Statewide Montana Fishing Report Compilation 9.14.22
By angelamontana

Posted: September 14, 2022

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.

Please check the fishing regulations before fishing.


Hell Creek Recreation Information (September 12, 2022)

“Good day fishing 6.8 lbs.” (click here)

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (September 14, 2022)

Hauser Fishing Report by FWP (September 12, 2022)

Shore anglers are finding a few walleye and rainbow trout below Canyon Ferry Dam and near the Causeway Bridge while pitching jigs and crawlers from shore. Trolling cowbells with lead core line or pulling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses between White Sandy and York Bridge is producing some nice rainbows and a few walleye.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Yellowstone River in Billings via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (September 13, 2022)

Nathan C: I can tell you the river is super low right now been fishing the section by laurel

First time picking up a fly rod in probably about 5 years now 😀. The Yellowstone at Laurel. 5 rainbows over 12 inches, 2 over 15. Got a handful of little guys too. All on nymphs I tied (gunslinger size 16 and zebra midges size 20-18 black and green). I use a small kids fly rod so I can cast in bushes so they put up a good fight on a tiny rod and 4 lb line. Got a mountain whitefish and a little brown too. Rivers super low again

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Headhunters Fly Shop (September 12, 2022)

What to do when your September fishing day goes soft? How about a few tips to get the blood flowing and the mind searching for the next best thing.

5 Hot September Tips for the Missouri River Fly Fisher

Look for heads in the morning. Hold out Trico’s are still around and we not only witness good spinner falls daily we hear about them too from most reaches of water here on the Missouri River. The upper river has good Trico rising fish til about noon. The windless days are prime for all day searching as the eddy and scum lines will hold the bugs late in the day. The fish are not silly stupid by any means. But a good presentation early int he casting session will reward you. Sunken Trico spinners, Quig’s Cluster, Adams, and of course a great presentation will pay you dividends in rainbow colors.

Toss attractor flies in that sexy water all day long. Hoppers, ants, and October Caddis and that skittering caddis can bring those hungry aggressive fish to the surface. Look for slashing crashing caddis takes int eh afternoon. Look for those hoppers to make above on warmer fall days. The October Caddis downriver can prove to be effective. And ants can be a good idea any day of the week! We love that moving 18″-36″ of water for blind fishing here on the Mo. Try bankside if you wish too. Sexy water holds sexy trout.

Go short with your nymphs. The short leash can be a solid method for all day success. If you are one to go deep in the am and shallow in the pm that is cool too. 3′ is a good length and maybe even shorter as we see the water drop this week to 3500cfs. You gotta get ’em off the boat a bit farther in that skinny water as the fish are spookier than when you are a dredging them. Pinch Ons and Tungsten. Go without tungsten in the super skinny for really sick eats!

Streamer fish the soft water and inside bends. Love to get chased and grabbed? Like to watch it go down. Like to stretch out your arm once in a while not to mention your fly line? Then toss the streamer especially on overcast or windy choppy days. The tug is the drug man. Don’t be afraid to go small, or leech, or a Marabou Closer. Narrow bodied easy to toss flies make it way more funner. At least for me. Some fellers are turned off by those wet sock type flies. I agree. I like easy. A good new streamer line can be a game changer as well. Remember to push the easy button here.

Start late and stay late. No need to be the first boat on the water in September. Why not put on at 9, or 10 and fish til 6, or 7? Dark may be a decent proposition for those who like to push the envelope. Trico’s are not hitting the water til 9 or 10. The tiny BWO comes off in the later afternoons. I mean the big push. Caddis are an afternoon gig. Streamer fishing is good when the light comes off the water. Start late and stay late. Do it. It is good for your constitution.

We love September. Fewer folks around. Shorter days. Longer nights. More color on the river. More color off the river. All good, all the time…as we move into the middle of this first of the fall months.

Come out and enjoy the Missouri River in all of its colors here this September. And remember to keep it fresh and resist the static approach. Ding the same thing over and over does not lead you down the path of improvement. Change it up and feel free to use any of the 5 Hot September Tips for the Missouri River Fly Fisher.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (September 10, 2022)


Hoot owl restrictions in Effect on the Gallatin from Cameron Bridge to the mouth. Check out other closures and restrictions here.

The Gallatin is clear and fishing well. Most of the time you can find fish willing to rise to your fly even if there are few insects on the surface. Small hoppers, chubbys, and stonefly imitations can do the trick at the moment. Also, try your favorite attractor dries like Purple Haze, Royal Wulff, and stimulators are good patterns for opportunistic risers. Drop a perdigon, lightning bug, or prince nymph off of the foam. Spruce moths are also fluttering about, so give those a try if you find yourself fishing in wooded sections of the river.

