Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 8.22.16
By angelamontana

Posted: August 25, 2016

The summer weather means you should stay aware. The weather and water levels can be very unpredictable.  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 and precipitation can change quickly. This report is compiledon 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.

***Please be aware that there are many waters that have been placed on hoot owl restrictions.  Check the FWP site for further information as waters may be placed on or off   restrictions after this report is submitted.  ***

(Report compiled by Carol Henckel)

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

“Bill   says,” There have been some nice pike caught this week.  The weather was nice this week.     I saw a nice walleye that was 29 inches.  It was caught by a worm and a bottom bouncer.  A few are using slow death hooks with luck.  They are finding them   north of Rock Creek.   I went   fishing   and we caught one 20 pound  salmon but  that was it. ”


Tongue River Reservoir /Bob

Eric   says,” The cleaning station is under repair so we set up  picnic tables for cleaning.  Only a few people have cleaned   their fish at the tables if that is an indicator.”


Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Straley

“I am up and running.  We are crammed full of goodies.   The   store is  stocked  with lots of inventory.    I   have  fuel, ice, beer, pop and groceries.   We even have   fish to catch.    The bass fishing is good.  Try fishing by the structures.  Use worms and cranks.  Only seeing a few walleye.  If you are fishing for crappies you seem to find a few.  There are crappies  being caught.  Try jigs, bottom bouncers and pull them for variety.  It is hard to  target .  The surface temperature of the water right now is 74 degrees  ,” Wade says.


Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345  Marina Matheson-Park Office  Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir east to

Cody says,” Fishing is  okay.  Walleye fishing is slow.  Fish early, early and go real deep.  You can find  pike   and bass.  Head between Hel Creek and Crooked Creek for northerns and use blues and purples.  “

We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now.”

The new park manager for Hell Creek State Park is Marina Matheson. “


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

Eddie says,   ”The fishing has been good  this week.  Today there are some high winds.  Lots of salmon being caught.  Sizes range from 8 to 25 pounds.  The majority  of them are 12 to 20 pounds.  Use the usual flashers and squids.  They are at the dam and at Sage Creek and toward Gilbert Creek.  The limit is 5 and quite a few   have gotten   their limit.  On Saturday in four hours  we caught 3 salmon. Try using a flasher and squid or a flasher and a bucktail fly. “


Lake Elmo Billings FWP-Bob Gibson

Fishing has been okay.  People are  fishing  early in the  morning and late in the day.  Try using power bait, lures  or worms as all are working.


Minnow Bucket

The Yellowstone River is NOT  TOTALLY  closed. The news and many other sources are reporting “the Yellowstone is closed for all recreation.” This is NOT true. As of August 24th, a small portion of the river has been closed from Gardiner, MT to Laurel, MT. But from Laurel to the East (Billings, Huntley, Custer, on to North Dakota) the river is OPEN TO ALL RECREATION! We repeat, the Yellowstone River is OPEN in our area. Bass fishing has been great, walleye and sauger are picking up already, and cats are plentiful. 


Cooney Reservoir  Glenis-John

John explains, ” Fishing has been steady.  The water levels have been way down.  We are watching the levels and there is a chance that the docks may be pulled soon.   Irrigation has taken a lot of the water.  Walleye are still   being caught mostly in the early morning or late evenings.  That is when they are having good luck.  Lots of small rainbows being caught.  We did have a really nice walleye caught.  Unofficially it was 19.6 pounds but it was not weighed officially so it is not the new record.  He did release it back in the water so someone else can catch it. “

The new Park Ranger is, Skylar Mitchell a transfer from Dillon.


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony says, ”  They are catching 1 to 1 ½ pound salmon. Also a few rainbow trout.  No   big boats can get in. One fellow brought a medium   pontoon boat   but it was tricky to get it in.  You must   walk  through the mud to get to your boat in  the water.  The lake is very low. The dock has been pulled.  The water is still dropping and will be until November .   It is dropping   every day as the DNRC   are working on the dam.   If you are going to fish have your supplies and boat ready before you go to get into the water , please.  It is tricky to get in and not being prepared makes things more complicated.   “

Campers remember it is now a pay site.


Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22

Low waters at Martinsdale are 40% of normal so fishing is not real good.  A few   people   are catching some decent brown trout.  Try rapellas   from the boat as they   are working.


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale   explains, “   Spring Creek is fishing well.   Hoppers   and Adams  are working   on   Spring Creek.  So are blue wings.  Fall stuff  is starting to work.  Nymphs work well.

Achley is  doing well  from the boat. Use cranks they worked for me.  We caught rainbows   about 1 ½ pounds.

