Central/eastern Montana Fishing Report 8.16.18
By angelamontana

Posted: August 16, 2018

Summer is slowly winding down 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

Monty says, “ Fishing has been pretty good this week. The lake trout are biting. I went out and caught seven that were 6 to 9 pounds. Another person caught 11 and another 12 lake trout. We were using Brad super bait. Go 115 feet to find them. We were going down 92 to 95 feet with downriggers. We caught one salmon. Some people did catch northern pike and walleye both at been in 40 feet depths. Not any big ones. One guy caught a ling at Nelson Creek with a bottom bouncer.

The fishing for a cure tournament is this Saturday. They have some beautiful auction items for the event including a 5 foot lighthouse lawn ornament and a hand painted piece of framed art. People will be at rock Creek to sign people up on Friday night and you can sign up before 7 am on Saturday. ”

“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,” The temperature this week meant people came to fish and left early because of very high temperatures. One gentleman caught 17 crappies a week ago by the dock using jogs and spinners. He told me just the other day with the heat it has slowed down now. People are not using live bait. People are catching bass, an occasional walleye and northern pike. The cfs is 3424 and people are saying the water level is higher than average water level. The water temperature is warm, 75 today. The water has good clarity.”

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

Wade reports, “People are still catching crappies at 30 feet. One guy was trolling at one and a half mph and got his limit. That was unusual. No one was fishing the shoreline as the heat slowed that down. I have heard of a few northern pike being caught at 20 feet. Not many walleye caught. People were leaving early because of the heat. It was just too hot.

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

Clint says, “Not too many people wanted to be in the heat. Only few walleye caught. They are finding them at 25 to 35 feet deep using leeches or crawlers. Guys are catching bass, that bite is pretty good. They are catching them in both directions at 10 to 25 feet depths. The west is slightly better. The water is pretty clear. The bass guys were here for a small bass tournament. The winner was Gary Ziegler who caught 5 fish with a weight of 21 pounds. Lake trout are being found towards the pines at depths of 110 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

Eddie says, “Fish are biting. They are catching salmon and lake trout. The salmon are at 60 to 95 feet depths. Guys are using flashers, flies and squids. They are small ones, 2 to 8 pounds with an occasional 20 pounder. . The lake trout are being caught pulling spoons. One fellow today caught his limit of walleye near Bear Creek going 12 to 15 feet depths. Another guy found walleye at the pines at 30 to 40 feet depths. ”

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 lowering. The heat this week did slow things down. People seem to be catching a few walleye and perch. They are using night crawlers and worms. All campgrounds are open now. We are still seeing people not prepared when they go to the boat ramp on the busy weekends. It really slows things down and causes tempers to rise. You should have everything you need in the boat already before you get there. “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

It was really hot this week. The heat has definitely slowed fishing. 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 a few. The lake is still full. Guys are catching trout, perch and some bass.

On Friday, August 10th the Yellowstone County will begin fire restrictions which will affect all fishing access sites. Please be careful and be alert, “Bob says.

The Indian Fort Access at Reed point 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

Tony reports.” We have had numerous recreationalists, more than fishermen. The heat slowed fishing this week. They have not been catching. The water is going down but very slowly. .”

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

Terry says “I hear a few fish were caught here or there right now. The heat is slowing things way down. They tried at Martinsdale and Sutherlan and had very little success. Nobody is getting excited about fishing right now. I have had people come in for worms.”

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

Judy says, “ Not many people out fishing this week. The heat slowed things down as well as the fair. I heard from one guy who caught one fish a day at Bair. That was it.”

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. They are catching muskies with cranks. What is working best on other fish is live bait, night crawlers and leeches.

Spring Creek is fishing well using flies and spinners. They are seeing a small caddis hatch. The grasshoppers are also working. Use the Panther Martin and the blue fox.

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, people say it is fishing well. They are using leeches with good results. Guys are catching walleye and crappies.

