Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 10.28.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: October 29, 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.

Report compiled by Carol Henckel

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer reports, “ the weather definitely got cold.  We got 6 to 7 inches of snow. The wind made it not possible to go out.   The  water temperature is  now 42 degrees.  We have ice at the head of the bay, but it is thin, and the weather report says the weather will be warming up.    The water level is low.  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. We only had one camper.  “

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

Wade  reports , “ It got cold and we got snow.   The weatherman says it will be warm this weekend. I have not been down at Tongue.

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,  ” we only got 2 inches of snow. it has been windy.  It was really too cold for fishing.  We did now see fishermen last week. We did have hunters here.  “

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.  For reservations for the ice fishing season call Linda at 406-230-1283.

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”  before the weather changed this week  a couple of guys said the northern pike fishing was good.  They found the northerns pitching in the weeds. Some  have caught a couple of lakers. We did not get snow like you did.  We  have had wind;  it is  blowing at 40 mph today.  Not as many people here.  “

We have changed our hours at the marina.  We are open from 7 to 5 on weekdays and 7 to 6 on weekends.

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

Eddie  reports, “ we only got three inches  of snow.  The few guys I talked to were snagging a few salmon.  I have not heard of any walleye being caught.  The laker  bite is really slow.

The  guys got a few nice pike in the shallows using cranks.   The water temperature is 51 to 52 degrees  a  couple of days ago.

I just got  in 25 gallons of sucker minnows and shiners yesterday so stop in for that need. ”

 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 “ the weather has been brutal this week and we have not seen many fishermen , but the lake trout bite is starting to get going with the falling water temps.

 walleye fishing- no report this week.

Northern Pike –no reports this week.

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 finally starting  to get better this week.  The fish are hitting spoons and cranks in 10 to 40 feet of water.   Fishing will really be getting good this week with the warmer temps and the water temp cooling off.

Salmon- Snagging was really  slow this week for the few people that braved we  the cold.

Water temps  have been  between 45- 46  degrees. “

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 

(unable to contact)

Rick says, “  Fishing at Crooked Creek is starting to pick up when people have been able to get out on the water. There have been walleye and crappie in 15 to 18 feet of water on minnows.   People have caught their limit on walleye. They only went a couple of miles from the marina.  The water is down some.    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

Kolin  reports, “  we got 3 inches of snow and it is melting.   I did talk to some guys this week that talked  about fishing.  They headed to Forchette.  They were hunters who fished in the middle of the day.  The guys were jigging  and were working the points.  They did catch an occasional walleye.   At Nelson I have heard the water is very  low.   People  would have  to fish  from shore.  The water is too low to put a boat  in.  “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Last week  the trout fishing stayed the same  until the weather changed.   The weather has shut  down the perch bite. A few walleye fishermen  caught some  walleye  with jig wraps. Before the storm.  You can catch a rainbow or brown trout  using  Thomas Cyclone.   The water temperature is in the lower because of the cold weather.   All three docks are still in and the boat ramp is still open for use.  If you need to use the ramp, please bring sand or tire chains as it can get slippery  for part of it. The water level is the same.

The fish cleaning station is turned off.  A  reminder for everyone. Please pack in and  pack out your garbage.

Billings Yellowstone fishing-

Guys  were fishing  early in the week near the diversion dam at Huntley.   They were doing well on sauger and small mouth bass.  Some were trying near Miles City.

