Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 11.4.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: November 5, 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 Henkel)

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer reports, “ the weather has been nice this past week.  The  water temperature is  still 42 degrees.  We only had day users.  We had people who were fishing from shore and some fished from a boat.  I did not hear what they were catching but I would guess some bass and pike. The water level is low but staying steady.  It is at 34.15.  We pulled the dock today.

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 , “ the weatherman was right  it did  warm up this week. People were fishing but I did not hear anything on the catching.

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   

Neil said,  ” I talked to some guys who headed to the dam and caught five nice lake trout.  We did not have anyone else fishing.  It was windy a lot this week so they would have trouble getting out.  The road is dry but has some ruts. “

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” the weather was warmer this week .  I only saw  a couple of guys that were fishing. They were chasing lake trout and did alright  fishing .  Not as many fishermen  here, mostly hunters.  We pulled the docks today.  Then I don’t have to do it when the cold comes at the end of the week.   “

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, “   the lake finally turned over. Some guys came in and they  were snagging salmon. We  also went out and got some salmon.  The meat was dark, but it was firm meat.   I have not heard of any walleye being caught.  The laker  bite is slow, some guys caught a few. They also caught some pike.  The  guys got the pike in the shallows using cranks.

I have  sucker minnows and shiners  so stop in for them. ”

 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- The fish have moved to 20   feet of water.  You find them  on the  main lake points.  Try  using shiver minnows and jigs as the fish are liking them.

Lake trout- Lake trout fishing  has  started  to pick up.  The fish are hitting spoons and cranks in 10 to 40 feet of water.   Fishing should get good this week until the cold sets in and the water temp cools  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 

Gary says, “  we had only a few boats out at Crooked Creek.  Last week we had 2 inches of ice but it has melted so guys could get out. The ones that went out caught a few fish.  I know they got a 23 ½ inch walleye.  Guys just have to be in the right spot to catch them.  The pike they caught were varied they said.  They headed towards Anderson point.  The guys caught them on minnows and we just got some in.  The water is down some.  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, “  some fishermen  have headed to Forchette.  More  hunters fished in the middle of the day after hunting.  They were working the points and  jigging.  Only  an occasional walleye was caught.

Nelson- The water is very  low at Nelson.  Right now you can’t use the Headgates.  They concrete is crumbling.  You need to use the State Park way.    People are fishing  from shore.  The water is too low to put a boat  in.  “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

According to another source the trout fishing has been consistent.   The perch bite they say picked up a little.  A few fishermen  caught some  walleye  with jig wraps.  A Thomas Cyclone has been catching  rainbows or browns.    The 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 at times. The water level has not changed much.

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

Billings Yellowstone fishing-

I still heard from some guys who fished the water by  Huntley.   They did okay fishing for  sauger and small mouth bass.  Some went as far as Miles City.

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  there have been a few people fishing Elmo since the weather got warmer.  They have been fishing from shore or the pier.  I did not see any one catching but I was not around much this week to see.   The lake is down 2 feet now.

The draft environmental assessment is out discussing  the process of draining  Lake Elmo, precautions to keep Asian Clams from spreading during draining, disposition of fish and aquatic species now in the water, repopulating fish in the lake in 2022 and effects of the various projects.

  The full 60-page environmental assessment, including preferred alternatives, is on the FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov and follow the links to “news,” “environmental assessments” and “restoration & rehabilitation.” Or click on:


Comments are due by Nov. 18, 2020. Phone questions may be directed to Mike Ruggles, FWP’s regional fisheries program manager, at 406-247-2961 during normal business hours. Comments may be emailed to fwpregion5pc@mt.gov or mailed to : Mike Ruggles

Montana FWP 2300 Lake Elmo Drive  Billings, MT 59105 .”

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

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,”  The weather was nice this week, so some people took advantage of it . A few people were out trying to catch salmon.   I don’t  know if they caught  anything.   “

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

 Terry reports, “  the only word I heard on  fishing came from a couple of guys that headed to Deadmans.   They said the kokanee have picked up.  They came home with some. Decent ones.”

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

 Rick  reports, “  The Checkerboard Inn is closed for 14 days or so because both Judy and I have tested positive for Covid19.  So sorry for the inconvenience. ”

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

 Colby  reports ,”  Not very many people talking fishing.

Missouri- The Missouri is cloudy and has plenty of moss.  Tough fishing right now.

Carters Pond-  People are fishing at Carters Pond.  They are doing well catching some nice  rainbow trout.     “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharen says, “ we had a few people here.  The last two days I  saw some boats on the water. The trout fishing has been decent.  I  have not heard of any walleye being caught. They say you really had  to work for  the fish.   The docks are in and the ramp is clear so you can still  launch. “

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 on Canyon Ferry this week.  The river fishing has seemed okay.  The rivers are not up much, they are still low.  I do not see any ice on them.

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, “  people are talking about the algae grass on the Big Horn.  The Stillwater and the Yellowstone are clear and have come up since the last storm.  People are nymphing or using streamers.  Both techniques are working about the same.  For nymphs use anything with legs. Try Princes, Batmans or grittles.   If you use a streamer try a size 8.  The  browns  are done spawning.  Twin Bridges access is still closed.  Our hours are now 10 to 2 pm.  ”

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  and the water is murky.

On the Big Horn nymphing is tough. The grass is breaking up. Try a worm pattern or a sow bug in tan.  Streamers. Worked better.  You catch either small or large browns nothing in the middle.“

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

Stephanie  explained,” I fished the water and pulled streamers.  Nymph fishing was okay.  The water is off color. The grass is breaking off.  I didn’t  have trouble fishing .  It is not thick.  The CFS is 2400 right now.   Some good size  fish are being caught.   The lower three has less grass.  With  nymphs try  using a tan or gray Ray, a pink or orange scud.  Try some two tone worms or a baetes pattern.

 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.

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!

Here is the last report -West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 10/26/20


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

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