Montana Statewide Fishing Report 8.23.17
By angelamontana

Posted: August 23, 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.     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.

(Compiled by Carol Henckel)

Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560


Bill    reports, “  The tournament this past weekend had 32 boats.  Of course the wind decided to blow.  The winner caught a 9.28 walleye.  That boat had caught 27 pounds total.  People found the walleye scattered.  Fishing has been okay.   They are catching the  northern pike on cranks at 85 feet depths.  The big ones have gone deep.  Guys are catching small mouth  bass occasionally . The water temperature is 68 degrees.

I was  at the dam the last 2 days.  We marked a ton of lake trout.  We only got one though.  The salmon bite is still slow.  “

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

Raymond reports,” The campers thinned out this past weekend.   The  fishing I am being told  has increased.  People are catching more.  They  have been catching some bass .  I have seen more crappies caught this week.  Fishermen seem to be heading more  toward the north end of the lake.  We are now in Stage 1 fire restrictions. “


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

Stephanie  says,” fishing has picked up this week.  We have seen more crappies and bass caught this week.   The walleye bite  has  slowed but some are still catching a few.  The crappie are suspended a few  feet from the bottom.   Someone caught a really nice 44 inch  Northern pike.  The water level is going down.  I think by this weekend the frog pond right in front of the marina will be too low to launch a boat from.“

My hours 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

Clint says,   “ People  are headed toward the pines to Fort Peck for lake trout and salmon.   They are catching quite a few lake trout.  They are seeing lake trout  at depths of 110 feet down.   They are headed to Crooked Creek and Hacksbee and finding a few salmon here and there. For salmon  they are using flashers and squids.  The walleye bite is slow.  They are catching decent size ones at 20 to 30 foot depths.  They are headed from Hell Creek to Crooked Creek east.    People are using  cranks at 16 to 18 feet depths for northerns at the points.  Small mouths  are harder to find.  If you find them you can find a lot of them.  But you have to find them but once you do the bite is awesome.  The trick is finding them.  ”

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,   “The  salmon  bite is slow right  now.  The salmon are not running.  The water surface temperature is 68 degrees.   The walleye bite is good using leeches.  Go to depths of 18 to 20 feet with night crawlers as well.  Lake trout are hot right now.  Last week we had the lake trout just stop biting but not now they are really biting.  Many people are heading toward York Island.”

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.

“   Things have been slow here.  It has been better for rainbow trout.  The lake is going down.  Usually we are seeing them catching in the early morning.  It also is better fishing like an hour before dusk..  The walleye and northern pike bite are slow.  “  Glennis  says .


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob  says,” Fishing has been pretty good.  The hatchery just brought in some more 7 to 9 inch rainbow trout this afternoon.  The fish are deep.  So people are fishing the cool part of the day to fish.  The bait they are using  is worms and corn for good results.  “


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony  says,”  fishing has been picking up  this week.   People fishing shore are catching fish.  I have seen them catch some medium size 15 to 18 inch salmon.  There have been several boats out there but I have not heard they were catching.  The water is going down some.”


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

Terry says, “ I have sold  worms this week.  But not hearing of anyone getting something.  . People are fishing from shore at Martinsdale. ”


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

Rick  says, “  I have heard this week that people caught fish at Bair, Martinsdale and Sutherland this week.   People told me it has picked up at Martinsdale. They caught   a few fish on power bait at Bair they said.  Sutherland sounds like it was a little slower.“


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie  said, “   Not much  change in fishing this week. Spring Creek fishing is definitely  good.  The water is  clear.  Standard lures and flies are working .   Immersion method is  working.  Nymph fishing  with a  bead head is working.

Achley  : At Achley the water is going up so fish deeper.  The water temperature is  cooler.   They are trolling  at 20 feet and  at 2 and a half miles per hour using a rapela..  Some have  caught tiger muskeye from the bank and also  from a boat.

Ponds: The ponds are still   mossed up.

