Please let us know if you would like to see your weekly fishing report included in this Montana fishing report 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.
Currently, Tongue River Reservoir and the river is not having any flooding. The reservoir is controlled by the dam, minimizing hazards. If lake waters impact any campsites in the future, we will put up a notice. Please come and enjoy the park.
Pike bite was pretty hot today according to the folk who rented our boat.
Motel room: arrival July 5, depart July 10.
Give us a call at the marina to inquire about or book this room
Rainbows are being picked up while trolling cowbells tipped with crawlers between Black Sandy and York Bridge. Using floating jigs or crawlers with marshmallows from shore at the Riverside Campground, the Causeway, and Black Sandy is also producing a few of rainbows. A few walleyes and perch are being caught in Lake Helena and the Causeway Arm while trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena
Missouri River Water Flow Update
Lots of speculation about the water flows, our winter, projected low flows, the rainy and cooler than normal June, and…
Just spoke with Stephanie Micek of the Montana Office Bureau of Reclamation/Department of the Interior. She stated many of these info bits in bulleted form below.
- Looks like a full Canyon Ferry reservoir is a possibility. We will know after the next couple days of rain in our drainage. But looks like the master reservoir, Canyon Ferry, will reach 97% full. That is considered full pool. That would give us the normal flows of 4100 cfs for the summer months.
- Even a couple weeks ago we were still projecting 90% fill. That has changed because of several factors that occurred the last 2 months. Continued wet weather with better than normal accumulations in the Missouri River basin coupled with delayed snow melt, strong YTD snow water equivalents in our three drainage regions including
Historical flows for the Mo during the summer session is a mandated 4100cfs. These were put in place almost 40 yers ago by several factions. A fishing flow that respects the trout, whitefish, suckers, turtles, shore birds, migratory creatures, etc. Anglers also like 4100cfs. Certainly better than these sub-par-3K flows we have been presented with the last 12 months.
ATTENTION ALL: This does not mean we are gonna blow out. NOPE. We are at 5K ish right now. Blown out is 15K+. So, no freaking out. This additional water just brings us to a very nice fishing level. Water will remain clear, as we are the 3rd dam in a row. Our feeder creeks are below average for flows. They are clear. They are clean. The Mo River waters are clear. And fishable, and floatable. The Dearborn is 60% of average. Little Prickly Pear is 40% of average.
Great for the dry fly angler. A bit more water, is good. Puts another foot on those skinny flats. Trout love 18″-36″ for a rising platform. Not as good for the wade angler as the endless shorelines have evaporated, an oxymoron in the use here, but very good for the bugs, the trout. More air/oxygen, for both fish and insects. 25% more water. That is good.
Check out the daily increases here on this lake level site.
Keep it tuned in here at the Information Source of all things trout, the Missouri River, and you the angler. Headhunters Fly Shop brings you the news, the daily updates, and the kind of content you need as a Missouri River Fishing Nut!
Wanted to keep you readers and anglers of Montana’s Missouri River informed of the latest news. If any changes occur we will let you know. Fishing is good. June is good. June is super busy. Now we will see some displacement from other rivers as the westside is blown, the south side is blown, and the north side is blown. We do receive the anglers who cannot fish their resource this month. When things, water, shakes out they will return home. Until then, we will share the waters with all. It is part of our DNA here on this dammed river. BEW nice. Respect others. Play fair. Enjoy the waters with all parties anglers or not.
Much like the rest of the area, the upper has risen significantly. The reservoir has filled rapidly and increased flows from the dam will continue for the near future.
The Month Ahead:
The Upper will begin clearing in a few weeks and the water closer to Ennis will also turn on. Often the week just before the salmon flies (and people) arrive is spectacular as the water is clearing and big trout are very opportunistic. Mid to Late June should be awesome on the Madison!
Long Term Fishing Forecast:
The Upper Madison is one of our favorite summer fisheries. The water is generally cold and consistent for killer summertime fishing. We are hoping to continue a late spring push in moisture to keep water levels up.
Loon Lake (Ferndale)- Excellent rainbow action trolling small spoons or wedding ring spinners. Fly fishing try balance leech patterns. Power bait good off shore.
Mcgregor Lake- Good rainbows trolling shoreline with small plugs or flatfish. Try trolling 80-100’ with spoons for lake trout.
