Statewide Montana Fishing Report 3.30.22
By angelamontana

Posted: March 30, 2022

Please let us know if you would like to see your weekly fishing report included in this compilation by emailing your report to us before the end of the day on Tuesday of each week here along with your business website/email address.

Please check the fishing regulations before fishing.

Tongue River Reservoir Fishing/Ice Report by Tongue River Marina (March 29, 2022)

The ice is more or less gone with the warm weather this week. There still may be some large islands of ice or ice chunks, so use caution if boating. Water temp is in the 40’s. The docks are being repaired, but should be in soon. Camping is first come, first serve for all sites until May 20th. Electric is off at most sites (except CP1-11) until early May. No water or dump station until early May. Be aware that Double sites are double price (PWS1-4,9-22, 33-40) regardless if only one camper is using the site. Marina will open on weekends starting April 1st.

Jeff P.: Are [you] able to put boat middle Thompson yet?

Mary Yetter-Hurd | Admin: No not yet. Wont be much longer for McGregor. Bull Lake is good to go.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing/Ice Report (March 25, 2022)

Ice conditions are changing DAILY⚠️⚠️
🐟 Ashley, Bitterroot, & Rodgers- still have some ice to fish, but not to much longer.
🐟 OPEN WATER- Church, Fennon Slough, McWenneger Slough- NO REPORTS!
🐟 Thompson Lakes- Still Froze, NOT SAFE 😳
🐟 Flathead River- Near Sportsman’s Bridge area- **be sure to check regulations** Good lake trout action and a few white fish.
🐟 Flathead Lake- Excellent Lake Trout Fishing. Try mid lake bar 120’ with flatfish or large spoons. Try delta (river mouth) with whole bait fish on bottom 15-40’ of water.
🐟 Thompson River- Fly fishing small wet flies, nymphs, small streamer. Catching a few rainbows and browns. Spin fishing try small Panther Martin’s, ** check regulations**

Smith Lake Fishing/Ice Report via Montana Ice Report (March 26, 2022)

“Ice on Smith lake no good done for this ice season.” – Mike W.

Petrolia Reservoir Fishing/Ice Report by Montana Ice Fishing (March 26, 2022)

“Open water and basically a mud puddle.” – Cody M.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (March 28, 2022)

This Kootenai River Montana fishing report is being brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Linehan Outfitting.  This report will be updated weekly to provide current conditions, weather, hatches, patterns, and flows to our local waters and across the state.

Flows from Libby Dam:  4000cfs

Water temperature at Libby Dam: 42 degrees

Hatches: midge, baetis

patterns:  zebra midge, parachute Adams, parachute pmd, Rosenbauer’s olive rabbit foot emerger, purple haze, purple chubby, red chubby, olive sparkle dun,bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers

The Kootenai River is currently in excellent shape and spring fishing conditions are terrific as well.  Gray days with slightly warmer daytime temperatures are helping the situation.

This time of year tributaries can bump and add a bit of color to the river but unless we get substantial rain, good conditions will remain.  Don’t worry if the river is a bit off color.  It will continue to fish well unless it really gets blown out.  That said, there is no big rain in the immediate future.  That means we can generally expect another good week of fishing.

Dry fly action has started.  Don’t expect to see much insect activity until later in the afternoons.  Look for baetis, March browns, and early caddis.  If you see fish rising, they will most likely eat a dry.  Even though it’s early in the season a good drift is still necessary to since most of surface activity is being in slick runs and soft pools.

This is always a good time of year for nymphing.  With low flows you don’t need a heavy rig.  You just need to get the flies down in softer runs and pools where trout are most likely to be holding this time of year.  Don’t spend a ton of time fishing fast riffles.

Streamer fishing is also productive this time of year especially since bigger fish will be hungry after laying low for a couple months during the dead of winter.  Keep in mind they will not necessarily want to move too fast or too far to get a meal.  Get your streamers down and fish them slowly and erratically.  Nothing like a wounded minnow to get a big rainbow interested in at least a sniff.

In Boston Red Sox news, it’s PLAY BALL!  The Sox are off to a terrific start and even though it’s still only spring training it’s better to have more W’s in the column than L’s.  For now the Sox have managed to keep essentially the same playoff roster they had last season.  Infielders Dalbec, Arroyo, Bogaerts, and Devers are key players.  In the outfield Jackie Bradley Jr. has returned to Boston and Kike Hernandez and Verdugo will anchor the deep green.  Ace Chris Sale will hopefully be healthy and other starters from last year will hopefully pick up where they left off in October.  Go Sox!!!

