Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 10.23.19
By angelamontana

Posted: October 24, 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

Linda reports,” When we have been at Rock Creek, we have not seen any fishermen. If you wish to make reservations for the 2020 summer, please call Monty at 406-465-0241. If you wish information for winter ice fishing call me, Linda, at the Marina at 1-406-485-2560. I check my messages fairly often and will return your call. You can also call me on my cell phone as well 406-230-1283 to get information. The marina is closed for the season. “

I did have some information that some people were fishing toward Rock Creek and catching some walleye this week. It is not a consistent bite, but they are catching some walleye.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer reports, ” we did not see any people fishing this past week. The water temperature is 40 degrees and is now at a winter level of. We had the weather was really cruddy this week. It snowed a little today (Wednesday) It was rainy this week. The power and water are turned off. That means the dump station and fish cleaning station are off . Camping spots 1 to 11 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 , “ The marina is closed. I haven’t heard of anyone going out. It has not been nice weather this week. ”

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

Clint reports, ” we had some Pike masters out this week and the pike fishing was really good for them. These guys were whacking them from the boat. The pike were 10 to 14 pounds and some days they were getting 10 to 20 a day. They are throwing spoons in the weeds to depths of 30 feet. People have said the lake trout are down towards the dam. I heard they are finding an occasional walleye toward Hacksbee. “

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

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

Haley reports, “ lake trout people are saying are still good. Guys are using spoons and going to shallow depths 15 to 30 feet. They are pulling a spoon or a crank. Colors like orange, yellow or blue silver are working. The salmon are moving into the marina bay or toward Duck Creek. “

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 snagging- snagging has been hit and miss this week. Some guys that have been cruising lots of shorelines looking for fish. They have been getting good numbers, but normal areas have been sporadic. The morning we had a bunch of fish in the bay but only a few fishermen. The water temps are staying around 50 to 51 degrees so hopefully the fish will stay in the bay until the end.

Lake trout- Fishing has been getting better with the water temps still dropping. Fish are being caught in 10 to 35 feet of water; we saw a 24 pound lake trout caught yesterday. That is the biggest laker I have personally seen out of Fort Peck. Guys are still trolling spoons and cranks, but guys are reporting good catches coming jigging as well. We just got a great shipment of cotton jigs in 1 ounce and 1 ½ ounce for fishing lakers.

Pike- The back of the bays along the weed edge are still producing some really good pike. Fall is a great time to catch some monsters.

Walleye- Not many reporters coming in as most guys are chasing lakers but did see a picture of a 32-inch walleye caught in 35 feet of water last week.

For a current fishing report give us a call at the marina 1-406-526-3442. “

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, Jake

Jake reports ,” fishing has improved from shore. People are using a worm or a marshmallow. The trout catches are up. People are saying fishing is slower for walleye, but the bite has been consistent. Someone caught a nice 10-pound walleye at Marshall Cove by the dam from shore. Before it was so cool there were lots of boats out there. They were using a jig or Rapella jig wrap. The one that they liked was green with a white belly. It was slower but they were catching some nice ones. I saw a 6 pounder and a couple of 10 pounders. You do have to work some for them.”

The water has been turned off now. The electricity is also off except at Marshall Cove and Red Lodge campgrounds. The docks are pulled. Soon we will be working on dock repairs after the pre-winter maintenance is done. You no longer need reservations, so the camp sites are first come first serve. The kiosk has the reduced rate for camping listed. Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports, “ we have had a lot of wind. No one has been out. The cold and wet weather kept people away. The hunting season will knock down the number of people fishing at Elmo for a while I suspect. ”

Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

“ We have only seen hunters camping. The campgrounds are open. So I can’t tell you if anyone is catching, “ Pat said.

I did speak to someone else who said they had a couple of guys who fished Deadmans and caught a few nice fish this week.

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

We heard again that guys were catching some fish at Deadmans. It was decent fishing. Try trolling cowbells.

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

Judy reports,” we have not heard or seen any fishermen. We have seen lots of hunters waiting for the season to open.”

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

John reports , “ I am hearing Achley is still slow fishing for rainbows.

Missouri- On the Missouri the moss is receding. There is a runoff so there is some color. Fishing seems to be just okay. Flies are really slow fishing right now.

