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.
Having a great week out on beautiful Flathead Lake with some great clients. We’ve fished for lakers , Whitefish and Perch so far this week. Still taking bookings for the rest of August and September. To book your trip call Rebecca at 406-250-6246 or go to flatheadlakefishing.com
to book on line. Outfitter #26230
Missouri River (Great Falls area) Fishing Report by MT Fishing Addicts 2.0 (August 25, 2022)
Mark S.: The Missouri right now has a ton of weeds. I would hit up some of the lakes early morning late evening. Fly fishing works like everyone said 5-7 wt. spinner set up with 6 pound test, with some panther martins or kastmaster spoons. Good luck
Hell Creek Recreation Information (August 25, 2022)
Walleye action has been good lately and most are being picked up in the Causeway arm and from White Sandy to York Bridge while jigging or slip bobber fishing in 15-30 feet of water. Rainbows continue to be picked up from shore below Canyon Ferry Dam with crawlers and marshmallows, spinners or flies and between Black Sandy and Devil’s Elbow while trolling cowbells with lead core line and while out jigging for walleye. Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena
Monday How to Survive August Post
Fish in the morning. That is the biggest tip there is. For the summer sessions. Definitely.
The evening shot is short, and hot. And may not pay off.
Do both if you please, or if you are local. Walk down to the bridge at 7pm and see if a few are poking their heads up.
The caddis near dark fest is about over. So the late show is not as consistent as the breakfast buffet.
Go early. And when the sun begins to burn your skin, head towards the ramp. And then a shady spot.
The weeds are here and there. Fewer towards the dam. But on any given day they can either drive you to drink, or…October they begin to disappear. Some years. Other years. The weed nightmare will continue into the fall. I don’t believe that will happen this year as the weeds have not grown to the surface as they do in some years. But every year is different and this qualifies for an average year.
The breakfast sesh should include blind fishing hoppers or ants. Posting up on a few Trico feeders, approaching delicately, and insuring a a couple slack line presentations. Then tying on a Zirdle and running on home.
Enjoy the week. Cooling here! We like that.
September and October and November ahead of us. Looking forward to Swing Season.
Hoot owl restrictions in Effect on the Gallatin from Cameron Bridge to the mouth. Check out other closures and restrictions here.
The Gallatin is fishing very well at the moment. The water is running cold and higher than average for the time of year. Head up the canyon for the best conditions as the water tends to heat up quickly in the valley. Hoppers can do the trick above Big Sky and throughout the upstream portion of the valley. Otherwise, a chubby or stonefly imitation will work as a great attractor pattern on the surface. Drop a perdigon for subsurface action. Yellow and green are good colors to start with but purple always seems to do well. Spruce moths are being spotted on the conifer lined banks of the river so be sure to have a few those for the remainder of the summer. Spruce moths can make a great searching pattern for opportunistic fish.
Gallatin River Webcam – Located at Karst, which is about 1/2 way between Bozeman and Big Sky on HWY 191.
The Upper has been fishing excellent. Hopper dropper season is in full swing right now. Nocturnal stonefly such as a Pteranarcys chubby or a Royal Water Walker in the morning has been great. Then as the day heats up switching to a small pink hopper with a black/red bodied ant or a purple bodied beetle has been fairly productive. Midday, dropping off a small and flashy nymph such as a nymphicator or a rainbow warrior has been the ticket. Streamer fishing has been better downstream of lyons bridge. Lots of caddis, Sulphers and a few spruce moths out up high.
***THERE IS A CURRENT HOOT OWL FISHING RESTRICTION FROM EIGHT MILE FORD TO ENNIS LAKE, WHICH MEANS FISHING IS NOT ALLOWED DURING THE HOURS OF 2PM-12AM EVERYDAY IN THIS SECTION***
Dickey Lake- still good salmon action jigging and trolling. Be sure to fish early mornings. Try 50-60’ of water near bottom. Also, a few good rainbows trolling early.
Ashley Lake- ￼￼Trolling early morning north end of the lake in 30-50’ of water. Small dodger with Kokabow spinners doing well. Also try night fishing with lights, jigging on the bottom.
Flathead Lake- White fish action still good! Try Delta and Woods Bay point or Carolina point￼￼. South end try Rollins, Elmo, Blue Bay or near Bird Island. Perch action in Elmo and west side of Polson Bay.
Clark Fork River- St Regis to mouth of Flathead excellent trout. Spoons try gold cleo’s or big Panther Martin’s. Flies try hoppers and stimulators.
