Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 7-12-2021
By angelamontana

Posted: July 15, 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.

COMPILED BY Carol Henckel

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer

Raymond reports,” we were busy enough this  week.  Not as many as on the 4th of July.  I saw one fellow who had caught a walleye and bass.  He said he was in depths of 15 to 20 feet.  He had headed both north and south.    We had a lot of people with boats recreating again.  The water level has dropped a couple of feet. The water temperature is 76 degrees.  degrees at the dock. We had a fair numbers of campers this week.

 We are in Stage 1 fire restrictions. There are no exceptions.  No fire rings or fireworks.

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,”  fishermen had some success finding bass in the shallows, but they seemed to be the smaller size ones.    They were finding the larger bass deeper in the areas of structure.   I only saw  two northern pike that was caught. One person got walleye outside the weed beds using bottom bouncers  and worms.  He caught a nice 30 incher.  The Park was full.  People were having a  lot of fun in the heat.  Lots of boaters and swimmers.

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          

Dave  said, ”  fishing was really good this week. Six  people caught some nice size walleye.  The numbers of walleye being caught are less than earlier, but the sizes are good.  Someone caught a 30 ¼ inch and a 28-inch walleye.  They headed to Box Creek, Sandora and Box Elder. People also caught  northern pike and bass. For the walleye people are cranking or bottom bouncers with a leach or a worm or pitching jigs.  What they take  varies day by day but in 12 to 27 feet depths.  The water level is down by 10-feet, but you can still get your boat in, and it is not hard.  If you are concerned about  the water level and call the marina for up-to-date info.  People fishing from shore are getting consistent limits.

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 

  Staff reported ,”  fishing is somewhat slower.  People are heading toward Crooked Creek by Hell Creek, East Hell Creek and Gilbert Creek.  The walleye are scattered. The walleye have   been at 12 to 14 feet depths. The northern pike  bite seems to be hit and miss right now.  The bass are shallow.  People are catching bass using a jig on rocky points or using a crank at 10 to 15 feet depths.     We had a steady number of people this week.  The water surface temperature has been 77 degrees in the bay.   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

Ethan reports, “ it has been good fishing this week.  The Governor cup  tournament  was sporadic, one day they caught very little and then the next day they did well.  Others  did real well the first day and then the next day they struggled to get a bite.  There was thunderstorms and rain weather on Friday night which changed things.  No one was willing to say what they used or where they went.  For lake trout put a jig on and troll  going 90 to a 105-foot depths.  They have been catching a lot towards York, B marker and Hakesbee.  There have no salmon caught yet.

The Fort Peck Women’s Tournament is this Saturday.  It is a one-day event.  If you want to sign up call Jill at 406-263-7553.  ”

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,  ”   The top winners of the Governor’s Cup Tournament are as follows.  First place was  won Jason Eggebrecht and Ross Lein  with 74.47 pounds.  The 2nd place winners were Mike Chappel and Mike Chappel with 72.88 pounds.

Walleye- The  bite has been picking up.  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.   Shiver minnows have been catching some great fish the last couple of weeks.

Pike – Pike have stayed  really shallow this week again  as anglers were doing really well  with jigs and shiver minnows.  Cranks you take shallow were lights out for good northerns.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing   has remained really good 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 as well.

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,  “I I have decided to close the marina the 11th of July until hunting !!!!   Many people have called thinking they could still get their jet boat in.  The water level is now 3 inches with two feet of mud beyond that.  There is no way you would be able to get out and you would be stuck in the mud.  So please don’t  try it.

If you have things in storage you need to call to make arrangements.  There are no more number pads so if you cannot 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.”

 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 last Saturday and was kicking up a lot of mud.  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.

 Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin  reports, “  People are still fishing  at Nelson.  They were using a worm harness and catching walleye. I did not hear of any  northern pike this week.  Put your boat in at the State Park.  Some people tried cranks for walleyes.  I heard nothing  about Forchette this week .  It has a ramp with a long incline, so it is not hard to get on.  “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,”  Cooney  has been very  busy.  Lots of boats.  People are excited about fishing.  The walleye and perch bite remains good. Bottom bouncers with a floating jig tipped with a leach seem to work well this week.  Water temperatures have been 72s. Fisherman have been fishing early in the mornings or nights due to the boater traffic. I had luck trolling Rapala’s along the weed edges.  The trout has been slow and if they are  biting  it is on gold spinners or yellow power bait.  Marshall Cove will open 2 pm tomorrow, Thursday to the public. “

  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 still at a good level.  Many people were out with canoes,  and boards.  Lots of swimmers are using the water during the day.  I come in the early morning like 7am and people  are already fishing. late in the evening. The regulars that fish stay until ten  or eleven and leave.  Some come home in the cool of the evening.  Worms and bobbers are being used. They have caught mostly pan fish.

