Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 10.14.20
By angelamontana

Posted: October 15, 2020

Autumn  has arrived   and that can bring unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures,  wind  and  water which means  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 continues to be high  throughout the central part of the state.  Some fire possibilities 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, “ I again have heard from some people who have caught some bass.  They headed to areas around Pee Wee  and  Campers Point to find them.  Others  said they saw  a of   northern pike jump.  The  water temperature is  still around 60 degrees.  The water level is at 34.14.  We have seen a few less boats this week.  Be very  cautious of underwater hazards.  Call the park if you need more information. The docks are still in.  Reservation season  has ended . It is first come first serve.  The winter rates have  started. The  electrical has been turned off.  Campers point 1 to 11 will still have electricity year around. The fish cleaning station is now closed.    Just a reminder, we are still  in stage 1 fire restrictions right now. “

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

Wade  reports , “  I have not talked to anyone who has been out this week. I want to remind people that the water has dropped and is very  low.  The lowest I have seen in 20 years. People need to be aware that you can get caught up on the sandbar if you are not careful.   The frog pond has no water right now.  Please pay close attention.

The Marina is  officially closed for the season.  We hope to be open  for  ice fishing.

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

Linda has said, ”people  have had a hard time getting out on the water because the wind has been really bad. The wind has really been blowing.   Some fishermen were in the bay for some of their fishing and were using a walleye jig and a live minnow.  “

We have closed the marina for the season, but fishing can still happen if the wind quits blowing. We just won’t  have any services.

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

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

  Clint reports”  walleye fishing has been slow.  The people that have gone out have caught a few bass.  It has been pretty quiet here with not as many people.   We have  not had many  boats.    The guys have gotten northern pike in the afternoon.  They are pitching to the weeds.  The bite has been decent.   Guys have caught some nice northerns.  The walleye is the normal slow bite.  Guys are accidently catching them when they go for the pike.  We have had days where the wind was blowing 60 to 70 mph.   “

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

Eddie  reports, “ we have had slower fishing with some types of fish again this week.  The pike guys are catching pike in the 5 to 7-pound size.   The guys were cranking in 5 to 12 feet of water. They were using spoons and dare devils.   Walleye fishing has not been happening.  I have heard of no lake trout having been caught.   Fishing for them is slow. The water has not turned over yet. I think that should happen when the water temperature drops more.  The wind this week  has been 50, 30, 10 to 15 mph this week.   In the afternoon the water temperature is 59 degrees.  Only a few  salmon have been caught. Not spawning yet and are very deep. ”

 We have stocked the tackle shop  and you can find many things you need there.     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 but all and all it is pretty slow.

Northern Pike –Fishing has continued to get better and better. Guys trolling cranks or pitching glyde baits are doing really well along weed edges in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Small mouth- Fish seemed  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 non-existent this week.  The fish are still deep and very lethargic. They should start their trip up shallow to start looking at spawning areas in the next  week and fishing will really take off.

Salmon- Fishing remains very, very  slow, unfortunately.    The fish last week were starting to show up in the marina bay and over in Duck Creek bay and Flat Lake.  We have  now also witnessed more fish moving into the marina bay this week.  The fish that are getting caught are from guys casting cranks and spoons.  We are seeing a few fish snagged.  With these cooler temps we should start seeing more fish move into the shallows to look for spawning areas.

Water temps  have been  between 55- 60  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 and be safe.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

Carri says, “  Fishing at Crooked Creek is starting to pick up when people have been able to get out on the water.  It has been too windy which meant they could not get out.  It has been blowing from 30 to 75 mph. People have been able to shore fish and they did catch  some bass from there.    The water hasn’t  turned over yet.    If you are able to get out, you have to watch for obstructions because of the lowered water.   “

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

Tyler reports, “  guys this week have found wind their biggest problem.  I went to the PR and found it was just not good for fishing because of the that very wind.   Dave told me the BLM reservoirs are finding  the bass bite has slowed down.  At Nelson I have heard the water is very  low.   People  who  went there have fished from shore.  They were using shiny, brass or silver spoons.  The water is so low that putting a boat  in is not safe to do. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, “  the weather has slowed down fishing  at Cooney.  We had many  campers  and fishermen  on Friday.  On Saturday the wind came up so many packed up  and left.   The fishing from Wednesday to Friday  found people catching rainbow and brown trout.   A Thomas Cyclone has worked for that.  The catch is not constant but rather once in a blue moon.  With the fishing pressure  of this year it has had an impact, but people are still catching.  I know of a few nice walleye being caught.  The water temperature is the high 50’s or 60 degrees.  The best times are early at sun-up and late in the evening before sun set.  All three docks are still in and the boat ramp is still open for use.  Lots of people have been using them in the early week.  The overall water level remains the same. The fish cleaning station is turned off.

A  reminder for everyone. Please pack in and  pack out your garbage.  We want everyone to see a clean campground. “

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  I was out with my dog playing catch on Sunday and many fishermen were  fishing off the pier.  There were lots of people fishing all over.  There were small boats out there. Even a  sailboat, was out.  So  the numbers of people using Lake Elmo was up this week and so it was getting plenty of use. .  The lake is down 2 feet now.