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

Castle Rock Live Bait Shop Fishing Report (September 13, 2022)

The bad news is we are out of leeches. The good news is we are starting to put minnows in the redesigned tanks slowly put surely. Not to late to rent a boat and hit the lake.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (September 9, 2022)

➡️ Graves Creek, Tobacco River and Kootenai Falls area. Good numbers of fish already showing up. You can use small jugs to catch them as they are working up the river to spawn. Also don’t forget that you can snag on Seeley Lake & Placid for salmon but that season doesn’t open until October 15th.
🔹 Lake Mary Ronan- Good fall bite for perch starting near south west end in 25’ of water. Try small jigs or small Gitzit jigs.
🔹 Middle Thompson/Lower Thompson- Good numbers of salmon jigging 50’ of water, some fish up 18”. Lots of small pike and few good bass.
🔹 Blanchard Lake- Lots of small crappie, few nice perch & sun fish.
🔹 Island Lake- Lots of perch 7-11” look for schools of bigger fish 12-20” deep. Some small pike catching on spoons.
🔹 Flathead Lake- Still reports of white fish biting near delta, west shore and Elmo Bay. Try Elmo, Big Arm for perch also. Troll 60-80’ Woods Bay for Lake Trout.
🔹 Lake Francis- Good numbers of nice walleye, Berkeley Gulp minnows on jig 1/4 ounce is productive.

Hell Creek Campground Update by James Gustafson via Friends of Hell Creek Inc. (September 12, 2022)

The 2022 summer camping season is winding down at Hell Creek overall a very successful first year for the Little Shell Tribe. Rachel, Jerry and Guy from all the comments I have received from the users did a great job.
There were several users that had quit coming to HC over the years and have now started coming back, some more than once it was nice to see old friends back at HC and having a good time once again.
The biggest issue for the entire Hell Creek Recreation area was the one that plagued all off us and that was the extremely high fuel prices. A lot of the out of state users and locals just didn’t show up this year due to the fuel prices. All we can hope for is thing to settle down and things get back to normal next year.
We are starting to see more bow hunters and anglers showing up now and I’m sure that will continue through November. Then the ice fishing will start sometime in January.
The Little Shell Tribe is working with the Corp to make some long needed improvements concerning the boat ramp and with a little luck this will work out, I will keep you posted.
Last but not least fishing been tough the last few weeks but it looks like that may be changing water temp is starting to drop and several boats came in with good fish. One boat two fishermen caught over 65lbs, of walleyes, they only kept a few eaters, but they where good looking fish, several other boats where targeting Northerns with mixed results, but they caught fish. Have a couple out chasing salmon today, will give an update after I talk to Ben from Kibler outfitting.

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (August 22, 2022)

–No new report–

  • 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.

Stillwater Fishing Report by Montana Angler (September 9, 2022)

Current Conditions:

The Stillwater has fished well this season even in the wake of the early summer flooding. The June floods changed some of the river quite a bit in some places so be aware if floating. Attractor dry and dropper fishing has been solid and should continue for a few more weeks. As the water cools fish are moving out of the fastest water into more deliberate runs.

The Month Ahead:

Terrestrial fishing and attractor dry action should continue through September but anglers can also be successful with smaller nymphs in the size 16-18 range.

Long Term Fishing Forecast:

The Stillwater can fish well into fall when the streamer game picks up, but some of the larger fisheries such as the Yellowstone tend to be a better option once we get into late fall.

Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir Fishing Report via FWP (September 12, 2022)

The snagging season for Kokanee Salmon opened on September 1st and will run through October 31st.  Limits are 35 salmon daily with 70 in possession.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (September 12, 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

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.

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

Seeley Lake Fishing Report via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (September 10, 2022)

Benjamin T.: Fall pike fishing in the seeley area is great. Stick to the edge of live weed beds. I’d recommend salmon lake, big swim baits or jersey baits in perch colors. Dead sticking smelt is always a good choice. Just want to throw it out there…. no live bait in district 2.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (September 8, 2022)

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 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

  • Dry Fly

    Thunder Thighs Hopper (10-14), Morrish Hopper (10-14), 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)

  • Streamer

    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)

  • Nymph

    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)

Holter Reservoir Fishing Report by FWP (September 12, 2022)

A few kokanee are being found during the early morning or late evening hours on the lower end of the reservoir while trolling flashers tipped with a spinner and shoepeg corn in 40-60 feet of water. Rainbow fishing has been consistently good throughout the reservoir while trolling cowbells with lead core line or running brightly colored crankbaits during the early morning hours. Good number of perch and A few walleye are being caught while jigging with crawlers in 15-25 feet of water around the docks at the public boat ramps and other weed beds and points on the lower end of the reservoir.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Blackfoot River Fishing Report by Grizzly Hackle (September 6, 2022)

