Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 11.10.22
By angelamontana

Posted: November 10, 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 (November 9, 2022)

Yellowstone River Fishing Report via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (November 6, 2022)

Steve L.: May well have ended my open water season with a bang. Probably the biggest sauger of the year(pic doesn’t do it justice, she was fat) and by far a PB walleye on the Yellowstone(just shy of 9#). Extra special being able to experience it with my wife. Both released

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (November 9, 2022)

Fresno Ice Report by Fish Head Assassin (November 8, 2022)

Bitterroot River Fishing Report via Blackfoot River Outfitters: 2/5 (November 10, 2022)

BRO’s Tips of the Week:We’ve shifted to winter fishing conditions almost overnight in western Montana. There’s plenty of snow on the ground, and lows below freezing means it’s time to either tie flies or head to the river with your nymph rig. Think TJ Hookers, Rubber Legs, Jig PTs, Zirdles, San Juans, or your favorite streamer pattern. Don’t sleep on the Zebra Midge either.*See our 7 Day Outlook for updates on blockages jamming up the Bitterroot.

7 Day Outlook:

Cold and getting colder. We’re getting a break from the snow this week, but daytime highs in the 30s will mean pinching ice off your guides. The cold snap is expected to continue for the next couple of weeks.

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.

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.

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:

If you’re committed to dry flies, a Mahogany cripple or BWO fished as a single is the way to go. Otherwise, nymphing is the most effective tactic for finding fish in these snowy conditions. Running two nymphs together remains a good way to get down deep. Try the TJ Hooker, Hot Bead San Juan, Rubber Legs, or Wooly Bugger with a smaller option like a BWO nymph or Jig PT to increase your odds. Spanish Bullets, Frenchies, Prince Nymphs, Duracells, Two-Bit Hookers, and Perdigons are good bets, too.

Streamer fishing can still work, too. Try darker patterns like Peanut Envies, Dungeons, and Buggers during these cold, stormy days.

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 (November 7, 2022)

Monday Morning, 12F, Winter.

Monday and winter seems to have arrived.

Looks like it will be colder tomorrow as well.

Things, fishing included, have slowed. Today, stopped.

The fishing has been good. A few rising in the pm. Nymphers are wrecking them in shallow waters. Swingers are hooked up as well. Strippers? Good action.

Today? Stopped. Snowing currently and blowing from the north at 14 in Cascade. On the river? Damn cold. Too cold to fish man.

So, if you are gonna head out this week, or anytime when the air temps make it nearly impossible to wet a line, call first to the shop. Not only for current conditions, but also to see if we are even here in Craig!!

We have the option to not be at the shop when the conditions make it difficult for travel! Safety first man. Always.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (November 7, 2022)

The Gallatin will be a solid option for the rest of fall and winter. Nymphing has been best with your standard attractor patterns, Copper Johns, Lightning Bugs, Prince Nymphs etc. Pat’s Rubberlegs in natural colors, worms, and a variety of Perdigon nymphs. If you are struggling to get them to eat, try some smaller patterns like a Baetis or Midge imitations. Possible dry fly opportunity with the overcast and calm but I wouldn’t focus too much on that unless you see fish rising or plenty of bugs hatching. Streamer fishing has been good with smaller sculpin patterns and other baitfish.  Try Sparkle Minnows, Sculpzillas, & Buggers. The water is already quite cold so don’t worry about getting out super early especially with the super cold weather this week. Fishing seems to be best just after noon.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (November 8, 2022)

🔹 Flathead River- Excellent numbers of white fish in the river. Try 1/8 – 1/4 oz jigs with green tubes or craws, Gitzits work well or small jigging spoons. From Columbia Falls to Old Steel Bridge access is good.
🔹 Bitterroot Lake- Big rainbows starting to bite. Try trolling flies behind planer boards or Dave’s PlugIt lures in late afternoon.
🔹 Flathead Lake- Good numbers of lake trout starting to spawn along shorelines. Cast Kamlooper or krocodile spoons along west shore, Painted Rocks, Woods Bay, and Wildhorse.
🔹 Swan Lake- Lake trout spawning near the highway side, cast or troll big spoons. Few big pike near south end. Troll shorelines for nice rainbows.
🔹 Fennon and Half Moon sloughs- Few big pike on dead bait or big swimbaits.
🔹 Koocanusa- Rainbows hitting well near Rexford, also try near dam for salmon.
✅ White Fish Contest Continues until November 26th- Weekly Winners- Top 5 overall prizes- Fish Fry- Get signed up! 🎣
✅ ICE FISHING COMING SOON! Look for Smith lake and small water to freeze soon.
✅ ✅ MARK YOUR CALENDARS 📆 ✅ ✅
2nd ANNUAL ICE FISHING EXPO
WHEN: December 10th
WHERE: at the Fish Camp
More info to come…..

