Eastern Montana Fishing Report 10.18.17
By angelamontana

Posted: October 19, 2017

Fall is  here  and with it comes sudden changes in weather and  changes in  water  conditions.  Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Storms  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, “We only had a few fishermen out.  They caught a few Northern pike and bass.  Fishing was   slow.  They were pulling cranks.  We have closed the Marina.  There will be no services.  We did get the docks   pulled out. There will be no food.  We will have some fuel if you can find someone to help you with it.  There will be people here when ice fishing starts.  “


Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Some people got   some bass and a few crappies.  They were not too big. They seem to be heading to the north end of the lake.  The water level is staying at the same level right now. It has been steady at 3420 cfs. The cleaning station has been shut down.  Some of the campgrounds have been shut down of water and electricity.  Campgrounds 1 to 11 have electricity.  The dock is still in.  The   boat inspection is closed now as of October 15th.


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

Wade   says,” I have not heard   from anyone about fishing as the Marina is closed.  Just did not see anyone this week.  Bring your own worms as there will not be any here.  There will be no fuel available. “  Another source says ” a few bass were caught”.


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

Wade says,” The walleye bite has been hit and miss. If they find them they are in 3 feet to 30 feet depths. Northern pike and bass have moved shallower into the weeds.   Red and white spoons   have worked for the  northerns   some have said.  They have caught some decent size pike. On Friday some guys found a few lake trout that were moving up the shallows.  ”

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 fishermen are finding  salmon in Marina Bay this week. It has picked up a little.  Snagging is still   slow. The lake trout are shallow,15 to 20 feet.  The walleye fishing is just not good.  They are catching northern pike and bass in places.  There has been some wind this week. “

Our hours are  6am-8pm Monday through Saturday6 am to 7 pm on Sunday. ”


Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark is the   game warden at Cooney.

Today is Glennis last day and she will be moving to Oregon.  I want to personally thank her for her help in doing this fishing report.  She has been helpful and generous in taking time to talk to me.  I wish you well in your new job and adventure.  You will be missed.

Mark explains, “The water has dropped a little.  It is down about 4feet.  Most people in boats seem to be heading to fisherman’s point or towards the  Red Lodge campground.. The north shore dock is still in.  People are   catching   rainbow trout.   The walleye seem

to be caught  right at dark.  “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

“Fishing has dropped some at Lake Elmo.  The ditch has been drained. Elmo is really full.  We saw the first geese in the water yesterday,” Bob said.


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Pat says, “the salmon are starting to run.  We have a camper that has been paying daily and has done it for 3 days so he must be catching some.  He definitely is out there working at it.  The water continues to be at average depths.”


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

Terry says, “  I am just hearing hunting stories.  They   are chasing birds and antelope.  I did have some guys heading to Achley   this week. This is the time when fishing is usually getting good but they did not return to tell me how they did. ”


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

Judy   says, “I had a couple of fishermen who tied to go fishing at Bair.  It   was too windy and  they left and went home. So the wind made fishing impossible. ”


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie   said, “   Spring Creek is  fishing well with nymphs.   Use a copper John o a pheasant tail. We have seen a blue wing hatch at times.

The ponds and lake  waters have moss and lots of cloudy muddy water.   Just not very  fishable right now.

At West  Crooked Creek  people  are saying it has been good bass and northern pike fishing.  They are finding  them at 10 to 15 feet.   Walleye are tough to catch they are real deep. “


Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana   James  (Slim) and Abbie Craig  406-429-2999

Carri   says, “ People were  not here fishing this week.  The fishing for the few that did was slow.  The weather was beautiful but I think people were out hunting. The fish seem to have gone deeper “


The Marina’s hours are Monday to Sunday  7 am to 7pm

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 had huge winds  this week.  No one has been able to get  on the water.

Today ( Tuesday )  is blowing  at 48 mph.  Just blowing  like crazy. “

The   inspection station at the landing has closed as of October 15

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm. We still are making and selling sandwiches at the Marina.


West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611

Jim  says,” Walleye and northern pike and small mouth bass are being caught at Nelson.  They are jigging .  The walleye are at 20 feet or  deeper.  One fellow got 40 in a fishing day.

At Forchette they are catching some big walleye using worms or minnows.  Someone caught 2 over 10.  There has been some wind this week.    ”

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan, Matt

Jayce  says ,”Yellowstone: I am still hearing  the  Yellowstone  has been  decent fishing  for small mouth bass going east of Billings.  Use tube bait or a jig and a minnow.    I have been told  a few sauger  were caught.  It has slowed down a little.

Cooney:  I hear the bite is quieter.   The walleye bite is better in the evening.  Jigs are working.

Fort Peck:   Pike fishing is good using spoons I am hearing at Fort Peck.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ It has not been nice weather this week.  There has been lots of wind at Cooney. The inspection station is closed now.

On the rivers the fly fishermen are getting some fish.  I have heard guys are catching   on the Madison and  on the Gallatin.  The water has been up from summer.   It is pretty clear. ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

Chris reports,“  We had some wind this week  again.  The Stillwater and the Yellowstone   has  cleared up well.   The purple haze is working.   For dries try  pheasant  tails.  Some guys are using a girdle bug with a nymph behind    and   it is working.  For streamers try black and olive or the electric   goldfish.

On the Yellowstone it has fished pretty well this week.  Try a dry fly after it warms up after noon.    Try streamers and dropper nymphs.  They are catching trout and some whitefish.”


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

Beau says,” Streamers are doing pretty good right now.  Nymph  fishing is tough.   It is pretty grassy right now. The wind has been really blowing so it is a challenge.  The wind will help with the water and you can see some grass disappearing.  You  can catch fish but boy you  have to work at it.  There is no  tricot hatch .”


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Rich  said ,” The  water  is still at 4920 CSF.

Nymph fishing has been difficult  as the water is so cloudy and grassy.  Standing is better than in the boat. You could try a red Ray Charles, zebra midge, orange scuds, soft tackle  and black Pheasant tails  or San Juan worm.

Streamer fishing is very good at times . It is not consistent.   You  can try a vanilla wafer, a dirty hippy or a thin mint.

Very little dries are working.  We are not seeing any tricots. I do think things are improving a little. ”

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, Yellowstone National  Park

Madison River

Afternoon blue winged olive hatches have kept fish eating dries and nymphs, especially if it is cloudy.  Streamer bite is continuing to bring in beautiful fish.

Yellowstone  National Park

Dark streamers have been working on the Madison. When you are fishing for the lake runs, please be respectful of the other anglers with which you are sharing the water. The Firehole and Gibbon rivers have also been fishing well, especially with afternoon hatches of blue winged olives and smaller caddis.

Carry your bear spray and check road conditions.