Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 7.24.17
By angelamontana

Posted: July 27, 2017

Summer is here and with it comes sudden changes in weather and high water. Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes. Flooding can happen quickly so fishermen or fisherwomen need to keep in touch with the weather service. Some water depths are at high June levels so everyone should stay alert. 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 including snow can come on in fierce strength very fast. 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-Bill 1-406-485-2560
Monty reports, “ fishing is okay. The air is overcast here from smoke. A few salmon were caught this week. People are catching a few crappie and bass. They were using worm harnesses and a fire tiger. Guys are catching perch from shore. The water level is down “

We are open 7 to 9 during the week and 7 to 11 on the weekend. We do have cabins for rent. Services are available .

Tongue River Reservoir /Spencer
Staff reports,” I have seen more bass being caught this week. Just a few northern pike, crappie and walleye were caught people said. They seem to be heading to the south end. Fishermen need to go deeper because of the heat. Try a white spinner. The water seems to still be fuller than normal for this time of year. Hot days makes things slower. The cleaning station is fixed and open. “

Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Stephanie says,” the water temperature up to 70. The water is going down some. They are catching walleye, crappie and bass. They are just not getting as many. Fishing is just okay. The cleaning station is finally open. The bass have been good size.
My hours for July are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pm. Friday and Saturday the hours will be 8 to 8 pm in May. Sunday will be 8 to 5 pm.”

Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Tyler 1-406- 557-2345 Marina Matheson-Park personnel
Tyler says, “ he heat has slowed things down. Fishing has been not too bad. Walleye and pike have been hitting consistently. With the heat the fish are going deeper. The big weight at the tournament was 63 pounds for the day. The Lodgepole pine fire is still being faught but the smoke is not bad here. Guys are heading to Sutherland towards Cooked Creek. ”

We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now. ­­­­­­­
The park manager for Hell Creek State Park is Marina Matheson.

Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Carrie says, “fishing has been the same this week. The water in the bay is 78 degrees and closer it is 73 degrees. Walleye are biting. You can catch your limit but you have to work for them. Most are eater size. Crawlers and leeches are working. Use a clean hook with a bead presentation Crawlers are working better . Lake trout are really good. They are heading to Sage Creek, Haksbee and at the face of the dam. Of course because of the drought there are no fires allowed anywhere..”

We are doing guided trips. Check us out at Howes fishing. We have 4 very qualified licensed guides to serve you. We have a full line of bait, crawlers and minnows.

Our hours are now 7am to 7pm Sunday and Monday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday we are open 7 am to 7 pm. ”

Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark is the game warden at Cooney.
“ It is definitely smoky. The water is definitely warm. The walleye and northern pike are hitting pretty well. Fish in the early morning and late almost at sunset. Try a mister twister. If you fish during the day you would be better off sitting on shore with a 6 pack of pop and enjoying the sights. The Marshall Cove campground still has a few flooded spots which I can’t believe. Usually by now they are clear, “ Glennis says .

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Ken says,” I have seen lots of fish caught this week. I saw perch and trout be caught. Lots of swimmers in the heat of the day. There have been people fishing but early and late in the day.
The pool is plum full.”

Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat says,” If you want to fish come out in the middle of the week and early in the day because of the heat. People are fishing and are catching a few salmon. They are using a fire tiger. The water is being let out. We had lots of recreationalists here on weekends . We had 39 campers and about 145 people. There were 80 boats out between the two days. You can use propane but no fires in the rings right now. .”

Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says, “ Fishing has been real slow. The heat has made the fishing poor. Everyone I have talked to has come home empty handed. Oncein a while one or two guys got a fish. Fishing is just the pits. would say try in the early morning or late in the day. I have been hearing it is been.”

Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “It has been hot and some what windy. The hot heat is slowing things down. Some people I talked to people who went to Bair fished from shore. They only caught a fewusing worms. A few people tried at Martinsdale but did not get do great. It was slow.“

Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale said, “ If you can get past the smoke you can go fishing.
Spring Creek is crystal clear and good for hoppers. Dries are working. It is fishing well with duns in the late afternoon.

Achley The fishing is slower. The heat is making them go deeper. Try using Husky jerks and flicker shads using a 3 way 2 ring presentation. Go deep that is where they are.

On the Missouri River between Crooked Creek and the narrows catfish fishing is slower.

People who went to Crooked Creek earlier this week said there was smoke but the fishing was good. They got a nice catch of small mouth. They had a fair bite of walleye and lots of northern pike and crappies. We just are all praying for rain.“

Crooked Creek Crooked Creek Marina Craig and Abby James 406-429-2999
Carrie says, “ (As of Wed. 11 am.) There is a lot of smoke here. The fire this morning is on the east side of the bay and has gone from Anderson point to Squaw Creek. We went out in a boat yesterday and saw the flames. We fished but did not catch but a few. I caught a drum and others caught a perch, and a bass. Nothing really significant. The main thing we are watching is the ambers coming over. They are quarter size and it is so dry. Yesterday the fire was crazy massive. The fire is the largest in the nation right now. We did get a tank and fire hose and have it ready. They say it is a little more contained but all we can do is pray. We do have some fishermen here who have had luck fishing. They are saying fishing is good for them. Another group were also having good luck. They are using purple. Bottom bouncers are working. The road is open and so are we. Thank you to all the people who are so concerned and praying. ”

The Marina’s hours are Monday to Thursday 7 am to 7pm and Friday to Sunday 6am to 9pm
There is full service at the Marina with non-ethanol fuel, bait, minnows, worms, leaches and fishing lures. We also have some rods and reels. There are cabins to rent. We hope to be open year round.

