Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 6.30.21
By angelamontana

Posted: July 1, 2021

 Summer is here and that can bring unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures,  wind  and  flooding  which means  everyone needs to be vigilant when being outside.   Outdoor enthusiasts, including fishermen need to pay attention to  changes.    The possibility of fire is a reality ,  and it   can  happen   quickly.   Please  watch where you drive as it is already really dry.  Fishermen or fisherwomen need to   keep in touch with the weather service.  Let others know where you  are for safety as you recreate.  Enjoy yourself but remember alcohol alters your judgment. So, use it sparingly while enjoying the outdoors.  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.  

Happy 4th of July!

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer

Raymond reports,” we are in Stage 1 fire restrictions. There are no exceptions.  No fire rings or fireworks. The water is clearing with less mud.  The water temperature is 72 degrees at the dock.  We saw mostly walleye  caught.  They were using bottom bouncers and one guy limited out.  They were using spinners and worms and went north and south.  I only saw one bass and 1 crappie otherwise.

Reservations have started for the summer.  The fish cleaning station  is now open. “

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

The marina  is open.  The weekend hours are 7 to 6pm Saturday and 7 to 5 pm Sunday.  During the week we are  open 8 to 5 p.m.

Wade reports,”  people are  getting walleye bottom bouncing in 15 to 20 feet depths.  Some are using a slow death with worms or leaches.  Someone caught a 16 ½ inch crappie in 30 feet of water.  It was suspended.  The bass fishing is great.  Work the arms and inlets and structures.  Northern pike you can find anywhere right now.  the crappie did not  move toward shore, as I thought they would.  Crappie fishing is really slow.

On Saturday we are having a live band “Roy Buzzard and the Bones” .  They play retro oldies.  We will have Indian Tacos and our regular menu.

We will have  the homemade  Indian Taco  for you to eat on the patio this weekend again with our regular menu as well.  “

  I have worms, minnows, bait, and tackle. I also have cold drinks and maybe some warm food as well.  “

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

 Marina number is 1-406-485-2560          

Monty said, ”  fishing has picked up.  We have seen lots of fish caught.  We only had 1 ½ days of wind.  Guys have been fishing  and getting walleye in big numbers.  They are heading to McGuiereCreek at 18 to 28 feet. Some are bottom bouncing at 17 to 25 feet.  The bass we have seen  have been big.  Use a leach or a worm.  We had one fellow who pulled his pole out of the water and the bass jumped for the bait and got it. That happened twice.  The pike were 20 inches in size  at depths at 18 to 28 feet of depth.  The color that works is green.

On the 3rd of July we are having a boat poker run. We will also have a DJ playing music. Come join the fun.

We  do have some cabins available for the weekend and more available during the week.   The Marina has bait, crawlers, and minnows.  We also have two new pizza flavors, Hawaiian and Dave’s hot 3 meat pizza for people to try. ”

For reservations for the summer season.  To make reservations you can  call  Monty at 406-465-0241 or  call Linda at 406-230-1283. We are now open with full services.  We are  fully functioning.

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

  Clint  reported ,”  everything is good fishing.   People are catching bass and pike.  We had lots of people this week.  We had four days where the wind came from the southeast. It often stops the fishing action.   The walleye have been at 12 to 14 feet depths.  You have to work harder for them, but you can get your limit.  They have been fishing  from Hell Creek to the pines.  Northern pike are really doing well.  They are using crawlers, leaches, and bottom bouncers.   “

 We are open  from 8 to 5 on weekdays and 7 to 6 on weekends.

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

Wendy  reports, “ in between the high wind people have been catching fish.  So they have no where to hide.  For northern pike  people are doing well on cranks and spoons. Fish are moving so you have to do the  find  to get them.  People are catching lots of lake trout.  Look for them at 70 to 105 feet with a jig or downrigger.  The color white is working.  The water temperature is 60 to 63 degrees.  Trolling  is doing really well.

We are fully stocked with leaches jumbo crawlers and sucker minnows.

