Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 7.7.21
By angelamontana

Posted: July 8, 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.

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer

Raymond reports,” It was a busy weekend.  We had a lot of people with boats recreating.  I did see a few fish that were caught.  I saw a  big pike that was caught at Pee Wee Point  on the north shore.  I saw a few walleye that were caught.  The fisherman caught the walleye  in 15 to 20 water depths.  The water level has dropped a little, so it is not  cresting right now. The water temperature is 72  to 80 degrees.  degrees at the dock. We did get a little rain that people seemed to enjoy as it cooled things.

 We are in Stage 1 fire restrictions. There are no exceptions.  No fire rings or fireworks. The water is clearing with less mud.

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,”  the water was full of people  recreating.  I only saw  one northern pike that was caught.  People were having a  lot of fun in the heat.  Lots of boaters and swimmers.   The bass fishing was good before the heat.  Work the arms and inlets and structures to find them.

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, ”  it was crazy busy this week.  I did not get a lot of time to ask how people did fishing.  We did hear of fish being  caught.  People were catching walleye.  Many headed to McGuire Creek at 19 to 27 feet. Some guys are bottom bouncing.  For the bass use a leach or a worm.   The color working was green.

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. ”

To make any reservations you can  call  Monty at 406-465-0241 or  call Linda at 406-230-1283.

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

  Layne reported ,”  this week was just too hot.  We saw 105 degrees on a few days.  We had people who decided to stay home so we were not as busy as we usually are.  The fishing was hit and miss because of the heat as the fish don’t  like it any better than the people do.   People are catching bass using a jig on rocky points or using a crank at 10 to 15 feet depths.   Some  pike have also been caught .  The walleye have   been at 12 to 14 feet depths.  The water has dropped 6 inches, so we had to move the docks out again.  “

 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

Eddie reports, “ this 4th weekend was really busy.  For lake trout put a jig on and troll  going 800 to a 100foot depth.  They have been catching a lot towards York, B marker and Hakesbee.  The walleye bite is hit and miss right now.  They have been catching lots of little ones.  People are using bottom bouncers with a shiner minnow or a leach.  For northern pike  they are catching them whenever they are targeting other species while pulling cranks.  They are catching bass at the face of the dam and towards Duck Creek  or the marina.”

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 improving with the stable weather. Anglers are still seeing the best success throwing jigs with swimbaits up shallow and using bottom bouncers and crawlers and leaches in 10 to 20 feet of water.

Pike – Pike moved really shallow this week again. Anglers were doing real well with jigs and shiver minnows. Cranks you take shallow were lights out for good northerns.

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.

Slim  said,  “ Hi everyone, As of Today in 2021 I wanted to give a report on water levels and fishing here at Crooked Creek. Fish were being caught out of boats. On the early days of the 4th weekend.   There is not much bank fishing going on and by this week there may be only 6 inches at the shore.  The water level in the bay is now 1 foot and with the warm temperatures we know it will continue to drop.  I have spoken with the Army Corp, and  they only intend to lower it more.  I also informed the governor but apparently the Army Corp have the final word.  I launched  on Saturday and was kicking up a lot of mud.  The fish finder was reading one foot.  I found there were so many structures sticking out of the water that boats are going to be damaged.  I want to thank everyone for your support. I really appreciate it. I have decided to close the marina the 11th of July until hunting !!!!  If you have things in storage you need to come, get it this coming week or during the weekend. There is no more number pad so if you can’t make it then you will have to call 406 429-2999 or 406-366-6313 and we will have to hook up on a weekend. Thank you.”

 Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin  reports, “  People are taking some fish at Nelson.  They were using a worm harness and catching walleye and small northern pike.  Put your boat in at the State Park.  Some other people said they tried cranks for walleyes.  Forchette is still good fishing.  It has a ramp with a long incline, so it is not hard to get on. They caught little, small mouth bass, walleye, and northern pike.  “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,” I just came off the water from fishing on Cooney. As of this morning  the  water temperature is  70s. I fished for perch in the weed beds with leaches at 14 to 20 feet.  The walleye I caught were smaller.  The water clarity is not great in the Red Lodge & Willow Creek arms.  It is better in the inlets.  The wind was blowing part of the week.  The 4th had lots of recreation boaters, so fishing was harder.  The walleye were active  earlier 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  recreating this week with canoes, sailboats, and boards.  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. There are a few regulars that fish for a couple hours before the heat comes and then leave. Worms and bobbers are being used. They have caught mostly pan fish.

