Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 9.2.20
By angelamontana

Posted: September 3, 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.  Some may be located where you are going so check before you venture out. 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 number of people visiting Tongue has gone down in numbers  as school starts up.  With Labor Day  we will see people a busy campground this weekend.  The water level  is down again and at  34.16.8   The water temperature has been in the  70’s.   There is  no water in  the Frog Pond. Some camp spaces in that area have no access. There are a few spaces at Campers Point and Peewee.

I did see a nice northern was caught this week.  Some bass were caught and a huge catfish that I know of.

Just a reminder we are in stage 1 fire restrictions right now.  Our office is now open. The phase I fire  restriction  is still  in place.   Please  leave the camp  as you found it.

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

Wade  reports , “ I talked to a group that got 10 northern pike. We measured one as 40 inches.  One was 13 ½ pounds.  So northern pike fishing is good.  People are catching bass and I would say that is phenomenal  fishing.  The crappie bite is slower.  People say the walleye bite is hit or miss right now.    People I talk to are telling me  pretty much any presentation is being tried.  The water is down so watch for  sandbars.  The docks and ramps 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,”  right now the northern pike fishing has been slow.  The salmon and lake trout are being caught closer to the dam. People are catching  walleye and bass.  We had lots of wind on Saturday and Sunday so that made fishing hard.  The  air temperature  has been 65 to 70 degrees.  It has been in the 40’s at night.  The  walleye being caught  have been eater size.  Off and on they catch a bigger walleye.  They are finding pike at 12 to  30 feet depths and are being caught with bottom bouncers.  They seem to  hit on the color green.  This weekend is the Trump boat parade. It starts here at noon, but we will have pizza available at 10 pm. “

 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”  right now northern pike and bass fishing is good.  The  northern pike have gone shallow  from 30 to 4 feet.  Guys are cranking for them.

  The walleye  has been big in size  with only a  few eater size ones.  It is the usual offseason time for them.  They are finding them on the long points at depths of 26 to 30 feet.  Not real many but nice ones.  The water should cool off below 70 degrees as the air temperature is dropping.  At the pines a few lake trout have been caught.  They are at depths of 90 to 100 feet depths.  Guys are only catching a few.”

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

Wendi   reports, “   the salmon bite is  still on the slow but steady side.  We are only seeing a few caught a day at depths of 100 to 140 I went walleye fishing yesterday.  I was using live bait and was at depths  of 23 to 30 feet depths . I was going really slow.  The walleye and bass bite is slow right now.   The lake trout bite is easy and normal. People are heading towards Hackesbee, Bear Creek and “B”marker.  Some are using a jig with a spoon and some are trolling  with spoons as well.

People  are having a Trump boat parade on Saturday, September 5th . It starts at noon at Rock Creek Marina.  If you want pizza, they are serving at 10 am.  They are heading to the dam.  “

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  hit or miss with reports of some fish getting  caught along weed edges but most of the have been coming on main lake points out around 25-30 feet.  Pulling cranks and covering water have been fairly effective this week.

Northern Pike –Fishing has  slowed up a bit this week with some   fish  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- Fish seem to have moved out to around 20 feet of water on main lake points.  Guys throwing shiver minnows and jigs have been seeing some fish.

Lake trout- Lake trout fishing  has been great this week.  Vertical jigging  big swimbaits and trolling spoons in 115 to 135 feet seem to be the  best.  Anglers that are willing to take their time and find lake trout before fishing them are being very  successful.

Salmon- Fishing remains very,  very slow unfortunately.  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 22 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 has been windy and chilly part of this week.  The weather is good today.  I suggested to some fishermen just now that they try trolling right along the bank to catch something.  Things has slowed down.  I think the significant weather change and wind have changed things some.  People have been coming in  with a well full of crappies and some  eater size walleye.  Slim caught a 38-inch northern pike jigging going 30 to 40 feet down. Purple and green smilies are working. Some people are jigging with a yellowtail or a leaded shiver minnow going deep.  People have caught lots of crappies as they have been plentiful.“

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, “  not many  fishermen heading to Nelson this week.   The guys are  jigging at Nelson and going shallow this week the water temperature  is about 74 degrees.  .   They did catch some fish but not big ones. 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 the best times. They are doing a more fall type fishing now.     People are jigging for walleye right now.   There is some algae now but it is not green algae.  I have not heard any word on how fishing is  at Forchette.“

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, “The overall water level continues to drop on the reservoir. The water temperatures are dropping  to the low 70s.  The perch is the best fishing and has been the most consistent.  Use slip bobbers with worms or a sinker or hook.  A crappie set up would also work.  That would work all over the reservoir.  Walleye have been caught with the perch,  but they have been small.  The other walleye caught have been deeper and bigger. The walleye are on the rock out croppings.  The trout can be caught in the morning and evening.  Both dry fly fishermen and  spin cast  fishermen  are catching trout.  They are not in any particular location.