We still have dates available if you want to fish with a guide.  Just give us a call. We would love to help you.”

Our hours are   6am-7 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina  Jessica & Scott Collinsworth   1-406-565-6283  

 Scott  reports,  ”

Walleye- The  bite has been hit and miss, .  Anglers are still seeing the best success   throwing jigs with swimbaits up shallow  and using bottom bouncers and crawlers. The leach bite is starting to pick up as well.   Some anglers are pulling cranks on planner boards shallow for some good action.  Focus on 10 to 20 feet of water.

Pike – Seem to be We have been catching them moving already guys .  Guys are still targeting them  pulling cranks in 20-25 feet.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing  really picked  back up this week.  We have been vertical jigging in 65 to 90 feet of water with some great days on the water.    Guys trolling flashers on downriggers have been doing good.  “

I have the bait store fully stocked and ready for everyone.  We have a lot of new baits this year.  Stop by for all your tackle or just the latest reports to get you headed in the right direction or look at taking a guided trip with us so we can put you on that fish of a lifetime. We also have a great selection of minnows, crawlers. and leaches  Have a great week everyone.  Hope to see you soon. “

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

We are open 7am to 7 pm.

Gary said,  “ people have been doing really well.  Lots of northern pike have been caught. Crappie fishing is really good.  Use a white jig.  The walleye fishing bite is steady.  Catfishing from the bank has been good.  The guy’s fishing for walleye are heading up Lost Creek and Ghost Coulley.   They are using worm harnesses for walleye.  Use pink or purple colors at 15 feet.    Some are pitching shallow jigging in 7 to 23  feet pitching there and back.  The lake is maintaining the same level.  Bring your own minnows. “

Paddlefish Harvest Final Results   from FWP  

 Paddlefish Harvest Update after Friday June 24

Considering no paddlefish angler participation on Friday and Saturday at Intake and river flows that continue to drop, this will be the last update for the 2021 yellow tag paddlefish season.  The last fish to be reported as harvested was from Saturday June 19th.  Paddlefish season will officially end Wednesday June 30th.

The final total  for each day is  689 for processed fish at intake.  The estimated total for the river is 844 paddlefish.

 Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David  654-1712

Open 7:30 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday/ 11am to 3 pm Sunday

Kolin  reports, “  this week I am fishing at Forchette.  We have caught lots of little fish.  The walleye bite is slow.  We were bottom bouncers, cranks, and jigs.  A few crappie have been caught.  The water temp is 78 degrees.  You just really have to work for them because of the heat.  They are catching  a lot of small  walleye.  The ramp is good for getting on and off. “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,” As the week progressed the  water temperatures at Cooney this week was in the upper 68s to  72s. The water clarity is not great in the Red Lodge & Willow Creek arms.  It is better in the inlets. You can go to the weed beds to find the perch and walleye.   The depth  is 14 to 20 feet   The wind was blowing part of the week.  The walleye were active this week.  Troll bottom bouncers with worm harness or Rapala’s worked for folks. Others did well with leaches under slip bobbers. The perch are targeting leaches in the weed beds anywhere from 5 to 20 feet. Trout fishing has slowed with the warmer weather, but a few are still being caught by the shore fisherman. “

  Help the next camper in your spot and take your trash home.  We need to  preserve what we have for all of us.   Please remember according to the regulations the Willow Creek arm is always a NO wake zone.

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says,” Elmo is at a good depth.  Lots of people with canoes, sailboats, and boards are out there. Lots of swimmers are using the water during the day.  The people fishing are coming real early in the morning and late in the evening. Worms and bobbers are being used. They have caught mostly pan fish.

There is a Stage 2fire restrictions in South Central Montana.  The counties in Stage II are Yellowstone, Stillwater, Carbon,  and Musselshell. The stage I fire restrictions in this area  are Sweetgrass, Wheatland, Treasure, Park, Meagher , and Big Horn.  This pertains to all fishing access sites and campsites.  No fireworks are allowed.