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  as of yesterday  Elmo had a skiff of  thin ice halfway across. It was strong enough for birds to land on.  If the wind comes up it will be gone.  With the snow and cold weather no one was fishing.  I did see that there was an open spot by the pier.  With the weather report of warmer weather coming,  things will change. The lake is down 2 feet now.  ”

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

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,” We got 18 inches of snow. Here at Deadmans.  The weather this week has been cold and miserable.  It is melting  now.   A few people were out trying to catch a few salmon.  We only had two  campers,  one from Bozeman and one from North Dakota and they stayed through the storm even fishing.“

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

 Terry reports, “  I  had a pretty slow week with not many customers.  Who wants to go fishing in bad weather?  The band I had coming canceled. The roads did not help.  It is going to warm up this weekend and we are going to have a Halloween dance from 7 to 11.  We are having a contest to see people’s  best decorated witch’s broom and then we will auction them.  The money goes toward the Easter egg hunt next year. ”

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

 Judy reports, “  it was cold this week and we got 13 inches of snow. It is warmer today.  We saw lots of hunters but no one  fishing.   It is supposed warm up so we will see what happens then.”

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 ,”  We got a lot of  snow and had bad roads, so fishing was non-existent.  We got 8 to 10 inches of snow. Just nothing happening.  The store was busy but that was it.   “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharen says, “ we had a few people come down.  Most of them were hunters. Wind was rough to get on the water. We had roads snow packed.  I only saw one boat. Last week it was still not bad fishing.  You really had  to work for  the fish.   The weekend is supposed to be warmer.  The docks are in here. “

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,”  no word on  Canyon Ferry this week.  The river fishing was good. This week the wind  and snow has been  a factor I am sure.  I did see the ponds were frozen but that may be temporary as the weather is warming up.

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, “  with the storm not many people on late in the week.  Earlier I was told a yellow light olive bugger seemed to be working well.  The Stillwater still had  the browns  going up stream.   Some browns were big.  Some  tried  a streamer or a Gray Ray in brown or tan.  The weather stopped some days of fishing. It is still only wade fishing now.

On the Yellowstone  there is ice on the edges from the storm late in the week.   The browns were  going back into the Yellowstone,  but they seemed to be more lethargic. The water is cooling off. Streamers were working better.  Try  smaller size ones.  The water is clear.  You did have to work at fishing  in the early week. ”

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,” the Missouri  River  was  tough fishing because of the wind. And weather changes.   We used a Zebra  nymph early in the week.

When I fished the Big Horn it was  hard to use a nymph on the water.  Try a worm pattern or a sow bug in tan.  Streamers. Worked better.  They move faster in the water.  They liked the movement .  The weather stopped  the fishing. “

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

Rick explained,” I fished the water and pulled streamers.  Nymph fishing was okay.  The water is off color and some of the grass is breaking off.  I didn’t have trouble fishing .  It is not thick.  The CFS is 2100 right now,  so it is very wadable.   Some nice  fish are being caught so that is good.   The lower three has less to no grass.  With  nymphs try  Using a Ray or a pink or orange scud.  A caddis fly also was working. We are seeing a lot of browns.  They are not spawning yet.

 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 10/26/20

This will likely be our final report for the year.  Nothing will change too much over the next few weeks as far as the fishing goes, so whether you like to nymph, swing or throw streamers get out there and get after it and let us know what you are catching. We will try to send  out reports when we can through the winter and let everyone know how the fishing is.  Thanks for a great season and for reading along. Have a great winter  and we will see you in the spring!


Upper Madison: Nymphing continues to be your best tactic for catching fish throughout the day. Rubber legs and a smaller attractor or baetes nymph will be successful and a zonker/sculpin dead-drifted under an indicator has had its moments this past week as well. We have been seeing some baetes coming off the past few days and should only see more this coming week with the forecast calling for rain and snow most days.

Flies: #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, #12 Black Sili Legs, #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Yellowstone National Park

Madison/Firehole: This weather we have had for the past week seems to have helped push a few more fish upriver and get the fish that are currently in the river a little more active. This week should be more of the same with rain and snow in the forecast. Look for baetis on the Firehole and swing soft hackles anytime else.

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, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Slough/Soda Butte/Lamar: There is still some good dry fly fishing and solitude to be had in the NE corner this time of year. Afternoon baetes will provide most of your action up there, and when they aren’t, you can always try dry dropper or small streamers as well.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #14 Holo Point, #12 Spanish Bullet

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