On Crooked Creek   try fishing at 15 to 25 feet depths.  Use a worm harness.   Walleye and northern pike are being caught.  Walleye have been a good bite.  “


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

Abby   says, “   Fewer fish caught this week.  It has been slower but people are still catching.  We are seeing big walleye being  caught.  It seems like they are coming back in.  Many are in 5 to 8 feet depths.   The northern pike have been big.   You will find  them at 15 to 20 feet depths.  My 9 year old granddaughter caught two 30 2/2 inch pike.  They really gave her a real fight.    It ran from her 3 times.   We went out a couple of nights ago and caught a few of everything.  We caught  a bass, perch, some  crappie and a drum.  Nothing big but eatters.   The colors right now are red, purple and green.  Bottom bouncers and worms are working.  “

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

“ Sharon says,” lots of 12 to 16 inch walleye being caught.  The perch bite this week has been really , really good.

Trout fishing was  good . Perch are being caught at 20 feet depths. The walleye fish they   are catching  are averaging 14 to 18 inch size.  Guys are finding them in the river.  They are using bottom bouncers and cranking.  Everyone is consistently going south toward pond 1.

There continues to be  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,” Forchette was slow fishing this week.  It has been spotty. You could catch a few   towards the narrows.

Nelson’s water is still going up. You can now load  boats from the boat ramp again.  They have turned the irrigation water off. “

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan

Matt Cowen  says :

Yellowstone: The Yellowstone River has been fly fishing well.  People are using hopper droppers.

The river is heating up.  There have been lots of bass being caught.  Go deeper like 20 to 30 feet deep using cranks.  Troll 2 mph for best results.

Fort Peck:  The lake trout are hitting at Fort Peck. Try  cranking 144 feet deep.  One fellow did well on walleye using an inside planner board.  That was a surprise.  Walleye fishing is slow.

Cooney: Try cranks on Cooney.  Go deeper like 20 to 30 feet depths.  Troll 2 mph.

Tongue:  On Tongue try cranks early in the morning.  The bass are being caught right now.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ The walleye are biting on Canyon Ferry people tell me.    They are catching rainbows, walleyes and some perch using bottom bouncers and a few cranks. Just keep an eye on the wind and weather.

Rivers: 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.  The West  Gallatin looks really low.  People have said  the little creeks  are  fishing okay .  They are saying they are getting brookies  or cut throat.”


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

Bill  reports,“  .  Both rivers   are fishing well.   The upper Stillwater is still wading well.  The lower section is good for floaters.  We are  seeing tricot  hatches in the afternoon.  Use streamers in the morning like hopper-droppers.   Use large dries.  Try a  Jack Cabe, PMX,   Chernobyl’s,, Yeti hopper, Water Walkers and Fat Franks.  For nymphs try a beadhead Prince, hairs ear, flashback or pheasant tails. On the Yellowstone try  Copper John, a Pheasant Tails, Princes or a Batman. Drift a streamer.  Try a black or olive wooly bugger in the evening.  The Stillwater is lower  and is boney so you have to do some maneuvering.   The Yellowstone has a slight tinge to it. The Stillwater is clearer.“


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

Beau says,”  The water is about 3600 cfs.  The water temperature is 60 degrees.    The tricot hatch  is good in the morning now.  After that hoppers are working.  They are very good.  Streamers are working as well.  Try a sow bug.  Fishing is just okay.  .   The   water is  murky.”


Steven Caldwell   guide:

Steven says,” Put the nymphs away unless you go to the dam.  Try and throw dries.

Better yourself…throw at a rising fish .

And get to the Missouri to fish.

Try a fly that is dead drifted.  Drop it in.  Reach 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.   Heat exhaustion or heat stoke are bad and once you experience it can return easier. , Treat the fish  with care.  If they come unhooked before the net that’s a bonus!  Keep em wet.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Stephanie  says ,” The good news is the water has gone down to 3250 cfs.   They have told us they hope to keep it at this cfs.  There is more wade fishing.   There are    tricot hatching in the morning.      The fishing is good.

For  nymph fishing.  try a  gray Ray Charles, soft tackle ,orange sow bug, zebra midge, black PT or San Juan worm.

Streamer fishing is still good. Try a vanilla wafer or a dirty hippy.

There is aquatic   grass in the water.  It is better down lower on the river.  The Big Horn down to Mallard landing is better for grass.”

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,”   Madison below Quake Lake,


Madison River

Nymph bite has been good with blue winged olives and small caddis nymphs. Summery afternoons have fish looking for hoppers, ants and beetles. Keep those fish wet and cool.


Yellowstone  National Park

High elevations are fishing the best, mostly with terrestrials. Cooler days will bring some hatches of mayflies to rivers in the Yellowstone River drainage. Carry bear spray!