(The announcement  as of May 1st of “catch and keep” as many fish as you can on Lake Elmo  has brought  a lot of people coming to Elmo.  The creel limit and fish-length  are off in preparation  for the draining of Elmo starting October 2021 to eradicating the invasive Asian clams found in 2019. )

Before you go fishing, please check the FWP site as there are waters that have “Hoot Owl “ rules on them.  No matter where you fish, please handle the fish careful  and place them quickly in the water as this warm weather is hard on them.

Cooney FWP release– Marshall Cove Campground at Cooney State Park will close to the public for the rest of the week while crews remove hazardous trees.

The campground will reopen late Friday, in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Because the Marshall Cove, on the southeast corner of Cooney Reservoir, is filled on a on a first come, first-served basis, no camping reservations are affected.

The Cottonwood, Fisherman’s Point, Red Lodge Arm and North Shore campgrounds at Cooney State Park will remain open this week.”

Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,”  all campsites are open now.  We saw people  boating and fishing from shore.  They caught some trout and carp we heard.    There  were people fishing from  boats.  Lots of recreation boating  happening as well. The water level is  still going down.   Just a reminder, we do not have change for large bills for your camp fee.  Please come prepared.”

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

  Terry says, “  most guys have said the heat kept them from  fishing.  I talked to someone who fished Achley, and he caught a 44-inch muskie.  They caught a few other fish.   People have been fishing  at Broadview Pond.  They  caught a few there.  It has slowed some, maybe from the heat. “

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

 Judy reports” we had lots of  people fishing at Bair this week. Lots of  fishermen did really well at Bair and some people  got their limits or very close to their limits.  Some fished from shore  as well as in boats.   The reservoir is going down because the farmers need to irrigate. We here in Meagher pronounced Mahr is in Stage 1 fire so please be very careful as you recreate.  “

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   reported,”

Spring Creek- Spring Creek is clear.  The fishing is good, and a dry fly pattern has worked.  Use a caddis pattern. The fishermen are  also using spinner bait.  That fishing is good right now as well.

Carter’s Pond is fishing good if you can get past the weeds. .  People caught rainbow trout.  They have been using flies and lures or worms.

East Fork- You can catch perch  as they are biting at the East Fork.  Fishermen are using cranks.

 Missouri- People  are catching catfish. People  said the water is high and muddy.  The bugs are out so bringing your spray.

I fished the tournament at Canyon Ferry.  The water was low I think it is down 7 to 8 feet.  The heat slowed things down.  We used anything in white in jigs and plastics. “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Staff says, “ we  had the tournament this past weekend.  People talked about catching trout and walleye.  The fishing slowed some with the heat.  The first-place winners Chad Rembo and Steve Worden won with a weight of 24.7.   The second-place winners were Bob Hickey and Jason Mundel with 20.16.

 Fishermen are heading to the South end of the lake for fish.   The water is up right now.    “

 You need to know–There is something new at Canyon Ferry.  There is a kiosk and a $5.00 boat launch fee.  You can pay a seasonal fee of $50.00.  The camp host is down there to give you the sticker.

We have worms, leaches, and  Rich’s Tackle in the store  for the season.

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

 We are open.  Our hours 8 a.m.  to 6 p.m. We will be closed Sunday and Monday.

Rich says”  the rivers  are  low.  The lower Madison  is in “hoot owl”  from 2 pm to midnight. As far as the Canyon Ferry tournament.  People told me they had wind and it was tough fishing at times. I was told the weights that won  were in the upper twenties.

 I also heard Fort Peck was fishing well.  The heat is definitely a factor.  They  fished from 5am and then found it slowed when the heat went up.  I heard a lot of crappies were caught at Crooked Creek. ”

 Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 

Chris says, ” my shop is now closed as of April 30th.  I am still guiding.

Two Bridges is open, and you can float past it.  You cannot use the road yet.”

