Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 7.22.13
By angelamontana

Posted: July 25, 2013

(Report compiled by Carol Henckel)

Please be advised that conditions can change daily so please call the contact person in the area you are planning on FISHING for current daily information. Weather is changing and some days wind can be a big factor.

Keep an eye on the weather while you are out there and stay safe.

Good luck FISHING from the Montana Outdoor Radio Crew.


Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560

“Bill said, “It has been busy here. The fishing has been good, no excellent this week. They have been catching northerns, walleye and some bass. Orange and green smileys seem to be the choice to use right now at 8 to 20 ft. People are catching bass in fact Fishermen are saying they have never seen the fishing so good . One fisherman was casting to shore and caught 64 northerns on lures and spinners. The water temp is 71 degrees.


Tongue River Reservoir

Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Colton/Bob Pederson

“ The heat is definitely a factor. Fishermen are getting some walleye.

People are using the ultralite crappie rig and jigging in the trees..

The water is 78 degrees, ”Colton says. Some small mouth eaters are also being caught.


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

Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir

“Storms came through in the last few days so the walleye fishing has been slower. But it should pick up again. The surface water temperature has been 75 to 76 degrees. Bottom bouncers with leaches and crawlers are working.

Bass have been eater size a few 4 to 5 pound. They are heading from Snow Creek to Crooked Creek to catch the nice ones,” said Lane.

The fire tiger in orange and green are working for pike. Walleyes are biting on white, anything with white on.


Gene Moore Lake Ridge Motel 1-406-526-3597

Gene Moore, of Lake Ridge says,” Still catching lots of northern pike and small bass at the dam. Fishing has slowed down because of the heat this week. Some walleye are being caught around here but not as many as a  couple of weeks ago. Find rainbows fishing at 80 feet deep. Minnows, cranks, lindys, bottom bouncers and jigs are working.


Lake Elmo Billings

Fishing both in a small non-motorized boat and off shore is producing fish. Trout are being caught but the heat is slowing the action a little at times. Check the water you are going to as some waters have restricted times to fish because of the heat.


Cooney Reservoir Jenny/ Maleri

The water level is down. The fishing has slowed because of the heat.

Shore fishermen are catching nice size fish it seems to be better than boat Walleye seem to be small and slow catching because of the heat. For rainbow trout the fishing sseems to be slim. The water level is dropping some.


Deadmans/Martinsdale Justin

“Trout fishing at Martinsdale in mornings and evenings is best but slow fishing. Trout fishing you can pick up some. The water is definitely lower and so fishing has slowed,” Justin explains.

“Deadmans is still pretty tough with low water. It is definitely slow. The heat is not helping. Go to the higher waters in the mountains, “he said.


Don’s Lewistown- Dale

“They are catching fish here. Spring Creek ha had good dry fly fishing.

Dry flies are definitely working. is having lots of fly rod action. Use Adams, yellow sally and BMD’s. Darker caddis are also working. East Fork is thin. They are draining and there is not much action.

Ponds around here are doing well trolling and from shore using power bait and worms. Use Mepps as they are working.

On Crooked Creek by Winnett, the small boats can be launched. They are catching catfish and a few walleye.

Forchette Bay on Peck has been good jigging at 10 to 15 feet for walleye. Catching some black crappies too.

On the Missouri at the Fred Robinson catfish are really biting. Night crawlers are working. Only a few walleyes being caught,” Dale said.

Ackley Lake is good use leaded line with a night lure. The water has gone up. You can launch a boat now. Panther martins and Mepps in colors are working. They are trolling with a boat or fishing from the bank. Worm fishing with a bobber is good as well,” Dan says.


Crooked Creek-Grant

A small boat can be launched as there is some water at Crooked Creek now. The marina will not be open. It is closed but cabins are still available for other uses just call 1-406-429-2999.


Minnow Bucket-Allen Camarillo 861-0156

“The river has dropped and is clearing a bit but still has some moss. I am hearing about cats being caught on the Yellowstone river. The Small mouth are being caught. I also have heard of a few sauger being caught in the Custer area,” Allen said. “Perch at Petrolia are biting but only hit and miss. Check out my facebook for pictures as people are sending some in.

Also heard in Billings off of Garden Ave someone is catching some nice big bass and that is surpriing, “Allen said.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“It has been hot this week. Fishing this week has been good. On the south end lots of walleyes are being caught in 6 to 12 feet. People are limiting out. They seem to be catching on pink colors right now. Some perch are showing up. Nice size ones 19 inchers. I am finally seeing more walleye being caught than trout. Everything is working, bottom bouncers, and cranks and jigging with glass minnows. Don’t forget to sign up for the Camp-mak-a-dream walleye benefit on August 3rd. You can get an application at the Silos or call Peggy at 406-855-8432 to sign up “Sharon said.


