Eastern Montana Fishing Report 9.30.20
By angelamontana

Posted: October 1, 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. ***

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports, “  I talked to one fisherman who was fly fishing and he caught a northern pike.   Not a huge one but he said a nice one.  I also talked to another fisherman who caught a couple of bass.  The water temperature is 59 to 60 degrees.  The water has dropped a little more and is murky.  Our average for campers now is five to eight daily.   The slip dock is definitely down.  There is no  water in  the Frog Pond.  Reservation season  has ended .  The winter rates have  started. The water and electrical will be turned off some time this week.  Campers point 1 to 11 will still have electricity year around.    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 , “  the Marina was very  quiet this weekend.  Not many people used the marina.  I did not hear about any fish caught.  The water has dropped and is very  low.  The frog pond has no water right now.

 We are 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  reports,”  we had quite a bit of wind this week.  It was bad all week.  I do know of someone who caught a 16-inch northern pike on a fly rod.   If you could get on the water a few bass were caught.

We have closed the marina for the season, but fishing can still be done. 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  

  Staff  reports”  it has been pretty quiet here.   We have  not had many  boats on the water. I know a 45-inch pike was caught.    The walleye haven’t come back yet for the autumn bite.  Have not heard of anyone getting any.  Last week people caught a few bass. They seem to be  scattered.  “

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

Millie  reports, “ we have been quieter this week.  We have had a lot of wind.  That has made it hard to get out there.   The salmon and the lake trout bite are really slow right now.  You have to really work at it now.   People are finding them at 110 to 135 feet.  Blue and silver seems to be working.  People are  trying bait, flies, and flashers. The northern pike are biting on shiver minnows, jig wraps and lindy rigs with minnows.

If you could even get on the walleye bite is slow.  People are using cranks at 15 to 32 feet depths. ”

 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 is still  hit or miss with reports of some fish getting  caught along weed edges but all and all it is pretty slow. This week with the full moon out some days it will make fishing a little tougher as well.

Northern Pike –Fishing has  really started  picking up again this week. Guys trolling cranks or pitching glyde baits are doing really well

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 great this week.  Vertical jigging  big swimbaits and trolling spoons in 80 to 100 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 starting to show up in the marina bay a little bit and over in Duck Creek bay.  We have witnessed a few rolling in the bay lately.  Hopefully, we will see more of them showing up in the coming week as water temps drop.  The fish that are getting caught are from guys casting cranks and spoons.

Water temps  have been  between 62- 65  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, Gary   406-429-2999 

Carri says, “  Fishing at Crooked Creek has been really  slow, slow right now.  The water hasn’t  turned over yet.   The guys are marking fish everywhere,  but the fish are just not biting.   They just can’t get them to bite regardless of what they try. People have caught  crappie at times.  The group from Nebraska did get a few bass and pike.   It is not good bank fishing right now.  We are still waiting for the lake  to turn over.  “

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, “  talked to guys this week  and they said they were jigging.  They  caught some  smaller walleye this week at Nelson.  They were finding them in 20 to 25 feet depths.  They said they worked through small ones and did get a few 20-inch walleye. The fall bite might be starting to happen.    You can still   put in at the Head gates.  There is some algae now, but with the cooler weather it should clear some.“

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, “all three docks are still in and the boat ramp is still open for use.  The overall water level remains the same. The fish cleaning station is turned off. The water temperature has dropped to 60 degrees.  Trout fishing is the best fishing right now.  Fish in the morning and evening.  You can find them all over.  People are catching perch. That is a consistent bite.  Walleyes are being caught late in the evening to dark.

I also went fishing on the Yellowstone at Huntley and caught some nice sauger.

A few reminders for all of us to remember. Please pack in and  pack out your garbage.  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 , “  Right now I see a fellow with a rod and reel out there fishing and there is someone fishing off the pier.  Not many people fishing.  One of the guys has a fish on right now.  With the cooler weather we just are not seeing as many people.  It is 64 degrees today.  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 reports,” people have said that some days had  a  lot of wind and the water had some white caps on it.  Not much fishing people say.”