East Rosebud Fly Shop- 410 East Pike, Columbus, MT-Dan McGuire 406-290-5116

Dan explains,”  I heard fishing is  good.  The flows have gone down on both the Yellowstone and Stillwater.   The Stillwater is looking good.    The steady weather has helped.  The Yellowstone and Stillwater are both clear.    If you are looking for flies to try a Jack Cabe or an elk hair caddis  in size 14 is working .  On the Stillwater nymphing is working.  Hit the fish with a pink color like a pink pheasant tail.  You also can use the standard copper John or San Quan worm.  On the Yellowstone  streamers are working like the sparkle minnow ,a sculpin or JJ. “

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ the Missouri  is  very  low.   It is the lowest I have ever seen.  I think it is at 2900 now.  Still seeing  some PMD  hatches.   We have caught some nice rainbow and browns.  The bite is on and is good fishing but the heat shuts things down around 2 pm.   The  heat is definitely affecting the fish.  Handle them with care.  We caught some nice rainbow and brown trout.  A PMD or caddis will work.”

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

Rick reports , “   The CFS is 1up a little to 1820.   The upper 3 miles is where to target.  The lower portion has some algae,  but people are still having some success there.  People are  catching nice fish  on nymphs.  The water temperature is in the low 60’s .  Use a baetes  nymph or a sow bug.  If you are wading , fish the drop offs.    Use a deep  sink tip.  On Sunday people did really well despite being hot.

 Make your call  if you want to book a guide or lodging  as we are filling lots of spaces.  “

  Our shuttle service is available. Call and talk to the shop to get  information you need.

Open  8 am to 12 every day.

Rick says,” I went to Rock Creek by Phillipsburg.  I saw stone flies and PMD.  We used yellow Sally’s  in a size 10 or bigger.  The fishing was really good and my brother from out of state caught fish.”

 Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg.  Open 730am-9pm  


Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report for 6/29/2021


Upper Madison: Fishing has remained good to excellent over the last week,  with hatches of caddis, PMD’s and stoneflies have had fishing looking up. Salmonfiles and Golden Stones are working their way towards the wade stretch, with a few still flying around down lower around Palisades. Running a tandem nymph rig, searching around with an attractor dry fly, or fishing a stonefly dry with a nymph dropper are all great options right now if you aren’t finding rising fish. Keep in mind water temps have been creeping up with these hot days, so do your best to fight fish quickly, and give them a little extra recovery time before letting them go.

Flies: #8 Jakes Hot Cake Salmonfly, #8 Supafly, #10-12 Chubby Chernobyl, #12 Tan Chili Dog, #12-14 Royal PMX, #14-16 Parachute Adams, #14 Lime Trude, #16 Missing Link Caddis, #14-16 Guide Dip, #16-18 Krystal Dip, #16 Holo-Point, #14-16 Rockworm Caddis

Hebgen: Fishing continues to improve on the lake when you can stay out of the wind. Keep an eye out for a few early Callibaetis in the mornings, but fishing nymphs under an indicator is still your best bet. Slow stripping a wooly bugger or leech has been finding a few fish here and there as well.

Flies:  #12 O.S Opal Buzzer, #16 Pheasant Tail, #14 Olive/Red Nugget, #8 Olive or Black Simi Seal Leech, #8 Olive or Black Hot Bead Goat Leech, #8 Thin Mint, #6 Black/Olive Flash Bugger


The Gallatin in YNP is also fishing well right now, and several hatches are happening here too. Keep an eye out for Stoneflies, Caddis, PMD’s Yellow Sallies, and Green Drakes. Lots going on right now! If nothing is coming up, your favorite attractor dry should find a fish or two. It might be a little early, but don’t sleep on the NE corner of Yellowstone. Streamers and nymphing has been productive on the Lamar and Soda Butte, but you could see some Gray Drakes, PMD’s and maybe some Stoneflies here this week.

Flies: #12- 16 Royal Chubby, #14-16 Purple Parachute, #16 Purple Hazy Cripple, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 Front End Loader,  #14-16 X Caddis, #14-16 Royal Wulff, #, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #16 Holo-Point, #6 Olive Sparkle Minnow