Statewide Montana Fishing Report Compilation 10.18.22
By angelamontana

Posted: October 18, 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 (October 18, 2022)

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (October 18, 2022)

Hauser Fishing Report by FWP (October 17, 2022)

Rainbow fishing has been great lately and fish are being caught from shore at Riverside, York Bridge, and the Causeway while using various nymphs, leech or egg pattern flies, crawlers and a marshmallow, or spawn sacks. Trolling cowbell and spinner combos between the Dam and York Bridge is also producing good numbers of rainbows. A few walleye and perch are being found in the Causeway arm while trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses with perch colored blades.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Georgetown Lake Fishing Report via Blackfoot River Outfitters (October 14, 2022)



1. Think sub-surface flies
2. 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 or black and red balanced leech.


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, dry dropper








Micro chubby #14 beetle, purple; calibaetis nymph; chironomid #16-20 black/red; natural colored streamers


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 (October 18, 2022)

Late in the month and we are enjoying it here in central Montana. A bit warmer that we would like for the fall session but quite nice as for humans the first 3 weeks of this month. Not really enough rain and overcast/inclement conditions for our fall tastes though. Hope more is coming this month?

Decent dry fly fishing in the afternoons. Not a ton of locales but enough to keep the DFO gang busy. Small BWO’s and some caddis will keep the fish interested. Some tossing attractors on the drift. Looking for the aforementioned fall like weather to increase the daily dry fly opportunities.

Pretty good streamer bite in the sun. Flashy seems to be the hot tip. Small too? Some weeds in the water column can make the strip a bit complicated at times. Snap it off. Intermediate tips are the norm. Streamer junkies come by the shop for another shot in the streamer vein with our oft sought after streamer selection. Still waiting on rain and clouds and such for an improvement here on this front.

Nymphers getting them in deep and skinny. Medium too. Sows, Midges, small mayflies, worms. 2′-6′ deep with or without split.

Swingers chatting about the soft hackle action. Some days better than others. Medium and skinny depths are where fish can be found. Deeper if you like the Skagit approach. Not anything like a super-sinky tip but medium depths and weights for most.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Montana Troutfitters (October 12, 2022)

The Gallatin in the Canyon is fishing great. Baetis and midges will be your main hatch to match. October Caddis will be out and about any day now as well. We have all been running foam attractors and chubbies as indicator flies. Behind that we have been fishing various small flashy nymphs, perdigons, hare’s ears, prince nymphs and stoneflies. If you want to go dry or die, fish a chubby as your top fly and a sz 18-22 parachute bwo as your dropper. Small natural streamers such as a Sculpzilla, bellyache or McCunes have been working great for us as well.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (October 10, 2022)

Lake Mary Ronan- Good perch action near Camp Tuffit, try Gitzits and Crappie Candyin 20-25’ water. Also a few nice rainbows trolling flicker shads or small Rapala’s.
Lower Stillwater- Pike and perch biting upper end near islands, try 15-20’ of water.
Flathead River- Goid trout fishing floating from Columbia Falls bridge to Old Steel Bridge, try small Thomas Cyclones or little Cleo’s. Flies- try purple Haze small hopper patterns. 👀 look for white fish starting up the river any time now.
Fennon and Half Moon Sloughs- doing well for nice pike – try Fennon for bass/pike. Chatterbaits and jerkbaits working well.
Loon Lake (Ferndale)- Good trout off shore, try power bait or fly fishing using leech patterns.
Swan lake- Lake trout action along the side trolling large spoons or Brads super bait, try 30-50’ water. Also, try trolling north end with small Rapala’s or spoons for rainbows.
Koocanusa (Rexford)- Rainbows starting to bite, trolling flies and Dave’s PlugIt lures. Catching a few deep with the downriggers 30-60’.
🌟🌟White Fish Contest Oct 17th- Nov 26th 🌟🌟
🎣 $20 Entry fee. 12 and under free
🎣 Weekly Prizes for top two fish
🎣 Top 5 biggest fish awards Nov 26
🎣 Fish Fry November 26th 3:00-6:00