Grizzly Hackle scores Rock Creek fishing a 4/5

The Blackfoot is fishing well.  Trico’s are out and the terrestrial fishing is staying stong.  Look for Trico’s to be out in the mornings.  A size 18-22 Tucker’s Twiggy, Harrops CDC Cripple, Organza Spinner or drowned spinner with 5-6x tippet and a drag free drift.  Hopper/Dropper before and after the hatch with your favorite pink, peach or tan hopper and a jig Prince, TJ Hooker, San Juan or Perdigon.  Streamers in the early morning are starting to work as the nights are getting colder and bringing water temps down.  Sparkle Minnows, Karnopp’s Space Invader, Mini-Dungeons and Sculpzilla’s stripped or dead drifted.

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

Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report by Dan Bailey’s (September 9, 2022)

Happy September! While it’s been unseasonably hot, we’ve got the first cool down on the horizon and things are looking like it’s more toward fall. A low of 34 forecast for tonight will put a definite nip in the air. Fall fishing is right around the corner, but we’re still solidly in late summer territory now.


The Yellowstone River remains in late summer conditions. Water is low, afternoons are slower than mornings, there isn’t much hatching. Hoppers are out, and they make a great platform for hanging a small nymph off the back of. Better to fish two zones with a hopper/dropper rig instead of staring at a bobber with two nymphs this time of year!

With the heat, mornings have been fishing better than midday to evening. Get out early and you’ll be rewarded. Keep in mind that Mayor’s Landing to Sheep Mountain remains closed to all recreational use. We were also asked by FWP today to remind people that there is not a boat ramp at Sheep Mountain and you can not drive down the dry channel to drop your boat off. Apparently this has become a thing with a decent amount of people doing it. Don’t.

Things are fishing reasonably well, with hoppers and attractors working on top. Dead drifted streamers, flashy attractor nymphs, and basic patterns like pheasant tails, hare’s ears and princes working well. Ever fished a jig pattern? This is the time to start!

Things are going to be getting better as we move more toward fall. Come fish the Yellowstone River in October and see what all the fuss is about.


Our advice for the Lower Madison stands: avoid it. Fall is awesome on this river, but that’s still ahead of us.

The Upper Madison has been fishing well. Things have slowed down a bit as we’re in the late summer pattern (as everything slows down a bit this time of year), but there are still very nice to be found. This brown caught by Shop Manager Rob’s friend Keenan is proof of that!

Hoppers, terrestrials and attractors are working up top, but you’ll have the best success below the surface. Pheasant tails, copper johns, lightning bugs, spankers, and dead drifted small streamers are what we’d be fishing. On a jig hook if possible. Fish the good water well and you’ll find fish. Try to avoid the middle of the day if feasible. Launching a bit later in the day (after 11am or so) will almost ensure you’ll have some solitude on the river.


Same same on the Gallatin this week. It’s late summer. Avoid fishing below the canyon if you can, the water is still pretty darn low and warm. You’ll find most of the fishing pressure below Big Sky to the mouth of the canyon. The algae plume from Big Sky continues. Avoid the crowds by going higher up.

The Gallatin is a great fishery that everyone loves, but it truly does get better once things start cooling off. Stay tuned.


Late summer is an interesting time in Montana, and any other mountainous destination. Flows are low, water temps are up. Fish early in the day to beat the heat, play your fish quickly, and release them as soon as you can. There’s a lot of water that should probably be left alone this time of year, but one spot that isn’t is the high country.

Lakes, creeks, and streams are an excellent choice this time of year for reasons we have gone over and over in previous reports. Go hiking, biking, and backpacking and go find some fish in truly cold water in truly spectacular places. The fish may not be huge, but the experience certainly is.

Another spot we haven’t talked about in a while is the spring creeks just south of Livingston. This is the time of year when you start seeing a bit more availability in the calendar and the fishing can be very good. The spring creeks maintain a near constant flow and temp all year long, and are a great choice for cool water. These trout are spooky and picky any time of year, but especially now after a season of pressure. Bring your A game…


We’re starting to see a notable change in tourist traffic here in Livingston. The families are long gone, and the shoulder season visitors are starting to filter in. The volume of traffic in the fall is considerably less, the weather is super nice, and the fishing is great. Come out and see for yourself why fall is the best season in Montana!

Our shop is still on summer hours of 8am-6pm (8-3 on Sunday), and we are just starting to get the first of our fall arrivals in. Stay warm on the chilly mornings! We’ve got the flies, fishing gear, rods, reels, and more that you need to enjoy your time out here.

