Statewide Montana Fishing Report Compilation 9.29.22
By angelamontana

Posted: September 29, 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 29, 2022)

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (September 29, 2022)

Hauser Fishing Report by FWP (September 26, 2022)

Some nice rainbows and an occasional kokanee are being caught while trolling cowbells with wedding rings between the Dam and York Bridge. Rainbows are being caught from shore at Riverside, the Causeway Bridge and Black Sandy with floating jigs and crawlers or spawn sacks. A few rainbows, walleye and perch are being found while trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses in around 20 feet of water out from White Sandy.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Black Sandy Fishing Report via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (September 27, 2022)

Daniel D.: Little bit of everything! Take a closer look at the trout? No fins? Black Sandy. Yellow and black jig tipped with about two inches of crawler.

Georgetown Lake Fishing Report via Blackfoot River Outfitters (September 26, 2022)



1. Look out for callibaetis and tiny midges during the day
2. The wind is picking up in the afternoon. Try fishing early and late if the wind forecast is rowdy.
3. Try running a calibaetis nymph under an indicator with a small chironomid in red/black


Weather looks great up there for the next week and fishing should be good.

Our Philipsburg location, Flint Creek Outdoors, is open 7 days a week, 7a-4p.  Stop in and talk to our pro-staff for up-to-date information.


Double nymph rig, single dry fly, dry dropper





Midges, damselflies, callibaetis, terrestrials (hoppers, ants, beetles)


Adams #20, Purple Haze #20, Ice cream cone midges #18-20, balance leeches #10 in black, Calibaetis nymph #14, Calibaetis dry #14-16, damselfly dries and nymphs #10-12, Hoppers tan, gold, purple, pink #10-12


Water Flow


Link to Water Flow Graph




Water temperature at mid-day


Water Condition


Best time of day to fish

Morning to evening

Best stretch

Stuart Mill Bay, Philipsburg Bay, Rainbow Bay

Best access point

Stuart Mill Bay, Philipsburg Bay, Rainbow Bay

Fish species

Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Kokanee Salmon

Fishing season

See FWP regulations. Some closures apply.

Nearest airport

Missoula International

Recommended fly fishing leader

12′ 2x

Recommended fly fishing tippet


Best fly fishing rod

Crisp to cast but soft enough to fight big fish.

Best floating fly line

Short head weight forward floating to quickly shoot line and turn flies over in the wind.

Best sinking fly line

Clear tip intermediate.

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Headhunters Fly Shop (September 26, 2022)

Headhunters Fly Shop Missouri River Fishing Report for September 26th 2022.

Nymphers like Sows. And sow bugs. Nad large sows and little sows and beaded sow bugs. Scuds too. Worms, Zebra’s, Crawdads. Most fishing w/o weight added to the line.

Dry fly fellas kinda dry. Meaning little action. Some hold out Trico’s and consequently Trico feeders in the morning. You can feed ’em. A big blind Adams can raise a few or a Callibaetis Cripple, the DOA is king here for this pattern. Terrestrials maybe. Waiting on the big BWO to turn our fall dry fly fishing switch on.

Strippers still tossing the leech. Leeches are good. Or the Blue Tailed Bugger. Some flashy patterns moving slowly outta shop and will gain inertia as the fall progresses including the Kreelex family, Montana Intruders, Skiuddish clan, and some cool new flash-addled baby streamers that should blow your skirt up.

Swingers enjoy the Autumn Scandi Session. Get yours today. Spey Curious? Step into Craig’s own House of Two Handed Trout at Headhunters. We have your trout spey answers here on the Mighty Mo.

Lodging available, guide availability opening up in October somewhat, meaning not totally booked through yet, and the shop open daily @ 7am. Free perked coffee on the porch.

The Best Flies Under the Big Sky in downtown Craig Montana.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Montana Angler (September 23, 2022)

Current Conditions:

The Gallatin is fishing well in the Canyon once the water warms up. With the longer nights and cooler days the river in the canyon can take a little while to wake up. Small nymph rigs have been the most consistent ways to fish. Stick with smaller size 16-20 patterns. The river’s lower reaches is now dropping to cooler water temperatures and is also a fun option.

The Month Ahead:

The Gallatin will continue to fish well through the early fall. As water temps get cooler the fish will drop out of faster water into the more deliberate holding waters.

