Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 12.6.22
By angelamontana

Posted: December 7, 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 (December 6, 2022)

Georgetown Lake Fishing Report via 406 Ice Fishing 12.5.22

Duane S.: Good Monday morning from Georgetown lake it’s 22° winds at 6-11 sw We had another inch of fluffy snow on the ice probably a total of 4 inches of snow on the ice today.Ice is six-11 inches growing every day! If you’re looking for in-line fishing rod? I have four styles of the 13 fish rod for sell. The 4 Freefall Ghost rods Radioactive pickle, Fate V3, Maverick and Descent/Snitch! I also have new and used ice shelters and augers for sell .Tight Lines!

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Bighorn Angler (December 6, 2022)

The river is finally getting to its prime shape.  Clarity has really come back and grass is a minimal issue.  Water temps are dipping into the high 40’s.  The fish are happy and browns are in full spawn mode.  As we always preach, please don’t harass these fish!

Fly patterns will pretty much stay the same throughout the rest of the Winter.  Carpet Bugs, Orange Scuds, Small SJW’s, Rays and various Zebra Midges are about all you’ll need.

Streamer fishing has been good when you don’t have ice in your guides.  This is also an excellent time for the 2 handers.  Thin Mints, Grinches, Jolly Ranchers, Lil Kims and Bighorn Buggers have been consistent.

Missouri River Fishing Report via MT Fishing Addicts 2.0 (December 4, 2022)

Ronald M.: Took the girlfriend out to try to find some burbot but only saw 1 dink swimming around. She caught a 18 1/4″ trout and a 12 1/2″ walleye. I ended with a 12″ walleye and a 20 1/2″ 2lb 12oz spawned out nasty salmon. Hopefully the burbot will start moving in soon.

Nolan R.: The burbot are biting right now. Target them in South facing, deep, rocky areas. Glow jigs tipped with a half a sucker minnow.

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (December 6, 2022)

Tiber Ice Report via MT Fishing Addicts 2.0 (December 3, 2022)

Al L.: Ice report Tiber five to six inches good ice. Willow Creek lots of good bait. 406-564-6419 any questions

Bitterroot River Fishing Report via Grizzly Hackle: 2/5 (December 5, 2022)

Cold nights are making for some slush and shelf ice on the Bitterroot.  Sub-surface will be the best way to get into fish.  Nymphing Rubberlegs, Double Bead Stones, Perdigons, Jig Duracell’s, Jig Princes and San Juans.  Streamer fishing deep and slow is always a good way to get into a bruiser this time of year.  Brown’s are off the spawn and looking to eat right now.  Black, Olive and White are our favorite winter colors.  Skiddish Smolts, Sparkle Yummies, Chicago Overcoats, Mini-Dungeons, Baby Gonga’s and Lil’ Kims.

Lot’s of downed trees in stretches this summer.  Give us a call for up to date information.

1/2 off Friday’s are still happening, every Friday all year long. (1/2 off your first dozen dries or nymphs)

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Headhunters Fly Shop (December 6, 2022)

Too Cold to Dream?


Snowing this am with the mercury reading 5F. Winds from the North at 10-15mph. Wind chill values well below ZERO.

I like the look of falling snow. The feel. The fantasy. Out in it 8-10 hrs a day, not so much.

John, Julie, and I all spent better than a decade in the ski biz. Any of those outdoor winter jobs require lots of snow shoveling. In the elements, buried ad sweaty. John and I both taught skiing and cannot remember if Julie did. HH Guide Brett Matula spent many seasons teaching and now enjoys the winter months traveling, split-boarding/snowboarding with helicopter and snow cat assist on occasion. Hiking too. He is the winter maverick of our group.

Many anglers head to warmer climates for the winter fix. Smart. Maybe it is too cold, not, to dream!

The YouTube live webcam channels get me though some of the darker winter days. Tune into a beach scene around the globe, a great surf wave, an eagles nest, an underwater tropical view, or a beach bar in St Johns! Those live images do keep my soul warmer.

Dreaming about those sunny days in June and July and August. That is what I commonly dream of. If I close my eyes I can replay moments of summers past. Lots of ’em. I can also metaphysically enjoy a reel that includes the sun warming my body, PMD’s quietly lifting from the water headed upstream silently winging though my summer baked flight lane.

Back to reality here in Craig Montana. Cold. Quiet. Deep Winter Mode. Call if you need gift sent to a friend or loved one. We are huddled around the heater dreaming of PMD’s, Trico’s, Caddis…

Gallatin River Fishing Report via The Rivers Edge (December 2, 2022)

330 CFS @ Gateway – Sunny and sub 30 temps expected for next week. The Gallatin has been nymphing well, with your typical midge/stonefly/worm setups being most consistent. If they seem picky, try downsizing to a small baetis/midge imitation, especially if it’s overcast. Be careful of ice shelves as they are consistently remelting/shifting!


