Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 6.24.20
By angelamontana

Posted: June 24, 2020

Summer is upon us and that can bring unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures, wind and water mean everyone needs to be vigilant when being outside. Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes. Surprise storms of 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 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)

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports,” Father’s Day weekend was very busy at Tongue. We did see some rain early in the week. The water at Tongue is clear and 69 degrees. The water is still high and at its peak. People are catching bass, walleyes and northern pike. People seem to be heading south or to the middle of the lake towards Camper Point. They are saying the northern pike are at 8 to 10 feet. The walleye people are finding walleye going south. The campgrounds are all functioning fully. Our office is now open.

The phase II which is in effect means people still have to social distance . We also ask people to read or review the rules of the park. We are having many new people here who are unaware of the way the park works. ”

Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg, Payton

Payne reports, “ we are seeing mostly bass and walleye. A few crappie have been caught. The crappie seem to be at 30 feet. The walleye and bass are at 15 feet or shallower. It was busy here this weekend.”

Our hours are Monday to Thursday 8-5, Friday Saturday 6 to 9 and Sunday 7 to 5.

Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt /1-406-230-1283 for Linda & Neil Marina number is 1-406-485-2560

Monty reports,” there were lots of fish caught this weekend, big fish. We were very full, and many people were out catching walleye and bass. We saw a 32-inch walleye caught on a crank. The walleye seem to be towards the Dry Arm. We also saw a couple of 29-inch walleyes and also a few 28 inchers. We saw some nice bass that were 5 pounds. The northern pike are hitting but they are smaller in size just not real big. Usually they are in depths of 12 to 30 feet. I think the early storms last week drove them deep. We had some bad weather on Friday, but the rest of the weekend was great. The water is 60 to 62 degrees and pretty clear. Come on up here the fishing is great. “

Stop in the Marina and we can tell you about how the fishing is. All our services are fully functioning. We do ask people to limit the number of people in the Marina for social distancing. “

To make reservations for the 2020 summer, please call Monty at 406-465-0241.

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

Clint reports, ” We had the busiest Father’s Day in a long time. The people were fishing from Crooked Creek to Jay Marker and catching fish. Right now you can find fish on any day. The northern pike and walleye are at 14 to 20 feet depths. The bass seem to be running shallower at 3 to 30 feet. The main lake water is at 72 degrees. People have been using bottom bouncers, mostly crawlers and some minnows. The leach bite is getting better. It doesn’t seem to matter what you use they are biting. We did have some moisture so we had some mud but that is gone now. It is good fishing so come up and go fishing. We are in the good June bite. “

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

Eddie reports, “ fishing has not been bad this week. The walleye bite was a little tougher than the prior good bite we had. We were out with people for lake trout today and that bite was really good. We were jigging at 100 feet depths. The walleye bite has been at 13 to 25 feet depths using cranks. The quantity of walleye has increased. They are smaller in size. The northern pike bite is picking up and are at the same depths as the walleye.

I have lots of Jumbo suckers, shiners, fatheads’ minnows, smelt and herring. I have it all. ”

Our hours are 7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

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

Scott reports “ walleye fishing- Walleye fishing has been fairly spotty this week. The weather patterns have definitely thrown a few wrenches into the bite. Last week, up until Friday, the bite was incredible but for the last 5 days it has been really slow. With the stable weather we should see the bite picking back up. We have been pulling cranks in 10-13 feet of water for best results. Guys have also been pulling crawlers and leeches from 10 to 30 feet catching some water sized fish.

Northern Pike –The fishing has been incredible for smaller pike in the 3 to 8-pound range with a few big fish in the mix. Cranks in 10-15 feet of water has been our best presentation.

Small mouth- Fishing rock piles in the backs of the bays has been producing some great smallies. Throw cranks and swimbaits.

Water temps are still between 65 to 70 degrees.

Hope to see everyone at the lake this weekend. “

The bar and restaurant hours are as follows: open 7 days a week. Monday to Thursday 11am to 9 pm, Friday 11am to 10 pm. Saturday and Sunday 8am to 10 pm. Please be aware we are practicing social distancing.

The tackle store is open 7 days a week as well. Monday through Thursday 7 to 9, Friday through Sunday 6 to 10.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana

James(Slim), Carri Craig, Rick 406-429-2999

Carri says,” I went fishing only for an hour and caught a nice 18-inch walleye. People are doing well on walleyes, but they are catching lots of little ones. Most people are bottom bouncing for them. Fishermen are catching some crappies, but the drums are really coming on. There have been catfish and the sauger has caught on. The northern pike bite is sporadic right now. When they catch them, they are in the 5 to 16-pound range. Some people are going all the way to Forchette, but most people are staying close and out to Lost Creek. The water temperature is 70 to 71 degrees. It has been busy this week. We have had lots of boats out there every day.”

