Statewide Montana Fishing Report Compilation 10.27.22
By angelamontana

Posted: October 27, 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.

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Hell Creek Recreation Information (October 27, 2022)

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (October 27, 2022)

Hauser Fishing Report by FWP (October 24, 2022)

The cooler weather has slowed everything down, but a few rainbows are being caught from the Causeway Bridge while using nightcrawlers and a marshmallow.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Bitterroot River Fishing Report via Blackfoot River Outfitters (October 27, 2022)

BRO’s Tips of the Week:

Wet and cold weather will be the norm through next week. You’ll be colder on the water, but cloud cover and precipitation can bring out better BWO and Mahogany action. Think dries and streamers for these last weeks of fall, and try occasional casts into shallower water in addition to the deep runs.

*See our 7 Day Outlook for updates on blockages jamming up the Bitterroot.

7 Day Outlook:

Expect clouds, scattered rain showers, and snow next week. Highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s through next week will keep the water cold. Sleep in a bit and fish the river during the warmer part of the day. If you are floating please use extreme caution. This river changes rapidly and is known for producing fatal log jams. Give us a call for an updated obstruction report.

*There are currently several obstructions on the Bitterroot.

On the West Fork, take the left channel near High Bank – even though flows on the left are low, the right channel is impassible.

Darby-Wally: one big sweeper down just below Lone Pine requires a drag to the right on the Darby-Wally float. As of today, 7/29, there is also a tree blocking the river near the cliffs above Wally.

Wally-Anglers: flows over Sleeping Child dam are extremely low, producing dangerous conditions and a high chance of getting stuck.

More wood down around the Blodgett Park area will also require careful scouting and some possible dragging.

Veterans Bridge-Woodside: take the left channel below the bridge, as the right channel is blocked and requires a portage.

Tucker-Bell is currently un-floatable. Many blockages and portages in here. It’s not worth it.

Bell-Stevi: One new tree is down half a mile below Bell. Another tree about one mile downstream of Bell Crossing has already sunk one drift boat and will require staying far river left and doing a long drag. Lastly, one new tree is down as  ¾ through the Stevi-Florence float. It is across the river and will require a drag to get around.

Our Recommendations for the Best Techniques and Patterns:

Look for Mahoganies, BWOs, and sporadic October Caddis to comprise the main dry fly action on these overcast and stormy days. Carry an assortment with the Sparkle Dun Mahogany, Booty’s DL Cripple, and Brindle Chute in size 14-16 along with the Rusty Plan B, Elk Hair Caddis #12, and a Parachute BWO #18.

For droppers, the Jig Pheasant Tail #14 and Frenchie will work for Mahogany nymphs, and an Olive Spanish Bullet, Perdigon, or Mic Drop Olive will work well for BWOs under the surface.

Nymphing is still a good option in deeper runs and on colder mornings. TJ Hookers, the Hot Bead San Juan, Two-Bit Hooker Mahogany, Prince Nymphs, Duracells, Spanish Bullets or Perdigons in #12-16 should all get eats.

Streamer fishing is still good out there, too. Flashier patterns like Precious Metals, Skittish Smolt, and Kreelex are getting chases, and the Peanut Envy, Dungeons, and Buggers will be good as we get more cloud cover.

See our staff pick fly selection here!

Goings on at World Headquarters in Missoula:

The new Online Store is live!  Check it out!

Call us for up to the minute updates at 406.542.7411 or if you are in the area stop in for all your Orvis gear and the right bugs.  WE HAVE MOVED TO OUR BRAND NEW LOCATION AT 275 N. RUSSELL STREET IN MISSOULA.

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

On the back end of the season. It dropped off, the traffic, sometime last week. It feels real good man.

If you like solace, not many anglers, and a slower pace to the day, come in the next couple months.

Shop opens later, closes earlier. The anglers start later, finish when the dark envelopes the anglers, mountains, river, world.

We breath better. Stalk softer. Smile deeper, broader.

Gloves, hand warmers, whiskey, dries and soft hackles, gentle nods towards others…

The late fall/final season is good here in Craig Montana.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Montana Troutfitters (October 26, 2022)

The Gallatin in the Canyon is fishing great. Baetis and midges will be your main hatch to match. October Caddis are out and about 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. Bigger fish are starting to show up in the lower sections as well. Bigger white streamers immitate the spawning whitefish and sucker minnows well. 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 24, 2022)

🔹 Flathead River- Lake white fish starting to show up. Try small craws and tubes in 1/8-1/4 oz. Gitzits work well too. C Falls bridge to Old Sttel Bridge section is best. ➡️ Be sure to sign up for our contest, weekly prizes and overall. Some great cuts/rainbow fishing in river, try gold spoons or spinners.
🔹 Bitterroot Lake- Rainbows starting to bite, troll planer boards and flies in late afternoon to dark. Also try Dave’s plugs in darker colors. Few salmon on north end 40-60’ of water.
🔹 Flathead Lake- Goid numbers of perch around Elmo and Big Arm, try 30’ of water. Lake trout showing up along shorelines, Lakeside, West Shore, Shelter Island, Woods Bay, are all good areas to try. Cast or troll big spoons 30-60’ of water.
🔹 Vann Lake- Nice trout trolling shorelines with small Rapala’s.
🔹 Lower Stillwater- Goid Perch action 15-20’ water near island.
🔹 Middle Thompson- Nice perch 30-40’ water, also nice pike, use big spinnerbaits along weed edges.

