Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 7.3.17
By angelamontana

Posted: July 6, 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, “The bass are biting.  They are at 20 to 25 feet depths This week they were cranking with a worm or leech.  You can try  trolling using a green or orange jig.  The water is clear.  The walleye have been slower.  They are using a worm harness or minnows at depths of 18 to 25 feet.  “

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

We had a fair amount  of wind  this week again. So   fishing was slower this week. There is a bass bite.  They are catching some from shore.  .  The wind seems to be changing the water temperature.


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

Wade says,” We had wind all week.  Fishing has been slower.  Some are jigging and a few have used a few cranks for walleyes at 8 to 15 feet depths. They are still catching a few. .The recreationists were out this weekend and there were a lot of them so the fishing was off because of all the activity.  It should be calmer and emptier   by Wednesday I think and then the fishermen can catch some fish.  My hours for July are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pm.  Friday andSaturday 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,   “  Fishing is not too bad. . It seems to be hit and miss.   It seems to be best toward Snow Creek, Sutherland and Hell Creek Bay.  The depths vary you find them really varies from 4 to 40 feet down.  Usually it depends on the wind and weather, especially how hot it is.  The water temperature is 65 to 67 degrees.  The fishing is fairly decent for walleye and northerns but they are catching only a few bass right now.  Don’t fish the points right now head to the grassy banks.  That’s where the minnows are.  Guys are using bottom bouncers  and hammered  brass or copper spinners with a leech or crawler.  The water is now 1 to 1 ½ foot from flood stage.  Hopefully it will drop soon.”


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,   “ They are catching some  walleye. Try crawlers and leeches to catch them.  The lake trout right now are hot.   Use flashers or flies or spoons and are all going to catch something.  Use a dare devil or a red eye in gold or silver.  The hot weather is making the water temperature unstable. It has been 60 degrees.   They are using mostly crawlers and leeches.  Depths have varied from 12 to 35 feet.  They are catching their limit.  People are heading to Hacksbee for the lake trout.

If you are looking for a guided trip 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.

“People are catching quite a few walleye. They are catching their limit.   Of course the majority of fish are rainbow trout. They are catching walleye from the dam and  Fisherman’s Point.  A few walleye are caught during the day but peoples are catching.   often at dusk or dawn.  At Marshall a few  campgrounds have water.  We are seeing the water reseeding a bit.     They are also catching walleye from shore.  Guys   are jigging using florescent  bait.  Remember  that there are no fireworks  allowed.  They are also prohibited adjacent to  the DNRC land where the Willow Creek flows through,“   Mark  says .


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

There have been   people fishing and enjoying the water. Many are  fishing from  the dock  and catching. The fishing   seems to be decent.  The water is full and clear.   The heat may change that this week when the water temperature goes up.


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony  says,” Some people fishing from shore are saying  fishing has been picking up.  The water is still going down.  Some  salmon  and trout  are being  caught from shore. We had  lots of people here this weekend .It was crowded with lots of recreational boaters.”



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

Terry says, “I have been hearing it has been slow fishing this week at Martinsdale.  They have caught a few using powerbait and worms.  One fisherman caught 4 even though it was real windy.  I did have a fellow who fished the Yellowstone from shore and he caught white fish below Pompeii Pillar.  He also said he got 4 cats.  He went through 4 dozen worms so he must have had some bites.”


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

“I have talked to  people who went to  Bair.  They said   fishing was good .  They caught some nice eaters.  They got  some 16, 17, and 18 inch trout.    Fish are biting,“  Judy says.


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale   says, “ Achley is fishing real well.  It is fishing well from boat or shore. It is very full.  They are   catching browns and rainbow trout.

Spring Creek is fishing well with dries and wets.  It is clearer.  Use caddis and hoppers for trout as they are working.

On the Missouri River   cat fishing  is good right now.  Some people are catching some sauger now.  It seems to be just starting.  Fish  are being caught from the PN down.  Use night crawlers or cut bait .

At Fort Peck on the west end fishing is good.  Bottom bouncers are working well for walleye.  Go to depths of 12 to 20 feet.  The jig bite is good with a leech.


Crooked Creek  Crooked Creek Marina  Craig and Abby James 406-429-2999

Carrie  say, “ Fishing is on fire right now here.  We have seen some big walleyes.  We have seen walleyes 10, 12 and 18 being caught.    They are catching it all, crappie, perch, walleye and pike   You don’t have to go out very far to catch fish. Use a bottom bouncer   with  leeches. Purple was the hot color yesterday but whether that is the color we will have to see.”