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 , “  Elmo has slowed a bit because of school starting.  When the temperatures are  warm  fishing is best early and late in the day.   We are  still seeing some  kayaks, and canoes on the water. 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,”  We have seen  boater fishermen this week.   The lake has gone down.  People have caught some trout and  salmon we have heard.

 Please camp in designated camping areas.  There is no camping allowed on the beach.   The fire risk is very  high,  and we are in fire restrictions meaning no campfires or open flames. So please  stay aware. “

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

 Terry reports, “ I talked to someone who went to Deadmans and caught some small salmon.   I again heard from  some people  who went to the Musselshell  and caught some nice bass.  A few fishermen  who fished at  Broadview Pond and caught only a few.  It is mossing up a little I was told.  A couple of fishermen  said they headed to Martindale , but only caught a few.  It is slow fishing.”

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

 Judy   reports, “  we have had cool weather this week and some windy.  It is really windy today (Tuesday).  Bar has lower water.  Fishing continues to be  slow and they said you have to work for them.   You need to fish really deep.  At Sutherlan a group fished for 3 hours and got 3 and 4 fish.  It was slow.   Some experienced fishermen headed to Martinsdale and fished for 4 to 5 hours and came home empty handed.  ”

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-  right now Spring Creek is the best place to fish right now.  Fishing is  good there.  The bite is good with grasshoppers and spinners.  People are fly fishing and having good results also.

Hanson-  Hanson is always good for  trout.  They are going home with some decent trout.

East Fork- Night crawlers and leeches are working at East Fork.   They are using them for perch.  It seems to be good for them.

Achley- This week Achley was slow fishing I was told.

Missouri-  the Missouri  is mossy and slow fishing.  The water level has dropped.   “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Fishing Canyon Ferry  has been pretty good this week.  The average fishermen are coming in with 8 to 20 walleyes in their well.  They are going to depths of 20 to 25 feet.   We have heard of some people catching perch so that is picking up.  There is not one place that is better than others.  It is pretty much  good anywhere you try on the water.  Just go to your family favorite spot.   Due to the virus there will be no walleye feed this weekend.

The blue  and green algae  has  increased with the warm temperatures.  It is dangerous for children and dogs to swim in.  Swimming is not a possibility right now. So watch your dog closely.“

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

 Fishing is good at  Canyon Ferry guys are saying.   People say they have caught trout, perch and walleye.   You can find  the walleye  everywhere.

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, “ the Yellowstone is up some. The Yellowstone water temperature now in the 50’s. the Stillwater water temperature has cooled as well to 52 degrees.  The fish are a lot happier. 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 water is staying steady. Fishing has picked up.  The hoppers are still out.    The trout are eating  hoppers in the afternoon.

Use stimulators as they are working.  People are seeing caddis on the Stillwater in the early morning and late evening.  Use dry flies. Streamers are just not working yet.   any hopper pattern in the 12-14 size.  Floating and wading  are both good.  “

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.  Nymphing and using sow bugs is working. Using  pheasant tails are doing well.

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

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

Steve   explains,”  It is really good fishing    The CFS is still  2400. The black caddis are up high on the Big Horn. They are out in the afternoon and in the evening.    There are weeds but they are not drifting.  Nymph fishing is really good right now.  Try a hairs ear.  The wade fishing is 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 fish are not keying in on hoppers at all.  This is the best fishing we have seen in quite a while.

 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 9/1/20


Upper Madison: When the sun has been out this past week, we have been seeing some of the better hopper fishing of the season so far. The increased number of naturals on the water seem to be helping fish eat more confidently. Ants continue to be good producers as a trail fly and the Holo Point and Olive Perdigon continue to fish well as droppers. The nymph bite has been consistent with smaller flies throughout the day.

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: Nothing new on the lake. Some days are better than others, but overall there has been a decent amount of bug activity most days. Look for tricos in the Madison Arm early, transitioning to callibaetis later in the morning. If you’re struggling to find fish tracking in the arms, go explore the main lake or south shore as there have been fish working elsewhere also. 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 fish under a hopper or large attractor.

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

Yellowstone National Park

Slough/Soda Butte/Lamar: Hoppers, ants and beetles are still going to be your main producers but keep an eye out for Drake Mackerels to start showing up over there any day if they have not already.

Flies: #12 Drake Mackerel Cripple, #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

New Podcast!