West Side Sports Dan 1-406-654-1611

The fishing is again good at Nelson. Use a bottom bouncer, night crawlers and leeches for walleye. They are finding they need to go deeper 12 to 20 feet. The fishing is good. They are running about 14 to 16 inches.

Cranks are working for northerns but go deeper to 12 to 20 feet.

Forchette fishing is good. They’re using worms and bottom bouncers for walleye. For northerns they are using cranks and rapellas, shad raps and flicker shads but not going as deep. Flicker shad and a rattletrap works to catch pike. Cranks are working on walleye right now but the heat determines the catch.


Billings-Scheels Nate

Fort Peck It has been windy this week as well. Try a copper smiley blade and slow death rig. The heat has slowed down the walleyes some.

Tongue River walleye fishing has been good. Crappie fishing has picked up using a slow trolling motion.

Cooney Night fishing I hear is good jigging at 5 to 12 feet. Crank baits are working on walleye and producing eater size fish. Some guys have caught some nice fish off the shore. I heard of a 6 pounder and a 4 and 3 pounder being caught.

Canyon Ferry Trout fishing has been good using crank baits at 30 feet.

Walleyes have been caught but only eater size. Don’t forget the Camp-mak-a dream walleye benefit at Cayon Ferry on August 3rd.

On the Yellowstone the water has cleared higher up. The Yellowstone at Huntley has again been good for catfish. Use cut bait and minnows. They are catching bass around Pompey Pillar.

Yellowtail The bass have been good for fishing. Sizes have been nice about 1 ½ pound.

Hebegan has started to be good for brown trout. Use a orange color lure.


Rich’s Tackle Richard

Fort Peck I went to Fort Peck and found slow fishing because of the heat.

Temperatures were 98, 100 and 104 degrees. We got lots of crappies and northern pike using minnows. Not much walleye action,

The rivers of the Madison, Gallatin and Jefferson have gotten really mossy. The Gallatin I hear is the best of all of them.

Canyon Ferry People tellme they have caught small walleye. Still catching nice troutand a few northern pike. Having a bit wind. They were using slow death trolling.

Missouri River seems to be really bad. It has lots of weeds making fishing difficult. Rainbows are being caught.



Petrolia is off and on for fishing these days. Word seems to be very spotty. Fishing has been decent from the shore. Jigging is working off and on.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will also be imposing the following fishing closures from 2 p.m. to midnight daily For details on all emergency angling restrictions and other drought updates, go to the FWP home page at fwp.mt.gov and select Drought & Fire under the Hot Topics heading, or check the FWP online fishing guide.

• Jefferson River – entire river

• Big Hole River – Notch Bottom Fishing Access Site (southeast of Glen) to the mouth

Mandatory Drought Closure – 2 PM to Midnight

Upper Big Hole River – Headwaters to Dickey Bridge

Hoot Owl Fishing Restrictions Mandatory Drought

Closure – 2 PM to Midnight

Lower Big Hole River from Notch Bottom FAS to Mouth

Bitterroot River

Hoot Owl Fishing Restrictions

Mandatory Drought Closure – 2 PM to Midnight

Entire Bitterroot River

Clark Fork River

Hoot Owl Fishing Restrictions

Mandatory Drought Closure – 2 PM to Midnight

The mouth of the Bitterroot River to the mouth of the Flathead River.

Perkins Lane Bridge to Flint Creek.

Mandatory Waterbody Closure The Clark Fork River and its banks are closed to floating, swimming, wading, fishing, and boating from Big Eddy Fishing Access Site to US Forest Service Slowey Campground as signed Jefferson River Hoot Owl Fishing Restrictions starting 07/25/13 Mandatory Drought Closure – 2 PM to Midnight

Entire Jefferson River


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Use dry large patterns on the river right now. Stillwater doing pretty well using big attractors, hopper flies and dropper nymphs. On the whole river stimulators are working as well PMDs, fat franks and Jack Cabes.

The Yellowstone has cleared up of mud. Fish are starting to bite on hoppers in pink, peach and purple. If you are spin casters try using the stimulate patterns they have been working. On both rivers the temperature is up so be aware of how you handle the fish you catch. Do as little handling as possible.


Fort Smith Trout Shop 666-2375 Steve

“Fishing is good using hoppers right now especially upper 13 miles. They are biting on baetis sow bugs and midge pupas. We have seen people using yellow sallys and PMDs. Water is at 2000 cfs right now,” Hale said.

Dries are working a bit on baetis and may fly.

Big Horn Lake has been average fishing for small mouth bass and walleye right now.

(Cover photo: commons.wikimedia.com)