Middle Thompson- Good Pike action near wood beds, also good salmon deep on West end.￼
Island Lake- lots of perch 7-11” range, few smaller pike.
Flathead River, sloughs- try early morning top water for bass, also big jerk baits or swim baits for pike.￼
- Flathead Lake – Whitefish are biting in the delta. Try jigging around 40′-60′. KB Lures, Hellbender Tackle or Zimmer Rattle d’Zastors seem to be the best options.
- Flathead River – Hoppers are out and trout fishing has been consistent. Some other flies to use are Purple Haze, Adams or Royal Wulff’s.
- Echo Lake – Warm waters have bass moving deeper. Try tossing Freedom Tackle jigs or punching rigs to target bass in heavy cover.
- Ashley Lake – Still some salmon being caught jigging around 40′-60′ using pink Swedish Pimples with glow hooks.
- Thompson Chain – Smaller pike still being caught around reed lines and timber. Salmon are still fishing around 50′. Mostly trolling hoochie rigs and kokanee dodgers seems to be the consensus.
- Lake Mary Ronan – Decent perch fishing; jigging around 20′ off Camp Tuffit.
- Island Lake – Seeing good numbers of perch around 8″-11″ being caught.
- Hungry Horse Reservoir – The West side road expected to remain closed from mile marker 29 to mile marker 37 for another couple of weeks. East side road has construction activities Monday – Thursday from 7am-6pm, expect delays of up to an hour.
The Yellowstone River is fishing well top to bottom in the mornings, and upstream from Livingston until about 2:30PM on bright, sunny days and more like 4:00 if it’s cloudy. High water temperatures are a problem in late afternoon east of Livingston. Temps are hitting 71-73 degrees many afternoons, so take out early if you float east of Livingston. No hoot-owl closures are present and the Yellowstone will PROBABLY escape them this year. If hoot-owls are instituted, it will be within the next few days and almost certainly only east of Livingston. Hopper/dropper rigs and sculpins or other baitfish with attractor-style mayfly nymph droppers (Lightning Bugs, etc.) are working top to bottom, with the surface bite best on cloudy days. In general, the Yellowstone is fishing very good right now, though crowds have been high in Paradise Valley.
The Stillwater River is fishing well on hopper-dropper combos. Big Chubby Chernobyls with Yellow Sally nymph droppers are good bets here just about anytime, but Bob Hoppers and other “dedicated” hopper patterns are now working too. The lower river downstream of the Rosebud is now a much better float option. Unless you have an ultralight raft, it’s really too small upstream from the Rosebud. When floating down low, be aware of LOTS of new obstructions in the river. Late afternoon, the Stillwater is touching 70 degrees, so on hot days it’s best to take out around 2:00.
Montana Small Streams are now near their peak fishing of the year, so long as you’re in the shady valleys above irrigation diversions. Small streams out in prairie country are now all too low and warm, even if you have private access to get on them. Fish dry-dropper combos. Small hoppers and mayfly-type attractor nymphs will work best on heavily-pressured streams, but all you need if you burn some boot leather are big Trudes or Chubby Chernobyls with something like a BH Prince underneath.
Other Montana Waters that are fishing well include the Gallatin River and high mountain lakes, such as those on the Beartooth. Note that the lower Gallatin has hoot owl closures. Upstream from Four Corners, no problem.
Yellowstone Park fishing is limited from our operations area this year due to historic flooding. Walk-in travel is allowed into the northern part of the park via Gardiner. The only real option if you do this is the Yellowstone upstream from the Gardner River confluence, since accessible portions of the lower Gardner are too warm to fish ethically (hot spring influence plus hot weather equals a river that’s too warm for trout health). Limited guided fishing is also possible via the north gate. The Yellowstone in its canyons, small chunks of the Lamar River downstream from Slough Creek, and Slough Creek are good bets via the north entrance. The brook trout creeks and several small streams in the middle of the park are also good bets.
–No New Report–
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: 12,000 cfs
In-Flow To Lake Koocanusa: 7000 cfs
Water temperature at Libby Dam: 57 degrees
Hatches: midge, pmds, caddis, green drakes
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, hoppers, ants, elk hair caddis, Bloom’s caddis, perdigons, Uke’s Pressure Drop
The Kootenai River is in excellent shape and fishing well. Linehan Outfitting guests are bending rods and smiling and we could not be happier with the water conditions so far this season.
