Eastern Montana Fishing Report 8.9.17
By angelamontana

Posted: August 9, 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.

(Compiled by Carol Henckel)

Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560

Linda   reports, “   They are catching  walleye and northern pike and a few bass. The weather was cooler this week.  The  bite has been good one day and hit the next this week.  Cranks have worked well in 15 to 20 feet depths of  water.  Leeches are working.    Small mouth  bass are still at rocky points and underwater cliffs.   Water temperature on the surface is 71 degrees..

Bill headed to the dam today.  He caught a 28 pound lake trout.  The walleye bite is still slow there  and they  salmon  fishing is just starting to pick up. “

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

Spencer  reports,” It  has been chilly and not many people here this week.  I have seen some bass   caught. The water is going down.  It is 75 % down.    Just a few northern pike, crappie and walleye  were caught people said.  . The cleaning station is fixed and open.  “

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

Stephanie  says,”  the water temperature  is cooler. The water is going down some.  It seems to be getting a little better.  One crappie caught was 1 ½ pounds less than the record and 1 inch off  and less than the record.  Some are  catching walleye, but most are smaller.  They are just not getting as many.   Fishing is just okay.  The cleaning station is finally open.

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,   “  the walleye  have gone deeper making it a slower bite. They are at 25 to 35 feet deep and are staying in the points and slopes.  People are heading toward  Crooked Creek.   We had wind early in the week but it is cam today. The pike are not as deep you find him at 14 to 16 deep in the points at the main bay.  The guys areusing bottom bouncers and the color yellow is working.  Water temperature on the surface is 75 degrees  ”


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

Eddie says,   “guys are getting salmon now.  The salmon bite is slow right now. They are using down riggers with brass and cut bait. They are at 70 to 115 feet depths.  You can get lake trout anywhere and everywhere right now.   They aare abundant.  Using a canyon ball at depths of 100 to 135 feet.  .  When we have taken people out they are all limiting out quickly in short order with their 3 a  piece.  The water surface temperature is still 73 degrees.   The northern pike are at depths of 40 feet.  The walleye bite is alright  but scattered.  You find them at 15 to 35 feet depths with a crawler 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.

“   The water is definitely warm.  The walleye and northern pike are hitting less.  Fish in the early morning and late almost at sunset.  Try a mister twister, “  Glennis  says .


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says,” There are people   catching fish.  The osprey  are active so there are fish out there.  In the last couple of weeks they did stock some more rainbows.

The Big Horn is the big news right now.  They are saying it will be going down 5,000 cfs daily.   They are taking the water down and are saying that by the end of the weekend it will be down to 3000 cfs.  They are starting to match inflow with outflow.  Taking the water from the bottom to the top of the lake.  That will change the temperature and make it come down a lot.  The water has just bbeen to hot so that will make the fish more active.  Strangely with the water being high the fishing has still been good.

I fished on Rock Creek last weekend and the water was uncomfortably high.  Wadding was difficult and not many places to do it right now.  It is running clear and cold real cold.  I did not catch anything.  ”


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony  says,” Fishing was real slow it was pretty cold this week.  . It was cold and windy so we had few people.  Many came on Friday morning and left Friday night.  A lot of tents ruined and in the garbage. The fish are way down real deep right now. The water is being let out.  Not many salmon being caught. You can use propane but  no fires in the rings  right now. ”



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

Terry says, “Lots of wind.  Not hearing of anyone going out so it   has been real slow.  The heat has made the fishing lousy. ”


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

Rick says, “It has been  slow.   things down. Fish in the early morning and late in the day.  It is real slow in the middle of the day.   People who went to Bair   said there was nothing spectacular  caught.  They only caught a few trout.   .“



Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Scott said, “ I fished Devil’s Creek  and at Forchette  and the walleye is slow.  We caught 1 12 pounder.  Not much more than that.

Achley   Fishing is good  and successful  trolling at 2 aand a half miles per hour using a rapella. .  The fishermen are starting to catch tiger muskeye from the bank and from a boat. They are catching rainbows with night crawlers.

At Spring Creek fishing is good from the bank. It has been steady with people catching a steady 15 to 20 fish.  Strangely it is happening at 11 am to 3 pm the hottest time of the day.   Using a immersion method also works.  It is crystal clear.  Bead head nymph fishing is good.

The ponds have   mossed up.

