Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 8.8.18
By angelamontana

Posted: August 8, 2018
Summer has arrived  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. The fire season also means we all need to be alert to be actions and conditions.    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   can   come  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- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt  1-406-485-2560

Wyatt   reports, “ The small mouth are fishing pretty good right now.  The walleye bite is slow.  It is tough bite.  People are finding them in the early morning and just as the sun goes down.  They are catching  more salmon and lake trout.  You have to use a downrigger at 80 feet to get them.  The water is 75 degrees in the bays,  They are finding them heading to San Arroyo going north.  It hasn’t flipped yet but it could be coming soon.  ”

“Our hours are Sunday to Thursday 7 am to 9 pm.  Friday to Sunday 7 am to 11pm.  We are willing to open early or later than these hours depending on the need.  We are excited to get people fishing and hear their fishing stories , “Monty says.


Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond  says,” I have a few northern pike caught and people say they have caught walleye . Crappie and bass.  They still are mainly catching bass.  People are saying the fish are heading to the shallows.  .  The water temperature is warm, 75 today.  The water is going down slowly.  I know because we have had to adjust the dock.  The water has good clarity.”


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

Wade reports, “They are catching crappies at 30 feet.  The guys are saying  they are suspended at 15 feet off the bottom.  They are a decent size.   People are finding lots of small mouth  bass  and also some large mouth.   Head to all the structures to find  them. The  walleye have been hit and miss.   They seem to be at 15 to 25 feet.  Use live bait jigging to get them.  ”

The   Marina is now open every day.  Our  hours are 8 to 5 Monday to Thursday  and  Friday and Saturday 7 to 9.  On Sunday we will be open   from 7 to 5 pm.


Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345

Tyler  says, “  Fishing has been just alright.  Guys are catching bass mostly from anywhere from 10 to 15 mile from the bay.  Try bottom bouncers at 24 feet down.  They were catching walleye and  bass.  I haven’t heard of anyone catching   northern poke. Try slow death with just one bead is working in blue and gold.  With the water being warm at 75 to 80 degrees some of the time fishing is hit and miss.  Lake trout are towards the dam at depths of 50 to 70 feet.  The thermal climb is 12 feet.

The Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.  ­­­­­­­


Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597

Carrie   says, “ Fishing is just maintaining. The salmon fishing is picking up.  They are small ones, 6 to 8 pounds.  They are using Brad bait cup and blue Hot Collars and down riggers.   The  walleye bite is consistent.  .  They are mostly catching them on  leeches and crawlers. Some are using a mixed revel.  They are fishing the main lake towards the pines for walleye.  Not any pike being caught. There is plenty of catching of lake trout.  They   are being caught at 90 to 115 feet. ”

We do have minnows, suckers, fatheads, Smelt, night crawlers,  hooks, floaters, full suckers, wax and   meal worms and white and pink maggots here for the guys to use.  Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday. ”


Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia

Marina   reports, “ The water is receding.  People  seem to be catching walleye and  perch.    They are using worms and  night crawlers.  It seems to be good fishing.  The fish cleaning station has been busy. All  campgrounds   fully  open. The   boat ramp is now open as well.  I want to remind people to be prepared when you go to the boat ramp.  You should have everything you need in the boat already before you get there.  “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports, “The heat has slowed fishing.  During the day a number of paddlers and swimmers are out during the middle of the day.  The fishermen are coming early in the morning and late in the day.  They are catching.  The lake is still full Guys are catching trout,   perch and some bass.

I hear they are catching bass at Big Horn Reservoir.

On Friday, August 10th   the Yellowstone County will begin fire restrictions. .”

The Indian Fort Access at Reedpoint will be closed the rest of the summer.  It is restricted to walk in only.  There has been some damage to the road which has narrowed the road and is dangerous.  That has to be repaired

The East Bridge Lockwood fishing access is closed as there is   construction going on,” Bob explains

Grant marsh   fishing access washed out on the Big Horn so it is   walk in only. The Wildlife access area is completely open.


Deadmans Tony Stefani

Pat reports.” We have seen a number of fishermen   this week.  They have   not been catching. We had a great deal of rain last night which also changes conditions.   The water is going down but very slowly.  .”


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

Terry says “Lots of people have tried to catch fish.  I hear they caught a few at Newland but that was all.  They tried at Martinsdale, Checkerboard, Bair and Sutherlan and had very little success.  I have had people come in for worms.”


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

Judy says, “I heard from some people who went to Martinsdale and caught fish.   Right now it is typical summer fishing.  A few told me they were catching a few fish on Bair.  They say they caught trout very early in the morning and late in the day. I did not hear from anyone who went to Bair this week.”


Sports Center   320 West Main Street, Lewistown, MT   535-9308  Colby / John Tognetti

John  says, “ At Achley the fishing is okay in the early morning.  What is working best is live bait, night crawlers and leeches.

Spring Creek is clear and  is fishing   well.  They are seeing a  small caddis hatch. The  grasshoppers are also working.  Use the Panther Martin and  the blue fox. Those are bringing  good results.

