Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 10.2.19
By angelamontana

Posted: October 3, 2019

Fall is here. This year we are still having very unusual weather and that means sudden changes in weather and water. Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes. Storms like snow and dangerous fire can happen quickly, so fishermen or fisherwomen need to keep in touch with the weather service and let others know where they are for safety sake when out and about. 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 with fierce strength. 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 1-406-230-1283 for Linda

Marina number is less reliable in winter. 1-406-485-2560

** Unable to get a report at this time.

Linda reports,” fishermen have been getting some nice bass and walleye using cranks and worms. Those who went out came back in with some nice walleye. Many are heading toward the dry arm. We had a fisherman named Jason Weathers catch a real nice northern pike. The pike caught on a minnow a pike that was 45 ½ inches and when weighed was 20.2 pounds. It was caught right out in the bay right in front of Rock Creek Marina. “

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports, ” we only saw a few people fishing this week. Talking to some they said they caught a few northern pike and bass. They found them across the water towards campers’ point. We did have a few flurries today. The water temperature is 58 degrees and is now at a level of 3419. We are shutting off the power and water this week. That means the dump station and fish cleaning station will be off as well. Camping spots 1 to 11 will have power but no water through the winter months. Reservations are no longer needed for the campground and it is first come first serve. “

Remember to check your regulations for the information for this region about what minnows you may use on Tongue. .

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


Wade says , “ This weekend we only saw a few fishermen and only a couple boats were out on the water. One fellow said he snagged a perch. I was told that they marked some big fish but could not get them to bite. Sunday’s weather was miserable. We are now closed for the season. ”

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

Clint reports, ” This week the weather was not good so getting on the water was tough. We got 2 ½ inches of rain this week. It was 35-40 degrees outside and real windy. So no one has wanted to be out there. Before the weather hit the guys were doing well on northern pike. The pike were shallow. The bass has schooled up. No one knows where the walleye are right now. “

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

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

Milly reports, “ I have heard they have snagged a few fish. It started out good. The weather has not been good. We did not get snow. We did have rain and big winds. The wind has been 40 mph many days. No one could even get out there. “

We can cover all your needs and if you want to charter a boat, we can help with that too. Our hours are 7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina Jessica & Scott Collinsworth 1-406-565-6283

Open Monday to Friday 11am to 9am/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am breakfast and open to 10pm Tackle Store is open 7 am to 9pm daily

Scott reports, “ salmon are starting to come into the bay. Yesterday for the total number fishermen out a total of 5 to 7 salmon were caught. It is not a fast bite, but they are starting to stage. No one got a fish snagging. They were catching them on a crank using spoons and big spinners. Three were caught in shallow water. “

The bait and tackle store are open Thursday thru Monday, and we have everything you need for chasing fish on Fort Peck. We also have campsites available with power for anyone that wants to bring your camper to the lake. The spots are on concrete and right on the lake shore. You can access the lake right from your camper. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Ja♥ke

Marina reports ,” there have been people fishing but mainly we are seeing hunters this week. I would say fishing has been pretty normal. The walleye bite has been decent, but the trout bite seemed to be picking up. Most fisherman were fishing from a boat. The water was turned off today everywhere. The electricity is off except at Marshall Cove and Red Lodge. We have pulled the docks and soon we will be working on dock repairs. We will do that through the winter. We have to finish the pre -winter maintenance first. You no longer need reservations, so the camp sites are first come first serve. The kiosk has the reduced rate for camping on it.“

Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports, “ There were a few people out there fishing . It was miserable and cold so not many wanted to be out in that. I did not see any catching. ”

Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

“ Only a few people fished this week . Fishermen have said they are catching a few trout. The campgrounds are open. There are still people fishing and catching at Broadwater Pond, “ Pat said.

Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261

Terry explains, “ I heard a lot of talking about hunting. No one was heading out to fish with hunting season and with the weather changes. “

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

Judy reports,” the weather was not good this week. It was cloudy a lot last week and we had cold temperatures. We were busy because not only were the guys fishing not going out, but the hunters were not happy either and came inside as well. The weather was the big factor.”

Sports Center 120 2nd Ave South Lewistown, MT 535-9308 Colby / John Tognetti

Our hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4pm on Sunday

Jon reports , “ most people coming in are thinking hunting. I did not hear anything from any fishermen. The weather here was just not good so no one was going out.”

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

The marina is open and in full swing now. We are open 7 am to 7 pm every day.

Slim says, “ The bite seems to be improving some. Guys are using a jig and a minnow . They are using a crank for the walleye bite. The fishermen are catching pike and still a few crappies. The pike are at depths of 6 to 10 feet. The walleye are at 12 to 18 feet depths and the crappie seem to be at 25 to 30 feet suspended. We had wind and rain early in the week so no one could get on. It is dirty in the bay from the wind but out from about 10 miles out towards Forchette is clearer. ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “ Today we have no wind. It is 45 degrees right now. The few people who have been out say fishing is decent. The guys are going way down to the mouth of the river. They are catching walleye and perch. It has been cold and windy all week. The 50’s are coming.

There is some algae out there right now. Some is blue algae. I do not recommend you let your dog swim right now in the water. The word is weather is coming in so keep an eye on that. ”

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

The Flamingo is closed.

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

Jim reports, “ West of us at Turner they got 12 to 14 inches of snow, but we only got 2 inches of moisture. I can tell you guys were catching at Forchette. I was there this week and people were jigging at 30 to 40 feet with minnows. We were catching walleye and so were others. Guys were doing okay from the bank catching bigger northern pike.

People said they were catching at Nelson earlier in the week. Guys were jigging or using a worm harness with a minnow. The water level is still at a good level. ”

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

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Jayce reports, “ many guys are heading to Yellowtail. The sauger starting to hit. Guys are using minnows for the sauger bite.

