Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 8.26.20
By angelamontana

Posted: August 27, 2020

Summer is winding down  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.

**The Fire danger has increased throughout the central part of the state.  Please use care as you drive on tall grass.  Be careful with cigarettes & check often to see if there are fire restrictions mandated by FWP as you camp in beautiful Montana.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports, “The water level  is down to 34.18.   The water has been 75 degrees.   There is  no water in  water in the Frog Pond. Many camp spaces in that area have no access.  I know some people are catching  bass.   The guys fishing  from shore were having luck.  Not many boats out there  today fishing.  Some very  large catfish have been caught.  I know of only a few crappie being caught.  We are seeing less people coming during the week but lots of people on the weekends.

Just a reminder we are in stage 1 fire restrictions right now.  Our office is now open. The phase II   is still  in effect which means people still have to social distance .  With  an increase in people in the area  we ask that you  leave the camp  as you found it.

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

Wade  reports , “we have seen some nice catfish being caught.  They are using cutbait and some have been big.  They are heading to the south end predominately for them. Bass fishing was  great this week.   People are catching some nice fish right now.  Some are using spinners, jerk bait or the classic Mister Twister.  We are hearing of very few  walleye being caught. They were at 9 to 12 feet depths.  I have heard  of only a couple pike being caught.  The crappie bite is hit and miss right now.  The docks and rams are useable just use caution as the water has dropped.  The frog pond has no water right now.

Labor Day is coming, and we will have some fun things happening.  Call the marina fir information.  “

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

Sean  reports,”  the walleye are  at 20 feet depths and are being caught with bottom bouncers.  One group  came in with a 29 incher, and two 30 inchers today.  The northern pike are running so they are using crankbaits at 20 feet  to 12 feet depths.  There is no consistency in if they are deep or shallow.  They seem to be hitting well on green.   The lake trout have started.  Right now it is hit and miss.  People are using Brad’s super bait.  They are looking for them at 100 feet depths. They are starting to head south.  I caught a 31 incher when I was out. Fishermen are starting to look for salmon now.  They are also looking for them at 100 depths with down riggers and flashers and a cut plug.  Our weather has been in the 90’s and 80’s. “

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

To make reservations, please call Monty at 406-465-0241.

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

Clint  reports”  people are catching pike.  They have been small.  They are eater size mostly   8 to 10.  The  northern pike have gone shallow  like 4 to 5 feet deep.  You can find them in the weed beds.  The walleye bite has been slower but when you catch them, they have been big walleye.   Saw a 24 incher this week.   They have gone deep.  The walleye are a tough bite right now.  Not much caught in eater size.  The bass fishing is good.  We had two fish 27 and 29 inches.  You search for them.  Their size has been big and at depths of 24 to 30 feet depths.”

We have changed our hours at the marina.  We are open from 7 to 5 on weekdays and 7 to 6 on weekends.    Please be aware of the  fire hazard right now  and people need to be careful and stay aware of that.

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

Justin   reports, “   the salmon bite is  still on the slow side .  We are only seeing a few caught a day at depths of 90 to 100 feet.    They are catching them on flies and squids.   The lake trout bite is decent.   They are finding  them deep at 100 to 130 feet depths.  Some are using a jig with a spoon and some are trolling  with spoons as well.  We have seen a few walleyes.  They are looking for them in the 35 to 40 feet depths.  They are not finding them deep.  I am hoping the walleye bite will get better when the temperature of the water cools down. “

We have super  Jumbo suckers, shiners, fatheads’ minnows, smelt and herring.  We still have a few  dates open for guiding.  ”

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 very hit or miss with reports of some fish getting  caught along weed edges.  Most of the fish have been coming on main lake points out around 25 to 30 feet.

Northern Pike –Fishing has  slowed up a bit this week.  Fish are still  being caught around the weed beds. Throwing cranks or spoons or trolling cranks has been the best tactic. We are also starting to hear reports of northerns getting caught by guys jigging and trolling for lakers, so they are definitely heading for deeper areas of the lake.

Small mouth- Fishing  rock piles in the backs of the bays and on main lake points have been producing some great smallies.   Throwing  cranks and swimbaits works best.  They have also been seeing some good action on leeches.

Lake trout- Lake trout fishing  has been great this week.  Vertical jigging with big swimbaits and trolling spoons in 115 feet seem to be best.  Anglers that are willing to take their time and find lake trout before fishing them are being very successful.

Salmon- Fishing remains very slow for salmon.  The fish that are coming in are definitely worth catching .  Anglers are targeting them from 60 to 115 feet with flashers and squid, flies, brads, cut plugs or apex spoons.  Right now it is  a patience game, but we have seen a bunch of four-year-old fish so far between 25 and 30 pounds.  We have weighed a bunch of salmon this week around 25 to 27 pounds.  Hopefully  we will start seeing better numbers of fish in the next few weeks.