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (October 14, 2022)

  • Flathead Lake – Trolling lake trout remains good off the delta around 60′-80′. Get out your T50 flatfish or Brads Cut Plugs.
  • Whitefish Lake – Some fish are cruising shallow on the North end. Try sinking cut bait off the bottom from shore.
  • Murray Lake – Trout fishing has been good. Try using Pistol Pete’s or Joe’s Flies. The good tried and true Powerbait off the bottom works too.
  • Lower Thompson Lake – Lots of smaller perch around 25′-35′. Use Hali’s or Gitzit’s tipped with maggots. If you want some Pike fishing, then head along the Northeast end using spinners or dead bait.
  • Lake Mary Ronan – Perch fishing has been good. Set yourself just off Camp Tuffit and get down between 15′-20′ with some Gitzit’s or Trout Magnets.
  • Flathead River – Reports of Whitefish around Teakettle have been popping up. Ankle Biters, Lil Hustlers and Jigs all in stock and have been very reliable for those fish.
  • Lake Koocanusa – Reports of Kamloop and Bull Trout off Rexford bench. Get out a M2 or T50 Flatfish around 40′-60′. Dipsy divers and Deep Six Divers work well without downriggers.

West Fork Stillwater River Fishing Report by Whacking Fatties (October 10, 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 largely over for the year but days can produce some decent baetis hatches to entice trout. Focus on late morning and afternoon when water temps are warmer to find more active trout.

The Month Ahead:

The Stillwater slows down faster than some of the larger rivers in the region due to colder water temps but can still be a worthy fall option. Focus on main runs where trout will compress in advance of the winter months ahead.

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 (October 17, 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)

-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:  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 (October 15, 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 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)

Fort Peck Salmon Fishing Update via Montana Fishing Addicts (October 7, 2022)

Steve L.: Seen lots being caught

Holter Reservoir Fishing Report by FWP (October 17, 2022)

Rainbow fishing has been great lately and fish are being caught from shore at the Gates of the Mountains and Departure Point while using various flies, silver spoons, spawn sacks and while trolling cowbells or Rapalas on the lower end of the reservoir. A few walleye and perch are being caught while jigging with chartreuse or perch colored jigs tipped with crawlers or trolling crawler harnesses in 15 to 35 feet of water near the Oxbow Bend and around other points and weed beds on the lower end of the reservoir.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Blackfoot River Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (October 13, 2022)

Grizzly Hackle scores Rock Creek fishing a 3/5

BRO’s tips of the week:

Most of the action on the Blackfoot has been happening below the surface. While October Caddis will be around, fishing the nymph form or a Stimulator to a dropper will be the best way to target fish. Try ripping a streamer through deeper runs and tailouts. Changing up your retrieve and streamer profile will be the best way to figure them out and find that special shoulder season fish.

7 day outlook:

The warm day/cold night pattern continues this week. Lows will stay just above freezing for the next 10 days, and highs in the low 70s will make for some blissful fall weather to chase fish before the next weather change.

Our recommendations for techniques and patterns:

If you aren’t attracting steady action on single dry, a dropper rig will make for a good standard option with a TJ Hooker, Jig PT, Spanish Bullet, Bird of Prey nymph, or San Juan. Nymphing is working well, and this is prime season for streamer fishing too. Throw tight to the banks and don’t be afraid to commit to the streamer in return for shots at some great fall fish.

Peanut Envies, Sparkle Minnows, Gongas, Kreelexes, Mini Dungeons, and Thin Mints/Buggers are all good, and bigger fish are moving to eat a faster retrieve and twitches right now.

See our staff pick 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.

Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report by Dan Bailey’s (October 17, 2022)

Happy October everyone! We’re having a very pleasant fall with above average temps and super mild weather. We’ve had a few rainy days, but the majority are bright and sunny and the leaves! Oh man, the leaves this year have been incredible. It seems like too often we get a heavy snow storm in October that knocks all the foliage down before we can enjoy the colors in their full glory. Not this year!