Hanson Dam- Hanson Dam has been good fishing for trout this week. They have been using power bait, spinners and old reliable Panther Martins.

Spring Creek- Spring creek has clear water. Guys are doing well there for browns. The guys are using streamers or Mepps panther martins and doing well on either.”

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 fishing has been slow this week. I saw one fisherman this week. I went out but I pretty much enjoyed the water and threw some poles in but did not catch anything. I really did not work at it. I have heard guys have gone up the river toward Rock Creek. They are heading toward the Swirl . They say it is fishing well. They are catching walleye and the sauger. ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “ lots of wind and weather this week. No one could get out. We did pull the docks. Some days it was snowy, and we did have snow this morning. It did not stick, of course. ”

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, “ I have no reports from Forchette this week.

Guys are catching walleye and northern pike this week at Nelson. They are jigging with a minnow or a jig rap. The walleye seems to be at 20 to 25 feet depths. ”

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

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Jayce reports, “I did talk guys who headed to Yellowtail. They say the sauger bite slowed up. Guys are using jigs at depths of 15 to 20 feet or cranks.

Cooney- A few guys were out in a boat on Cooney. They were catching walleye with a jig wrap. They were not catching anything from shore.

Yellowstone- On the Yellowstone they were catching walleye with a jig or a jig wrap. For trout they were using a nymph like a purple Prince nymph.

Fort Peck- I hear they are catching salmon at Fort Peck mostly in the bay or at the dam. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

Rich reports,” Fishing the rivers has been pretty good. They are mostly using crawlers. Some are just throwing a spinner out. The fishermen are fishing for brook trout in the creeks and are having success. Mostly, while looking for hunting spots in the afternoon. On the Madison the fishing seems to be the best.

A few fishermen have tried fishing for ling and have a little luck for ling. ”

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

Jim says, “it has been pretty quiet for fishermen. Not a lot of people out there. Stillwater and the Yellowstone are fishing okay. Try various types of nymphs. It varies quite a bit. People have seen blue wing olive in late afternoon. Try some small dries. Use a double rigging and a split shot to make it go deeper. Just try a variation as things change often. “

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

Beau says, “ I have been fishing the Yellowstone from big Timber to Park City. Fishing has been great using hoppers. It is a better bite after noon. Drop a rubber leg off of a hopper. The water clarity is decent, and the float is good.

The Big Horn is slow fishing and off color. Just tougher to fish. “

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

Rick says, “ fishing is okay. The water is definitely off color. The CFS is 3000 right now. The ramp project repair has been put on hold. They had some major problems, so it was stopped. You can still use the ramp itself. Streamers are really working better. Try a JJ special or a thin mint. Try nymphing. Use a soft gray Ray or an orange scud. Try a San Quan worm or a two-toned red wine-colored fly. A black pheasant also works. Dries are just not working. The water level is 3200 CFS. Try throwing streamers. Try a dirty hippie or thin mint or a dark wooly leach pattern. ”

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 10/7/19

No further fishing report until Spring -this was last weeks


Upper Madison: Nymphing will be the most consistent vehicle for fish catching throughout the day down in the wade and float sections. We have definitely been having most of our success using smaller patterns on the #16-20 range, but there has been somewhat of a consistent rubber legs bite most days. Look for baetis to come off starting mid-afternoon, especially on the cloudier days.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis Cripple, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #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: Much like the Madison, nymphing will be your best bet right now on the Gallatin. Rubber legs with a smaller size #16-20 dropper will be the best producers. As usual and especially this time of year, no need to get to the river too early. Give things some time to warm up until the late morning or early afternoon hours.

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: From many of the reports we have heard over the past week, it sounds like fishing has been a little tough. That being said, a slow week or two each fall is not at all unusual and things should only pick up and get better from here on out. Whether your game is nymphing, swinging soft hackles or streamers, get out there and keep getting after it for these last few weeks of the season.

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 quite well. Look for a pretty consistent afternoon baetis hatch and swinging soft hackles and smaller leeches the rest of the time is a good option.

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: Look for baetis and drake mackerels to provide some action for dry fly fishing, especially on cloudy days. If not, throwing around some hoppers or chubbies with tungsten head droppers is always a good strategy.

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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