Give a call anytime if you need more Kootenai River details or information on any of our hunting or fishing adventures.  And please check out our e-commerce site for all Linehan Outfitting branded swag and Orvis gear.

We look forward to hearing from you.  406-295-4872

Beavertail Pond Fishing Report by Montana Ice Fishing (March 26, 2022)

“ It’s all open.” – Josh S.

Salmon Lake Fishing/Ice Report by Montana Ice Fishing (March 26, 2022)

“I was told the ice is not safe.″ – Jaye S.

Hell Creek Marina Ice/Fishing Report (March 29, 2022)

The ice went off the lake last night. The ramp below the marina is open but is only usable in dry weather. The ramp at Boy Scout Point is also open and has gravel, so can be used anytime.

Rock Creek Fishing Report by Fisherman’s Mercantile (Early Spring 2022)

  • CFS: 321
  • Dries: March Browns, Skwalas, Brindle Chutes
  • Nymphs: Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails, Perdigons, San Juan Worms

After what felt like a particularly long winter, we are finally starting to see some warmer, sunnier days on Rock Creek. Given that our geography means most of the creek lies in a narrow valley, the fishing doesn’t pick up as quickly as other rivers like the Clark Fork and Bitterroot due to a lack of sun exposure in multiple sections. Keeping that in mind, fish the areas where the valley is wider and gets more sun for a longer stretch of time throughout the day. The insect life will fare much better in these spots, and the fish will respond in kind.

Early spring is one of my favorite times to fish the creek. The bigger trout are hungry and more eager to take your patterns versus later in the summer, when they are hunkering down and more wary. The reports from the fishermen going out have been very good this week, with everything from San Juan worms to pheasant tails to perdigons working well. I went out a couple days ago and tried a number of patterns, but I had the best luck fishing a classic hare’s ear.

Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report by Dan Bailey’s (March 23, 2022)

–No New Report–

Happy Spring everyone! We’re now officially on to the next season, and it certainly feels like it outside. With a forecast of 61 today and lots of 50s/60s coming up it’s pretty safe to say that spring fishing is right around the corner.

First, to get it out of the way, let’s talk snowpack. Despite a decent storm recently, numbers still aren’t where we want them to be. All of our river basins here in southwest Montana are sitting in the 80th percentile. There are a lot of factors that come into play on how the rivers will be this year. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on conditions as we move into spring, and will be hoping for more snow.

It’s impossible at this point to say how this summer’s water conditions will be. But we remain optimistic!

So how’s the fishing been lately?

Things are definitely improving. Warmer temps are melting ice in the river, driving some insect activity, and the trout are getting more active. We’ve seen and heard more positive reports this past week or so than we have in a while. The large ice jam mid-valley on the Yellowstone River has melted, opening up more ramps and float options.

Nymphing has been the most consistent, but you can find a few fish eating midges off the top in places where the wind isn’t howling too badly. A two-fly rig with a larger attractor fly followed by a hare’s ear, pheasant tail, or lightning bug has been the most productive. Fish something like a dead drifted wooly bugger or stonefly pattern as your lead fly. Perdigons have been effective as well, like always. Streamer fishing is picking up as the fish get more active. A slow presentation has been best with larger flies.

The Lower Madison has been fishing better as well, and if you’re after a dry fly day that’s where we would head in our local area. The easily accessible places are getting pretty crowded on these beautiful spring days, but walk up Bear Trap a ways and you’ll find some solitude. The Gallatin through the canyon is fishing pretty decently as well.

This is the time of year when the warm weather shifts everyone’s focus from skiing to fishing and we all start hoping for spring to arrive in full force. Our really good spring hatches are coming up fast, and as water continues to warm we will see an uptick of interest in streamers as well.

Pre-runoff spring fishing can be some of the best of the year. The waters are less crowded, the trout are feisty, healthy, and hungry after a long winter, and the air is (hopefully) free of wildfire smoke that’s become the norm later in the summer. Give us a call for more info on spring fishing!

We’re booking guided trips for the 2022 season and our prime dates are going fast! A guided fishing trip is a great way to experience the Yellowstone River and our local area. Call the shop at 406.222.1673 or stop in to learn more and book your dates. We’re also getting more and more spring gear in almost every week – rods, reels, apparel, technical gear and much more! Come check it out!

