Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 8.11.21
By angelamontana

Posted: August 12, 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,” this week was quieter.  Fishermen that I saw  caught mostly  bass  this week. Only a few walleye and northern pike I heard was caught.  The biologists are netting this week so we will see what they find. The water is 75 degrees. There is still water in the frog pond.   The water is at 3422. feet.    Please use caution as you recreate . The water level has dropped.

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

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

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.

Payton reports,”  the  crappie are deep primarily because of the heat.  The  bass have been  in the shallows . Fishermen are using a worm and a jig.  Put it on the bottom.  You can even  try a bobber to catch them.  People are catching walleye every now and again.  They are finding the walleye in the bay at 10 feet depths and heading south.  It has been smokey, but it has cleared some.  Most people are fishing  early in the day.  The water is pretty clear, and it is in the upper 70’s in temperature

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, leaches,  minnows, bait, and tackle. I also have cold drinks.  “

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

 Marina number is 1-406-485-2560          

Dave  said, ”  fishing was  slower this week.  Fishermen are heading more north right now, like to Bobcat and Spring Creek to catch walleye.  We have seen people catching a few northern pike.  The bass has been a good bite.  They are finding them shallow in 8 to 15 feet of water.  They  walleye are in 20 to 27 feet depths.  Guys are using  a bottom bouncer  with a worm or leach.  I have heard no word on whether guys are catching lake trout.  We had some wind this week, but the air is clearer of smoke  then it was last week. I was up at the dam  Tuesday, and it was really clear there.   We have seen no salmon here.

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 ,” fishing has been tough.  People are mainly catching bass.  They are finding them in the main bay. The walleye bite has slowed since the heat. The walleye

have  are at  15 to 30 feet.   Use a bottom bouncer with a worm or leach  or a jig.  We are seeing only a few northern pike, so it is a tough bite.  During the week it has been really quiet ,  and we see more people on the weekend.“

 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, “ we are seeing little salmon and only a few very caught.  It definitely is better than last week. Use flies and Brad’s bait cup.    It is tough fishing for  walleye.   They are finding them towards the Pines .  The walleye are at depths of 18 to 30 feet.  It is a tough bite.  Use leaches and crawlers with a bottom bouncers.  No one is targeting northern pike.  The bass are a superhot bite right now. The water temperature was 82 degrees on Sunday.”

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,  ”

Salmon-The salmon bite has continued to be okay this week with the majority of the fish caught being 2-year-old .  They have been averaging from 3-8 lbs.  We have also seen a handful of  older fish between 10-24 lbs. as well. Guys are doing the best pulling Brads cut plugs and  Tommy Gonzales flies  behind flashers in  85 ‘ to 100 feet of water.

Walleye- The  bite has continued  to be good this week with anglers using bottom bouncers, crawlers  and leeches.  They are finding them in 18 to 20 feet of water.   Shiver minnows have been catching some great fish the last couple of weeks.

Pike – Pike fishing has been  better this week for pikes.  Anglers are pulling cranks  in 20 feet of water  for best success.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing   has been somewhat tough for guys jigging  but the trolling bite continues to produce good fish on flashers and beads cut plugs along with moonshine RV Spoons. Fish are between 100 to 110 feet.

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 

Slim  said,  “I am opening up for hunting and cabins around the first of September.   If you wish to have a cabin  call 406-366-6313 to reserve. The water level remains low so boats cannot get on the water.   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. Remember you are alone out there with no cell service if you need help

***On July 20th, 2021, a statement was released by the Army Corp. . I just want to clear the air about that statement released the end of July about Crooked Creek! Those who know me know that I do not joke around when it comes to safety and looking out for the best interest of people that use Crooked Creek . With that said the Army Corp released a statement saying that people can launch boats but have to use extreme caution at Crooked Creek!! This is not true!!! After doing some calling around, I did get ahold of a person in the Army Corp and was told they took a jet boat from bone trail to crooked creek last Thursday and while coming across the bay sucked up quite a bit of mud but did make it to shore and had 1.5 feet of water. Now keep in mind THAT IS A JET BOAT NOT ANY BOAT!! Also I was there on Sunday and the water is still dropping so PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO LAUNCH ANY BOAT FROM CROOKED CREEK BOAT RAMP.

Thank you and have a great day.

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, “ it was fair week this week, so the locals have not been going out fishing.  I do know they are no longer pulling water out so the water  will start slowly creeping up.  People can still get small boats in.  Put your boat in at the State Park.

