Eastern Montana Fishing Report 9.27.17
By angelamontana

Posted: September 28, 2017

Fall is  on its way  and with it comes sudden changes in weather and  changes in  water and drought fire  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, fire 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

Bill    reports, “ No fishermen during the week.  The water temperature is 54 degrees.  The northern pike and bass are shallow right now.  Only have a few walleye   caught.  We are closing the Marina after Saturday.  There will be no services.  We plan on pulling the docks Monday or Tuesday.  There will be no food.  We will have some fuel if you can find someone to help you with it.  “

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 Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer reports ,” It has been cold and rainy pretty much almost all  week.  Today is only the second day of no rain.  It was cold every day  in the 40’s.  We have gotten 2 inches  of rain in the last 2 weeks.   The number of fishermen  have been down because of the weather. Only a couple of  boats  each   day.  Saw   some people have a few crappie and a walleye or two. “


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

Stephanie   says,” Have not seen fishermen this week.  I have not heard anything.  I know a few went out they just did not stop here.  Our last  day for the Marina to be open is Saturday.  We will   be closed as of  Sunday.“


Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Tyler 1-406- 557-2345  Marina Matheson-Park  personnel

Megan  reports,  “walleye have been hit and miss this week.  Pretty much they are finding them here and there.  For the northerns guys are pitching spoons or cranks.  They are working fairly well.   We had the bass tournament this past weekend   and guys did very well.  They headed East  all the way to Crooked Creek  and all the way to west of Forchette.  They were finding them at 30 to 40 feet depths.  One fellow   caught a big bass during the tournament.  We weighed it on two scales and got 4 signatures as it weighed 7.51.  If approved it may be a new state record.  They released it . ”

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, “  It has been pretty   slow  fishing for walleye.  They are doing well in the dredges.  Salmon  fishing is picking up a little.  I know  of four caught in the bay.    The water temperature is down so that should change things.  The levels are down.  It has been cold and nasty  for 3 days. “

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 still at full pool.  It has turning but there still is algae in the water.  The fishing has been good this week.  I am hearing and seeing browns being caught.  So the browns are starting to be more active as fall is here.  Not many walleye being called.  There is more algae on the south west shore.  That is where it is the heaviest.  Two of the three docks have been pulled and the third is partly under water.  You can use it though.  Just make sure you bring tall boots or waders   for getting the boat in, “Mark   explains.


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Fishing  is still going on at Lake Elmo  and they are still catching.  With the weather changing and the rain the number of fishermen were fewer this week.  “


Deadmans  Tony Stefaniwe did have snow this week but it is gone now.  We now have mud.  Right now there are 2 or 3 boats out there fishing.  Don’t know if they are catching, “ Tony   says,“


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

Terry says, “Guys were still talking this week about  fishing on Martinsdale from shore.  It was again  good this week.   The guys have done quite well.  The water cooled down and the fish seem to be more active.  Most   were 2 ½  to 5 pounds.  The guys were   using colored marshmallows in  green  and  yellow.   ”


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

Judy   says, “at Bair the guys say they  were  catching some fair size fish.  They are using worms or powerbait.  The colors seem to vary day by day of what works. I also heard Martinsdale picked up some. ”


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie   said, “  Spring Creek is fishing well using flies.  It is good fall   fishing.  You can use dries  like midges.  Nymphs are also working.

On the western end of Fort Peck they are catching some walleye at 20 to 35 depths.  The water has gotten hotter and that has helped.

On Achley  the water is  pretty low.  You can fish from shore.

Lakes and ponds  : The small lakes and ponds  are  pretty mossed up. “


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

Carrie   says, “   It was really slow this last weekend. Many are saying the water was turning over this weekend.  After that the bite was on.  Now they are catching walleye, sauger and northern pike.  The water temperature is getting better.  It is  58 to 61 degrees.  The pike are shallow right now.  The sauger   and walleye are at 15 feet.  Try chartreuse colors using a bottom bouncer or worm harness either jigging or using cranks.  The water is clearing  now after turning over.  The worm and minnow bite is definitely tuning on.  We have seen two rattlers sunning themselves in the last 2 days so keep your eyes open. “

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,” we did not have many fishermen this week.  I think they are all out hunting.     Fishing has been  good  for the few that did come.    They did   catch   walleye  in thee 12 to 16 inch size.  It is not raining or windy today.  It is sort of sunny today.   “

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,”They are still finding fish at Nelson. They are catching walleye and perch.  People are trying a jig and finding them deeper.  The water is lower than full pool.  You can use   the state park ramp and still drive off of it.  ”

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan,Matt

Matt  says ,”   The Yellowstone   is  still murky.  I have heard it has been good for cats.  It should  start  to fish better  for sauger and walleye as it clears .

On Yellowtail they are starting to catch sauger down there.

Guys are saying  the salmon on Fort Peck at the dam is picking up a little.  Use a lead core 30 to 40 feet depths over 60 foot of water.  You can use a banana style crank.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “  I heard  FWP did their netting on Canyon Ferry.  They found more walleyes than past years..   The south end  is where they found the small walleye.  On the north end they found walleye in the  16 to 20 pound size.

On the river the fly fishermen are getting some fish.  The rivers are up.  The water is clear today.

I heard that on Holter they are catching some nice perch.  One was a 12 incher.  The guys I talked to  were using a wom and a jig. ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

Bill reports,“  Fishing has been good this week..     The Stillwater  has  cleared up well.  Purple  haze are working.   For dries try  pheasant  tails.  Some guys are using a girdle bug with a nymph behind  it is working.  For streamers try black and olive or the electric  goldfish.

On the Yellowstone it has cleared some.  It is a little off but it is still fishing well.  Try streamers and dropper nymphs.  The cfs is up some.  Floating from the Pelican to Columbus is fishing good.”


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

Beau says,” Fishing is a little better.   The tricot hatch  is still going on  in the morning from 9 to 11 am.  The fall wind slowed the fishing some days.    Nymphing  is okay.  Streamers are also okay.   The water was raised today (Tuesday).  So there was lots of grass.  Use normal fall techniques.  Focus on the shallow areas and in the ripples. ”


Steven Caldwell   guide,

Unable to contact

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.

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  said ,” The  water  is at 3750 csf.   There are tricots   hatching in the morning starting at 6 am and now ending earlier.   .

For   nymph fishing try it in the shallows.   You should know where you are going.  Don’t use much weight.  You could 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 tougher with the grass. You can try a vanilla wafer, a dirty hippy or a  pseudo spinner . The water is a bit cloudy. ”

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

Blue winged olives have been hatching along with midges in the afternoons. Until the hatch starts throw smaller standard nymphs. Lighter colored streamers have also been working for the territorial trout all over the river.


Yellowstone  National Park

Higher elevation streams are seeing some bug activity late on warmer afternoons, there are still a few hoppers clicking around grassy meadows.

The Madison has been fishing well with light colored caddis and large dark streamers. The Firehole has several caddis species hatching along with the blue winged olives in the afternoons. Swing a soft hackle until the hatch starts and then look for rising fish in the flat water. With 2.2 million acres of Yellowstone to enjoy please give your fellow anglers space. Bears are on the move, carry your spray!