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (March 26, 2022)

Scores a 3/5

The Gallatin should be fishing well this week with the warmer weather. Don’t be surprised if it starts showing some color tomorrow or the next day. As the snow melts the river should get that nice Gallatin green going which almost always means good top fly fishing with rubberlegs and worms. A red copper john, or a zebra midge will be your better options for bottom flies. Streamer fishing with smaller dark streamers should also improve especially in the valley. As the temps increase keep a keen eye out for skwala and BWO adults as these will start to pop off over the next few weeks. Should be a decent amount of adult midges as well so be prepared for that.

Gallatin River Webcam – Located at Karst, which is about 1/2 way between Bozeman and Big Sky on HWY 191.

Bitterroot River Fishing Report by Grizzly Hackle (March 28, 2022)

The Bitterroot has been going up for the last 4-5 days.  It’s still fishable and fish are still looking for Skwala’s.  We are starting to see some BWO’s and a few March Brown’s.   The dry fly fishing is affected by the bump in water, but they are still looking for Skwala’s in the right water.  Skwala’s like Jake’s Stone, Dancin Ricky’s, Water Walkers, Skinny Chubby’s and Rogue Stones.  Drop a San Juan, 20 Incher Stone, sz 14 Perdigon or Jig Prince.  Streamer fishing is hit or miss still.  This week we have a few cloudy days and that should help with streamer fishing. Keep your streamers deep and work them slow.  Water temps are still cold enough where they won’t chase the streamer far.

1/2 off Friday’s are still happening, every Friday all year long. (1/2 off your first dozen dries or nymphs)

Clark Fork River Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (March 25, 2022)

BRO’s Tips of the Week:

Skwalas will become more prominent on the Clark Fork in the coming weeks, and the fish are going to start looking up.  Dead drifting a Skwala imitation that rides low in the water is a great way to entice fish to eat, and adding a dropper will maximize your odds.  Sometimes adding a little twitch will help move picky fish.

7 Day Outlook:

More warm weather in the forecast this weekend for the Missoula area.  Highs are going to get all the way up to the low-70’s before cooling off to the 50’s by the middle of next week.  Some precip expected early next week.

Our Recommendations for the Best Techniques and Patterns:

Skwalas are starting to become more active on the Clark Fork and the dry fly fishing is getting better.  Meanwhile, nymphing will still produce fish as temperatures and clarity improve. If you’re fishing a single or double-dry rig, look for patterns that ride low in the surface film.  The Brown Wing Skwala and Oswald’s Rastaman Skwala in #10-12 are two-of our favorites.  If you’re planning on running a dry-dropper rig, Skwala imitations with more foam are going to be your friend.  Jake’s Blackout Stone, the Rogue Stone, and the Water Walker are all great, floaty foam flies.

For nymphs, winter/spring staples are still going to be in play.  Girdle Bugs, TJs and San Juans in #8-12 are productive flies and have the weight to get your rig down.  Don’t sleep on the worm- it’s one of our most productive flies when the water is cold!  If you’re adding a second fly to your nymph rig go for a Lightning Bug, Jig PT, Prince, Duracell, Spanish Bullet or Perdigon in #12-16.  These bugs are great for dry-dropper rigs because they won’t sink your Skwala.

Streamer fishing has been okay, but stick with a slow retrieve until the water starts to warm up.  Sparkle Minnows, Kreelexes, and Thin Mints/Buggers are all good to have.  Low and slow is the name of the game!

Goings on at World Headquarters in Missoula:

The new Online Store is live!  Check it out!

Call or email us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in- WE HAVE MOVED TO OUR BRAND NEW LOCATION AT 275 N. RUSSELL STREET IN MISSOULA- for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.

Missouri River Fishing Report by Fins and Feathers (March 26, 2022)

Scores a 4/5

The Mo’ near Craig will be one of the better fly fishing options. This stretch has been nymphing really well with some good Midge fishing on top as well. The BWO’s won’t be too far off so keep an eye out for bugs on the surface and rising trout. For sub-surface, San Juan Worms, Zebra midges, Rainbow Warriors, Scuds/Sowbugs, or smaller Perdigons will get it done. Streamers have been worth a shot but is definitely a day-to-day game. Spey fishing is also a good idea if you are wade fishing and want to reach some of those harder runs out in the middle.

Yellowstone Park Waters Fishing Report by Montana Troutfitters (March 16, 2022)

The park is closed for the season! Check back next May. See you next season!


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