Water temps are now high 50’s and in that perfect zone. It’s all about dry fly fishing now, folks. And that’s what we love most. Pmds and caddis, and a few greed drakes are hatching daily and on some stretches and depending on time of day fish are responding, looking up, and providing many targets. Fish are now also responding to big bugs like hoppers and other terrestrials like beetles and increasingly ants.
All sections of the Kootenai River are fishing well.
Nymphing is still super solid if you really want to put up some numbers and go that route. Since fish are now actively feeding most of the day short leashing is best bet. Two tungsten perdigons three to four feet from a baby bobber and you’ll be good in the fast water all day. And make sure one of the bugs is a caddis of some sort especially riffles.
fStreamer fishing is also productive this time of year. 95 degrees and sunny is not necessarily associated with good streamer conditions but lately the streamer action has been pretty darn good. It’s certainly day to day but earlier this week I had an all time great day fishing streamers. It sure surprised me and it sure was fun.
In Boston Red Sox news the bum need to start stepping things up. Like, really stepping things up. We’ve been plagued by injuries. Starting pitching staff is almost non existent at this point although Pivetta has been holding his own throughout the season. Bats have been inconsistent but JD Martinez has been anchoring the bats as well as Devers adn Boegarts. There’s a lot of baseball left and we never give up! Wild Card opportunity still in play. 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
The Yellowstone is running low and clear right now and it appears to be recovering well from the spring flooding. Terrestrials and droppers should get the job done right now, so bust out the foam and beaded nymphs. If you like Whitefish a bright shiny nymph should make you happy. Streamers on the lower stretches of the river way can be fun on the right day. If you plan to fish the Yellowstone, be sure to check FWP’s Restrictions and Closures page for up-to-date information regarding closures.
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)
Walleye and perch fishing has been great lately around the docks at the public boat ramps, Mann Gulch, Cottonwood Creek and around weed beds and other points on the lower end of the reservoir. Jigging with white-, purple- or perch-colored jigs and crawlers in 10 to 25 feet of water has been the most productive. An occasion kokanee is being picked up during the early morning hours on the lower end of the reservoir while vertical jigging or trolling Dodgers or flashers tipped with a spinner and shoepeg corn in 40-60 feet of water. A few rainbows continue to be caught on the lower end of the reservoir while trolling cowbells with lead core line, near the Gates of the Mountains with various flies and while out searching for perch and walleye. Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena
Grizzly Hackle scores Rock Creek fishing a 4/5
The Blackfoot continues to fish well into the end of August. Not many Spruce Moth’s around anymore, but we are starting to see a few Trico’s out in spots and the terrestrial fishing is still going. Hoppers in Tan, Pink and Peach with a Rubberlegs, 20 Incher, Perdigon or San Juan dropper has been the go to rig for searching for fish right now. Trico’s in the late morning in certain spots are making for some fun, but challenging dry fly fishing. Sz 20-22 Tucker’s Twiggy, Organza Spinners, Para-Wulff’s and P-Hazes on light tippet with a drag free drift. Mornings into early afternoon are still best for fishing.
Happy Monday everyone, and welcome to late August. September is on the horizon and with it the promise of cooler weather, bugling elk, and fall hatches. Fall is a great time to be in Montana. It’s a sportsman’s paradise with more activities to do than you’ll have time for. Come see for yourself here in a few weeks…
Water temps across the state are really climbing, so fish early to beat the heat. Use a strong enough rod and leader to fight the fish quickly, keep it in the water as much as possible and release it as fast as you can. Keep in mind that fish can take a bit longer to recover after a fight in this warmer water so give them the time they need.
The Yellowstone River dealt with some muddy water earlier this week, and was muddy for most of the last week or so. This mud kept most anglers off it for a few days at least, which is probably a nice respite for the fish. Things are clear now and we’re back on track.
Water temps have been getting pretty darn hot on the Yellowstone lately. The temp gauge at the monitoring station here in town is currently offline, but was reading low to mid 70s before it went down. The Corwin gauge is showing high 60s every day. The interesting thing is that the water temp is coming way down at night, which is great. Fish early in the day to minimize impact on the fish and to have better fishing.
Currently the only closure or restriction on the Yellowstone is the enduring closure of Mayor’s Landing to Sheep Mountain. We don’t expect this to open back up anytime soon. Please note that nearby the Shields River is under a Hoot Owl and in our opinion should be closed entirely. We’ve had more people than we’d expect in the shop asking about it – just give it a break. It’s in bad shape and needs some rest. There are too many other good places.
