Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 8.25.21
By angelamontana

Posted: August 26, 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

Staff  reports,” our water is still  average for this time of year, but it is low.  The frog pond is very low. You cannot put a boat in.   The water has cooled down to  74 degrees at the dock.   Few fishermen caught a few bass.  The smoke is better this week.

 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.  We are closed on Mondays. The weekend hours are 9 am to as late as the number of fishermen are there.  7 to 3 pm Sunday.

Stephanie and Payton report,”  People  were catching bass this week.   The  bass have been  moving in the shallows . Fishermen are using a top popper.  I did not see any walleye caught.  The frog pond has a little bit of water in it.  I don’t think a boat can get in.  It is less smokey.  “  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          

Monty said, ”   before three to four days ago fishing was really good.  Lots of numbers caught.  Since then the fishing has been slower.  The wind picked up and we had some rain. People have still caught some nice pike, bass, and walleye.  All of them have been shallow in 7 to 12 feet.  They have been  using cranks often with a crawdad.   People have gone fishing for walleye pitching toward shore at depths of 3 to 7 feet and catching walleye.  Fishermen are picking up lake trout towards the Dry Arm.

We  do have RV spots and we have easy boat launches.   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 

  Clint  reported ,” fishing has been slow.  Not many walleye  were called but the ones found were at 22 to 30 feet.

Those guys caught big walleye not eaters.  Find them at the main lake points.  They are pretty  much at the main lake points, but you just find them here and there.  The northerns are starting up again.  The lake turned over and so going to depths of 18 to 20  feet using cranks has worked.  Everything  you fish right now is scattered.  If you find than they are finding biting good.  You just have to find them.  We had wind this week. 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

Eddie reports, “ fishing has been slow.  We had weather this week with one inch of rain and lots of wind.  The salmon bite is slow.  They are finding them toward  Duck Creek and Shaft at 90 to 125 feet depths.   We are seeing  only a few little salmon caught.  Use flies and Brad’s bait cup.  It was also  tough fishing for  walleye.  Only saw a few caught. The walleye are being caught with cranks pitching shiver minnows towards shore. The lake trout bite is also tough, but some people are picking some up towards Cooper .”

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 been really tough this week with this cold front that came through.  The fish that were caught were still mainly 2-year-old which have been averaging  3 to 8 pounds.   We have not seen any of the older fish this week.  Guys are still doing the best pulling Brads cut plugs and  Tommy Gonzales flies .  We are seeing some fish caught on herring as well  behind flashers in  85 ‘ to 135 feet of water.

Walleye- The  bite has continued to be tough this week with a few fish getting caught in 20 feet of water.

Pike – Fishing  along with all other spies has been  tough this week.  A few guys have been  catching fish pulling cranks in 20 feet of water and also pitching shiver minnows for some success.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing   has been decent with  most  guys  jigging   and finding some decent fish jigging,   but the trolling bite continues to produce good fish  as well on flashers and Brads 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.   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, “ the water is up some.  People will have a little easier  time getting  small boats in.  Put your boat in at the State Park.  Some people  caught some walleye.  Most people are using  cranks. Only a few had luck with bottom bouncers.

I have heard  nothing on how Forchette  is fishing.  “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,”  The boat ramp at Marshall Cove campground at Cooney State Park is closed until further notice because of low water in the reservoir. Boat launches at the Red Lodge campground and North Shore on Cooney Reservoir will remain open.

The water temperature ranged this week from the mid to upper 60s. The water clarity is a little better. Trout fishing has stayed steady this week. Power bait or worms seems to be the most popular. The perch are taking small white or red jigs tipped with a worm. People that could vertically jig them did the best. The walleye were a little more active this week. More bigger size walleye and not as many eaters.  Folks caught them jigging jig raps and trolling Rapala’s.  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 dog park is temporarily closed because of mud from irrigation as of Wednesday morning.   Fishermen  are fishing in the early morning  from 6 am to  8am to avoid the heat. They are using worms and bobbers. I only saw a few  fish caught.  The cool weather may pick things up.  Just a reminder we pull the plug on Elmo in 5 weeks so come fish.

Hoot owl’ restrictions lifted on portions of some Montana rivers

Several “hoot owl” restrictions currently in effect on portions of some Montana rivers will be lifted at 2 p.m. today.

Restrictions are lifted on:

  • Missouri River from the Cascade boat ramp to Holter Dam (river mile 2,166.2 to 2,202.1)
  • Madison River from Ennis Dam to the border with Yellowstone National Park (river mile 40 to 131)
  • Stillwater River from the confluence with the Yellowstone River to Absaroka Fishing Access Site (river mile 0.0 to 13)
  • Yellowstone River from Laurel to Yellowstone Park.

There is a Stage 2 fire restrictions  are still in effect 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 days of rain and some wind  for several days, so people did not go out.   We had a couple of campers.  No shore fishermen were here this week.

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, “  I had only one guy who went fishing.  He went home empty handed.   There is a lot less people  fishing  at Broadview Pond.  People say the fish have turned soft.  “

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

 Judy reports” I am hearing that Bair is too low to get a boat in on Bair.    We did get some wonderful rain.  We did have a few people who fished this week but not many bites.    We had  a couple of people who went to Sutherland.  They  said the water was low there. 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.

 Colby reported,”

Spring Creek- Spring Creek was good  for fly fishing this week. Make sure to fish   in the morning and late afternoon to get some bites.  Try hoppers or nymphs.

Petrolia- Petrolia is low so you can’t get a boat in.

Forchette- Fishing is doing well on Forchette.  The guys I talked to said they caught pike and walleye using cranks at 20 to 30 feet depths.

