Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 8.5.20
By angelamontana

Posted: August 6, 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)

**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 is 76 degrees today and it is going down some.  There is still water in the Frog Pond.  I hear lots of bass have been caught and also some catfish.  I only know of a few walleye caught this week.  We did have some wind, lightening this week.  Lots of recreationalists still using the water.  The fishermen  were fewer.  The bite for them has been  decent.

Just a reminder if you recreate on a paddle board  remember  you must wear a life jacket.  Our office is now open. The phase II  which is in effect means people still have to social distance .  We ask when you  leave the camp leave it as you found it.”

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

Nate  reports , “ people are catching fish right now.  They are catching northern, walleye and crappies right now.  They are trolling for pike going 3 to 5 miles per hour and using worms and cranking. People are going south to catch the fish.    They are bouncing worms on the bottom for crappies.  The water is dropping quite a bit and is muddy or mossy in some places and clear in other spots.  Leeches seem to be really working for small mouth.   Someone caught a 5 ½ -pound smallmouth that we got to see. Another person got a nice 10-pound walleye. You can find some nice fish but Wade talks about it is either hit or miss right now.  You either really hit the fish and get some nice ones or you miss them completely.  ” The best time to fish  for walleye Wade says is at 5 am about  an hour.

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,” it has been good fishing this week.  We had  the Fishing for the Cure event last weekend.   For the first  day  the total walleye winner was  28.1 pounds and the second day was 33.9 pounds of walleye.  The bass number was 35.50 for the 2 days. The walleye were shallow at around 10 feet.  We saw walleye sizes of 28 and 26 inches.     Fishermen are heading toward Little Bug and Prairie  Dog.  The pike are moving deeper to find cooler water.  The bass  were being caught toward shore in 10 to 20 feet deep. “

 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”  the number of fishermen has decreased some.  The bass and northern pike are on fire right now.   The pike are in the 8 to 10-pound range.  They are bottom bouncing or cranking  to get them.  You can find them at the main lake points.  The pike are not hard to find.  The bass have been nice size.  If you catch 20 bass the average size is 4 pounds.  The guys are finding them in the main lake points  at 20 to 26 feet depths.  Many went east to the Pines or up to  Snow Creek. For  walleye you do have to search for  them.  They  definitely  can be scattered.  They are finding them on main lake points.  Some guys were struggling.  The walleye have  not gone deep yet.  Many were using bottom bouncers.  For walleye night crawlers seem to be the best to use. The fire hazard is way up and people need to be careful and stay aware of that. “

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

Wendi  reports, “ walleye fishing  is good. They have gone further west for them as that is where the better bite has been.  They are using bottom bouncers at 20 to 30 feet depths towards the dam.  Try a smile blade.

The salmon bite is picking up.  I know there was a 29 and a half pounder caught.  Most have been in the 15 to 20-pound range.  Many people are heading  towards Duck Creek and the Dam and going to depths of 65 to 85 feet.  The salmon bite  is not a Fall crusher yet but you can find them.  We did have some wind on Wednesday  with that storm. “

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 getting a little better this week. We have had some good reports  from  anglers finding fish back up in shallow inter weed  edged. Guys have  also been pulling  crawlers and leeches from 15 to 25 feet catching some eater sized fish.  and leeches from 10 to 30 feet catching some eater size fish.  We are also starting to see a good hard bait bite.  Walleye nation creation Ripp’n glydes along with shiver minnows  are still working consistently.

Northern Pike –Fishing has  slowed up a bit this week a little with some fish still  being caught around the weed beds. Throwing cranks or spoons or trolling cranks has been the best tactic.

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 was definitely a little better this week. Vertical gigging big swimbaits and trolling spoons in 100 to 110 feet seems to be best. Anglers that are willing to take their time and find lake trout before fishing them are being very  successful.  Also we are seeing a bunch of  lakers caught by anglers targeting salmon.

Salmon- Great news, we are starting to see some big salmon coming in.  Anglers are targeting them from 60-95 feet with flashers and squid, flies, brads cut plugs or apex spoons.  Right now you need patience game but we have seen a bunch of four-year-old fish so far between 22 to 30 pounds. We have weighed a bunch of salmon this week around 25-27 pounds.  Hopefully we will start seeing better numbers of fish in the next few weeks.  Good luck on the water.

