Eastern Montana Fishing Report 10.4.17
By angelamontana

Posted: October 4, 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 by Carol Henckel)

Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560

Bill    reports, “ We had only a couple  fishermen during the week.  They caught a few northern pike.  Fishing was real slow. I have a couple of friends here  but it is too windy to go out so all we are doing is playing  pinochle We have closed  the Marina after Saturday.  There will be no services.  The plan is to  pull the docks this week if the weather cooperates.  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

Greg reports ,” All we got was a little frost. We had quite a few  boats  over the  weekend.  Saw   some people have a few crappie. We will be pulling docks next week and shutting down the cleaning station soon when it gets too cold.  The boat inspection will be here until the 15th. “


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

Wade   says,” I saw a few  fishermen this weekend.  I saw a few  people who had gotten a few crappie and some large mouth bass.  They said catching northern pike or walleye was really slow. The Marina is closed .  Bring your own worms as there will not be any here.  There will be no fuel available.“


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

Clint  reports,  “this last week the weather has been rainy.   The walleye bite  has been slow  this past  week.    Northern pike  and bass also seemed to be slow as well.   For the northerns   guys are pitching spoons or cranks”

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, “  It has been  slow  fishing for  lake trout and salmon this week.  Snagging salmon was legal as of October 1st.  Even snagging   has been slow.  Either the salmon numbers are not here or the salmon  have not moved in yet.  We will just have to see how it goes as the week goes.  Right now it is raining.  We just got a little snow but it did not stick.  “

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 has gone up a little.  I saw people catching   rainbow trout  and a few  browns being caught.  So the browns are starting to be more active as fall is here.  Not many walleye being called.    Two of the three docks have been pulled and the third is no longer under water so it can be used easily. “Mark   explains.


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

“ It has been pretty quiet  Lake Elmo because of the storm,  They were  catching before the storm.  With the weather changing and the rain the number of fishermen were fewer this week.

On the big Horn the water is high and we may see it go up higher.  It is real mossy but guys are catching. Wading is pretty tough but fishing from a boat does produce some fish. It is tough fishing, “ Bob says.


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

They  had snow this week . A few fishermen have come. Don’t know if they are catching,” The dock is finally out and they are doing sampling. “ Bob   says,“


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

Terry says, “I did not  talk  this week  to anyone about  fishing on Martinsdale this week.  It was   good the  week before.   The guys were   using colored marshmallows in  green and  yellow.  With the weather changing I think going out was not what they wanted to do.  ”


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

Judy   says, “I had one fishermen who went to Bair   and Sutherland. He said it was real windy and he came home  empty handed  because  nothing was biting.  ”


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie   said, “  We got one foot of snow.  We are going to be dealing with muddy although it isn’t yet.  I think Spring Creek would still   fish well using flies.  I am thinking you could head there by the weekend.  You can use dries   like midges.  Nymphs are also working.

Anywhere else we will have to see how long this snow lasts.  Don’t know  if people will go out. “


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

Carrie   says, “  We are still definitely open.    Over the   weekend before the storm  people were  catching.  They were catching walleye, sauger and northern pike.  When people heard the storm was coming everyone left.  On the hill up above we got 8 inches.  Down by the Marina  was  only a little snow.  Today (Wednesday) it is a beautiful day.  No fishermen here yet.  As far as the road in when we came yesterday it was a little muddy but you went slow you got through the  rough parts.  It really was okay. “

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 – unable to contact

“ 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,”

Right now it is snowing and it is real windy.  So that will decide how fishing is this week,  People  were still finding fish at Nelson.  Some  were catching  walleye and perch.  People are trying a jig and finding them deeper.  The water has   been lower than full pool.   ”

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan, Matt

Matt  says ,”   I have not heard from  many people fishing  this week.  It has been pretty quiet.   The Yellowstone   is   still somewhat  murky.    I have heard some bass were caught.

On Yellowtail they are starting to catch  a few sauger.

Fishermen looking for  salmon on Fort Peck at the dam say it is slow.  I am told not

are getting any snagging.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “  It is snowing right now.(Tuesday)  We have about 2 inches.    I have heard that guys at Canyon Ferry were catching the bigger size walleyes  this last week. The ones who I talked to headed to Goose Bay going north.

On the river the fly fishermen are getting some fish.  I have heard guys are catching a few fish on the Madison.  I also am hearing that on the Gallatin   they are catching some nice browns. ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

Chris reports,“  There has been some wind this week especially the last couple days.  It is real windy today.  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  and  it is working.  For streamers try black and olive or the electric   goldfish.

On the Yellowstone it has shown  some clarity this week.  It is  still fishing well.  Try streamers and dropper nymphs. ”


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

Beau says,” The water has turned over.  So visibility is really poor as of yesterday.  Fishing has gotten worse  at the end of the week.   There is less  tricot hatch  going on .  The fall wind slowed the fishing some days.    Nymphing  is not good right now.  Use streamers as they are working better.   The water was raised today (Tuesday).  There is lots of grass and it is braking away.  Just  tough fishing right now.”


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Stephanie  said ,”  It is breezy here.  The  water  is at 4500 CSF.

That has pushed grass out. The color of the water  and the grass has made it harder to fish.    Not hearing of  tricots being seen as much.   .

For   nymph fishing try it in the shallows.    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.”

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

Midges and blue winged olives are hatching in the slower water in the middle of the day. Fish small nymphs until the hatch or throw your favorite streamer.  October Caddis are also hatching, fish a larger dry fly in the warmer hours.


Yellowstone  National Park

The variety of weather recently has been great for the bug hatches on the Firehole. Blue winged olives and caddis are all hatching sometime in the middle of the day, the exact time depends on the clouds and sun. The Madison in YNP continues to be the most popular fishing destination this week, please be respectful of others.  With 2,500 miles of running water in Yellowstone, use this break in the weather to see a new piece of water. And don’t forget your Bear Spray!!