On Crooked Creek  use a wind sock or wind drift.  Worm harness  are working at at 20 feet depths.  People have been catching some nice walleye and northern pike.  Walleye have been a decent bite.  They have been scattered but try at 24 to 26 feet depths with a crawler.  “


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

Abby   says, “   Fishing has been pretty good this week.  We had our kids fishing day this weekend and  they caught everything, walleye, pike, perch, drums, and crappies.  The kids were going crazy and had fun.   Cranks and bottom bouncers are working.  The worm bite is really good right now. They are catching good size eaters and we saw the sie increase some this week. .  The catfish bite is on.  Especially at night and at early morning using a worm or cut bait. Everything is about 10 miles out and at 15 feet depths right now. ”


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

“ Trout fishing was again  really good  this week. Go deep and cool. It is good all over.  Perch are being caught at 20 feet depths and  and excellent  .  The have been catching some  really  nice perch and it has been excellent fishing.  Lots of them from the  boat.  The walleye fish they   are catching  are 14 to 18 inch size.  They are finding them in the river.  They are using bottom bouncers and crank.  Everyone is consistently going south toward pond 1,    don’t forget  the Camp-mak-a-dream walleye benefit that is this weekend.  You can sign up from Wednesday evening on,   It is a family friendly event.  Come and  enjoy  the fun, “  Sharon  tells us.


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,” Nelson is now low.  On Sunday when I went the one tire was off the ramp.  It is not bad yet just be watchful. Irrigation  is due to be shut off on the 10th .  It can be tricky getting off and on.   Fishing was really good  for walleye but smaller ones.  We were using bottom bouncers with a worm at 15 to  20 feet. The fish are going deep.

At Forchette people are catching afew walleye and pike.    small mouth.  Head toward Seven Blackfoot up to Timber Creek.  It was fair fishing  using bottom bouncers.  It was windy so we did drift fishing. “


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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan

Tanner   says ,”

Yellowstone: The Yellowstone River close to Billings  is clear. Going East they are catching some small mouth bass and sauger.  Use a minnow imitation.  Some caught a 6 pounds and 5 pound sauger.  That was near Huntley.


Fort Peck At the dam people are saying they arenonly catching a few salmon. They say it has pickedup a little.Try  cranking 144 feet deep and catching a ton of walleyes.


Tongue-On Tongue:  I am hearing fishing is okay.  They are catching some smallmouth bass in the trees .  The fishing is better in the morning and evening.


Yellowtail: Those who went to Yellowtail  and got a few   small mouth.  They were using tubes and wacky worms  to catch them.  Sometimes the orange  colors are working well.


Tongue : Reports on Tongue is it is alright  fishing.  The water is hotter.  They are catching  large mouth and small mouth.  The guys were using plastic worms.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ The walleye are biting on Canyon Ferry.   I am hearing  Canyon Ferry   is pretty  good fishing.  They are catching rainbows, walleyes and some perch using bottom bouncers aand 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 Gallatin is  fishing okay  I hear.”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Bill  says,“both rivers  are fishing well.  The guides are able to float from Jeffrey’s landing  to white bird and some are going to Firemans  orItch-Kep-Pe Park . Use large dries. For nymphing try a dropper.  Jack Cabe, PMX,   Chernobyl’s,, Grinch and hoppers. Some guys are running  black and olive together a foot a part on the line.  On the Yellowstone try  Copper John, a Pheasant Tails, Princes or a Batman. The Yellowstone is 7500 cfs and the Stillwater is at 1150 cfs in the lower section.  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,”  On the Big Horn the fishing was better this week.    The water is about 4200 cfs.  You can see a shelf.  The tricot hatch  is still there. The fish are still eating.   The   water is   grassy and is very murky.     I am using sow bugs size 18 in gray, pink and tan.  Use dries in tricot patterns as well. You can catch a few fish on  streamers. ”


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

Hale  says ,” The good news is the water has gone down to 4350 cfs.   The water is 65 degrees right now. There is more wade fishing.   There is aquatic  grass in the water and it is a factor.  There are  tricot hatching in the morning at 7 to 11 am.      The fishing is good.  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.  Try a white fly or a thin mint or a dirty hippy. Concentrate on the ripple water and the current areas.”


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,

PMDs hatching early have had some selective trout rising. The nymph bite has been good with PMD patterns and smaller dark caddis patterns.  Warm summer days have seen trout eating hoppers in the afternoons. Keep those fish wet!

Yellowstone  National Park

Fish the cold water and carry terrestrials! And your bear spray. Hoppers, ants and beetles have worked park wide in the last week. There are also still caddis and pale morning duns hatching on several smaller streams.”