Long Term Fishing Forecast:

The Gallatin doesn’t have the same reputation for fall fishing that some of the other regional rivers do but it is still a fun October option.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (September 23, 2022)

🎣🎣 Chancy and Dave’s Fishing Report 🎣🎣
🔹 McGregor Lake- Few nice rainbow being caught trolling small plugs, flickershads or flatfish along shorelines. Try trolling 60-80’ trolling larger spoons near bottom for lake trout.
🔹 Koocanusa Reservoir- Rainbows starting to hit trolling surface with Dave’s PlugIt plugs in darker colors. Also try large trolling flies off planer boards. Try near Rexford Bay area.
🔹 Lake Mary Ronan- Good Perch fishing, try 16-20’ of water near Mountain Meadows Resort or Camp Tuffit. Try gitzits, small tubes or crappie candy.
🔹 Fennon, Church, Halfmoon sloughs- good bass and pike action look for deep with beds for Pike, try Fennon and Church- jigs and sinkers for bass. Jerkbaits and swimbaits for pike.
🔹 Loon (TCL)- Some nice pike up to 15 lbs, few rainbows and small mouth bass.
🔹 Flathead River- Look 👀 for white fish to start showing up soon- usually early to mid October.
**We will have white fish contest starting mid October this year ** Try small drys or streamer flies for trout this time of year.
🔹 Echo Lake- Good numbers of big small mouth starting to bite. Try drop shot, Berkley flat worms or Kietech swimbaits.
🔹 Tobacco and Graves Creek- Starting to slow down on salmon but still some fish in the river.

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 (September 22, 2022)

Snagging Season is Open!!
Fully stocked on Hooks and Flagging Tape

  • Tobacco River/Graves Creek – Salmon still showing up, decent size around 8″-10″.
  • Kootenai Falls – Few reports of some fish being caught, still waiting for good numbers to show up.
  • Flathead Lake – Trolling lake trout in 30′-45′ has been producing. Rapalas and FLC trolling spinners have been solid options
  • Middle Thompson – Trolling Salmon still producing some decent fish. Mack’s Sling Blades paired with Hoochie Rigs and Pautzke fire corn
  • Lower Thompson – Pike are feeding up and aggressive. Try new Z-Man HellRaizers or Chatterbaits
  • Lake Mary Ronan – Perch fishing continues to be hot. Jigging around15′-20′ with Hali jigs or Gitzits continue to produce fish
  • Flathead River – Trout fishing has been steady. Smaller presentations in size 14 & 16 Adams, Caddis or Purple Haze should get some rises. You can also try throwing Panther Martin spinners or Rooster Tails as well.

Stillwater Fishing Report by Montana Angler (September 23, 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 is slowing down as water temperatures continue to cool. Terrestrial fishing is still an option on warm days in the afternoons but that window is limited. 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 26, 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 22, 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

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (September 26, 2022)

The Yellowstone can be a great fall fishery, indicator rigs can be very effective, so can stripping streamers, and on the right day dries can put fish in the net too! Look for rising fish on inside edges on overcast days. Try larger streamer dead drifted if they aren’t willing to chase and always add more splitshot if you aren’t hitting the bottom. If we have a warm sunny fall day don’t be afraid of a hopper with a euro style nymph underneath! 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), 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), Mini Dungeon Black/ Natural/ White (6), 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 Black/ Olive (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 26, 2022)

Lots of nice rainbows are being caught on the lower end of the reservoir while trolling cowbells or crankbaits and while using various flies or spawn sacks above the Gates of the Mountains. Good number of perch and a few walleye continue to be 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 throughout the reservoir. A few kokanee are being found on the lower end of the reservoir while trolling flashers tipped with a spinner and shoepeg corn in 40-60 feet of water.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena 

Blackfoot River Fishing Report by Grizzly Hackle (September 27, 2022)

Grizzly Hackle scores Rock Creek fishing a 3/5

The Blackfoot came up over the weekend and got dirty.  It’s still a bit dirty, but fishable.  A big rubberlegs and a worm is a good way to go when it gets dirty, but it’s clearing each day and by tomorrow or Thursday we should have October Caddis, Mahoganies, BWO’s and some Trico’s out and dry fly action.  Make sure to have all the above.  It’s streamer season and if you’re willing to stick with the streamer you’ll be rewarded.  As the water temps drop the fish will keep getting aggressive and willing to chase streamers down.  Our favorite streamers in the fall are Dungeons, Heisenbergs, Peanut Envy’s, Baby’s Gonga’s, Sparkle Minnows and Chicago Overcoats.  Get those flies in the zone with a sink tip or sinking leader.  Switch up colors and retrieves until you find what they like.