Water temps  have been  between 68 to 76 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 on  fish.  We are  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, “ The fishing has been really good this week.  We had a 12-year old who caught a 32-inch walleye this week.   They were using a bottom bouncer at 18 feet.  Michelle caught  a 28 incher and also a 32-inch walleye. You can use cranks  in any of these colors like red, purple and blue.  People are finding the walleye at 18 to 30 feet depths.  We have seen lots of crappies caught.  People are also catching drums, perch and some small pike.  The pike are minimal really not abundant right now.  The water continues to be murky as the storms  keep stirring up the water.

The Crooked Creek Walleye Classic will be the weekend of the August 14th, 2020.  Friday is check in and the rules meeting.  The event is Saturday and Sunday.  It is $250.00 for a team.  You can see information on the Walleyes Unlimited website or call Tammy at 406-366-0898 for information.  “

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, “  Nelson continues to   fish well  early in the morning and late in the day.  People are bottom bouncing  with a night crawler.  The fish are  at depths of 10 to 15 feet very early in the day.  As the day goes on,  they are going  deeper.  Try a jig  for walleye  when they are deeper.  People are finding the hammer head bite slow.  They are  only catching northern pike here and there.  The water is at full pool. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, “This week the water temperature continued to climb into the mid-70s. There has been constant boat traffic on the reservoir even weekdays haven’t seen much relief. Trout fishing seems to have picked up with the arrival of the grasshoppers. Earlier in the day when the wind is low seems to be the best time to fish for trout. The perch and walleye bite has continued to be hit and miss. Evenings seem to be the best for them. Jigs and worms have been working for the perch. Walleye have been tricky; some folks have had luck with jig raps others have caught fish with bottom bouncers and worm harnesses.“

Be aware that there is no mooring of your boat  to any no wake buoy as it is illegal.

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 , “  Lake  Elmo continues to see a large amount of use.  As I look out right now there is a kayak, a canoe and many swimmers out there. The fishing has slowed down because of all of the people on the lake.  If someone is fishing it is early in the am and late in the day.  They are still doing some work on some of the beach so some of it is blocked off right now.  It is only a small area.  That should come to an end very soon.  The west end is open.  Please pay attention to how dry the land is.  FWP has put out fire restrictions in some areas.  Today we put restrictions in Wheatland county. Please be careful.”

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

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat reports,”  the lake has gone down.  The  recreational boaters are everywhere. We did not see any fishermen  this week.  There were many people recreating but not with responsibility.  Please pay attention to where you can drive, park or enjoy the area. We found two areas where people did not put their fires out.  Please be careful. The fire risk is so high right now.    “

If you come, try to  be respectful as you use the area.  We continue to see damage  this week that does not show people caring for the area.

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

 I talked to someone who did have success at Bair. They  did  have some people  catching a few fish. The heat is slowing down the bite.

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

 Judy   reports, “ I hear the fishing is okay.  It has been pretty  good if you fish at times when it is cooler.  They have been catching  at Bair and Sutherland.  If you fish during the day in the heat it has been spotty fishing.  I hear lots of people are camping at Newlan but I have not heard if they are catching fish.  They  were  getting decent size fish.  It seems to be better in boats.

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 , “ Spring Creek-  The water remains clear.  People are fly fishing and having good results.  Guys are using nymphs with success.  The spin fishermen are using panthers and catching fish as well.

Achley- someone  people have said  that fishing has slowed at Achley.  It is not red hot right now.

Hanson Dam- Fishing is better in the evening right now.  People are catching  small trout  at Hanson  Dam using night crawlers, power bait. Spin casting is definitely  good right now.

Crooked Creek- I hear they are catching lots of crappie right now.  The guys are getting some perch, trout  and walleye as well.  They tell us the pike bite is slow.

Don’t  forget  August 8 and   the Walleyes Unlimited Crooked Creek Kids Event that we help support.  You can sign up at the store or just show up. You can even call the store and tell us you are coming so we can get a count for food and enough boats for the event.  It helps us plan if you sign up ahead.  It is from 10 to 3 pm.  We take the kids out in boats from 10 to 2 pm  depending on the heat.  We serve a lunch and give out a few award trophies. “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon reports,”  Fishing has been very good  for walleye.  The average size is 14 to 18 inches. No particular place is better than another they can be found all over, really not in any one direction.  The color pink is working especially   the  pink Flamingo lure.  We are seeing some algae.  Fishermen are also catching perch and trout as well.  The water temperature  right now is 77 to 78 degrees.  ”

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

 People  who fished  Canyon Ferry say they did  good. People say they are catching  larger walleye.  Some were 15 to 18-inch  walleye.   They also said they were catching some nice size trout also.  Some were heading  to White Earth and Goose Bay.