We are asking everyone  to continue to  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  

Deadmans had days with a  lot of wind this week.  I did speak to one person who went there and caught a couple of fish.  Not many people out  fishing.  They packed up because of the wind coming up.

 Staff requests, please camp in designated camping areas.  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 a couple of fellows who headed to Deadmans to fish.  They caught some nice rainbow trout and a few small salmon.  They said their day was hit and miss fishing. ”

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

 Rick reports, “ people have told me fishing was  pretty good.   We had people who went fishing this week at Newlan and Sutherland.  They said Sutherland is not as good as Newlan.  People fished by shore mostly. Later in the week the wind put a Ker bosh on fishing. Our numbers of people coming to this area has been consistent and use is definitely up. ”

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-  Fishermen heading to Spring Creek are catching a few. People are seeing a noon caddis hatch right now.  Use a caddis pattern.

Hanson Dam- The water temperature has gotten cooler. I hear fishing is okay at Hanson Dam.   Fishermen  were using power bait and a night crawler.

Achley-  Not much fishing again at Achley this week.  The muskeye  are not hungry much these days.

Crooked Creek- People are catching some  pike I hear. People tell me is slow.

Missouri- The Missouri is slow fishing  for walleye right now.  The water is down.  The Missouri has cleared some  now. “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharen says, “it is not bad fishing right now.  The bigger problem is the wind which makes it hard to be on the water.  People are catching if they have more skills.  You have to work for them.   They are catching walleye and trout right now.  We still have some algae, but you can escape it by going north.  Trout fishing is  good. The docks are in here.  The water temperature is 65 to 66 degrees.

There is still some  blue  and green algae on the water. It is dangerous for children and dogs to swim in. 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.  The Pelican is now closed for the season

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

 Rich says,”  I  heard  Canyon Ferry was decent fishing they are saying.  Guys caught some walleye and few trout.  They said now and then it is pretty good.   The river fishing is picking up.  I had a fly fisherman come in heading to the  Jefferson.  He had been there the day before and had done well.  He was happy to go again but I suspect he did not get far because about an hour later the wind blew like crazy.  This week the wind has been really a factor to get on the water.

We have decided to close the shop for the season from October 15th to April 1st, 2021.  ”

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

 Jasmine says, “  I can say the Big Horn is slow fishing right now.

The Stillwater has the browns  going up stream.  Try a streamer, a Grinch or a Gray Ray in brown or tan. No one is seeing any hatches. It is still only wade fishing now.

On the Yellowstone people are trying a small dry in a size 10 or 12 as an attractor with a nymph dropper. Use the classics as they are working.   Through streamers, smaller size ones.  The water is clear.  You do have to work at fishing and people have gotten lucky  at times with nice catches. Watch the channel for places where it is shallow.

Need a guide? We are still  taking people out.  Call us to make an appointment for  guiding.

Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports,” I fished the last three days on  the Missouri.  It has been tough fishing because of the wind.  We used a Zebra fly.  Nymphing is definitely the way to go to catch fish on the Missouri.   The water is clear,  but the wind is really tough to fish in. “

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

Rick  explains,”  fishing is tough right now.  Large fish are being caught so that is good.  The fishing seems to have turned off.  The water is off color, and the temperature is 59 to 60 degrees.   The lower three has less to no grass.  People are using nymphs, as I have, and they  are working.  Use the Rays or a pink or orange scud.  A caddis fly also will work.  If you use a streamer try it on a non-bright sunny day.  Try a size 10 black leech . The CFS is 2400 but word has it they are lowering it on Thursday , I believe.  The water is  off color.  The lake did turn over.

 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 10/13/20


Upper Madison: You’re going to have to work a bit harder to find fish consistently at this point of the season. Nymphing is far and away the most effective method throughout the day, although with this weather system we have moving through we have been starting to see baetes in better numbers. We should only see the number of baetes coming off improve from here on out this fall.

Flies: #16-18 Krystal Dip, #14-16 Green Machine, #14-18 Red Neck, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perigon, #14 HoloPoint, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Olive S.H. Hare’s Ear, #16 Shop Vac, #12 Black Sili Legs, #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Yellowstone National Park

Madison/Firehole: The weather we have been waiting for has finally arrived. The next few days should be pretty ideal conditions and hopefully this will kickstart what has been a somewhat mediocre start to the swinging season. Look for baetes to start showing in good numbers on both the Madison and Firehole.

Flies: #8-12 Partridge & Peacock, #8-12 Partridge & Orange, #6 Sparkle Minnow, #8 Simi Seal Leech, #8-12 Black Sili Legs, #14-16 Red Neck, #14 Holo Point, #12 Tan Elk Hair Caddis, #12 Tan and Pink Chili Dogs, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Slough/Soda Butte/Lamar: It would definitely still be worth heading up to the NE corner for some dry fly fishing and a less crowded locale. Baetis will be the main attraction going forward but you could still see a few Drake Mackerels around. I wouldn’t even hesitate to try terrestrials up there even at this point in the season.

Flies: #12 Drake Mackerel Cripple, #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #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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