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.  The docks are in.  We hope to be open year round.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“  Fishing has been excellent this week.  We are seeing 14 to 16 inchers.  The walleye and pike are good.  Trout fishing is good.  The water is steadily coning up.  The  fishermen  are finding them pretty much anywhere.  Just head noth, south, east or west,“ 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,” Nelson  is still  good fishing.  The water  has dropped.  With  larger vessels I would start to use the ramp by the headgates.  You can still put in at the State Park but it is difficult if you are a large boat because of the slant of the ramp.

The fishermen  are catching walleye, some large perch , small mouth bass.  They are finding   northern pike in the bay and  weeds.  Use  a  bottom bouncer  or a crank for walleye.  Both seem to be working.   I have heard from people that Fot Peck is slow fishing.  At Forchette people are catching lots of small mouth. “

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan

Tanner   says ,” On Peck fishing is heating up at the dam we are hearing.

At Castle Rock fishing is okay they say. Try using husky jerks or  rapells  jerk bait for pike.

People are using scatterbait for large mouth bass.  The heat is slowing things down that is for sure.

On Cooney people are doing really well.  Leeches are doing well.

On the Yellowstone river  the water is still high.  They are catching some catfish.

At Deadmans  some guys are catching kokanee from a boat.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “I am hearing   that   Canyon Ferry  is  good fishing.   It is still a steady bite  on Canyon Ferry.  The rivers are clearing and going down.  Not hearing of much fly fishing going on yet.  If they are fishing they are using  wet flies mostly.

People are catching perch on Holter right now.  It is good fishing.”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Chris  says,   “  People are finding fishing to be good on the Stillwater.  It is still high.  Chubbies are working.  Try a rubber leg on the edges.  You can wade in  places. For streamers try black or gray buggers.    The  Yellowstone  is getting better The water is down some.“


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

Beau says, ”  the water is coming down on the Missouri .  It is at 7,000 cfs.  With 100 degree temperatures the water temperature is going up.  The fishing  will be better  early in the day.  The tricot  are starting  to show up in the morning and a few caddis are starting to show up  in the evening. It is good fishing until 3 pm and then the fish are just not active after tthat.  The water and air is too hot. Try a caddis or PMD pattern. Try any color.  Streamers are just not working.  The water was 60 degrees today.   Fishing is good. ”


Steven Caldwell   guide,

Steven says,” With nymphing some are doing well some are not.  Czechs, sow bugs trailed by a PMD  nymph short and deep should work.  If it doesn’t  change.  There is no magic recipe right now.


Dries-  PMDS are out in force during mid -morning through early afternoon.  Fish are up and rising.  The dry fly fishing   is as   good as you are,  Don’t  get caught  up on what fly you’re using, focus more on presentation. Late afternoons the    caddis pop meaning decent evening fishing.  Again still, it had to be perfect!Streamers-Throw them now before the moss comes.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375


Steve  says,”  Fishing  is fair right now.   They bumped the water up.  The lake was filling up too fast they say.  The water   is   9,500   cfs.     We are seeing a few nymphs. For dry flies try a  black caddis .  Black caddis are spotty right now. For streamers if you are a good caster and can handle a rod well you can catch with them.  You need to be an experienced angler  and be able to throw and control a rod. The fish want the fly moving well.   Try a blond bugger or a dry  thin mints. Getting out is still dicey at times.  Water clarity is greenish.  Visibility is fair.”

Call us   we can  give you current daily information which is important for safety.    ”

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


The Madison river is fishing great from Hebgen Dam to Ennis. Lots of bugs hatching up and down the river. Salmonflies have moved into the upper river. Golden stones, pale morning duns and several caddis are also hatching and fish are eating them!

Inside Yellowstone National Park, the Firehole and Madison are too warm in the afternoons to be worth fishing, but mornings are still seeing fish eating caddis. The flows of the higher elevation streams in the park are starting to come down and should be more fishable in the next couple weeks. Pack your bear spray and stay safe out there!

Yellowstone National Park

Alice says, “Fishing in Yellowstone National Park is concentrated in the western part of the park on the Madison, Gibbon and Firehole rivers. I saw caddis   hatching.  The Firehole is seeing two species of caddis hatching most mornings and oddly enough, pale morning duns have been hatching in the afternoons.  On the Gibbon  caddis are hatching. Pale morning duns are working.  I would repeat the park’s staff comment which is “pack your patience” as well as  carry your  bear spray!”

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