Bitterroot Lake- Good salmon jigging early morning, try south end 50-60’ of water.
Dickey Lake- Still good salmon fishing.
Island Lake- Lots of perch 7-11”. Try small gitzits or Chancy’s crappie candy.
Fennon/Church Slough- Good pike/bass action, few crappie.
Blanchard- Good crappie, mostly small ones.
Swan Lake- Good rainbows, along shoreline. Lake trout near mouth.
Thompson River- Good browns and brookies, try small spoons or woolly bugger flies.
- Flathead Lake – Use caution when fishing near the delta, lots of snags and hazards have been getting pushed out of the river. As the water warms Lakers will continue to go deeper. Rapalas have been a good option if you are going to pick something up.
- Flathead River – Continues to flow well above 30,000 cubic feet, best look elsewhere for fishing opportunities.
- Echo Lake – Bass fishing is in full effect as Senko season is upon us. Yamamoto, X-zone and Powerbait are all good options
- Ashley Lake – Salmon fishing continues to be hot. Hali jigs in natural colors along with Swedish Pimples paired with Zimmer heavy glows are solid options.
- Lake Koocanusa – Lake is still low but the launch at Rexford has been cleaned out. Both bull trout and rainbows have been good. Try using Flatfish, Frisky Jenny Flies or Apex lures.
- Middle Thompson Lake – Salmon fishing has been consistent. Trolling wedding rings has been productive. Bass are starting to move so try using crawdad patterns. Tons of small perch as well providing great action for the kids. Use Hali jigs tipped with a maggots.
- Lower Stillwater Lake – Perch and Pike fishing has been good. Small Gitzits and jigs are working well.
This Montana fishing report is valid from June 13 until about June 20.
Torrential rain atop melting snow has led to record flooding in the region. Large-scale infrastructure damage (a historic bridge over the Yellowstone washed out 15 minutes ago) and changes to river courses are underway. We do not suggest fishing ANYWHERE in our operations area for a few days.
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
It’s not quite spring up here in Kootenai River country but we have good news. Flows from Libby Dam have been reduced and will be stable at 4000cfs through the end of March for now. That means there’s some great early season fishing available right now.
Expect more clammy cloudy weather through the weekend and into next week. March continues to come in like a lion and we’ve yet to see the lamb. Rain and snow mix will dominate forecast. Fortunately daytime temps will ooch into the forties which is at least a small sign of spring around here.
At the moment the river is clear and in good shape. Don’t expect much in the way of dry fly fishing and insect activity until we get some substantially warmer daytime temperatures. The water is still cold but trout will start to feed a bit in the coming weeks.
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! After several weeks of a lockout the players union owners have finally come to an agreement. Spring training will start immediately and while opening day was and remains delayed until April 7, the season will still be 162 games. 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. https://linehan-outfitting.myshopify.com/
We look forward to hearing from you. 406-295-4872
Early spring and summer on the Yellowstone can be very productive. Currently the Yellowstone is running high and muddy with a hint of runoff. Nymphing something big like a Zirdle Bug, Pat’s Rubber Legs, or Woolly Bugger followed up by a worm or smaller euro-style nymph will be the most consistent rig this time of the year. Don’t be afraid of smaller flashy streamers such as the Kreelex Minnow or a Sparkle Minnow this time of year either. On warmer overcast days fish will be willing to move to a bigger streamer like a Bonds’ Dragons or a Sex Dungeon. Caddis and smaller Mayflies will most likely hatch on the warmer days, so keep your eyes peeled for rising fish in the slow water close to the bank.