Like we mentioned, fishing early in the day on the Yellowstone River will get you the best success. There isn’t really much going on for hatches right now, so attractors and terrestrials are the name of the game. Fishing a rubber legs or larger nymph under a hopper has been very productive on the river. While hoppers get the big billing this time of year, don’t overlook things like ants and beetles.
Nymphing will definitely get you into more fish, if you feel like staring at an indicator this time of year. A rubber legs or dead drifted streamer with a pheasant tail, lightning bug, or copper john behind it can be deadly.
The Lower Madison remains under a Hoot Owl restriction and we’re recommending just avoiding it right now. It’s a mess with tubers and those fish could use a break.
The Upper Madison is still fishing well, and we’ve seen some very nice fish coming out of it recently. The section from 8 Mile to Ennis Lake remains under a Hoot Owl. Fish early for best success and to avoid most of the crowds. It’s amazing what offsetting your float by a couple of hours can do for some solitude on the river.
Hoppers and terrestrials are the name of the game for dry flies right now. Fish the water that’s hard to reach, or you have to walk a bit further to, to find unpressured fish. This is the time of year when fishing patterns that are even slightly different than what the fish have seen all summer long can pay off in a big way.
This time of year it’s a great idea to carry a water thermometer stop fishing when it hits 70 or so. Like we said, fish early. It’s better for the fish and better for the experience. We’re looking forward to fall on the Upper, which is pretty darn spectacular. It’s coming soon!
The Gallatin River in the canyon and above remains a decent choice. Be mindful of the green algae bloom below Big Sky. This recurring issue pops up every summer it seems, and it’s a can of worms we won’t go into here. Just keep it in mind. You’ll find a pile of people between Big Sky and the canyon mouth, but from Big Sky to the park boundary it’s much less busy.
As with the rest of the state, you won’t find all that much for insect hatches this time of year. Bring an assorted box of terrestrials, attractors, and a few general purpose nymphs. The Gallatin River is pretty low this time of year, so fishing deep can lead to more snags than anything else. Look for the good holding water, and bonus points if it’s not right by a highway pullout.
We’d recommend staying away from anything out of the canyon to the confluence. The only stretch with an official restriction on it is from Cameron Bridge down, but it’s low and it’s warm. The canyon stretch does stay shaded and cooler than elsewhere, but we’d still say fish early for best results.
Not a lot has changed since our last report in the other waters in the state. It’s hot, water temps are high, and not much is hatching. Fish early to beat the heat, handle fish well, and have a good mix of attractors, terrestrials, and all purpose nymphs in the box. You can check out the list of current restrictions on the FWP website here.
The high country beckons this time of year – get away from crowds and out of the heat in the mountains. Trails are dry, streams are cold, and the incredible serenity of high mountain lakes is just a few hours of effort away. Our season in the high country never lasts as long as we’d like, don’t waste it!
The dog days of summer are a waiting game of sorts. Waiting on cooler weather, waiting on the fall hatches to kick off and usher in some of the best fishing of the season. We’ve been getting a lot of calls and interest in fall fishing over the past week and we’re expecting a great season coming up.
The shop remains very well stocked on everything you need to get out, find fish, and enjoy your time in Montana. Stop by for the latest info, best flies, and friendliest service you could ask for! Tight lines this week.
Since the end of July Hoot Owl restrictions ( no fishing from 2 AM to Midnight) have applied to several streams nearby. These include;
Big Hole, Bitterroot, Gallatin, Jefferson, Madison, Ruby and Yellowstone Rivers. See the full list of restricted streams and details on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park web site’s section on fishing restrictions.
Hebgen Lake’s Madison Arm is the place to be during wind-free periods which bring good gulper action. Gulpers can be found on other nearby lakes under these conditions.
The Bighorn is in prime shape and fishing awesome! Lots of PMD’s, Tan Caddis and Black Caddis have big fish looking up!
It’s very busy out there so be nice to everyone!
Walleye and perch are being caught between Duck Creek and Pond 1 and between Hellgate and Confederate, especially off of bay points. The best action has been while using bottom-bouncers with green, orange or white spinner blades tipped with either a worm or leech. Rainbows fishing is picking up around White Earth, Confederate and the north end while trolling cowbells. Rainbows are also being caught from shore by White Earth in Beaver Creek Bay and around Confederate. Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena
Our new hours starting Monday 8/15.
We are now hiring for the restaurant. If you would like to join a fun fast paced work environment with flexible hours the Fort Peck Marina might be a good fit for you. Pay will depend on experience but we are willing to train the right individuals. If you are interested please contact us at 406-526-3442 or stop by and fill out a job application.
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