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (November 4, 2022)

The focus right now seems to be hunting. However, there is still some fishing to be had around the valley. Waiting for some of that ice to show, but in the meantime check out the #756BAIT report from Snappy’s.

  • Flathead Lake – Seeing a few lakers up shallow. Another option is casting from shore at Wayfarers Park, sinking bait off the bottom.
  • Echo Lake – A few smallmouth still biting. Try crawling Senko’s and craws along the bottom.
  • Upper Thompson – Pike bite has started to slow. Scattered reports of a few on dead bait under a quick strike rig.
  • Lake Mary Ronan – Perch are still biting around 15-20′. Gitzits and Hali’s have proven to be the most productive.
  • Flathead River – Whitefish are coming in heavy! Very good numbers on lil hustlers and ankle biters paired with 1/8oz Gamakatsu jigs.
  • 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 if you are fishing without downriggers.

Fishing Report by Yellowstone Country Flyfishing (November 1, 2022)

This Montana fishing report is valid from October 31 through Thanksgiving.

Fishing has been at best fair for the past week or so. After a warm September and October, winter arrived in force around the 24th. This put an end to any respectable aquatic insect activity except on the spring creeks and geothermal waters in YNP, reduced fish activity on large rivers due to low water temps, and put an end to fishing on any water that is small and/or at high elevation except those that have geothermal inputs. For the most part, it makes no sense to start before about noon, and you should quit around 4:00.

The next three weeks still provide good opportunities for those who like to swing streamers aiming for a few large fish before the deep winter weather sets in. For number-hunters, it’ll be tough going until late April unless you stumble into a pocket of good hatch activity.

Beware of spawning brown trout and don’t bother them. It is best to avoid areas of gravel on up to cobble-sized rocks in 1-4 feet of water for the remainder of the fall unless you see rising trout (which will almost entirely be non-spawners). Avoid clean shallow gravel at all costs: don’t fish there and don’t walk there. Our trout are all wild and the browns need to be left to make the next generation in peace. There are PLENTY of other fish in the sea (or trout in the stream), including those sitting in the bouldery or silty pools downstream of spawning areas, where they’ll be eating eggs and bugs disturbed by spawners.

The Yellowstone River has been fishing poor to fair. Water temps between 40 and 44 degrees are the main culprit. The higher, the better. Swing streamers or nymph deep slots looking for a few good browns. The best chance at a BWO or midge hatch will occur on warmer, calm afternoons on the east side of the river where the sunshine lasts longest. Avoid long stretches of shallow water. The best areas will be walking-speed, large-scale runs and seams. Wintering holes, basically. Nymphing will produce primarily whitefish except in the deep bouldery areas. Girdle Bugs and egg imitations are good choices in those areas.

The lower Madison River is largely in the same boat as the Yellowstone, exacerbated by its shallowness. There are fewer whitefish here, so San Juan Worms, crayfish, and BWO nymphs under indicators in the deepest areas are the most likely bets. With cloud cover, look for BWO hatches or break out the streamers.

The Paradise Valley spring creeks are now on winter rates of $40/day. From now through around Thanksgiving can provide good BWO and midge hatches during cloudy weather. Streamers and egg patterns in the deep slots will pick up pre-spawn brown trout as well as the residents sniffing after eggs and the bugs disturbed by spawning behavior. Try to pick a cloudy, cooler day. The sunny weather in the 60s and 70s we’ve been dealing with will not produce good fishing.

The Missouri River is an excellent choice this time of year. Above Canyon Ferry, very large run-up brown trout are possible. This is basically shoot for the moon steelhead-style fishing with streamers and perhaps big nymphs. Fish numbers are low but there are probably 100 10lb fish between Toston Dam and Canyon Ferry Reservoir right now, and I’m not talking about the carp. Downstream of Hauser and Holter Dams, good dry fly fishing remains possible and the fish are just more active in general due to warmer water. The water is still 51-52 below Holter Dam right now, though it is falling fast.

Yellowstone Park’s fishing season is now closed. Moving forward, we expect October 31 at sunset to be the permanent closing date. It used to be sunset on the first Sunday in November. They did get the replacement North Entrance Rd open on October 30, so at least you can drive in to LOOK at the water.