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“ Fishing was actually excellent this week. Not a lot of size. People are catching 20 to 30 fish every time they go out. The walleye fish they are catching are 14 to 18 inch size. The have been catching some surprisingly nice perch. They are using bottom bouncers and crank“ Sharon tells us.

They have set up an inspection station at the landing. Every boat will be inspected when they come out of the water. It is halfway between the landing and the highway. The live well needs to be empty of water. The plug needs to be removed and the live well needs to be wiped down. We do have plenty of bait here. They are now setting up a water cleaning station up from the ramp. The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.

West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Jim says,” Things are really hot. So fishing is tougher as the fish are going deep.
At Forchette people are catching some small mouth. It is definitely smoky. The water temperature at the surface is 78 degrees. They are also catching walleye and pike.

Nelson is still good fishing. The water is down and almost to the point where you are not going to be able to get on. The walleye are eater size, 18 to 20 inchers. Find the submeraged islands and humps under the water. Go deep. “

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

Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan
Jayce says ,”Fort Peck : I had some friends who went up there and did real well on lake trout. They were nice big ones, They did not get any salmon. Guess they just were not biting yet.
Yellowstone: On the Yellowstone river towards Pompey and Huntley guys are catching walleye and a few bass, . The water is cleare r but still high although it has dropped some. Try cranks.

Tongue-On Ttongue I am hearing fishing is okay. They are catching some smallmouth bass in the trees .

Yellowtail: One of our guys who went to Yellowtail got a bunch of small mouth. They were using tubes and wacky worms to catch them. Sometimes the orange colors are working well.

Cooney: People are saying Cooney is slowing down some. Still doing it early morning and late evenings.

Tongue : Reports on Tongue is it is okay fishing. Not as good as it has been because of the heat.
Big Horn: I heard several guys say they are catching walleye at the Afterbay. Otherwise people say they are still catching fish. The water has gone down.

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ Canyon Ferry is still good fishing. They are catching lots of eater size walleye . Guys are heading up to the north end and going deep to 50 feet.
Holter: People are saying they are still catching quite a few perch. They are catching some walleye and rainbow trout. Crawlers are working. They are using jigs. The water is kind of weedy. Try a hammered color lure.
Rivers: The rivers are low for this time of year. All three rivers here are on Hoot own rules. Fishing can only be done from early morning to 2 pm because of the low water and heat. People are using hammered brass and copper. The Thomas Cyclone is working well.
Nelson: I talked to someone who said Nelson is doing well.”

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Chris says, “ The Stillwater is fishing well. The water has dropped some more so we have been able to move down further on the lower river. It is clearer. Use big droppers. The water temperature is still good. For nymphing try a Copper John, a Phesant Tail or a Batman. For dries try a small purple haze. You have to be consistent with a PMX extractor fly or stimulator. For a streamer use a Grinch or a classic Wooly Bugger.
The Yellowstone is getting better. The clarity is much better and improving. On the Yellowstone we are seeing a caddis hatch in the evening now. The water level is going down. Fishing is getting better.“

Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau says,” On the Big Horn the water is about 8500 cfs. The water is murky and grassy. The trout are pretty lethargic as the water is really warm. There is a tricot hatch that we are seeing in the early morning. The water is 66 degrees. It is real warm. By 3 or 4 it is just real hot. Try worms and sow bugs knowing that sometimes they don’t work real well.

Others are saying usually we see these conditions in late August so we are all concerned. It is just too early for these conditions. ”

Steven Caldwell guide,
Steven says,” Dries: nymphs and streamers:
Put the nymphs away unless you go to the dam. Take a chance and throw dries…fish are up and eating…eating like crazy…
Better yourself…throw at a rising fish this is the time. PUT THE BOBBERS away!
And get to the Missouri to fish.
The fly of the week is any fly that is dead drifted. Drop it in. Rreach cast, feed the line with no drag and set the hook and repeat.
And again get out early during the heat. Make sure you stay hydrated. If you feel strange, get off the river. Heat exhaustion or heat stoke are bad and once you experience it can return easier. Pay attention to your body. If you think it is hot so do the fish , treat them with care. If they come unhooked before the net that’s a bonus! Keep em wet.

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Staff says,” The good news is the water has good down and is at 8500 cfs. The fishing is good. We are seeing tricot in the early morning and caddis in the evening.
Nymph fishing is working. Try a Ray Charles, sunken tricot pattern or the sow bug or a black PT.
Streamer fishing is still good. Use shinners as they are working. It is best from 6 am to 10am and 6 pm to 10 pm. You can do well then.
The water temperature is 66 degrees.”

Our normal hours are we are closed Sunday and Monday. We are open 9 am to 2 pm now Tuesday to Saturday.

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

Alice says,” The recent warm temperatures have fish seeking colder water. On the Madison River below Quake fish the cold water early and then give them a break. Fish seem to be in the deeper water in most parts of the river. Nymphing has been good with standard caddis patterns and pale morning dun nymphs. Use PMD spinners in the am. People are getting a few fish to look up, As are caddis.

Yellowstone National Park
Alice says, “In the Yellowstone Park again fish the cold water. Avoid any thermally fed waters in Yellowstone National Park, most of the fish have sought colder, deeper water elsewhere.
Upper elevation streams are seeing PMDs mid day with the latest cloudy weather pattern. Standard attractor patterns are also working, with terrestrials on the sunny, hot afternoons. Keep those fish wet and carry your bear spray!