On the west end of Fort Peck guys fishing is good.  Use bottom bouncers at 12 to 15 feet depths.  Cranks and worm harnesses   are working also. “


Crooked Creek-Grant

Walleye   are being caught at   Crooked Creek .  Decent   size ones   are being   caught.  Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“ Lots of numbers of  walleye   are being caught.  You can find them   all over the lake.  Most are   at 12 to 20 feet deep.  The perch are at 30 feet depths.  The colors that are working are pink, orange and purple, “ Sharon says.

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


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

“The water   is   low on Nelson.   They shut the head gates down.  The water level should get better.    Launching   is difficult.  Hopefully it should be its lowest level.   The boat access should improve as the shoreline dries.    The road is closed going north over the dykes.   Forchette is good for small mouth.  The walleye is spotty at best.  At Fort Peck the the salmon are suspended at 125 feet.  Try squids.  One fellow caught  three salmon  one a 20 pounder by 10 am.  Use squids and flashers,  ” Jim said.

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


Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen

McCahen   says,” For Yellowtail   bass fishing is good.  Use tube jigs.   Some  small gulp  minnows are working.

On the  Yellowstone the bass  fishing is great.  Head toward the Huntley and Hysham is really good.  It is open  and they are really catching.

For  Cooney fishing   fish for walleye  in the late evenings.

Fort Peck  fishing is slowing down.  Check out the rocky points going 15 to 20 feet down.  Salmon is  good at the dam.   Guys are catching.   “


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ Tiber is good fishing right now.

Fishermen    at Canyon Ferry  are catching decent  walleye. The clue is if you are going for trout you will catch walleye and if you are going for walleye you will catch trout.   They are beginning  to catch bigger walleye.

The rivers have still low.  Not much change.  Try night crawlers , spruce moths and grasshoppers.  Don’t forget   the  hoot owl rules .


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

We are open.  Our hours may be adjusted because of the closure of the Yellowstone   and Stillwater because of Proliferature Kidney Disease (PKD)   and the fact that we have to travel farther to fish. Our philosophy is adapt, improvise and overcome.  We are  fishing .  We may have to start earlier and drive a bit farther but we are taking care of our customers.  (excerpts from  the website.)


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

“Fishing is  good.   Try  tricots or black caddis in the morning.  Try  nymphing  as it seems to be a better presentation.    There is  some  hopper action.    For hoppers there is action but you have got to stay at it.  Try shallow ripples and corner pockets.   It is grassy from 3 mile down .  The caddis   are out in the evening.     For dry flies use black cadis and grasshoppers.  After that use nymphs and grasshoppers,” Beau says.


Steven Caldwell  guide

“ Fishing is good.  The tricot and hopper vary   daily.  The canyon water is grassy.  The dam water is okay.   Due to the fact that it is August   fishing is decent. Juan worm and go slow and deep and alternate with shallow and fast.   Just don’t expect the 30 fish days  , it is still good fishing just slower and with less people.   Check your bugs and nymph in the morning , “ Steven explains.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Jennifer says,  “ They flushed out the water to 2800 and then  the cfs was dropped to   2200. That loosened things   up and got rid some of the debris.    Use more dries early in the morning and later in the day.     When   nymphing   try tan and  gray  rays in size 16 to 18.  Another bug to try is a  soft tackle sow bugs  or flashbacks size 16 to 18.  Try PMD’s or  a black caddis in the evening  for dries  or a  tricot early in the day.  People are   using  hoppers.  Try thin mints on the streams.      Black caddis are also  working.    For streamers try a dirty hippy or something really colorful.  Try bigger bugs after 3 mile as the bugs are bigger.  We are definitely seeing more people but we can handle that.  Call for availabllity.”

Our shop hours are 7 am to 7 pm now Monday to Sunday.


Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698


Alice says,” Mornings are most productive nymphing smaller mayflies and caddis patterns. Warm, breezy afternoons are fantastic for a big foam hopper with an ant dropper. Hebgen Dam is 750cfs, so fish the deeper water.  Get those fish back into the water as quickly as possible to reduce stress in this warm weather. And do a rain dance.

Yellowstone National Park

Pack the bear spray and go for a hike to higher elevation streams and lakes. Terrestrial patterns mid day are the most productive.  IF fish aren’t responding to your dry flies, check your drift or nymph small-mid sized flies.  Keep those fish wet and set them free as quickly as possible.


Clarks Fork Hoot Owl

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is lifting “hoot owl” fishing restrictions, effective immediately, on the Upper Clark Fork River from Flint Creek, downstream to Rock Creek.


These “hoot owl” restrictions that prohibit fishing during the hottest hours of the day (2 p.m. until midnight) remain in place on the Clark Fork from Flint Creek, upstream to the Clark Fork’s headwaters.

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