Note: Montana Outdoor‘s website is the only commercial external site authorized to use this content. Please let us know if you see it anywhere else (Parks’ Fly Shop’s report is similar, since Walter writes that one too).

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (October 31, 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 (November 9, 2022)

As we move more into late fall, the fishing on the Yellowstone will be hit or miss. Don’t let that discourage you, if you hit it right you could have a stellar day! Indicator rigs can be effective especially on sunny day, try a bugger followed by your favorite midge pattern. 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

    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)

Blackfoot River Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters: 3/5 (November 10, 2022)

BRO’s tips of the week:The Blackfoot is ice cold right now. There’s plenty of snow on the ground, and lows below freezing means it’s time to either tie flies or head to the river with your nymph rig. Think TJ Hookers, Rubber Legs, Jig PTs, Zirdles, San Juans, Zebra Midges, or your favorite streamer pattern.7 day outlook:

Cold and getting colder. We’re getting a break from the snow this week, but daytime highs in the 30s will mean pinching ice off your guides. The cold snap is expected to continue for the next couple of weeks.

Our recommendations for techniques and patterns:

If you’re seeing fish rise on sunnier afternoons, a small BWO can do the job. Otherwise, nymphing is the name of the game right now. Combine a larger fly like the TJ Hooker, Hot Bead San Juan, Rubber Legs, or Wooly Bugger with a smaller option like a BWO nymph or Jig PT to increase your odds. Spanish Bullets, Frenchies, Prince Nymphs, Duracells, Two-Bit Hookers, Perdigons, and Zebra Midges are good bets, too.

For streamers, a darker pattern in the Gonga, Dungeon, Bugger, or Peanut Envy can get the job done.

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.

CONDITIONS

Conditions are cold.

THE HATCH

BWOs, Gnats.

FLY PATTERNS

DRIES – BWOs #18-20, Zelon Cripple #16, Sparkle Dun Mahogany #16, Brindle Chute, Griffith’s Gnat #18-22. NYMPHS – TJ Hooker, Girdle Bug, Rubber Legs, San Juan #08-#12. Perdigon, Spanish Bullet, Frenchie, Brillon’s Mean Machine, Duracell, Prince Nymph, Jig PT #14-18, Zebra Midge #18-20. STREAMERS – Double Gonga #08, Zonkers #06 & #08 in Natural, Olive, or Yellow. Buggers #06-12, Dungeon or Peanut Envy in Yellow, Brown, Olive, and White.

Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report by Dan Bailey’s (November 10, 2022)

Happy November everyone! The holidays are coming up fast and we’ve got the winter weather to prove that we are moving on past summer. Yesterday’s big dump of snow is going to be followed up by a pretty good storm early next week. Temps are supposed to plummet and we’ve got several days with multiple inches of snow forecast. Bring it on! We’ll take every inch of snow pack we can get. Here’s what’s going on with our local rivers this week:

YELLOWSTONE RIVER 

We’re entering our late fall pattern on the Yellowstone River. Temps are dropping which means water temps are too. Colder water = colder fish, which means they’ll be shifting to preserving as much energy as they can. On the colder days concentrate on the slower, deeper water. Keep adding weight until you find the fish.

Streamer anglers are still having success. Fish might not be chasing as aggressively as they were a few weeks ago, but a dead drifted streamer under an indicator is deadly. Slow presentations like swinging flies are a great choice right now as well. With more cloud cover lately move toward more neutral or dark colored flies, and save the flashy stuff for sunny days.

You can still find some BWOs around on the calmer and cloudy days, but their window is closing fast. Midges are out and about, and can reward the patient dry fly angler. Hanging an emerger off the back of an adult is the ticket these days, cover two feeding zones at once. Unfortunately for the dry fly folks we are at the start of our windy season so try to find the protected spots to look for rising fish.

The Yellowstone River isn’t all that well known as a winter fishery. We get a lot of shelf ice that severely limits wade access, and even cuts out boat ramps. There’s definitely still fish to be caught on the Yellowstone in the winter time, but our fall fishing window is looking pretty slim.

MADISON RIVER 

Late fall/winter on the Madison River can be really good. There is still ice to worry about,but that’s a few weeks out at the very earliest. The Lower Madison is a very popular cold weather fishery, and for good reason. It’s a quick and easy float from Warm Springs to Black’s Ford, with lots of opportunities for dry flies, steamers, and good nymphing buckets. The colder weather will cut down on traffic a bit too, which always helps.