 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 had a fisherman buying some night crawlers.  I saw more bow hunters than fishermen going out.   Last week they were getting fish at Martinsdale, but I don’t know about if they caught anything this week.  ”

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

 Judy  reports, “ we did not see a lot of fishermen just more hunters.  A few bow hunters hunted in the morning and fished in the afternoon.  They have been fishing at Bair and Sutherlan.  They did catch fish. The water has gone down.   ”

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 ,” The weather is beautiful right now .  People did get out fishing this week.

Spring Creek- People are catching fish on nymphs this week.  They are using Princes and Hairs ears.

Achley-  Achley is slow fishing right now.  The muskey  are not feeding much these days.

Crooked Creek- I hear the guys are doing well on crappie. They caught a few walleye. They did well on pike early in the week.

Missouri- The Missouri has cleared some  now.  There seems to be just a little moss.  The fishing is just starting to get better.

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Fishing Canyon Ferry  is pretty  good.  People are pleased.  They are catching walleye and more perch right now.  We still have some algae, but you can escape it by going north.   The average  walleye being caught  is 14 to 19 .   Trout fishing is also good. The docks are in.  Many places on the reservoir have been pulled but ours are still in.  The weather is supposed to be good all week.  The water level in the bay is about 5 feet right now.

There is a lot of  blue  and green algae  still on the water. It is dangerous for children and dogs to swim in.  Swimming is not a possibility right now. 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 talked to one fellow on the Gallatin who went fly fishing.   He caught one brown and two rainbow trout.  He said the water was clear and had no weeds.   I also heard from one walleye fisherman who goes to Canyon ferry and does well fishing on a regular basis. He went this week and caught one walleye.  He usually catches a few in the slow season.  He is a good fisherman.  On Sunday I had another  fishermen who went to Canyon ferry  and caught 6 walleye and some rainbow trout. It seems to depend on the day whether you catch or not.

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, “  the Stillwater has been good fishing.  The browns are in the early run up stream I was told.  Try a size 10 purple haze with a black nymph behind it.  The stream fishing is just starting. It is still only wade fishing now.

On the Yellowstone people are double nymphing in the morning and then try streamers in the afternoon.  There was a lower dip in the water this week, but it has come back up where it was.  It is clear now.  The hoppers bite is done.  No one  has  seen any hatches right now.

The Boulder is good fishing.  You have to go up high, but people are catching.

The fishing is great right now in all three rivers.  Get in your last-minute fishing now.

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 was  on the  Missouri and   the water is clearing.  It is clearer from the Dam to Craig.  It is good fishing.  The water is  cooling.  Try zebra midges in black or olive.  The water level is good. “

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

Colleen  explains,”  the water is a little off color.  The guys are saying fishing has slowed down some. People are  nymphing right now.  People are catching some  fish  in sizes of 18 to 25 inches. The fishing is steady.  Try streamers like the thin mint, dirty hippies and black leach patterns.  The lake did turn over.  People have been trying black caddis and  tan caddis.

 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 9/29/20


Upper Madison: Cool, crisp mornings, the fall colors, and warm, sunny afternoons are making for some beautiful days down in the valley right now. As for the fishing, nymphing will definitely provide the most consistent fishing for the time being. While we haven’t quite given up on the hopper bite, getting fish to eat one has been sporadic at best. Hopper dropper would still be a good method while floating. We are going to have to wait a little longer for baetes fishing to start. We have been seeing some, but they won’t show in any numbers until we get some cloudier weather, which isn’t in the forecast for the next week.

Flies:#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, #12 Black Sili Legs.

Gallatin: Nothing new here. You may still get a few fish to eat terrestrials and attractors in the afternoon hours, but nymphing and streamers will definitely be your better methods from here on out.

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

Yellowstone National Park

Slough/Soda Butte/Lamar: These rivers are providing the better dry fly fishing in the area right now. Look for Drake Mackerels, baetis and while we still have a few sunny days coming up,  hoppers, ants and beetles will still get fish to come up as well. Hopper dropper and throwing some streamers around will also be productive.

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

Madison/Firehole: The Firehole is fishing very well swinging soft hackles. You can also find some dry fly fishing with White Millers and baetis, though again the baetis won’t really get going strong until we get some cloudy weather. Swinging on the Madison has been pretty spotty so far this week. Some days will provide multiple grabs and fish, some days nothing at all. We have been catching lake fish all the way up to the junction now, so they are in there.

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