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

  • Flathead Lake – Trolling or Jigging around 50′-70′. Try using Misson Tubes or Rapala TailDancers.
  • Echo Lake – Bass fishing has begun to slow down, still getting a few big ones on Senko’s or craws.
  • Foys Lake – Kokanee have been schooling around the launch. Try using Little Cleo or Thomas spoons.
  • Murray Lake – Trout fishing has been good. Mostly using Pistol Pete’s or Joes Flies. You could also get some PowerBait off the bottom.
  • Lower Thompson Lake – Pike fishing is starting to slow. Still some reports using smelt to pick up some bites around structure.
  • Lake Mary Ronan – Perch fishing remains consistent. Hali’s tipped with maggots have been producing good bites.
  • Flathead River – Whitefish have started moving up the river. Get your Lil Hustlers and Ankle Biters to produce some numbers.
  • Lake Koocanusa – Reports of Kamloop and Bull Trout off Rexford bench. Try using M2 and T50 Flatfish around 40′-60′. Dipsy Divers and Deep Six Divers work well without downriggers.

Stillwater River Fishing Report by Yellowstone Country Flyfishing (October 15, 2022)

This Stillwater River fishing report is valid October 15 through October.

The Stillwater is now too low to float with any size raft upstream from the Rosebud confluence. Downstream, it’s still possible to float with two-man whitewater rafts or three-man ultralight rafts, though even these craft will need to be dragged over some gravel bars.

Early mornings will be slow. Nymph the deep runs with a Girdle Bug and either a BWO nymph or some type of slender attractor such as a Delektable Spanker or Lightning Bug.

Hatches have been sporadic in the afternoons, though the fish in the Stillwater may be more eager to eat a large mayfly-style attractor dry than those in the Yellowstone: think a #12 Royal Wulff Cripple. Hopper-dropper fishing is essentially over for the year.

Streamers are always good in the fall on the Stillwater. Moderate-sized Zonkers and Woolly Buggers are favorites.

Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir Fishing Report via FWP (October 24, 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 (October 25, 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. https://linehan-outfitting.myshopify.com/

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

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (October 27, 2022)

The Yellowstone can be a great fall fishery, indicator rigs can be very effective, especially on sunny days. Try stripping streamers on cloudy days and if you’re more into dry fly fishing throw baetis and midge dries on the cloudy days as well! 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)

Holter Reservoir Fishing Report by FWP (October 24, 2022)

The cooler weather has slowed everything down, but a few rainbows are being caught from shore at the BLM Campground on the lower end of the reservoir while using nightcrawlers and a marshmallow.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Blackfoot River Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (October 27, 2022)

Grizzly Hackle scores Rock Creek fishing a 3/5

BRO’s tips of the week:

Between streamers and nymphs, most fish on the Blackfoot are being caught below the surface right now. Scattered October Caddis and mayfly spinners will still get eats alongside Plan B’s and a dry-dropper rig, but fishing the nymph form or ripping a streamer is the way to go to find big fish.

7 day outlook:

Expect clouds, scattered rain showers, and snow next week. Highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s through next week will keep the water cold. Sleep in a bit and fish the river during the warmer part of the day.

Our recommendations for techniques and patterns:

Dry-dropper and streamers will be the way to go as weather gets nasty unless you find fish eating on top. October Caddis are still around, and the Rusty Plan B, Elk Hair Caddis, and Stimulator can work as good imitations, though most fish are being caught on a nymph form like the Bird of Prey or Brillon’s Orange Crush in #10-14. Otherwise, fishing droppers like the Jig PT, Spanish Bullet, and Frenchie are good options.

Nymphing is working well, and the Hot Bead San Juan will come back into play with this rainy weather.

This is prime season for streamer fishing on the Blackfoot. Throw tight to the banks and don’t be afraid to commit to the streamer in return for shots at some great fall fish. Flashier patterns like Precious Metals, Skittish Smolt, and Kreelex are getting chases, and the Peanut Envy, Dungeons, and Buggers will be good as we get more cloud cover.

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.

YELLOWSTONE RIVER

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.

MADISON RIVER 

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.

GALLATIN RIVER

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.

OTHER WATERS

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.

LIVINGSTON AND THE SHOP 

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!

YNP Fishing Report by Jimmy’s Fly Shop (October 22, 2022)

The Firehole River features its usual great dry fly fishing now, but watch the weather as snow could make getting there a problem. Otherwise migrating brown ( and rainbows in the Madison) is the major attraction. With the current stormy weather, any time of day is good for action whether on the Madison or on the Lewis-Snake river drainages. Walking in to fish the Lewis River channel between Lewis and Shoshone Lakes could be a bit difficult with snow any time, but fewer anglers will be present to put the fish down.

Bighorn River Fishing Report by Montana Troutfitters (October 26, 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, scuds, 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 19, 2022)

3300 CFS @ Holter – If one of your flies isn’t the color of a highlighter, how are your flies gonna stand out? Nymphing long fluoro setups continue to take the cake. Midges, scuds, worms, and eggs continue to make those reels scream for help. Dries have been a little inconsistent, but if you want that fix, October Caddis/BWO/Midges will do it.

GO-TO FLIES:

– Rainbow Warrior Pearl #18
– Tungsten Sunkist #16
– Brooks Sprout Midge Grey #20
– User Friendly PMD #12
– Skiddish Smolt #4

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

No report this week from FWP

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