On the Missouri they are catching a few walleyes. The fishing for catfish and sauger is picking up. “

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

Carri explains,” It was such good fishing this week. It was sooo good and it was so hot heat wise. There is no way to explain why the fishing turned on and was so good but it was. We saw 29 ½ inchers, 23, 25 and I could go on and on listing the nice fish. The guys were finding them at 20 to 30 feet depths using bottom bouncers. Everyone was tickled pink. It was over 100 degrees out there. No one had to go out to far to catch fish. You did not have to go as far as Lost Creek. They are not going far to catch walleye, crappies, pike, perch and of course goldeye. It was fun to hear people so excited. The weather was hot but it sure did not make a difference in fishing this week. ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Carol reports,” The Camp-mak-a-dream Walleye Benefit was this past weekend. People caught fish despite the heat that was over 100 degrees on Saturday. Most caught them earlier in the day. The walleye are a bit bigger in size. 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 was this past Saturday. Here are the winners

1st place- 28 inch walleye caught by Sherry Mabey of team #8 Chris Farrington of


2nd place- 27 inch walleye caught by Bill Morrish of team #22 Daren Buffington of


3rd place- 15.5 inch walleye caught by Melissa Tecca # 17 John Brezney’s team of Belgrade.

4th place- 15.25 inch walleye caught by #24 Rory McLead team of Helena

Kid’s Prizes

1st place Kid’s biggest fish team # 27 from Justin Cox -Gunner Cox age 8- 22.5 “ trout of Belgrade

2nd place Kid’s biggest fish team #12 from Lea Davis -Clay Davis age 7- 20.5” trout of Missoula

3rd place kid’s biggest fish team Scott Davis #28 – trout 20.25” Easton Davis age 8 & Tanner Davis age 11 of Bonner (Easton caught the fish on the line and the line broke and Tanner caught it as it fell by hand and brought it up into the boat.)

4th place kid’s biggest fish team Judkins #20 –Jack Holzworth age 10 of Belgrade. ”

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

Jim says, “ Nelson has been slow. The heat has not helped. The perch bite this week was better. They were seeing some bigger perch. Only a few walleye have been caught. 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 and bring bug spray.

Forchette has been 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

Jayce said, “I am hearing the Tongue is really slow. They definitely are not catching quanity.

The lower Yellowstone from Pompey to Miles city has turned on for catching catfish, sauger and walleye.

The Stillwater and the Boulder are really fishing well right now. Use something purple or a parachute Adams.

Yellowtail is good fishing and they are catching a ton of small mouth bass. They are not catching very many walleye.

On the Yellowstone they are catching a lot of walleye.

People say the fishing is good at Rock Creek at Red Lodge. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

Rich says ,” Canyon Ferry seems to be pretty good fishing. Guys have caught lot but only a few good size ones. Heat is a factor. They are also catching some good size perch in sizes of 12 to 13 inches.

The west Gallatin is really low. The east Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison are good fishing. There are fly fishermen out there and I have heard that both flies and spinners are working. They are catching fish. The word is the spin fishing is good on the headwaters by I 90 on the Madison. ”

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

Ken says, “ Let’s start by telling people that there is a streamer obstruction on the Yellowstone . A streamer Obstruction is a partly submerged tree with branches that people have to be careful as they float. It is below Holmgren Fishing Access. It seems to have a current that can put people into it so you have to be real careful. The Stillwater and the Yellowstone are really good fishing right now. It has been great on each of them. Big dries are working well on both rivers. On the Stillwater use a dropper with a bead head. Use a big chubby, a purple Haze or Jack Cabe as they are definitely working. The cfs has gone down. The Stillwater is clear.

The Yellowstone is good. It is still dropping. I want to again remind people to pay attention to the river. Realize the river is different. Many channels have been blown. Purple Haze is starting to work. Try dry flies now. Use the Chubby or a hopper there as well. The Grinch is working. Water clarity has improved . 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,” Fishing the Big Horn is slow. Tricots are around in the morning until noon. After that it is really slow. The cfs is around 3300. In the evening it is really slow. 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

Stephanie reports,” The cfs is at 3300 cfs right now. There are more places to wade. You can get to the islands . It is easier floating. There are tricots out there in the early hours. Start to fish early. Dries are working better, nymphing is about normal. Try a gray or tan ray, a zebra, black pheasant tail, olive pheasant tail , caddis or an emergent. The water is off color. It is tough fishing but it was slow after noon. The caddis are out a little bit at night. ”

Our summer hours are 8 am to 5 every day.

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

Alice reports:

“Madison River

We still have a great water level on the Madison. Hoppers and ants are working well right now. The caddis are out late in the evenings.

Yellowstone National Park

Check the Park service situation report for updates on roads and current conditions. With the weather changes it is the way to know what is happening.
The NE corner is fishing well with PMD mayflies and terrestrials.
Don’t forget your bear spray and patience! The higher elevation streams are seeing good numbers of PMDs.”

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