Our hours are 7 to 7 now 7 days a week. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone. Please just remember social distancing.

Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ Dave 654-1712

Open 7:30 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday/ 11am to 3 pm Sunday

Kolin reports, “the fishing was awesome this week at Nelson. Fishermen were using cranks and bottom bouncers. They caught lots of northern pike and walleye. Just you’re your favorites and you will catch fish. The Rich’s Tackle spinners that we have here at Hanks are working.

I have been hearing Fort Peck has been good fishing as well

At Forchette on Saturday and Sunday the fishing was really good. On Monday, the fishing was slower. With some rain the road is a little torn up going in so take your time. Expect it to take a little longer but it is worth the trip.”

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson, Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, “This week we saw heavy boat traffic on the Reservoir. We had a lot of rain before the weekend making the water cloudy. The water temperature ranged from 63 to 68. The walleye bite has been hit and miss; people are catching them one day but not the next. Leaches have been the most consistent bait for both walleye and perch. Groups that are covering lots of ground pulling Rapala or worm harnesses are doing ok. We saw some nice trout caught from shore this week using worms and powerbait. “

We are asking people to, pack in and pack out your garbage. We have less garbage receptacles. We all want to see a clean environment, so please pack your garbage out. Remember your dogs are welcome but, do not forget your leash. “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports, “Lake Elmo has been extremely busy. During the day it is 97% full of swimmers, paddle boards and boats. Everywhere you look people are having fun. Due to the heat the Fishermen seem to be coming in the early morning and evening and they are catching fish. At that time there are those using family time to fish and enjoying fishing. The river is up, and the lake is full. Our office is now open. We continue to request people to do distancing while you visit or recreate.”

The flooding situations are still causing problems at some fishing access points. The FWP properties along the Yellowstone River west of Billings that are closed to all, but walk-in traffic includes Grey Bear west of Big Timber, Bratten and Indian Fort west of Reed Point, Buffalo Mirage at Park City and Duck Creek southwest of Billings. On the lower Stillwater River, access roads to the White Bird and Swinging Bridge fishing access sites are covered with water and people may enter the properties only on foot. Along the Yellowstone River east of Billings, the Gritty Stone, Voyagers Rest and Bundy Bridge fishing access sites are under water and closed to all but walk-in traffic. The Captain Clark Fishing Access at Pompey’s Pillar is closed.

Deadmans Tony and Pat Stefani

Pat reports,” the word is the fishermen are catching some salmon and trout. Our campgrounds were full this weekend and we have had more than usual campers during the week. People are getting out and enjoying the outdoors. The water has definitely come up. We had lots of boaters. Please be respectful as you use the area, so everyone is able to enjoy the outdoors.

Broadview pond still has been really busy. There have been lots of boats as well as shore fishermen.”

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

Terry reports, “ I have sold a whole lot of worms this week. Most people left and never reported back how they did. I talked to a few guys who fished Deadmans and said it was not great. People were using worms and split shot and catching.

People have been fishing at Broadview Pond. That place has been crazy busy. They must be catching fish.”

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

Judy reports, “ people said they were catching fish. Fishing was slow at Bair, Sutherlan and Martinsdale. The catch is slow, and you have to work for them . The bite is better in the boat right now.

People talking about fishing at Martinsdale found a lot of wind. It was not enough to dampen their spirit. ”

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 , “ Hanson Dam- People say lots of people are catching trout this week. Panther Martins are definitely working.

Spring Creek is clearer. The caddis are starting. The guys are catching rainbows and browns. If you are spin casting, try the old standby of a Panther Martin.

Achley- The tiger muskeye seem to be coming on at around 6 pm. Use herring and big Rapellas.

Nelson Reservoir- Nelson is good fishing. They were catching walleye and pike trolling cranks real shallow.

Missouri River- The Missouri River is bringing good cats while fishing right now.“

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports,” the Sunrise Canyon Ferry Walleye Tournament is this Saturday and Sunday. If you need information call 266-5000 to get it.

Fishing has been picking up this week both going south or to the middle of the lake. The walleye and trout fishing is good everywhere. Lots of trout caught if you head to Pond 1. The perch fishing is here or there. The lake is up. Conditions are such you need to watch for debris at the mouth of the river. Good luck fishermen this weekend.

Stop in at the shop or call 266-3100 and I will give you any information you need.”

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

The Flamingo is now open. Come and enjoy the new food menu and some of the old favorites.

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540 Rich

Rich says, “ I was busy Thursday and Friday. I heard Canyon Ferry is doing better for trout and walleye. The water has warmed up they say. People are finding trout in shallow water at depths of 15 feet trolling. Someone caught some nice walleyes at 27 and 33 inches. They were pulling cranks or using a jig. Most were heading to the Hole in the Wall and White Earth.