Hanson -Hanson is really mossy. “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie  says, “ the water has dropped  more this week.   Not many  guys went out  as we had quite a bit of wind. You can get out at Broadwater just stick to the canal or stay in the groove.  Lift your motor. Guys were catching walleye, and  trout.  They are using worms and headed north.

 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,” I was told at Canyon Ferry guys were catching , but the water is very low.  They told me the catch was off and on.  They told me sick to the left side going out to not damage your boat.  They had caught some walleye and trout when you could find them.  There was also a lot of wind.

The Gallatin is off Hoot Owl.  The Jefferson are closed.  The Madison is still 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,”    the hoot owl is off the Stillwater and the Yellowstone.  This rain made the river  muddy again.  I went and fished at Jeffery’s landing for about an hour on my way to an appointment. I caught a couple fish.  I used a hopper dropper and a Pink Pooky.  The clarity has gotten better.  You can see about a foot into the water now.  That would be good streamer fishing.  The Yellowstone if fishing the same.  Try a sparkle minnow or a JJ.  The Yellowstone is at 1920 at Livingston and the Stillwater is up from the 502 to 600 as of today On the Stillwater is very low, you can  wade you can use a Red Copper John as a dropper. Purple haze also is working right now. Hoppers are working.  ”

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau explains,” I am now on the Big Horn.  It has been very good fishing.  PMD’s and grasshoppers are working to catch fish.  We are seeing caddis at 11 am.  Nymphing is still very good.    It is really busy with people. 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

 Rick  reports , “ the Big Horn is very  good fishing.   Dries are working.  PMD’s are working. Between 11 am and 5 pm.   The black caddis has been seen in the last 3 to 4 days.   So the hatch is happening.   Use a Gray or tan Ray.  Use baetes patterns.  The CFS is   1720.   The water temperature 53 degrees. I used a dry PMD , a snowshoe in an 18, a cripple and a PM spinner.  The hopper bite is just so so.  .“

  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 08/17/2021


 Upper Madison: The hoot owl restrictions on the Upper Madison are over, and you no longer have to quit fishing at 2pm. A few chilly and rainy days, combined with cool overnight temps the past week have helped keep the water temperature down and the fish happy. Nymphing remains your best bet if you are after numbers. We have been fishing mostly smaller rigs (#16-18) lately but have had a few fish eat stonefly patterns as well. The terrestrial bite has stayed pretty steady the last couple days, and should get better now that we can fish later into the afternoons. Make sure the fish eats your hopper/ant/beetle and turns their head before you set the hook! With storms in the forecast for the upcoming days, keep an eye out for fish rising to mayflies in the softer water. Streamers have been getting good early in the mornings and picking up again late into the evenings if you are looking to try something different.

Flies: #16-18 Pheasant Tail, #16-18 Black Lightning Bug, #18 Split Case BWO, #16-18 Guide Dip, #14-16 Lake Prince, #14 20 Incher, #16 Olive Hot Spot, #16 Firestarter #12-14 Pink Thunder Thighs, #10-14 Tan Morrish Hopper, #16 Hi-Viz Cinnamon Ant, #16 Parachute Ant, #16 Sparkle Dun, #16 Rusty Spinner #6 Mini Dungeon, #6 Sparkle Minnow Royal Oil

Hebgen: The lake has been fishing good most mornings until the wind picks up around noonish. Lots of Callibaetis and Tricos out right now, watch out for pods of fish rising to them. If they are being picky on the surface, try tying on a pheasant tail or turkey callibaetis a 12-16” underneath your dry fly. Slow stripping buggers and leeches has been slower action but still finding fish here and there.

Flies: #16 Callibaetis Sparkle Dun, #16 Callibaetis Sprout,#16 Parachute Adams, #16 Rusty Spinner,  #14-16 Hi-Viz Ant, #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis, #16-18 Pheasant Tail, #14 Olive/Red Nugget, #8 Olive or Black Simi Seal Leech, #6 Flash a Bugger


The Hoot Owl restrictions from all of Yellowstone were lifted on August 20th, and anglers can resume their normal fishing hours (sunrise to sunset)

Gallatin: The Gallatin continues to fish well with terrestrials and small attractor dry flies. The colder nights have kept the water temps extra cold here, so it never hurts to get a later start, or just fish the afternoon and evening hours. Try dropping a nymph a couple feet underneath a smaller hopper pattern if the fish aren’t looking up.

Flies: #14 Yellow Morrish Hopper, #12-14 Grand Hopper, #16 CDC Flying Ant, #16 Nyman’s Flying Ant, #12 Longhorn Beetle, #16-18 Royal Wulff, #16-18 Purple Parachute

Madison/Firehole: Water temperatures have been dropping due to cold nights, and it’s about time to start thinking of swinging soft hackles and stripping streamers in these waters. The Madison has stayed at fishable water temps (below 68 degrees) the past couple days, and the Firehole is not far behind if these cooler nights keep up. Terrestrials have been fooling a few fish, and be looking for some fish eating Baetis in the forecasted storms coming up.

Flies: #10-12 Partridge and Peacock, #10-14 Partridge and Pheasant Tail, #10 Partridge and Copper, #6 Olive Sparkle Minnow, #8 Black Simi Seal, #12 Pink Chili Dog, #12- 14 Tan Thunder Thighs, #14-16 Hi-Viz Ant

NE Corner:  Storms in the forecast the next few days could have the Lamar and Soda Butte blow out, so keep an eye on the Lamar gauge or give us a call for a conditions report before making the trip over. Slough Creek tends to stay pretty clear throughout rainstorms, watch out for some small baetis mayflies to be hatching. Attractor dry flies and small streamers are in play here also.

Flies: # 16-18 Olive Comparadun, #18 DOA Cripple, #18 Tilt Wing BWO, #16-18 Purple Parachute, #16 Renegade, #8 Simi Seal Leech, #6 Flash-a-Bugger

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