I have heard  nothing on how Forchette  is fishing.  “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,”  you can still get on the water with the ramp.  The water is dropping but boats can enjoy the water.  Water temperature is 74.  With the hot temperatures the fish have gone deeper in the reservoir. The few groups that caught walleye focused in 25 to 40 feet. They had success using green jig raps.  The walleye have been really tough to find. Perch fishing has been okay.  The perch are still along the weed edges,  The perch are biting on worms in 10 to 15 feet. Occasionally they’ll grab a small Rapala.  The trout have been hit or miss; some days folks are catching their limits other days nothing. The shore fishermen seem to be doing the best. Power bait or worms have been working.

Just a reminder that Cooney has a complete fire ban at this time.”

  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.  The fishermen  are fishing in the early morning to avoid the heat and the recreationalists. They are using worms and bobbers. They are catching  pan fish.

We are still hearing of some people who are not following the hoot owl hours.  We are trying  to protect the resource, the fish.  If you catch a fish at any time during this heat treat the fish carefully.  Don’t pull it out for pictures and if you are doing catch and release let them go in the water.  We want to keep the fish healthy.  The high air heat has made the water  very warm.  So as the day gets hotter if fish are caught, they become distressed very easily and so Hoot Owl rules are put in effect with no fishing after 2pm to midnight. That is in effect now on the lower Stillwater and Yellowstone.  On the Yellowstone it is in effect from Laurel to Yellowstone Park.  We want to have the resource for the next generation and for years to come.  Please help us do that.

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.

Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,” we had some people shore  fishing. They were catching some small salmon.

 We did have some campers. This weekend we had the wind come up.  We tell everyone that if the wind comes up Deadmans gets really treacherous so come to shore immediately.  We ended up with  3 boats that  got to shore but because of the wind could not get close enough to get off the water.  They ended up tying them up on the water and getting their boat out the next day.  So please be very aware of the wind.

We have pulled  the dock.  The ramp can be  used.   The water has dropped again so big boats cannot put in. Small boats can get in.   Remember the fire restrictions, please be safe. There is more beach, but vehicles are not allowed  on the beach. ”

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

  Terry says, “ the weather was just too hot this week  and  many say the water is so low they are not going out to fish.  There is a lot less people  fishing  at Broadview Pond .  Some say the fish are getting soft .  “

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

 Judy reports” we did have some people who  went to Bair to camp and fish.   We had people who caught fish at Bair and were pleased.   You can put in your  boat but because it so  low you have to be really careful.   We are in Stage2 fire restrictions. Please be very careful if  you do  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,” things have been slow fishing   with the high  temperatures.

We have the Kids Fishing Day this upcoming Saturday from 10 to 1pm.  You can sign up at the store. Come and have some fun.

Spring Creek- Spring Creek has been decent this week.  People are fishing in the morning and late afternoon.  It is not spectacular.  The water is definitely clear.

Achley- I have heard people are fishing for muskies .

Devils Creek-  I was just told that Devils Creek is really low.

The reservoirs are low and mossy.  Pretty much all of them.

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie  says, “ we have a lot of smoke. The fire is across the lake.   The water has been dropping more. There is yucky murky water on the edges.    Guys have been catching walleye, and  trout.  They are really using worms.  Guys are finding  the fish at 14 to 20 feet. You can get a medium size boat on the water.  I also saw a pontoon boat on the water today.

 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,” fishermen  are saying that fishing is fairly good at Canyon Ferry.  They  said fishing was  good and they were biting.  One caught 5 large perch all over 12 inches.  They  caught walleye and trout. He said fishing on the south end was too shallow.

I had several fishermen from Fort Peck stop in and they caught some little salmon.

The Gallatin and The Jefferson are closed.  The Madison is on Hoot Owl.  “

 Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 

Chris says, ” My shop is now closed as of April 30th.  I am still guiding. Call if you would like a guide.”

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

Dan explains,”    We have had a big slug of mud come down the Yellowstone.  It was still muddy yesterday.  It is clearing some just do not know how far it is now. Few  have fished for the last two days because of the mud.

The Stillwater is very low.  If you wade you can use a Red Copper John as a dropper. Purple haze also is working right now.

The Boulder should be good to use  a pink fly for some success.

FWP reported “Hoot owl restrictions for portions of the Stillwater River from the confluence with Yellowstone River to Absaroka Fishing Access Site. No fishing from 2 pm to midnight.  It is all about keeping the fish healthy.

