Central to eastern MT fishing report
By angelamontana

Posted: October 22, 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, “we had snow on Saturday .  We had 5 campers,  but the wind made it not possible to go out for bass.  The  water temperature is  cooler.  The water level is low.  It was quieter during the week for people. We did have 2 boats out yesterday but did not hear if they got anything.  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. “

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

Wade  reports , “ I would think the weather stopped people from going out.  I want to remind people that the water has dropped and is very  low.  People need to be aware that you can get caught up an object out there 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, ”it has been snowing and blowing.  It was cold enough our pipes froze at the house.  Some fishermen were in the bay last week, but we did not see anyone this 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.

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”  the northern pike fishing is good.  Some  have caught a few bass.  Not as many people here.   We have  not had many  boats.    They have gotten northern pike in the afternoon pitching to the weeds.  The walleye is a slow bite.  Guys are accidently catching them when they go for the pike.  We have had days of rain, snow, and wind. “

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 only got one inch of snow and a lot of wind.  Fishing  is picking up.  The lake trout are moving in.  They have been around 10 pounds.  The pike guys are catching  some pike in the shallows.   The guys are running cranks. They were using spoons and dare devils.   The guys getting  walleye  are jigging at 86 feet of water.   The water temperature is 52 to 54 degrees.  Guys are snagging for  salmon in the bays or shallows where the water is cooler.   The one group got their limit of five.

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 super tough for fishermen, but it is cooling down the water temp and helping the bite improve most species.

 walleye fishing- Walleye fishing has been very   hit or miss  still with reports of some fish getting  caught along weed edges but all and all it’s still pretty slow.

Northern Pike –Fishing has continued to be consistent with  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 finally starting  and getting better this week.  The fish are hitting spoons and cranks in 10 to 40 feet of water.   They should  continue to keep coming up shallow to start looking at spawning areas in the next  week and fishing should continue to get better.

Salmon- Snagging seemed to grow a little better this week for guys and gals willing to brave the elements.    The fish are 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 a little bit and over in Duck Creek Bay and Flat Lake. .

Water temps  have been  between 52- 54  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 

Rick says, “  Fishing at Crooked Creek is starting to pick up when people have been able to get out on the water. They 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.  We saw an 18-pound northern pike,  People are still fishing out of a boat.   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, “  guys this week have not talked much about fishing.  At Nelson I have heard the water is very  low.  With the cold temperature it might have a skim of frozen water.  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.  You could go to Forchette to put  in.“

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, “   the trout fishing was consistent  this week despite the weather.   The weather has shut  down the perch bite. The hardcore walleye fishermen have caught walleye  with jig wraps.  We had few  campers  and fishermen  this week.   People catching rainbow and brown trout were using  Thomas Cyclone.   The water temperature is in the low 50 degrees.   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 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 have a clean campground. “

Billings Yellowstone fishing-

I have heard that guys fishing around the diversion dam by Huntley are doing well on sauger and small mouth bass.  Some are doing well heading to Miles City.  They are using jigs with minnows or Ralpelas in silver and blue.

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “ the cold weather has slowed the fishing. There are two people out there watching the birds.   The migrating birds are putting on quite a show.  They are so much fun to watch. There are no fishermen  out today and there were  only a few other days  fishing off the pier.  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  

Pat explains,”Deadmans  weather this week has been cold and miserable.   It snowed  and we have 2 feet of it. Thankfully it is melting  quite a lot.   Before the snow a few people were out catching a few salmon.  We only had one camper.

 The fire risk has been  high, but we will see after the snow if we are still  in fire restrictions, “

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

 Terry reports, “  I talked to a couple of fishermen who caught some trout and salmon at Deadmans before the weather came in.  They caught some small salmon. ”

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

 Judy reports, “  it was so cold this week people were not in to  fishing.   We had people who went hunting this week.  We got snow and cold this week.”

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

 Tyler reports ,”

Spring Creek-  Fishermen heading to Spring Creek are catching a few. But the cold and snow stalled things.

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

Achley-  Achley was slow fishing  this week.  The muskeye  are not hungry much these days.

Crooked Creek- People are catching  a few pike.   Some are catching walleye and  crappie. People tell me it is a bit better.  “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharen says, “it is still not bad fishing.  We have had a few warmer days.  It is 50 degrees today.  The wind was blowing a few days.  You definitely have to work for fish   They are catching walleye and trout right now.  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,”  I  did not hear anything about  Canyon Ferry.  The river fishing was good.  I had a fly fisherman call  that was  heading to the  Jefferson.  This week the wind  and snow has been  a factor .

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, “ on  the Stillwater the browns  are going up stream.   Guys have been catching big browns.  They have not seen any hatches.  Try a streamer, a Grinch or a Gray Ray in brown or tan. The water is up a little more which is good. Of course the weather stopped some days of fishing. It is still only wade fishing now.

On the Yellowstone  the level is up more.  The browns are starting to go back into the Yellowstone.   They are getting more lethargic because the water is cooling off. Streamers are working better.  They are picking up. Try  smaller size ones.  The water is clear.  You do have to work at fishing .  Be really watchful of the weather, it can change quickly.”

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,” on  the Missouri. River  it can  be  tough fishing because of the wind.  We used a Zebra  nymph.  It  has  definitely the worked on the Missouri.

I fished the Big Horn this week also.  It is a struggle to use a nymph to fish.  Try a tan sow bug or worm pattern if you do.  We had the most success with streamers.  They are just faster in the water.  Anything with movement is working.  Strip faster rather than slower to catch fish.  There is a lot of floating grass.  “

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

People have said  fishing is tough right now.  Large fish are being caught so that is good.   The lower three has less to no grass.  People are using nymphs, but they  are not working as well.  Use the Rays or a pink or orange scud.  A caddis fly also will work.  Streamer fishing  is picking up.  Try a size 10 black leech . The CFS is  lower.  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 10/20/20


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