff, #14-16 Parawullf, #16-18 Krystal Dip, #14-16 Green Machine, #14-18 Red Neck, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #14 HoloPoint, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Olive S.H. Hare’s Ear, #16 Shop Vac, #12 Black Sili Legs.

Gallatin: Nothing new here. You may still get a few fish to eat terrestrials and attractors in the afternoon hours, but nymphing and streamers will definitely be your better methods from here on out.

Flies:  #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #12-16 Royal Wulff, #14-16 Parawullf, #12-14 Lime Trude, #16-18 Krystal Dip, #14-16 Green Machine, #14-18 Red Neck, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #14 HoloPoint, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Olive S.H. Hare’s Ear, #16 Shop Vac, #12 Black Sili Legs.

Yellowstone National Park

Slough/Soda Butte/Lamar: Very similar to last week. These rivers are providing the better dry fly fishing in the area right now. Look for Drake Mackerels, baetis and while we still have a few sunny days coming up,  hoppers, ants and beetles will still get fish to come up as well. Hopper dropper and throwing some streamers around will also be productive.

Flies: #12 Drake Mackerel Cripple, #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #8-12 Tan and Pink Thunder Thighs, #14-16 Bogus Beetle, #14-16 Arrick’s Ant, #14 Royal Trude, #14 Holo Point, #12 Spanish Bullet

Madison/Firehole: The Firehole is fishing very well swinging soft hackles. You can also find some dry fly fishing with White Millers and baetis, though again the baetis won’t really get going strong until we get some cloudy weather. Swinging on the Madison has still been a bit day-to-day. Some days will provide multiple grabs and fish, some days nothing at all. We have been catching lake fish all the way up to the junction now, so they are in there. Some nastier weather this weekend if we get it should help get things going in a big way.

Flies: #8-12 Partridge & Peacock, #8-12 Partridge & Orange, #6 Sparkle Minnow, #8 Simi Seal Leech, #8-12 Black Sili Legs, #14-16 Red Neck, #14 Holo Point, #12 Tan Elk Hair Caddis, #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun