Statewide Montana Fishing Report Compilation 10.5.22
By angelamontana

Posted: October 5, 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 5, 2022)

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (October 5, 2022)

Hauser Fishing Report by FWP (October 3, 2022)

Rainbow fishing has been productive while trolling cowbell and spinner combos between the Dam and York Bridge. Rainbows are being caught from shore at Riverside, the Causeway Bridge and Black Sandy while using floating jigs, crawlers and a marshmallow, or spawn sacks. Walleye fishing has slowed down recently with the cooler temperatures.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Fort Peck Pike Fishing Report via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (October 4, 2022)

Rebekah V: Back in July we were catching 15 or more [pike] a day at Fort Peck. Two weeks ago we were still getting about 10. Bigger ones we were getting trolling at 35 ft with deep cranks.

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

–No new report–


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 (October 4, 2022)

All good this month. So far.

Flows at 3800cfs with the water dropping as forecast this week according to the DNRC. 3400cfs is what the forecasters state.

Water temps holding around the 60F.

A few days per month are overcast. A few are calm. A few days are great. You should be here for those days.

Dry Fly Bite: Good on days. Some days. Little mayflies come off in the afternoons. Some larger mayflies of the CB variety. Spinners and cripples. A few skittering caddis in the tan 14 varies. A few flying caddis of the orange variety size 10. Skitter it, if you can. If you dare.

Nymphers like sows and scuds and Zebras and BWO nymphs like the Little Green Machine, BWO Magic Fly, Two Bit Hooker, Lightening Bug, Ju Ju Baetis, French, Tung Jig TNT BWO, Pearl Rib Perdigon Black, GRHE and Tung Head GRHE, YFG Euro Punk. Tung Jig Nightmare PErdigon, Pat’s RL, Zirdle…

Strippers on the Flash. 

Swingers on the soft hackle and Scandi Lines. BWO soft hackle and leeches and Carey Special, Sparrow, North Platte Special…Squirrel Softie, Bombers.

Lodging and Guide Trips available as we move through this month. Pretty busy currently. Softens as the month progresses. If the fishing is good, there will be anglers around. If it goes south, so do the participants.

406-235-3447 for booking any trips etc. To talk to th shop as well.

You want a updated answering machine fishing report Ala the ski report style? 406-235-3447 ext 3. Dial it up. You may like it.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Montana Troutfitters (September 29, 2022)

The Gallatin in the Canyon is fishing great. Baetis and midges will be your main hatch to match, BWO’s on cloudy days and pseudos on the sunny ones. October Caddis will be out and about any day now as well. Hoppers are at their tail end so you won’t see too many out there, but they’re still getting some fish to rise occasionally, especially being used as an indicator fly. We have all been running foam attractors, chubbies and hoppers. 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.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (October 1, 2022)

🔹 Koccanusa- Rainbows starting to bite well. Try Rexford to the bridge. Planer boards and darker color flies working well, also try Dave’s PlugIt or Rapala scatter raps or Rapala BX swimmers.
🔹 Lake Five- Good numbers of rainbows and nice perch.
🔹 Swan Lake- Excellent Lake Trout jigging or trolling along highway side or near river mouth. Also good rainbows trolling shoreline with flicker shads and small Rapala’s.
🔹 Flathead Lake- Good Lake Trout action trolling spoons along west shore to Shelter Island. Also try Woodsbay point and Finley Point. Perch still good Elmo to Big Arm.
🔹 Vann Lake- Good rainbow trolling small spoons or bait fish with power bait.
🔹 Bitterroot Lake- Salmon still biting north end 40’ of water trolling cowbells and wedding rings.
🔹 Lake Mary Ronan- Good perch action near Camp Tuffit 15-20’ of water.

Hell Creek Campground Update by James Gustafson via Friends of Hell Creek Inc. (September 29, 2022)

Just a heads up they shut the water off for the season in the campground. No showers and the fish cleaning station is shut down as well.

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (September 29, 2022)

  • Tobacco River/Graves Creek – Salmon are starting to clear out, but few remain in pockets.
  • Kootenai Falls – Still slow. Picking up a few decent size fish between 16″-20″ here and there.
  • Flathead Lake – Trolling Lake Trout remains good. The West Shore and delta are both good options. Mostly trolling around 35′-50′ with T50 flatfish or FLC inline spinners.
  • Middle Thompson – Trolling for Salmon is still producing some decent fish. Macks Sling Blades paired with Hoochie Rigs and Pautzke fire corn are the ticket.
  • Lower Thompson – Pike are fishing is still good. Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits or pike tamers are all good options right now.
  • Lake Mary Ronan – Good perch fishing. Jigging 16′-24′ using small grub baits pulls the best numbers.
  • Flathead River – Trout are still looking up. Try Royal Wulffs in size 12 & 14 or a hopper dropper rig to get some action. Spinners in mayfly or trout patterns have continued to get fish as well.

West Fork Stillwater River Fishing Report by Whacking Fatties (September 29, 2022)


Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir Fishing Report via FWP (October 3, 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 4, 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 (October 3, 2022)

Rainbow fishing continues to be great, and fish are being caught on the lower end of the reservoir while trolling Rapalas or cowbells. Departure Point has been producing good numbers of rainbows while using plain crawlers and a marshmallow. The Gates of the Mountains Marina area has been popular for flyfishing, and various nymphs, leech or egg patterns are working well. Walleye and perch fishing has slowed down recently with the cooler temperatures.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Blackfoot River Fishing Report by Grizzly Hackle (October 4, 2022)

Grizzly Hackle scores Rock Creek fishing a 4/5

The Blackfoot is fishing well.  No need to get out too early as the nights are getting cold up here.  Hopper/Dropper fishing is your best bet right now.  Droppers being Anderson’s Bird of Prey, Jig PT’s, Jig Princes, Perdigons, Rubberlegs and San Juans.  There are some October Caddis bouncing around in the afternoons into the evenings.  A few mayflies like BWO’s and Mahoganies, but it will be tough this week as the bright sun is forecasted all week.  Streamer fishing in the mornings and evenings when the light is low is a good option for bigger fish.

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 30, 2022)

As they all have lately (is that just me?), September has really flown by. Holy cow. With October knocking at the door, fishing is about to get good. I know we’ve been saying that for a while, but it’s true. Fall in Montana is awesome.

Fall is also a season of spawning. We’ve got several species of fish that spawn in the fall in our local rivers and we are getting to the time of year when you start seeing redds and spawning fish. Word of advice for the overall health of the fish, fishery, and future populations – LEAVE THEM ALONE. Don’t fish over redds, don’t fish behind redds, don’t walk through redds. Just leave them be to do their thing. Watch your step and leave them all alone.

This applies to all our rivers. Help keep the fishery healthy and thriving for years to come.


Trees are starting to really turn and it’s starting to look like fall here in Southwest Montana. We’ve had some very warm days for the season lately and late summer seasons are persisting. With the cooler nights water temps are staying manageable, but haven’t quite dipped enough for our fall hatches to really kick in.

Hoppers are still working really well. There are still lots of them and we just haven’t had the prolonged chilly weather necessary to end their season. Other terrestrials are still very much in play as well. Don’t overlook ants, beetles and attractors. We’re starting to see a few mayflies out and about, but they haven’t really started yet.

Fishing subsurface is outperforming dry flies hands down. Perdigons, hare’s ears, prince nymphs, large stonefly patterns, and dead drifted streamers will catch more fish than hoppers, chubbies, and attractors. Fish the structure, change your depth until you find the fish. If you’re fishing a streamer under an indicator, don’t be afraid of a little drag here and there. Adds some movement to the fly, and lends a more lifelike action.

Be aware that Mayor’s Landing to Sheep Mountain remains closed.


Both the Upper and Lower Madison Rivers are fishing well. Some big fish are starting to get caught, and things are just going to continue to get better. Like the Yellowstone River it’s still a bit early for the bulk of the fall hatches but we are starting to see a few of the fall mayflies show up. Hoppers and terrestrials are game on though.

The Madison River is famous as a fall streamer fishery. Lots of truly large fish get caught on the Madison every fall and if you dedicate yourself to it, it will pay off. Break out the bigger rods, sink tips, and big flies. Have a box full of sizes, colors, and profiles on hand. Keep changing it up until you find what works.

Fall on the Madison draws anglers from around the world. Come see why for yourself.


The Gallatin River Canyon is pretty spectacular as the fall colors set in. It’s a sight to behold and well worth the drive. The fall fishing on the Gallatin doesn’t get as much press as elsewhere in the state, since the fish don’t get quite as large. But don’t sleep on it, it can be a lot of fun.

Hoppers are still working, especially down in the valley stretch of the river. The Gallatin isn’t really known for any particular fall hatch, but they do get a decent amount of the usual suspects this time of year. It’s still a bit early, but fishing a parachute adams or purple haze is never a bad idea this time of year. Generic attractors should be in the box as well.

Like everywhere else, fishing subsurface is a better bet than on top. You’ll almost always catch more fish nymphing than with dry flies. Learn to nymph well and you’ll do very well.


The report reads about the same for most of the other waters in the state. We are right on the cusp of fall fishing. If you’re a dry fly purist, head for the Missouri River here soon. All our lesser known water in the region like the Jefferson River, Boulder River, Stillwater River, and countless other smaller rivers and creeks are about to turn on for the fall.There is a ton of great water available in this part of the state, primed for great fishing. Go check it out.

One awesome fall option here locally is our spring creeks. There are three available within a 20 minute drive of Livingston, and most of them are already on discounted fall rates. These private spring creeks do require a rod fee and a reservation. They are some of the most technical and difficult waters in the entire state, but that just makes it that much more fun.

Small waters are still fishing well, as is the high country. The window of opportunity is closing though. Make the most of the time we have left!


Fall is coming in fast around here. The Farmer’s Markets are done, a lot of our outdoor events are winding down, and the traffic is noticeably slowing down. This is always a time of year to reflect, get a deep breath, and catch up after a busy summer before the busy winter season. There’s still lots of time to hike, bike and camp before then though!

Our shop still has some deals going across a lot of categories after our big sale last week, and we are slowly getting our new fall apparel and gear out. Stop by for the latest info, great customer service, and the flies and gear you need.

Tight lines this week!

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

TIPS OF THE WEEK –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.7 DAY OUTLOOK –

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 (October 4, 2022)

With exception of the Firehole River’s BWO and white miller activity above its falls, the brown trout spawning runs in the Madison and Snake River River drainages are the big attractions for fly fishers this month. So popular have these runs become that only the boat use restriction on park waters keeps them from rivaling, in terms of angler attendance, the famed green drake and large stone fly emergences on such as the Henry’s Fork and the Madison Rivers (June flood road damage will decrease the number of fly fishers attending the Gardner River brown trout run). Thus whether you plan to try the runs on the Madison River or on the Lewis and the Snake Rivers, be ready to accept that tolerance and courtesy will be required to have an enjoyable visit.

Bighorn River Fishing Report by Bighorn Trout Shop (September 30, 2022)

Water flows are at 2,600 cfs. Fishing has been poor to fair. We’re catching fish on San Juan Worms, Squirmy Worms, plus scud and sowbug patterns. There is not a lot going on regarding insect hatches: We’re seeing a few trico spinners in the morning and Pseudos (pale olive Baetis) throughout the day, but not many fish feeding on the surface. Aquatic grass has choked out many of the fishing holes, so you’ll have to target the fast water sections. Some decent streamer action if you can cover the water efficiently.

Missouri River Fishing Report via Headhunters Fly Shop (October 1, 2022)

Bring on the cloudy, wet, and fall weather that we just love in October. Let’s not wait until November. We do want it in November as well but the October time frame will suit us just fine. But we are looking for the perfect day as described below…

Overcast, damp, rain, and cool.


So get out your low light sunglasses and several pair of gloves along with your dry fly boxes and be fish ready for those relatively rare perfect fall days when they occur.

As I write this rainy morning in Craig Montana reminding myself to get my rain jacket into the boat. And that streamer box! About an inch in the last couple days brings us into the right fall mood!

Yeah, the days to remember include 45F, calm, moist, overcast, with a mega BWO hatch @ 145pm. Be here for the 4 or 5 days that can happen in October. Last year we got about 10 of those. The year before? Like 8. 3 years ago less than 4 or 5. 4 years ago we got none. None.

We have had quite a few nice Autumn days this September. Highs in the 80’s and 90’s with high and bright sun. Those days are hopefully behind us. Reminiscent of those Autumns and Fall days that you remember. That you yearn for. That you just love!

Dry Fly Anglers love the Fall

The bigger BWO’s have not shown themselves, yet. But may have been some out yesterday. Today with the snow on the ground, and in the air, they may go BIG! So we have a lot to look forward in the next 2 months!

The little baby BWO’s the damn Pseudocloeon have been showing up. Pretty good yesterday in the afternoon on the upper river. Sign of them on the lower reaches more common as the bugs generally start not he lower and move upwards.

More around for longer on the water during rain events. There are plenty coming off daily in the sun but they do not stay as long on the surface as their wings dry out and they fly away. Most believe that baetis hatch better on overcast and moist days. But do they really or do more become crippled and knocked down than they do on sunny warmer days? You make the call.

We love the cripple here on the Missouri River for the fall period. CDC, Poly Winged, or old school with a hair winged post will suffice. The one you can see is a great idea. Dark posted on dark days along with brighter posts for sunny and harsh lit afternoons. The Smoke Jumper, any of Harrop’s CDC Posted including the D&D and the Last Chance, Quigley versions and the Limestone Cripple, and the Poly-Posted dun or black posted derivations like Nymen’s DOA, the Storm Chaser, and many more. Lots of options are in our always full bins here in downtown Craig.

Headhunters open daily @ 730 am

Fall Nymphing on the Missouri River

The Nymphing Cult loves this time period as well. Great short and long rigged nymphs will work. Go any depth you like. Go long with a split shot at 4′ for a total length of 6′. Two flies. Two small ones, a big and small, or even two large flies. How about the short leash. Good times in the afternoons. Wait to see the smaller Pseudo pop and shorten up. Length of 3′ or less from Palsa and no split. Try a small Thinga-ma-bobber, the popular screw capped Air Lock Jr. for shorty success. Or try our newest wool bobber product! It is just awesome with the short leash program!

Flies for the fall. All of the PT variations including all the hits from the last ten years. LGM, Two Bits, Mercury RS2’s, Micro-Mays, Indigo Child, Purple LB’s, Pearl LB’s, S&M’s, Military Mays, Red Headed Step Child, Mercury PT, Zebra’s, and more. Czech’s, Sows, October Caddis Pupa’s, and worms will round out your nymph fly selections.

Canyon Ferry Fishing Report via FWP (October 3, 2022)

Walleye fishing continues to be good with reports of rainbows and perch being caught as well.  The south end around the Silos is the area with the most walleye action while using bottom bouncers in 20 feet of water with pink, white or silver blades and worms or jigs in the same color.  Rainbows are being caught north of the Silos while trolling pink or green crankbaits in 15-20 feet of water.  Shore anglers are picking up walleyes and rainbows around the Silos and north on worms or jigs tipped with a worm.  Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

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