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 24, 2022)

Welcome to late September. We’ve had our first snow in the high country, the mornings are nice and chilly, and the elk are bugling in the mountains. This is a pretty awesome time of year around here, and it’s just going to get better as we move into fall. Here’s what’s happening around our area on the fishing end of things.


Fall is a great time on the Yellowstone River. We’re right on the cusp of breaking out the streamer rods, and keeping an eye out for fall hatches. After the rain we’ve had in the past week the river has muddied up a bit. The mud hasn’t hit us here in town yet, but upriver as of this writing it is getting pretty dirty. You can get a good feel for it on the Montana Whitewater webcam in Gardiner here.

The few cloudier days we’ve had have been the ticket for streamers. Fish definitely chase and key in on bigger patterns when they aren’t worried about the glaring sun. The nice days are great for being on the water, but… That’s not to say that fish won’t eat the streamer on a sunny day, but fish both conditions and tell us what you think.

While a solid 6wt rod is great for smaller streamers, lots of anglers size up to a 7wt or higher this time of year. Sink tips and sinking lines are common, but not 100% necessary. If you are fishing a sinking line be mindful of shallower water. Quick strips are often necessary when pounding the banks in order to avoid hanging up on the bottom.

Fish are always eating other fish. All year round, all day long. There are times of the year when imitating that is a lot better, like now and through the fall, but you can get them to eat a streamer almost any day of the year. Try different patterns, different colors, different sizes, different profiles, and different retrieves. Switch your retrieve up – fast strips, short strips, slow strips – until you start getting follows. If they’re following but not eating, switch your fly up. It’s a testing game. Keep at it until they eat.

We haven’t heard much about hatches as of yet, but attractor dries and hoppers are still a good bet. Fishing subsurface will be more productive, so a hopper dropper isn’t a bad idea at all, as it has been all summer. We’ll keep you posted as fall hatches start!

Mayor’s Landing to Sheep Mountain remains closed, as does Mallard’s Rest. The rest of the river is game on! We have had some people asking about the Shield’s River this week – our advice is to leave it alone. There’s other, better water around.


Things are turning around on the Lower Madison. With cooler temps, the number of recreational floaters is dwindling, and the fishing is picking back up. You’ll encounter most of the boat traffic from Warm Springs to Black’s Ford, but floating down to Grey Cliff or even Three Forks allows you some solitude.

Nymphing has been productive, crawfish are a great pattern choice this time of year. A double nymph rig with a crawfish and dead drifted wooly bugger can be deadly. Fish the buckets, work the water, and enjoy. Walking up Bear Trap can be great this time of year. Streamer fishing will be picking up as the fall goes on, especially on cloudy days.

The Upper Madison River remains a great choice. We’re still waiting on fall hatches, but that isn’t too far away at this point. If you want to catch a truly large brown trout in the fall on a streamer, the Upper is a great place for it. Read the section on streamers above, it all applies here as well. Dedicated to it, and it will pay off.


The Gallatin has been fishing well with this cooler weather. The Valley stretch is coming back online with cooler water temps, but you’ll find more access higher up. If you do fish low, walk further than the other guys and you’ll do well.

The Canyon is a really neat spot in the fall. Especially on cloudy, drizzly days (of which we don’t have many in the 10 day forecast), when the canyon gets socked in and visibility goes down. The road noise dissipates and the experience becomes better. It’s cool. Well worth the time. The fall foliage is starting to show as well!

Still waiting on fall hatches, attractors and hoppers are still in play. Subsurface rules right now, and if you fish streamers on the Gallatin keep them on the smaller side. The lower in the river you go the bigger streamer you can use and get away with it.


The rest of the state is breathing a sigh of relief with these cool temps and rainy weather we’ve had. Fall is a great time to explore new water and fish a lot of it. The Boulder, The Missouri, The Big Hole… Go explore. You never know what you might find.

The high country is still a great option, but the window of opportunity is closing. Get out there while you still can! Our local spring creeks can be a ton of fun in the fall, and should be switching over to fall rates here shortly…


We are shifting to full on fall mode here at the store. We’ll be putting out a lot of new fall arrivals over the next few weeks, and we’ve got something for everyone to keep you warm, dry and comfortable.

Things change on a pretty quick basis this time of year, so stop by or give us a call at 406.222.1673 for the latest info. As hatches start and fall fishing really gets going, we’ve got everything you need to be successful out there. Tight lines this week!

Rock Creek Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (September 26, 2022)


1. Think slow inside deeper bends, runs with a couple feet of walking speed water and structure, riffles, and undercut banks.
2. Fish streamers in the morning and evening.
3. Perdigons underneath a hopper pattern or micro chubby have been working mid-day. Think October Caddis sized chubbies.