There are Hoot owl restrictions for portions of the Yellowstone River Hwy 212 Bridge in Laurel to Yellowstone National Park boundary

If you catch something try releasing  the fish in  the net in the water.  We need to protect our fish in this heat.  Unhook them in the water.  The Stillwater is normally a slippery river,  With the high heat the rocks become slipperier so watch your step.  That makes it hard to wade.  ”

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau explains,” I am now on the Big Horn.  It has been okay fishing.  PMD’s and nymphing  are still working to catch fish.  You do have to work for the fish nymphing on the lower section.  There is grass floating on the water in places.  We are finally  dry fly fishing.  We were using  a parachute.  The  heat is definitely affecting the fish.  Handle them with care.   Let’s protect the fish.”

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

Hale reports , “people are finding good dry fly fishing.  The PMD are hatching as well as seeing black caddis.   Use PMD and baetes patterns.  The nymphing is still working with a little hopper action. It is definitely less than earlier.  The lower 9 miles still has some weeds. But it is clearer and better than it was.   The CFS is   1700.   The upper 3 miles are clear and good fishing.   People are happy.“

  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 08/10/2021


 Upper Madison: Keep in mind of the Hoot Owl restrictions going on right now through this section and many other rivers in Montana, which means fishing is closed from 2PM until midnight each day. Nymph fishing remains a solid option up until the 2pm closing time. Lately we’ve been fishing perdigons, small attractor patterns, and small caddis/mayfly imitations. Not too many bugs out, but keep an eye out for some caddis and mayfly spinners early. Terrestrial fishing has been fun out there from late morning on, tie on your favorite hopper pattern and get some good drifts. Ants, beetles, and attractor dry flies have had a few fish looking up also.

Flies: #16 Holo-Point, #16 Olive Quill Jig, #16-18 Black Lightning Bug, #16-18 Redneck, #18 Split Case BWO, #16-18 Guide Dip, #10-14 Parachute Hopper, #12-14 Tan Thunder Thighs, #12 Bladerunner Hopper, #16 Nyman’s Flying Ant, #14-16 Arricks Ant, #14 Bogus Beetle

Hebgen: Callibaetis and Tricos have had fish looking up on calm mornings the last couple days on the lake. If you are having a hard time finding rising fish, try searching around with a terrestrial pattern with a pheasant tail or turkey callibaetis nymph trailed a foot or so under your dry fly.

Flies: #16 Callibaetis Sparkle Dun, #16 Callibaetis Sprout,#16 Parachute Adams, #16 Rusty Spinner,  #14-16 Hi-Viz Ant, #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis #12 O.S Opal Buzzer, #16-18 Pheasant Tail, #14 Olive/Red Nugget, #8 Olive or Black Simi Seal Leech


All of Yellowstone Park rivers are under Hoot Owl restrictions also, meaning NO fishing after 2pm.

Gallatin: The Gallatin both in and out of the park has stayed consistent over the last week. Terrestrial fishing has been pretty good, and a double dry rig with a small hopper/ant combo is a safe bet right now. Searching around with smaller attractor dries have been effective as well. Keep an eye out for a few PMD’s, Caddis, and Spruce Moths buzzing around also. If action is slow on the surface, tie a dropper nymph a few feet under that hopper pattern.

Flies: #16 Pink Chili dog, #14 Pink Morrish Hopper, #14 Bladerunner Hopper, #16 Nyman’s Flying Ant, #14-16 Cinnamon Ant, #14 Tan Spruce Moth, #14-16 Royal Stimulator, #16 ParaWulff Adams, #16 Frenchie, #14-16 Lake Prince

NE Corner:  After storms last week caused the Lamar and Soda Butte to blow out, it looks like the water has come back down to lower levels. Despite the low water conditions both continue  to fish well. Terrestrial and attractor dries should have fish looking up, but keep an eye out for fish eating PMD’s and Caddis. Dropper nymphs and fishing streamers through deeper pools has brought a few fish to the net also.

Flies: # 12-16 Tan Chubby Chernobyl, #10-14 Tan Grand Hopper, #14 Brown Foamulator, #14-16 Arricks Ant, #14-16 Parachute Adams, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16-18 X Caddis, #16 Olive Quill, #16 Firestarter, #16 Olive Biot Pupa, #6 Olive Sparkle Minnow, # 8 Black Simi Seal Leech