Suggested Fly Patterns
Missing Link Caddis (14-18), Corn Fed Caddis (14-18), Peacock Caddis (14-16), Parawulf Dennis BWO (16-20), Thorax BWO (18-20), Parachute Adams (14-20), Purple Haze (16-20), Film Critic BWO (16-20), Smoke Jumper (16-20), Extended Body BWO (16-20), Griffith’s Gnat (16-20), UV Sparkle Midge (18-20), Chubby Chernobyl Olive/Royal/Purple (8-12)
Woolly Bugger (4-12), Articulated Goldie (6), Mini Dungeon, Complex Twist Bugger (2), Kreelex Minnow (4), Sparkle Minnow (4-8), Double Gonga, Urchin Bugger (4), El Sculpito (2), Sculpzilla (4-8), Sculpinator (4-6)
Pat’s Rubber Legs (6-12), Zirdle Bug (6-12), Woolly Bugger (4-12), Perdigon (14-18), Pheasant Tail (14-20), Jigster Baetis (14-18), Prince Nymph (10-18), BH Hare’s Ear (12-18), Sisslin’ Hot Spot Squirrel (14-16), Zebra Midge (16-22), San Juan Worm, Matt’s Shagadelic Mop, Hare’s Ear (14-18), Dirty Bird (12-16)
Rainbows are being caught while using midge nymphs or leech patterns near the Gates of the Mountains and while pulling cowbells or Thomas lures on the lower end of the reservoir. Shore anglers are finding a few rainbows near Departure Point while using plain crawlers. Some nice walleye are being picked up in the canyon near the Gates of the Mountains while vertical jigging or pulling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. A few perch are being caught around the public boat docks on the lower end of the reservoir while pitching smaller jigs tipped with crawlers. Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena
Grizzly Hackle scores Rock Creek fishing a 2/5
Rock Creek went way up over the weekend with the rain we recieved. It’s on it’s way down and will be all week. Until it drops a bit more it will be really hard to fish. You could fish the soft water along the banks or inside bends with big Salmonfly Nymphs and Pink worms, but it’s ripping out there. Do not wade right now as it’s too big. There’s Salmonflies up past the Dalles and it should just get better as the water drops later in the week. We’ll keep you updated.
Well, it finally happened. I think it’s safe to say that runoff is here on the Yellowstone River and our other local waters. With a high over 80 forecast for today and several days in the 80s coming up next week here in Livingston, the mid to high level snow is going to start coming out, and flows are going to bump.
We had a bit of a break in water clarity this week, but it’s debatable if even that was fishable. We can expect more of those dips in flow and clearing of clarity, but runoff is here to stay for a while. Will we get any window of opportunity to fish the Yellowstone before July? Doubtful.
The other freestones in our area such as the Gallatin, Jefferson, Boulder, and others are all in the same boat. It’s just the natural process this time of year, and a good thing to see! Earlier this winter we were questioning if we’d even get any runoff at all. It’s very tough to say when we can expect this to end, but going off historical precedence first week of July is a good rule of thumb.
So is there anywhere to fish at all?
Sure! Locally, the spring creeks are a good option if you can get a rod booked. These pay-to-play creeks are awesome this time of year. PMDs are coming up in a few weeks and fishing for those on the spring creeks is something every angler should experience in their lifetime. Lakes are our other option around here right now. There are some very good private lakes you can book a rod on, as well as others like Dailey Lake. Slow strip leeches, wooly buggers, or fish midges. While you could get lucky and find some fish eating dries, focusing on subsurface is probably your best bet.
There are still fish to be found this time of year, such as this incredibly colored brown our Manager Rob Lahren caught this past week:
If you’re willing to drive a bit, the tailwaters in our area such as the Upper and Lower Madison and Missouri Rivers are all fishing pretty well. Since runoff is happening all over the west and tourist season is well underway, you can expect more traffic on these rivers than normal. It’s all good – lots of river for everyone! The Madison does have some color to it, but is plenty fishable right now. This time of year is some of the best fishing of the season on both the Upper and Lower Madison.
In the meantime, we’ll be here! There is plenty to do around Livingston this time of year, and once the river clears it’s game on and going to be a great summer. If you’re thinking about booking a guide trip do it now, dates are booking fast! If you’re after a Father’s Day present, stop in and check out everything we’ve got. If dad has always wanted to learn to fish, this is a great year for it!
Stop in or give us a call at 406.222.1673 if you have any questions or want an up to the minute report. Tight lines!
All entrances to the park are closed for the time being
Spring Creeks score a 3/5
The Bighorn is the best option as of today, but it sounds like starting tomorrow the flows will be increased by 1,000cfs a day until the flows reach 9k. Nymphing has been the most productive method by far. BWO’s have been hatching daily but the higher water has kept fish form rising a bit. The hatch and amount of rising fish has been best in the afternoon to evening. Nymphing has been hot with orange sowbugs with a firebead, scuds, Baetis, Zebra Midges, and San Juan worms. Streamer fishing has been good with Sparkle Minnows on bright days and Peanut Envys in Olive or Black on low light days.
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