A stroll up Bear Trap Canyon is what you’ll want to do if you’re looking for action on top. There are numerous rock gardens that provide shelter from the wind and great hidey holes for big fish. On cloudy days look for BWOs and midges on the sunny ones. Crayfish are a great nymph option right now, as are dead drifted wooly buggers with a midge nymph behind them.

The Upper Madison is still doing quite well too. Be mindful of spawning trout, just leave them alone. Fishing the big nasty steamers up there can yield some impressive fish this time of year. Look for the last of the fall BWOs on the cloudy days, and hope the wind isn’t too bad to blow them all away.

GALLATIN RIVER

It sure looks and feels wintry up in the Gallatin Canyon these days. The Gallatin in the canyon is a really fun winter fishery, and we might be in those kinds of conditions for the season with this upcoming storm next week. Fish the deep, slow water with midge nymphs and flashy things. You’ll find some midges flying around so keep an eye out for that.

The Gallatin above Big Sky gets pretty icy and locked up this time of year, but that’s still a bit out at this point. If you want to fish up there again this year, now is your time. From the Canyon mouth to Big Sky is the most popular winter fishery.

The Gallatin in the Valley is a good option this time of year. Access is limited, but plan to walk (legally please) as far as you can from an access and you’ll find some good water. BWOs are out, midges are out, fish are still eating small streamers and double nymph rigs work well. Think a Zirdle Bug with a zebra midge behind it.

OTHER WATERS

A lot of the state is going to get cold this coming week. It’s that time of year, and we’re due for it. After the lovely warm fall we had, this is a hard shock but it’s great to see the snow in the mountains. With that in mind a lot of our waters around the state are going to shift into late fall/early winter patterns. This is about the slowest time of the year as far as fishing goes, with only a few standout places. It’s also almost that weird window between Thanksgiving and Christmas where everyone is super busy and time just vanishes.

The Missouri River is a great fall fishery. It’s one of the best options in our region for the hard core dry fly guys this time of year. BWOs are still kicking around a bit, and midges are out. When you aren’t seeing heads, break out the trout spey and go swing flies or fish the deep stuff with zebra midges, scuds, baetis nymphs, and all that good winter tailwater stuff.

Our local spring creeks like Depuy’s are worth the time as well. Being spring creeks they are a pay-to-play option, but they’re sometimes the only open water option around. Look for BWOs and midges, and bring a good lunch to enjoy in the warming huts while a fire rages in the pot bellied stove. This time of year you can get on with a discounted winter rate. Be aware that the wind can play a huge role in how well it fishes. When it’s windy in town, it’s windy on the spring creeks. (As I write this, the wind is howling through the doors and windows are rattling with the gusts lol)

LIVINGSTON AND THE SHOP

We have seen a big drop off in people in town over the past few weeks. It’s just that time of year. With the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park now open, we are all looking forward to winter tourists coming to enjoy our lovely town.

The shop is abuzz with our upcoming Backcountry Film Festival on Friday, November 18th. If you enjoy winter, skiing, or just hanging out with great people come on down to this FREE event at the Depot Center.  An amazing silent auction/raffle benefits Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen here in Livingston. We’ve already garnered over $20,000 in prizes for the raffle/silent auction.

While most of the shop is changing to ski and winter gear and apparel, we’ve got the flies, terminal tackle, waders/boots, and clothing you need to stay dry, warm, and comfortable. Come on down and check it out, and if you’re already moving on to planning next year’s fishing excursions we’d love to talk to you!

Tight lines!

YNP Fishing Report by Jimmy’s Fly Shop (October 29, 2022)

Closed to fishing after October 31st (Halloween) this year. So to enjoy Firehole River BWO and white miller hatches and Gardner, Lewis, Madison and Snake Rivers brown trout runs you had best hurry! Good, but cold weather is predicted for the remainder of the season.

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

-No new report-

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 (November 5, 2022)

3200 CFS @ Holter – Cold weather is moving into the Craig area, so consider keeping the boats at home. Streamer fishing continues to be hot, with small leech/baitfish imitations getting some quality fish. Dry fly action is pretty consistent, with baetis and midges and the very occasional October Caddis. Watch your step around any braids for redds.

GO-TO FLIES:

– Pink Hares Ear Jig #16
– Mighty May Baetis #18
– CDC Baetis Emerger Pink #18
– Euro Jig Silver Fish #10
– Brooks Sprout Midge Grey #20

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