The rivers have moss and weeds in places.  The grasshoppers have not hit here yet.

I talked to someone who was at Hell Creek.  They said the bite was off and on.  One day it was good the next it was not.  ”

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

Jasmine says, “ the Boulder is low, but you can still fish it in places.  Try a chubby, a girdle bug or a royal wolf.

The Stillwater is low and bony.  The water is 66 to 72 degrees. Today Tuesday it has cooled off some right now.  In the heat the fish are just not biting.  I suggest you fish early in the morning and late in the day.  Try a Jake Cade or any hopper pattern in the 12-14 size.  We are seeing PMDs.   Wherever you  fish you need to protect the fish.  remember not to play the fish for too long and get them back  into the water fast.   On the Yellowstone try the bigger bugs.  The hoppers are out so you can try that.  We suggest the chubbies, the pink pookie.  You could use a water walker.  You can dead drift as well.  The water is down some and clear and it has been good fishing.  Please remember not to play the fish very long.  “

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

Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports,”  the Missouri is fishing well.  Just remember the water gets pretty warm after 3 pm.  After that the water is too hot.  There are tricos out  early.  Down the canyon  the crayfish bite is good. You can catch  some nice rainbow and brown trout right now.”

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

Rick   explains,”  fishing has been good. We are seeing PMD mid-morning and early evening.  The Sallies are out in the lower part of the river. The black  caddis are  out in the late evening.  The water is clear and  still at 2500 cfs.  It makes wading better.   The water temperature is 53 degrees.  There are a lot of hoppers.  Nymphing is good.  Try a hairs ear.  Wade fishing is good.  Streamers are working here and there.  Try the gray Ray, or orange scuds and the Jellybean.  Quills are also working.  You can use dry flies maybe 2 to 3 hours of the day.  Use that classic Dirty Hippie or Thin Mint when it is a cloudy day. “

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 8/4/20


Upper Madison: Terrestrial fishing continues to provide most of the dry fly action. Hoppers and ants have been fishing well and we have been getting a few really nice fish most days, though it would be nice to start seeing a few more natural hoppers along the banks and finding their way onto the water. The trout already seem to be a little weary of big hoppers. As our head guide Rick  says, “There’s a lot of hoppers in the water this week and none of them are real.” The forecast this week is calling for afternoon storms, which could also hamper afternoon terrestrial fishing if you run into clouds and rain. Caddis, Yellow Sallies, and attractors have also been good to throw around either on their own or as a dropper off a hopper. Nymphing remains consistent throughout much of the day with flies in size #14-18.

Flies: #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #8-12 Tan and Pink Thunder Thighs, #14-18 X-Caddis, #14 Full-Tilt Sally, #16 Front-end Loader, #12-16 Royal Wulff, #14-16 Parawullf, #16-18 Krystal Dip, #14-16 Green Machine, #14-18 Red Neck, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #16 HoloPoint, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Olive S.H. Hare’s Ear, #16 Shop Vac

Hebgen: The lake has slowly but surely started to get a little more consistent as far as finding big fish tracking and working the surface in the mornings and it should only continue to get better from here on out. A callibaetis parachute or sparkle dun with a turtle callibaetis dropper is still our tactic of choice for the time being.

Flies: #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis, #14-16 Flashback PT, #16 Parachute Callibaetis, #16 Callibaetis Cripple, #16 Callibaetis Spinner

Gallatin: Caddis and a few late afternoon PMDs will provide some potential dry fly activity. If that is not the case, attractors and terrestrials have been fishing really well. It sounds like a few spruce moths are starting to show in the canyon, but not much for numbers yet. Look for these to hopefully get going here quite soon.

Flies:  #16-18 X-Caddis, #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #16 Parachute PMD, #12-16 Royal Wulff, #14-16 Parawullf, #12-14 Lime Trude

Yellowstone National Park

Slough/Soda Butte/Lamar: It could be a bit of a spotty week over here given the forecast, especially on Lamar and Soda Butte as these two rivers tend to muddy up much easier than Slough does when it rains. Be sure to check out the Lamar flow gauge before heading over. With clear water PMDs will be the main hatch bringing fish to the surface. Terrestrials have also been fishing really well and should be able to fool fish into rising throughout the day.

Flies: #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #8-12 Tan and Pink Thunder Thighs, #14-16 Arrick’s Ant, #16 Parachute PMD, #16 Hairwing PMD, #16-18 PMD Sprout, #16-18 X-Caddis, #14 Royal Trude