There is a Stage 2 fire restrictions in  many counties of South-Central Montana.  This pertains to all fishing access sites and campsites.  No fire or 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. )

Please check the FWP site as many  waters  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,”  lots of campers this week. We had to pull the dock, so you only have the ramp to use.   The water has dropped about 10 feet so we had two big boats could not put in and left.  We have a huge number  We had lots of boats on Saturday and Sunday  on the water.   We saw fishermen coming out to fish  but the recreation people kind of pushed  them off the water.  The heat made it poor fishing.  Remember the fire restrictions, please be safe.   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, “  the Basin people are saying so low they caught no fish with any size.  At Martinsdale guys said it was low and slow fishing.   They said they thought big boats would struggle to get in.  People are still  fishing  at Broadview Pond.  They now are catching largemouth bass.  They said they were nice size.“

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

 Judy reports” we had another week where  people did not come to fish at Bair.  I think the heat kept them away as well as the fire danger. 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,” I fished the Governor’s Cup tournament.  Many guys had one day of great fishing and the second day was really poor.  We used bottom bouncers  with worms and shiver minnows.  Oh well, it is called fishing.

Spring Creek- Spring Creek is definitely clear.  The fishing was good people were finding this week.  Try a  dry fly  caddis pattern.

East Fork- People are fishing for perch and doing well.  They are biting on worms.  It seems to be an easy catch.

Esther- People are catching northern pike.  It seems to be a good bite.

 Missouri- People  are catching catfish.  Bring bug spray., you will need it.  “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie  says, “  depending on who you talk to guys either say  fishing is decent and others struggled to get something.  The fellow who did well  he caught 12 to 14 fish.  He said he caught walleye and perch but not trout.  They were catching a lot of fish from shore. The water has dropped.  We have been told we can not get any more leaches because of transporting in heat.   People have been buying black, orange, and purple colors to fish.   “

 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.   He is finding some days slow fishing.   You can  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. With the low water people are definitely seeing  more structures coming out of the water. “

 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 level on the  Stillwater is 888 foot per second.  It is getting close to wade only. .   It has cleared again.  Guys are using nymphs right now.  People are seeing lots of caddis, but really tiny ones so use an 18 to 20 size.  The Yellowstone is pretty clear.  Even after some rain it was clear.  Fish the deeper holes with streamers.   Fishing has been good.   Try a Jack Cabe or an elk hair caddis  in size 14  as it is working .   As for what to use try hoppers or girdle bugs.  On the other hand try Chubby Chernobyl, purple haze, and hopper patterns.  Hit the top water right now.”

 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 lot of people fishing  this week  despite the heat.  The CFS is still  at  1750.   The upper 3 miles is clear and good fishing.  Guys are seeing more PMDs.  You can also use hopper patterns to the bank as there is some action.   The lower 9 miles still has some weeds.  People are  catching nice fish  on nymphs.  The water temperature is in the  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 7/13/2021


Upper Madison: Smokey and hot out there, but thankfully cooler overnight temps have helped keep the water temperature down. Keep an eye on the gauges or have a stream thermometer with you, because the water has been creeping up towards 68 degrees in the afternoons. Look for caddis, PMD’s, Yellow sallies, and a few Green Drakes. Not too early to start tossing around some terrestrial patterns either as hoppers, ants, and beetles have had a few fish looking up.  Nymph fishing remains strong with a two-fly rig and some split shot to get you in the zone.

Flies: #10-14 Chubby Chernobyl, #16 Tan Chili Dog,  #14-16 X Caddis, #16 Peacock Caddis, #16 PMD Cripple, #16 Larimers Yellow Sally, #16 Nyman’s Flying Ant, #10-12 Morrish Hopper, #16 Frenchie, #14-16 Redneck, #16-18 Black Krystal Dip, #16-18 Hares Ear

Hebgen: Callibaetis hatches are starting to get going and gulper fishing isn’t too far out. Look for bugs in the more weedy, shallow areas of the lake. There are still a few chironomids hanging around as well, so be prepared with a couple patterns of each. If you aren’t getting them on top, try hanging a Turkey Callibaetis or a pheasant tail 14-16” under your dry fly. Try stripping a leech or wooly bugger if nothing is happening on the surface.

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:  Not much has changed here since last week. 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. Fishing seems to be better in the mornings, kind of dies off mid-day, and should pick back up in the evenings. Biting flies have been pretty bad, make sure to bring some bug spray.

Flies: #14-16 Parachute Adams, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #14-16 Brown Elk Hair Caddis, #16 Hazy Cripple, #12-16 Tan Chubby Chernobyl, #14-16 Royal Stimulator, #14 Lime Trude #14 Tan Spruce Moth

NE Corner:  The Lamar, Soda Butte, and Slough Creek are all solid options right now. Caddis and PMD’s are on the menu here, along with a couple Green Drakes. Hoppers, Ants, and Beetles should get a few fish to come up if nothing is rising. Putting a heavy nymph underneath a big dry fly is a safe bet as well. Be sure to check the weather forecast and the Lamar gauge before heading over here, as rainstorms can cause the Lamar to blow out quickly.

Flies: #16 PMD D.O.A Cripple, #16 X Caddis, #14-16 Royal Wulff, #16 Arricks Ant, #12-16 Chubby Chernobyl, #10-14 Pink Thunder Thighs, #14-16 Frenchie, #14-16 Redneck

Yellowstone: The Yellowstone above the falls opens this Thursday, the 15th. Flows out of the lake are slowly dropping, and it should be a good opener.  Expect to see some other anglers, and lots of bug activity. PMD’s, Caddis, Drakes, and maybe even some stoneflies should be out in force.

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