There is a Stage 2fire restrictions in  all of South-Central Montana except Treasure which has Stage 1.  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. ”

Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,”  all our campsites were full this week.  At one point on Saturday there were 50 boats on the water.   We saw people coming out to fish  but the recreation people kind of pushed  them off the water.  They  only caught suckers  and carp we heard.   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 fishermen said they did not like the  heat. I talked to someone who tried to fish Deadmans, and the water was way too busy with boaters.  People have been fishing  at Broadview Pond.  One   caught a real nice rainbow trout.  I also talked to someone who headed to Fort Peck, and they did real good  fishing in the morning and evening.  They stayed in the camper from 10 am to 4 pm because of the heat. “

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

 Judy reports” we did not have as many  people fishing at Bair.  I think the heat kept them away. the few who fished said it was fair fishing.  As with lots of places there were a lot of people just boating for fun.    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.

 Travis  reported,”

Spring Creek- Spring Creek is clear.  The fishing was fair this week.  A  dry fly  caddis pattern has worked.

East Fork- You can catch perch  as they are biting on worms.  It seems to be an easy catch.

Petrolia-  My friend caught a few but it was slow.

 Missouri- People  are catching catfish as the water is high and muddy.  You are going to need bug spray.“

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie  says, “  It was good fishing this week. They were catching a lot of fish from shore. Pink spoons have been working. The fishing slowed a little with the heat.  The water has dropped a little. They were catching perch and trout. The water is 75 to 76 degrees.  We have been told we can not get any more leaches.   “

 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 is fishing at Fort Peck this week, but you can still get supplies at the shop.   The Gallatin is only ankle deep in places.  The Jefferson still has water in it.   The lower Madison  is  still in “hoot owl”  from 2 pm to midnight.

 Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 

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

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

Dan explains,”  the water levels have gone  down on both the Yellowstone and Stillwater.   The Stillwater is 1220 and it muddied up for a couple days because of hail.  Now it has cleared again.  The Yellowstone at Billings is 7170. Fishing has been good.   Try a Jack Cabe or an elk hair caddis  in size 14  as it 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.  Streamers are working  on the Yellowstone like the sparkle minnow ,a sculpin, or  a JJ.  Hoppers are working well in the morning but not in the afternoon.  “

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ the Missouri  is  very  low.  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.    A PMD or caddis will work.”

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

Rick reports , “  we saw a number of people this week fishing.  The CFS is down a little to 1750.   The upper 3 miles is clear and good fishing.  The lower portion still 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.   “

  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  


Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report for 7/7/2021


Upper Madison: Fishing has remained pretty good out there over the last week. There are still some Salmonflies and Golden Stones flying around but be on the look out for fish rising to caddis, PMD’s, Yellow Sallies, and maybe even a few Green Drakes. A chubby chernobyl with a heavier nymph dropper has been a good option as of late, and we’ve had a few fish eat attractor dry patterns when bugs aren’t out. But as always nymphing a tandem rig under an indicator will be your best bet if you are looking to get after them.

Flies: #10-14 Chubby Chernobyl, #14-16 X Caddis, #14-16 Missing Link,  #16 Corn Fed Caddis, #16 Sparkle Dun #16 Front End Loader, #14 Hairy Sally, #12-16 Lime Trude, #12-16 Royal Stimulator, #16-18 Lightning Bug, #16-18 Soft Hackle Hares Ear, #14-16 Frenchie, #14-16 Shop Vac

Hebgen: Still the same story as last report. Fishing has been good on those calm mornings before the wind starts to pick up. Watch for fish coming up for Callibaetis, and it might be a little early still, but it never hurts to try an ant pattern on the lake. Nymphing a pair of flies under an indicator or stripping a wooly bugger or leech has been finding fish as well. Mix up your retrieval speeds until you figure out what the fish like.

Flies:  #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis, #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.


Gallatin: There’s still some Salmonflies and Golden Stones around here as well, along with plenty of other hatches going on. Look for Caddis, PMD’s, Yellow Sallies, maybe a couple Spruce Moths too. Your favorite attractor dry pattern should find a couple fish if nothing is coming off. With the cooler water temps in the mornings, there’s no hurry to get to the Gallatin too early.

NE Corner: Slough Creek, The Lamar, and Soda Butte are all good options right now. Same story as the Gallatin, no need to get over here too early due to cooler water temps. Look for PMD’s, Caddis, and a few Stoneflies and Drakes. Ants, Beetles, attractor dry flies and streamers are in play here as well.

Flies: #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 X Caddis, #16 Hazy Cripple, #16 Arricks Ant, #12-16 Chubby Chernobyl, #16 Holo Point, #14-16 Redneck, #6 Sparkle Minnow

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