Water temps  have been  between 68 to 72 degrees. “

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.

Stop in the tackle store for up to date info on fishing along with all the gear you will need to catch any species of fish in Fort Peck Lake.  We are here to help put  you  guys  on  fish.  We are  open 7 days a week as well.  Monday through Thursday 7 to 9, Friday through Sunday 6 to 10.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Good luck on the water.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

Carri says, “  It was quieter for fishermen during the week.   The fishermen are catching all species.  Everything seems to be at depths of 35 to 40 feet depths.  They are using jigs, cranks and bottom bouncers.  They all are working right now.  They are still catching some really nice walleye.  Pike fishing is still  slower, but someone caught a pike over 40 inches.  Some nice bass have also been caught.  It has been pretty hot here, so the fish are definitely going deep.  We have not had a lot of wind here. “

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/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin reports, “  I talked some fishermen who said they were jigging at Nelson and going deep.   They did catch some fish but not big ones. The water is definitely  warmer.  We have had temperatures in the 95 to 100 -degree range so the water is affected by that.  The water at Nelson has gone down.  You can still   put in at the Headgates. I suggest you fish Nelson  early in the morning and late in the day as that is when people are doing the best.    People are bottom bouncing  with a night crawler.  Fish at depths of 10 to 15 feet very  early in the morning.  As the day goes on,  they are going  deeper 20 to 30 feet depths because of the hotter water temperature.  There is some algae now but it is not green algae. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, “The water level continues to drop. Water temperatures are in the mid to low 70s. The reservoir is starting to see lower numbers of recreational boaters. Walleye have been hitting late in the day and early mornings. Rapala or Jig Raps seem to be what people are using. The perch are biting on worms or soft plastics. This week, I didn’t see or hear of any trout coming off the water.

The pump is down in the Red Lodge Campground  so that means the Fish Cleaning Station is not working. “ We do not know when it will be working again. “

A few reminders for all of us to remember. Please pack in and  pack out your garbage. With the larger number of visitors we have less garbage receptacles to put your debris in . We want everyone to see a clean campground. Remember your dogs are welcome but, do not forget your leash. “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says , “  not a lot of change at Elmo.  With the heat, there are lots of people enjoying the water and getting in fun  time before school starts.  Due to  the warm temperatures fishing is best early and late in the day.   We are seeing   kayaks, and canoes on the water.  Lots of  swimmers out there. The work on the beach is  done.

You still have time to make  comments on the stabilization  to happen in the cottonwood campground at Cooney. It is open for comment for 30 days.  You  can find it on  the FWP website.

We are asking everyone  to please be careful and  pay attention to how dry the land is.  FWP has put out fire restrictions  on fishing access sites. ”

The FWP  office is open.  We ask  people to   please use distancing as  you  recreate.”

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat reports,”  Lots of people enjoying the water  as recreational boaters.   The lake has gone down.  Fishing  is slow.  Some people have caught a few salmon.

Please camp in designated camping areas.  There is no camping allowed on the beach.   The fire risk is very  high so please stay aware. “

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

Terry reports, “   I talked to some people  who went to the Musselshell  and caught some nice bass.  A few fishermen  who fished at  Broadview Pond said the bite had slowed. He caught a few bass.  Only a few people said they headed to Deadman, but I never heard if they got anything. ”

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

Judy   reports, “  fishing continues to be  slow.   You need to fish really deep.  Some went shore  fishing and got a bite every once in a while. The boats  are catching a few  fish.  It is just too hot.  Both  Bair and Sutherland are fishing about the same.  Sutherlan is really dropping. ”

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

Colby   reports , “

Spring Creek-  Fishing was  good at Spring Creek.  The bite is good with grasshoppers.  People are fly fishing and having good results.

Petrolia-  Fishermen are catching fish. I heard of some walleye being caught.

Hanson-  Hanson is always good for  trout and that has not changed

East Fork- The guys are saying they are catching some nice pike late in the evening when it has cooled down. “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Fishing Canyon Ferry  has been very  good.

People  are  catching    walleye.  You can find them pretty much everywhere.   It is good all over, but Confederate and Duck Creek  is where people are going.  They are going to depths of 20 to 25 feet going east.   We have heard of some people catching perch so that is picking up.

The blue green algae  has increased with the warm temperatures.  It is dangerous for children and dogs to swim in.  So watch your dog closely.  Word has it a dog has died in another location.“

Sharon says stop in at the shop or call 266-3100 and she  will give you any  information you need.  The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

I have heard people  who fish  Canyon Ferry say that fishing is  good.   People say they have caught trout, perch and walleye.   You can find  the walleye  everywhere.   People say they are very big like 15 inchers this week.