One thing of note: the fishing season in Yellowstone National Park closes October 31 this year. They’ve changed the timing up, which might confuse some. With the road closed in Gardiner, we haven’t been reporting on Yellowstone’s fishery much this year. Suffice to say pressure in the NE corner has been down considerably and next year should be really, really good.

The fishing has been pretty solid. Even with the bright weather, we’re seeing really good results across our local waters. Here’s what’s going on.


October is streamer season on the Yellowstone River. While you can catch fish with other methods, the pursuit of large brown trout on heavy rods with big flies dominates is the stuff of dreams. The bulk of casual tourists and anglers have moved on, leaving the river to the more serious fishermen.

Please be aware that fall is the spawning season for brown trout. Watch your step, don’t mess with redds, don’t fish over redds, and leave spawning trout to do their thing. If you catch an obviously spawning fish, get it back in the water as quick as you possibly can with the minimum of fuss. Protecting spawning fish is paramount to the future health of a fishery and helps to ensure the Yellowstone River will remain an excellent fishery for future generations.

As mentioned above, streamers are working great right now. Strip them, swing them, dead drift them. Carry a variety of sizes, profiles, and colors and keep switching until you find what they’re chasing today. General rule of thumb: dark day, dark fly. Bright day, bright fly. One often overlooked method of fishing streamers is dead drifted under an indicator with a small nymph underneath.

Nymph selection should include the old standards such as lightning bugs, copper johns, hare’s ears, and rubber legs. Don’t forget to grab some Perdigons and other jig style flies. They have been working very well this year. We haven’t heard any great reports of Baetis being out with this super sunny weather, but their nymphs are out in force. A full life cycle of the insect is good to have in the box this time of year.

For dry flies we don’t have a ton going on. The hoppers and terrestrials are all but gone now with these cold nights we’ve had. A few frosts and they’re pretty much over. You’ll see a few BWOs around with even more on the cloudy days. They don’t hatch great in this sunny weather, but keep an eye out.


Fall on the Madison River is a super special time. It’s one of the best times to be there – good fishing, great scenery, and less people. Both the Upper and Lower Madison have been fishing well this month. Streamers have been picking up big fish, there has been some scattered BWOs around, and overall it’s just good times.

The Lower Madison is long since rid of the “bikini hatch” recreational floaters and is back to being the realm of fishermen. You’ll see a good number of boats from Warm Springs to Blacks Ford, less from Black’s to Greycliff and even less from Greycliff to Three Forks. Fish numbers decrease the lower you go, but the average size does increase.

For the walk-wade anglers Bear Trap Canyon is a very attractive option. Take a nice stroll down the river until you find some attractive water and have at it. Bear Trap has numerous rock gardens that offer great holding water and are great for those hunting heads. The entire Lower Madison is also known for its buckets and sneaky pockets in the middle of the river – places where the average depth is only a foot or two deeper but hold trout. Learn to identify that and you’ll do well.

The entire Upper Madison is fishing well right now. Please be aware of spawning trout, especially below Ennis and Between The Lakes. Careless fishermen can cause a lot of damage to redds this time of year, don’t be that guy. There is a lot of great water to wade, float, catch fish, and have fun.


The Gallatin is a beautiful spot in the fall. While the Canyon has been our focus and the focus of many, many anglers during the summer (and still fishes very well), the lower river comes more into play this time of year. During the hot summer month the valley stretch of the Gallatin gets too low and too hot, but now it can house some decent fish and close-to-town action.

If you feel up for the drive, the Gallatin River in Yellowstone Park is a fun fishery this time of year. Anywhere along the canyon can produce as well, even though this is the busiest stretch of river. Fall foliage in the canyon can be really pretty and worth the trip.

Unlike elsewhere in the state, the Gallatin isn’t where you want to be throwing the biggest, nastiest streamers in the box. Smaller streamers produce better here. If you look at it and wonder if it’s too small, it is probably about the right size. Look for midges and BWOs on the cloudy days, and be ready with nymphs and indicators if not.