Stop in and let us know how fishing has been for you. Tight lines this week!

Clark Fork River Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (September 10, 2022)

BRO Fishing score: 3/5BRO’s Tips of the Week:

The Clark Fork is no longer under Hoot Owl restrictions.

Tricos are happening in earnest on the Clark Fork right now. We’re seeing pods of sipping fish rising to small spinners and duns on a regular basis. Pink and peach hoppers and Plan B’s are still attracting fish as well, especially on the twitch. Run a long dropper off your dry fly (think three or four feet) to target fish sitting low on clear, hot days.

*Two trees down between Clinton-Turah that are blocking an entire channel.  We do not especially recommend floating this section as it will require some dragging to get around.

7 Day Outlook:

Colder overnight temperatures and slightly more mild daytime highs will help drop water temperatures further, and should improve fishing conditions.  We are still seeing almost 40 degree temperature swings so bring your layers!

Need a thermometer? Come see us in the shop or buy one online!

Our Recommendations for the Best Techniques and Patterns:

Be prepared to run a couple of different setups depending on what you see on the water. Sipping fish will often be hitting size 20-22 Tricos like the Polywing, Parachute, Indicator Spinner, and CDC Spinner Trico, so fish these on longer 5-5.5x tippet. Otherwise, a Plan B, hopper, or ant pattern with an occasional twitch will be your go-to option for dry flies. The Ant Acid, Parachute Ant, Jake’s No Sink Ant, or a beetle will be good bets.

Olive Perdigons, TJ Hookers, Spanish Bullets, 20 Inchers, Crayfish, and Mic Drop Olives are all great patterns to fish as droppers this time of year. Don’t just stick to the banks – fish like cool, moving water right now.

Nymphing can produce when fish are holding deeper on warm, bright days. Try Girdle BugsTJ Hookers, Double Bead Stones, and San Juans in #6-8. The Lightning Bug, Jig PT, 2-Bit Hooker, Prince Nymph, Duracell, Spanish Bullet or Perdigon nymphs in #12-14 should be productive as well.

Streamer prospecting is still good in deeper water on the Clark Fork. Throw Sparkle Minnows, Kreelexes, Mini Dungeons, and Thin Mints/Buggers in deeper, cold currents to get them down to fish. Warmer water means it’s also a good time to break out the pike rod if that’s your style.

Get your Staff Pick Seasonal Fly Selection here.

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.

YNP Fishing Report by Jimmy’s Fly Shop (September 6, 2022)

Upper Meadow Slough Creek

The Northeast Entrance Road remains close to vehicular traffic from the Slough Creek campground turn-off to the northeast entrance. This means fishing Soda Butte Creek and Lamar River in its meadow reach and Trout Lake can be approached only through hiking and bicycling. Slough Creek’s upper meadows offer excellent fly fishing because of terrestrial insect activity, but great alternatives are the Fall River Basin streams which have very similar meadow reaches offering the same terrestrial insect activity and AM trico activity.

Bighorn River Fishing Report by Bighorn Trout Shop (August 27, 2022)


Water flows are at 2,500 cfs. Nymph fishing has been fair on caddis pupa, Baetis nymph, and scud patterns. Mornings have been slow and fishing improves midday. We’re catching most of our fish in the faster riffle water now. There are a few fish up on caddis and Baetis. The fish are selective and you’ll have to be very accurate with your casting. Even then it will often take multiple drifts before you get a take. The trout are in great shape and can be difficult to land. Aquatic grass is growing fast. We’ve seen a few tricos in the morning but nothing to get excited about yet.


Detailed Forecast


Black caddis, tan caddis, Baetis (Pale Olives)

Missouri River Fishing Report via The River’s Edge (September 6, 2022)

4070 CFS @ Holter – September can bring some great fishing on the Mo, but we haven’t seen that yet. It is still fairly slow and weedy right now. Try throwing some terrestrial dry flies as nymphing and streamer fishing will be more difficult to keep the vegetation off. Hopefully in the next week or two the river will start to perform better.


Morrish Hopper Tan #12
Charlie Boy Hopper Tan #12
Fire Beetle #14
Waterwalker Pink #16
Royal Wulff #12

Canyon Ferry Fishing Report via FWP (September 12, 2022)

The action has slowed down with a few walleye and perch being caught in 15-25 feet of water around Duck Creek, Pond 4 and Goosebay while using bottom-bouncers with orange or pink spinner blades tipped with a worm.  Jigs and crankbaits are producing a few walleye as well.  Rainbow fishing has provided some good action around Goose Bay and Cemetery Island in 25 feet of water on jigs.  Shore fishing is slow. Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

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