The rivers are down and has cleared some. The mountains have less snow on them. ”

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

Chris says, “ the Yellowstone is a little better but still high. The Stillwater is finally down. Try a nymph, not a big one. They are working but not consistently yet. I suggest you go to the upper river where it is clearer. There the nymphing is better.

Need a guide? We are taking appointments for guiding now. “

Remember FWP has given notice of flooding so that can be a problem getting access at some of the fishing access sites. Look to their site to see which ones are affected.

Montana Adventures and Angling Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports,” the water is at 9,300 so it is definitely up. The Missouri is fishing well. It is clear water. It has been a good bite. There are PMD’s and caddis hatching. Try a dry fly or nymphing. Both fishing is good using top water or fishing below. People are catching lots of fish. It is good from the dam to Cascade right now. Try a pheasant tail , sow bugs or San Juan worm. “

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

Rick explains,” The CFS is 2000 today. Wade fishing is better than boat fishing right now. You can fish everywhere. The water is clear. Right now dry fly fishing is spotty. Nymphing is good right now. All camping has opened up. Some days you will see a baetes hatch. Olka Bay is open. You can use a soft gray Ray, Zebra midges, black pheasant tails or orange and pink scuds. Try a streamer on a cloudy days. Nice rainbows and browns are being caught. There is moss developing below 6 mile. The After Bay is open and all access points are open.

Our lodge is open so you can stay with us. Come and go fishing. Our shuttle service is available. Call and talk to the shops to get the information.“

Open 8 am to 12 every day.

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

West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 6-9-2020

Tom reports,”

West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 6/23/20


Upper Madison: It’s an exciting time of year for the Madison! The nymphing has been dynamite and the river is about ready to come alive with all of our big hatches in the coming days and weeks. We have been hearing rumblings of Salmonflies down near Ennis and we have started seeing caddis and PMDs in good numbers as well. The fish have started to be more surface oriented so caddis, PMDs and attractor patterns are all good options. Flows coming out of Hebgen have been cut significantly over the last few days as the dam folks do their seemingly annual tradition of scrambling to fill the lake by the end of June, but fishing will be fantastic in the coming weeks regardless.

Flies: #8-10 Sili-legs, #12-14 Biot Golden Stone, #14-16 Frenchie, #14-16 Red Neck, #14-16 Lake Prince, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #16 HoloPoint, #16 Olive Biot pupa, #16 Shop Vac, #16 Olive S.H. Hare’s Ear, #12-16 Royal Wulff, #14-16 Parawullf, #16 Shop Vac, #14-18 X-Caddis, #16 Parachute PMD, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 PMD Cripple

Hebgen: The fishing on Hebgen has been staying consistent and should only continue to get better if the weather cooperates this week. Chironomid nymphs under an indicator is still going to be most productive, but there have been a few Callibaetis starting to show themselves in the Madison Arm.

Flies: #12 O.S. Opal/Red Buzzer, #14 Black/Red Nugget, #14-16 Flashback PT, #16 Parachute Callibaetis, #16 Callibaetis Cripple

Gallatin: The Gallatin spiked a bit again with the rainy weather this past week, so nymphing and streamers in slower, softer water near the banks will continue to be your best bet. We are supposed to get more rain this week that could dirty things up, especially below Taylor Fork, but as the river drops keep an eye out for Salmonflies to start popping here as well.

Yellowstone National Park

Firehole/Gibbon: The Firehole is starting to warm up and this may be our last week of fishing in there. If you are headed there, I would try to stay up in the cooler water above Midway. Look for PMDs and White Millers and as always, swinging soft hackles is a good option. We have heard some positive reports coming from the Gibbon. Look for PMDs above the falls and it could be worth prospecting below the falls with a smaller golden stone pattern or chubby.

Flies: #16 Parachute PMD, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 PMD Cripple, #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis, #14 Tan/Olive Diving Caddis, #12 Partridge & Green, #12 Partridge & Peacock, #14 Partridge & PT

Madison: Though they have mostly run their course in the park, we have still been getting a few fish to come up and look at a Salmonfly. It’s worth a shot if you’re looking for something different to try on this side of the park.

Flies: #10 Hot Cake Salmonlfly, #8-12 Razorback Salmonfly, #8 Supafly Salmonfly

Slough/Soda Butte/Lamar: The water is still running a little high in the NE corner, but we aren’t too far out from these rivers clearing up. While you won’t find rising fish up there yet, you could probably pick up a fish or two fishing some heavy nymphs or streamers if you’re heading that way. Slough may be your best bet as it is usually the first of these three to clear up.