October is one of those months when basically any water anywhere is fishing well. Go exploring! If you want some really good dry fly fishing, head for the Missouri River. It can be punishingly technical, but dedicate to the dry and you’ll have a good time. Worst case, go get dinner and a beer at Isaac’s in Craig or the Driftwood in Cascade.

The Shields River is one we should mention. Although it is very close to us, we don’t recommend anyone fishing it. Flows are still low, the browns are spawning in it, and it’s just been an overall very rough summer on the river. Just avoid it. Don’t mess with it. There are other better choices.

The local spring creeks are on their fall rates and can be an incredibly fun option for a day on the water. The fish are big and super spooky so bring your A-game. Try to time it right with a cloudy day for the best chance at dry fly action.


Here at the shop we are transitioning away from summer and its pursuits and more toward fall and winter. The bike shop is going to be moving toward the ski shop here soon, and our apparel racks are filling up with sweaters, long sleeves, and warm jackets. Need something to help you stay warm and comfortable this fall? We’ve got it. We’re also stocked on waders and boots, so don’t fish another season in your old ill-fitting, leaky set.

Livingston is absolutely beautiful right now with the leaves and fall colors. Town has really begun to slow down as we move away from tourist season but there is still lots to do, see, and love! Don’t overlook Livingston for your fall and winter plans.

Also, for those of you who ski or love winter, mark your calendars for Friday, November 18th. One of our most beloved and enjoyed events is coming back after a couple year break! Stay tuned to our social for more details.

Tight lines this week!

Rock Creek Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (October 14, 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 micro chubby have been working mid-day. Think October Caddis sized chubbies, too. BWO and mahogany emergers have been working to rising fish.


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

240 cfs at the time of this report

Link to Water Flow Graph



Water temperature at mid-day

52 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 (October 15, 2022)

The brown and rainbow trout run up the Madison River is in full swing and so is the number of anglers chasing it. Attention to etiquette really applies here. Get in line at the top of holes and runs to take your turn to fish through them. Streamers on sink tip lines bring the best results, and if you have success with them, you might get crowded and at least will be questioned on what patterns you are using.

An alternative to fishing the Madison run is that the Firehole River now offers the best top water fishing in the Park with white mlller, other caddis, and BWOs hatching in enough number to keep fish busy feeding on or near the top.

Bighorn River Fishing Report by Montana Troutfitters (October 12, 2022)

The Bighorn has still had quite a weed issue, so the reports are subpar, that should be changing soon though as we are seeing fall at its peak. Worm patterns have been tough to beat followed by smaller perdigons and zebra midges. Baetis dries have been ok, and streamers have been inonsistent, but ok at times.

Missouri River Fishing Report via Headhunters Fly Shop (October 10, 2022)

3400 CFS @ Holter – The MO is fishing well for whichever way you prefer to fish. For dry flies, midge and BWO hatches are relatively consistent, as well as October Caddis. Nymphing scuds, zebra midges, or soft hackles with long leaders has been solid. Kreelex game is going strong, so hop on the train, it ain’t stopping anytime soon.


Bow River Bugger White #4
Holo Flash Midge Purple #18
Brooks Sprout Baetis #18
Caddis Flambe Tan #14
Serendipity Rainbow #16

Canyon Ferry Fishing Report via FWP (October 17, 2022)

The walleye bite with an occasional perch continues to be good around the Silos out from Broadwater Bay in 15 to 20 feet of water while using bottom bouncers or Slow Death rigs with green, red, white or silver blades and worms.  Walleyes are also being caught in the bays around White Earth and Goose Bay.  Rainbows are being caught between Hole in the Wall and White Earth in 18 to 20 feet of water on cowbells, spoons or green crankbaits.  Shore anglers are picking up a few walleyes and rainbows around the Silos and north on worms or jigs tipped with a worm.  Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

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