The rivers have lots of  moss and  are weedy.   Lots and lots of floaters out there recreating.  ”

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

Jasmine says, “ both flows have gone down on both rivers.  They are floating  from Jeffery’s landing  down.  That water is clear.  The Yellowstone  is fishing well.  Remember that Twin bridges fishing access  is closed.  On the Yellowstone they are floating from Reedpoint to Brotten .  The fish are going deep because of the water temperature.   The trout are eating in the afternoon  the hoppers.  In the morning try nymphing with a rubber leg, Batman or a prince.   Later on try a Jack Cabe .  Try a Jake Cade or any hopper pattern in the 12-14 size.  Floating and wading  are both good.  Drop a nymph and use a  spankers.  We  also  suggest the chubbies and  the pink pookie.  You could use a water walker.  You can dead drift as well.  If you try streamers try the Grinch or the electric goldfish.

Please remember not to play the fish very  long and get them back  into the water fast.

The Boulder is low, but you can still fish it in places. Head high if you fish the Boulder.  “

Need a guide? We are taking appointments for  guiding.

Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports,” I have been on the  the Big Horn and the Yellowstone this week. The Big Horn is fishing very well.  I was nymphing and using sow bugs. Try  Pheasant tails is fishing well.  We were seeing  black caddis  in the afternoon.  They are taking a few grasshopper  flies.

On the Yellowstone the bite is all grasshoppers.  The bite is not consistent.

Just remember the water gets pretty warm.  Remember to handle the  fish very  little and get them back in the water quickly.  “

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

Stephanie   explains,”  It is really good fishing    The CFS is 2400.  So the guys are saying it is getting  a little weedy,  The PMDs are done.  The black caddis  has picked up.  That means dry fly fishing has gotten a little better.  Nymph fishing is really good right now.  Try a hairs ear.  Wade fishing is good.  Streamers are not as good.  Try the gray Ray, or orange scuds.  Quills are also working.   Dry flies work a couple  hours of the day. Try the  Dirty Hippie or Thin Mint  on a low light day.

The water is 58 degrees.  Wade fishing is really good.   The fish are not keying in on hoppers at all.  This is the best fishing we have seen in two years.

The river is open throughout and all fishing access’ sites on the big Horn are open.  We would love to have you come to fish.   “

Our lodge is open so you can stay with us.  We would love to have you  go fishing here and we are making sure to follow the procedures to keep people safe.   Our shuttle service is available. Call and talk to the shop to get  information you need.“

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 8/25/20


Upper Madison: The Hopper bite has been a bit inconsistent on a day to day basis, but almost every day there is at least a short window where there is a good bite. Fishing an ant behind a hopper will catch fish more consistently and a tungsten head dropper has been quite effective as well. The nymph bite has been pretty consistent with smaller flies and as usual for this time of year, a good drift will be the key to hooking fish.

Flies: #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #8-12 Tan, Pink and Yellow Thunder Thighs, #16-18 Arrick’s Ant, #12-16 Royal Wulff, #14-16 Parawullf, #16-18 Krystal Dip, #14-16 Green Machine, #14-18 Red Neck, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #14 HoloPoint, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Olive S.H. Hare’s Ear, #16 Shop Vac

Hebgen: The lake has had a decent amount of bug activity most days. Look for tricos in the Madison Arm early, transitioning to callibaetis starting around 11am most days. Fish have been a little tough some days with a fair amount of “one and done” risers. If you’re finding rising fish but struggling to get them to eat something natural, you can always try un-matching the hatch with a damselfly or ant. Suspending a Turkey Callibaetis or pheasant tail under an indicator has also been effective on those tougher mornings.

Flies: #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis, #16 Parachute Callibaetis, #16 Callibaetis Cripple, #16 Callibaetis Spinner, #20 Calf Wing Trico Spinner, #14-16 Arrick’s Ant

Gallatin: Terrestrials and attractors are still pretty much the name of the game on the Gallatin. Like the Madison, a tungsten headed dropper will pick up some fish under a hopper or large attractor.

Flies:  #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #12-14 And and Orange Spruce Moth, #12-16 Royal Wulff, #14-16 Parawullf, #12-14 Lime Trude

Yellowstone National Park

Slough/Soda Butte/Lamar: Nothing new here. Hoppers. Ants. Beetles. Bring a few tungsten droppers just in case.

Flies: #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #8-12 Tan and Pink Thunder Thighs, #14-16 Bogus Beetle, #14-16 Arrick’s Ant, #14 Royal Trude, #14 Holo Point, #12 Spanish Bullet

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