Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 8.30.17
By angelamontana

Posted: August 31, 2017

Fall is  on its way  and with it comes sudden changes in weather and  changes in  water conditions.  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, “ I am actually on the water fishing right now.  The walleye and northern pike bites are slow.  We have not found anything yet.  Look for them at 30 to 45  feet depths.  We have used cranks and bottom bouncers with a worms.  The big ones have gone deep.   We are not finding any fish but yesterday there was a man who caught  a 46 !/4 inch pike and a 33 inch  walleye.  He obviously has figured it out.  He was using a bottom bouncers with a bottom bouncer at 35 feet depths.

Guys are catching small mouth  bass around the  marina.  If you find them they can be big.  One fellow caught a 4 pound bass.  Pulling cranks works just reeling in  and then toss it back out again. The water temperature is 70 degrees.  “

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

Wade  says,” fishing  for pike have been decent.  They are trolling 3 mph at depths of 10 to 15 feet depths using a crank.  That is the thing to do.  When they do that they are catching an occasional walleye.  .  We have seen more crappies but they have gone deeper to 10 to 30 feet.  Trail a tube jig letting it suspend above the bottom to catch them.  The bass are at the structures.  In the boats they are pitching  a top water rapalla or a spin bait and having luck. .“

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

Tyler says,   “ Hell Creek fishing has not been too bad.  It definitely has slowed down for northern pike and small mouth.  The smoke has meant there have not been very many people out.  So it has been  slow.  The fish are at depths of 16 to 30 feet depths.   People are using  cranks at 16 to 18 feet depths for northerns at the points. ”

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 has slowed.  The salmon are not running.  Someone caught a 22 pounder.   The water surface temperature is 68 degrees.   The walleye bite has stopped but that can turn on suddenly.   Lake trout and northerns have slowed way down  right now.”

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 has been slow here.  People have been catching rainbow trout.  The water is  down.  It  is better fishing like an hour before dusk..  The walleye and northern pike bite is slow.  “  Sources  say .


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

People  say,” Fishing is still  pretty good.  With the 7 to 9 inch rainbow trout the hatchery dropped last week people are catching. .  The fish are deep.  Corn is bringing  good results.  “


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Pat  says,”  fishing has been slow this week.   Partly because  there have not had many people here  fishing.  The  shore fishermen  are catching trout.  Some have been good eater size.  The water is going down some.  We did have someone in a pickup truck do some vandalism to the dock.  We got it fixed yesterday.  Someone got pictures and notified Tip Mont so hopefully we will catch them. ”


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

Terry says, “ I am hearing fishing is real slow.  I have heard Basin and Martinson have decent water.    But not hearing of anyone getting something.  ”


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

Judy  says, “  A few people have caught fish at Bair  and Sutherland this week.  I did not hear anything from Martinsdale.   It is real smoky  here so people are not wanting to go out.  Some are using power bait to catch fish  at Bair. “


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie  said, “   The river fishing this week has been slow.   Spring Creek fishing is still definitely  good.  The water is  clear.  Standard lures and flies are working .   Try using the immersion method as it  is   working.  Nymph fishing  with a  bead head is  bringing success.

Achley  : The tiger muskeye  have gone  deeper.    They are trolling  at 20 to 25  feet and  at 2 and a half miles per hour using a rapela..

On Crooked Creek   try fishing at 20 to 25 feet depths.  Use a worm harness.   Walleye and northern pike are being caught.  Fishing seems to be okay people say.  “


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

Ron   says, “   I was out fishing yesterday.  It was very good.  I caught walleye and northern pike. Go to depths of 7 to 15 feet depths.  Use a bottom bouncer or cranks with a worm harness.  The crappie bite is also good.  Fishing is pretty much  good all over.  People are getting their limits.  I found blue and red  colors were working yesterday.  Now on the weekend copper and gold were what was really working.  So it is really changing from day to day.   “


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,” Fishing has slowed but pretty much because there were fewer people out.  The smoke has been heavier.  They are catching   12 to 16 inch walleye.  The perch bite this week has been really , really good.

Trout fishing was  good.  I have been sending people to the east side toward Confederate and Duck Creek.  “

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,” I have not heard a word about Forchette.  No one seems to be fishing  there this week.

Nelson’s water is still going up.  People are  catching fish on leeches so look for something that imitates them as leeches are going to be harder to find now.  The walleye fishing is good.   G to 14 to 22 feet depths using a worm.”

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan

Matt Cowen   says ,”Fort Peck:  The lake trout are hitting at Fort Peck but are slower .  Try  cranking 144 feet deep.  Walleye fishing is slow some say.

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

The river is heating up.  There have been  bass being caught.  Try 20 to 30 feet depths  using cranks.  Troll 2 mph for best results.

Yellowtail: I hear at Yellowtail by Berry’s Landing a few sauger have been caught.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ Even though there is smoke the walleye are biting on Canyon Ferry  if people go out.    Guys are catching rainbows, walleyes and some perch using bottom bouncers and a few cranks.


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,“  .  Hopper Droppers are still working wel in the evening.  The trout have been an average of 12 to 16 inches in size and both rainbow and browns are being caught.  l.  Both rivers   are fishing well.   The upper Stillwater is still wading well.  The lower section is good for floaters.  We are  seeing tricot and mahogany   hatches in the afternoon.  Try 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.   FWP says there is no plan for hoot owl right now.  The water temperature is 68 degrees today. “


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 really good in the morning.  It is definitely harder fishing after the tricot hatch.  After that hoppers may  work.  They are very good.  Streamers are working as well.  Try a sow bug.  Fishing is okay.   The   water is  not as grassy as it has been.”


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

Tom and Stephanie  say ,” The  water has stayed at  3250 cfs.     There are nice tricot hatching in the morning.  Use a dun size 20 or a spinner at 22.      The fishing is good.

For  nymph fishing.  try a  gray Ray Charles size 18,  soft tackle ,orange sow bug, zebra midge, black PT or San Juan worm.  Use a black caddis as it works.

Streamer fishing is still good. Try a vanilla wafer or a dirty hippy.  A pseudo spinner size 18 is also working.

The aquatic   grass  is not bad  on the Upper 3 .in the water.     It is better down lower on the river.  Compared to 3 years ago it is better.  You just have to change your equipment.  A lighter line works better. The grass is only on the edges in some places.  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


Madison River

The Madison has been good fishing.  . The fish are  looking for hoppers, ants and beetles .on warm days. We have had 10 days of cool lately.  Later in the day  after noon for  Nymphs use  blue winged olives and small caddis nymphs Keep those fish wet and cool.

Yellowstone  National Park

The lower rivers in the park are too warm to fish.  Look for cooler water in  higher elevations.  High elevations are fishing the best, mostly with terrestrials. Cooler days will bring some hatches of mayflies to rivers in the Yellowstone River drainage.  At the Lamar and Yellowstone River drainage we have seen  PMD’s in the mornings,  It also was good terrestrials  fishing.  Carry bear spray!

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