Cats are being caught on the   Missouri right now.  Use night crawlers or  cut bait as they are working.  The mosquitos  are bad. Bring your bug spray.

On Crooked Creek at Forchette fishermen  are saying it is fishing well. They are using crawlers and leeches.   Try   using cranks for northern pike.   Guys are catching walleye and crappies.“


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

Abby   explains,” It was rough fishing  this week.  People had a harder time catching fish this week.   What worked last week did not work this week.  The fish were in completely different places.  The water is going down pretty fast and that maybe part of it.  The bass came into shore.  People were just tossing a line in from shore and catching bass with just a worm and a bobber.  They were getting one almost every time.    They are catching  walleye next to the marina instead of out further like last week. Just not as many.  Some cats are being caught.  I have seen some crappie and perch being caught just not in the regular places.  The water is 80 degrees.  It just was weird how everything changed. Maybe the water is ready to flip.  I can’t explain it.”


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon   reports,”   Fishing  has picked up this week. They are getting  quantities of perch and trout.     The walleye  are a bit more in size.  I did see one 10 ½ pounds.   People are going  in all directions.  Trout fishing is good as is the perch.  They are  catching  pretty much everything. The trout have been 3 to 4 pounders.

The Camp-mak-a-dream walleye benefit is this Saturday.  You can register on Friday night at Gazebo3 with Carol.  All are welcome. ”

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.

The Flamingo is now open.


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

The perch bite this week was pretty good.  Fishing at   Nelson  has  picked up.  They are at depths of 25 to 35 feet.  Use a jig with a minnow or a leech or a rap.  Try  worm harness for walleye.  It is still weedy from shore so you have to go deep.   Bring lots of worms you will need them.  The bugs are bad   so bring bug spray.

Forchette was better fishing this week.   The bigger fish are at 40 foot depths.

Stop by the store.  We do have minnows here if you need them.

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


Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Matt   said, “I am  hearing the rivers are good.  The Yellowstone has improved.  The Stillwater and the Boulder are good fishing right now.   On the Yellowstone they are catching a lot of walleye.

The Salmon and lake trout are doing well at the damn.

The walleye, pike and bass are about a month being/ so the action is still going on.

The Big Horn is pretty good and people are catching.

Really pay attention to the water temperature right now. “


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich  says ,” Canyon Ferry seems to be pretty good  fishing.  Guys  have caught some good size  ones.  I have heard of three  over  30 inches.  They are also catching some good size perch in sizes of 12 to 13 inches.

The rivers have cleared and are down a little.  There are fly fishermen out there and I have heard that both flies and spinners are working.  They are catching fish.”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken

Chris  says, “  On the Stillwater use a dropper with a bead head. Use a chubby,  a purple Haze or Jack Cabe which are definitely working. The cfs has gone down. The Stillwater is clear.

The Yellowstone is coming around.  It is still  dropping a little.  Realize the river is different.  Many channels have been blown.  Purple Haze is starting to work.  Try some dry flies now.  With the cooler  weather right now  and that will help fishing.  Use the Chubbie there as well. The Grinch is working. Visibility is not there yet.  Water clarity needs to improve more. You can nymph fish as well.  Try a Prince, a hairs ear, pheasant tail or the Batman. ”

We are   open Monday to Sunday from 9 to 5 pm.”


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

Bea says,”  I fished the  Big Horn again.  Tricots are okay in the morning.  Streamers are working okay.    The cfs is around 4300.  Try black caddis patterns in the evening.  It is not  as good as the tricots.  I still  think the river is in   rough shape.  You can catch fish but you have to work it.   Nymph fishing is not good right now.    The water is   coming down slowly.  The water is greenish, brownish.  Try using cray fish, sow  bugs or a size 12 pheasant tail “ Beau explains.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Rick  reports,” Right now there are   more   places to wade.  You can get to the  islands .  It is easier floating.  The cfs is at  3500 cfs right now.  There are tricots out there in the early hours.  People are   starting to fish at 5:30 am.  As they are  out there. Dries are working better, nymphing is about normal.  The Black caddis is out in the evening.  For dry flies there is a tricot hatch in the morning and a caddis hatch in the evening.  It is also a   nymphing bite.  Try a gray or tan ray, a zebra, black pheasant tail,  olive pheasant tail , caddis or an emergent. Try  streamers like.  The  thin mint, dirty hippy, vanilla wafer or a sinking tip. The water is a little off color, like a brownish wash. You can see into it. There is not a lot of   grass or weeds yet.”

Our summer hours  are   8 am to 5 every day.


Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter  406-640-1698.

Madison River

Alice reports, “We still have a great water level on the Madison and the fish are eating terrestrials! Hoppers,  beetles and ants are working right now. Pale morning dun mayflies are out early in the day and caddis are still around early and late.


Yellowstone National Park

Don’t forget your bear spray, patience and rubber soled wading boots. The higher elevation streams are seeing good numbers of PMDs. Fish are also eating ants and hoppers. These higher elevation streams are running higher than average for this time of year, great for the fish and the hatches!”