Fort Peck- The snagging for salmon is happening on Fort Peck. People are liking that.

Cooney-Some guys have caught walleye at Cooney.

Yellowstone- The Yellowstone is still dirty from the rain. I have heard some are trying fishing, but it is tough around Billings.

Yellowstone River- I went hunting in Paradise Valley and the Upper Yellowstone had lots of fishermen floating the river. So they must be having good luck fishing. The river was very busy with fishermen. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

Rich reports,” it has been very quiet this week. I did sell a couple dozen of worms, but I don’t know if the guys went out. I have heard nothing from fishermen that go to Canyon Ferry. The weather did not make it, so people wanted to go out.

Before the storm people said they were doing well on the Madison river. The rivers were clear earlier in the week. Most people are spin casting because of the moss and weeds.

I did also talk to someone who headed to Fort Peck and he said he got there and turned around and came back because of the weather. ”

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

Jim says,” It is a good day to go fishing. Saturday fishermen said they did extremely well. They used nymphs on the Stillwater. They used a copper John. I would suggest a flashback pheasant tail or a hairs ear. It looked to me as I drove here the water level that on the Stillwater seem to be up some. If it is cloudy use a streamer. Try a Grinch, Cory’s electric goldfish or a black wooly bugger. You just have to try everything looking at the weather to tell you what to use as well as water conditions. “

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

Beau says, “ I have been fishing the Yellowstone from Gardner to Livingston and down from Gardner. The fishing has been pretty good. Try a bead head or a pheasant tail. Some days a hopper works. The water clarity has varied with the weather. It gets muddier closer to Billings

I have talked to people on the Big Horn. People say it has slowed some and is weedy. It is tougher to fish. “

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375 Rick/Stephanie/

Rick says, “ I fished a lot this week as I had family here, the fishing was tough. There is moss and it is breaking up in some places. I so no tricots. Try nymphing. Use a soft gray Ray or an orange scud. A San Quan worm or a two toned red with a wine color. A black pheasant tail can work as well. What I see is that the use of dries are about done. The water level is still at 3200 CFS. This week the water temperature was 58 degrees. You can throw streamers also. Try a dirty hippie or the always good thin mint or a dark wooly leach pattern.

The lake has turned over. It is like at 90 percent full.

I want to invite people to the Grand Opening of the River Alliance new building location in Billings at 500 South gate Drive. It is on October 10th from 5 to 7 pm. Come join us in celebrating. We have lots of things that will be happening in the weeks and months to come and it will be good to have a location in Billings close to what is happening. ”

Our hours are 8 am to 12 every day.

Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg. Open 730am-9pm 406-646-9644.

West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 10/1/19


Upper Madison: The weather this past week has made for some nasty days down on the river, but if you can tough it out you can be rewarded with some really good fishing. Nymphing with smaller nymphs such as rednecks, zebra midges and attractors have been fishing well. If you’re looking to fish dry flies, much of this week has been and will be pretty ideal baetis weather so be on the lookout starting around noon for rising fish.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #12-16 Royal Trude, #16-18 Purple Parachute, #10-12 Black Sili Legs, #16 Lake Prince, #16-18 Shop Vac, #18 Red Neck, #16-18 Black Lightning Bug, #16-18 Guide Dip/$3 Dip, #16-18 Krystal Dip, #16-18 Soft Hackle Hare’s Ear, #18 Black/Olive Zebra Midge

Gallatin: Nymphing will definitely be your best bet on the Gallatin right now. Smaller baetis, midge and attractor flies trailed off of a rubber legs would be a good combo. There is no reason to get over here too early in the day as water temps will take some time to warm up this time of year. Once it does warm up in the afternoon, be on the lookout for some baetis coming off as well.

Flies: #14-16 Lake Prince, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Red Neck, #12 Pink/Purple Hot Spot Jig, #8-12 Black Sili Legs, #14-16 Lime/Royal Trude, #12-16 Parawulff, #14 409, #8-12 Royal/Peacock/Golden Chubby Chernobyl

Yellowstone National Park

Madison in YNP: This is pretty much the weather you have been waiting for if you like to fish the fall run. The cold and wet should keep the fish coming in, though there is already a seemingly really good number of fish throughout the system already. We have had some really good reports from fisherman using all techniques whether that is soft hackles, streamers or nymphing. Now’s the time to get out and get after it!

Flies: #8-12 Peacock/Orange/PT & Partridge, #10-12 Partridge and Copper, #8-10 Simi Seal Leech, #6 Sparkle Minnow, #8 Squirrel Leech, #6 Mini Bangtail, #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Firehole: The Firehole continues to fish really well with soft hackles. With this weather you should also be able to find fish rising to baetis throughout the day as well.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #14 Tan/Olive Diving Caddis, #10-14 Orange/Green & Partridge, #10 Simi Seal Leech

NE Corner: Flows have been a bit varied this past week with the rain and snow we have been getting, but things should be getting back to normal now. Smaller baetis around size 22 and Drake Mackerel patterns will be your best bets and with this weather you should see one if not both of these coming off. If it’s sunny tomorrow and Thursday like it could be, I still wouldn’t hesitate to throw a hopper with an ant or tungsten head dropper.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #12 Drake Mackerel Cripple, #10-14 Peacock/Royal Chubby, #16 Longhorn Beetle, #14-16 Bogus Beetle, #14 Arrick’s Ant, #12 Thunder Thighs Hopper, #12-16 Royal/Lime Trude, #12-16 Parawulff Adams, #14 409, #12 Quill Jig, #12 Lucent Jig, #16 Olive Biot Czech

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