Summer flows are good.

BEST TECHNIQUES – Dry dropper rigs and double and single rig nymphing, mid-length leash.

Good luck and don’t forget to stop in our Philipsburg shop Flint Creek Outdoors and our NEW JACKALOPE JAVA espresso bar! We’re open 7-4 seven days a week. Be sure to stop in, grab a coffee, some Orvis gear, and flies from the the best fly selection in the region.





October Caddis, Mahoganies, BWO’s, Midges


NYMPHS – TJ Hooker in coffee, #10-12; Pat’s Rubber Legs in black, brown, #6-#10; Pheasant Tail Nymph, #10-18; Pink San Juan Worm #8-10; Hot Bead San Juan Worm Red; Montana Prince tan #12-16, double bead stone black #4-6; perdigons in 14-18 DRIES – October Caddis #8-#10; Purple haze #14-20; peach micro chubby chernobyl, chubby chernobyl in various colors/sizes; foam ant patterns in size 16 STREAMERS – Sparkle Minnow #6 in Olive; Zonkers #6, 8 in Natural, Olive, or Yellow; Kreelex Minnow #6 in Copper/Gold, Gold/Silver, or Purple/Silver.


Water Flow

272 cfs at the time of this report

Link to Water Flow Graph



Water temperature at mid-day

53 deg

Water Condition


Best time of day to fish

All day!

Best stretch

The entire creek is fishing well.

Best access point

Upper: Gilles Bridge Lower: Valley of the Moon

Fish species

Cutthroat, rainbow, cutt-bow, brown, bull, some brook trout, and whitefish.

Fishing season

Open year round, but catch and release for trout during winter.

Nearest airport

Missoula International Airport

Recommended fly fishing leader

9′ 3x

Recommended fly fishing tippet

3x and 4x top to bottom bug respectively unless you are swinging streamers then bump up to 2x

Best fly fishing rod

Crisp 9′ 5wt for nymphing but super fun spot to swing streamers with switch rods.

YNP Fishing Report by Jimmy’s Fly Shop (September 27, 2022)

Fly fishing on the Firehole River above the falls is turning on with the cooling weather. White Miller, other caddis and BWO activities are bring fish up to feed. So bring life cycle patterns, including soft hackle versions, for these insects

Killing frosts will soon nip terrestrial insect populations on Fall River Basin meadow streams and others such as Slough and Duck Creeks. So consider a visit to these before cold weather sets in.

Otherwise, the big attraction to fly fishers are the brown trout migrations in the Madison and Snake River drainages. Presenting streamer patterns is the name of the game on these waters, and enthusiasts seeking a “fish of the year” will become numerous. So be prepared to share choice locations

Bighorn River Fishing Report by Bighorn Trout Shop (September 16, 2022)

–no new report–

Water flows are at 2,500 cfs. Fishing has been poor the last several days. There is not a lot going on regarding insect hatches: a few black caddis are around in the afternoon and evening, especially on the upper 3 miles. We’re seeing some Pseudos (pale olive Baetis) throughout the day, and a few trico spinners in the morning. Anglers have caught some fish on tricos in the morning, but it remains to be seen if the trico hatch develops into a major event. Aquatic grass has choked out many of the fishing holes, so you’ll have to target the fast water sections. Still reports of large trout being caught, but don’t expect to catch large numbers of fish. Some decent streamer action if you can cover the water efficiently.

Missouri River Fishing Report via The River’s Edge (September 26, 2022)

3950 CFS @ Holter – The Mo has been fishing pretty solid as we head into the final week of September. Weeds are seeming to only be a nuisance in the afternoons. Deep nymph rigs in the mornings with small mayflies and midges have been quite effective, as well as shallow rigs to act as emergers above the weed beds. Fish are still very spooky.


Holo Flash Midge Black #18
TB UV Sowbug Rainbow #16
Brooks Sprout Baetis #18
Egg Sucking Leech Black #8
Eric’s Midge #20

Canyon Ferry Fishing Report via FWP (September 26, 2022)

Fishing is good for walleye, rainbows and perch while trolling bottom bouncers between the Silos and Hole in the Wall.  Most fish are being caught in 20-25 feet of water with pink, white or silver blades and worms with a bottom bouncer setup.  Shore anglers are picking up walleye, perch and rainbows north of the Silos on worms while Shannon has produced some rainbows from shore on worms also.  Jig fishing at Hole in the Wall in 25 feet of water has provided Rainbow action as well.  Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

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