– Pat’s Rubberlegs Coffee/Blk #6
– Darth Baetis Grey #18
– Pool Noodle Pink #12
– Eric’s Midge #20
– CH Krystal Bugger Black #6

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (November 26, 2022)

-No new report-

❄️ Smith Lake- 5-7” of ice, lots of small pike, some good perch action north end. Try ratfinkees or tear drop jigs topped with grubs or wax worms.
❄️ Lower Stillwater- 5-7” ice, try mouth end 6-12’water for perch and pike. Try near island for lake trout.
❄️ Dog Lake- Good numbers of perch 7-10” range.
❄️ Island Lake- 4-5” ice, lots of perch 7-12’ range.
❄️ Rodgers Lake- 4-6” ice some nice grayling and cuts early morning.
❄️ Blanchard- 3-5” ice, pike and perch action early morning.
❄️ Church Slough- 3-5” ice, nice pike early morning.
❄️ Flathead River- Still lots of white fish in river.
❄️ Lake Mary Ronan- No ice
❄️ Echo Lake- Froze, NOT SAFE
ICE EXPO DECEMBER 10th 9:00-3:00

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (December 1, 2022)

Lakes are starting to cap over, be safe when checking ice and use your safety gear.

December 10th Snappy’s Fish on Ice special, seminars and in-store specials all day! Details Coming – Details Here

  • Flathead Lake – Reports of good schools of perch being caught in East Bay.
  • Lake Mary Ronan – Reports of Ice Cap forming, not safe!
  • Smith Lake – 7+ inches. Pike fishing has been good using smelt under tip-ups. A few Perch being caught as well.
  • Lower Stillwater – 5-7 inches. Perch fishing has been decent. Try using Gitzit’s or Hali’s tipped with maggots.
  • Rogers Lake – 6+ inches. Grayling fishing has been good. Get out some forage minnows or Tutso jigs. Cuts being caught in the early hours on Wolfinkee jigs.
  • Dog Lake – 5+ inches. Pike and perch fishing has been good. Small tungsten jigs with soft plastics and maggots or waxies for perch seem to be working well.
  • Church Slough – 4-6 inches. Good pike being caught off tip-ups with dead bait.

Fishing Report by Yellowstone Country Flyfishing (November 10, 2022)

This Montana fishing report is valid from November 1 until the first run of daytime high temperatures in the high 30s or 40s. Normally that’s called “most of November,” but it has been bitter cold and snowy all month.

Fishing is very poor right now and we do not recommend it. Water temps are in the low to mid-30s everywhere except the Paradise Valley spring creeks, and air temps are in the teens for highs. Significant ice formation is already underway.

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 is rapidly icing up and will fish poor. Near the mouth of the Gardner River, fish a stonefly nymph with a midge pupa dropper. That’s probably your only realistic shot.

The lower Madison River is largely in the same boat as the Yellowstone, exacerbated by its shallowness.

The Paradise Valley spring creeks are now on winter rates of $40/day. This is probably the best option in the area until at least early February, since the water never drops under about 45 degrees. It will be cooooollllld fishing, though. Fish midge pupae, eggs, and streamers. If it ever warms up, there might be limited BWO and midge emergences.

The Missouri River is a long way to drive, but will not ice up for a while yet. Scuds, sowbugs, BWO nymphs, and midge pupae will produce the numbers. Swung streamers may produce some bigger fish.

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).

Echo Lake, Lake 5, Rodgers and Lake Mary Ronan Ice Report via Flathead Valley Fishing Report 12.6.22

  • Dylan N.: Lake 5 had 4 inches few days ago
  • Colleen H.: Rodgers is decent for salmon right now.
  • Tim S: Was up to lmr today walked out 40 ft two inches of soft ice it’s going to take some cold to tighten it up
  • Will A.: I live at Echo. Just barely iced over this week. Won’t be on it for a while still.
  • ShaneIssac B.: Was just out there (at Rodgers) yesterday about 6-7 inches, was out there for about 4 hours and caught 20 grayling and three cutthroat.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (December 6, 2022)

This Kootenai River Montana fishing report is being brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Linehan Outfitting.  This report will be updated weekly to provide current conditions, weather, hatches, patterns, and flows to our local waters and across the state.

Flows from Libby Dam:  4000cfs

Water temperature at Libby Dam: 42 degrees

Hatches: midge, baetis

patterns:  zebra midge, parachute Adams, parachute pmd, Rosenbauer’s olive rabbit foot emerger, purple haze, purple chubby, red chubby, olive sparkle dun,bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers

It’s not quite spring up here in Kootenai River country but we have good news.  Flows from Libby Dam have been reduced and will be stable at 4000cfs through the end of March for now.  That means there’s some great early season fishing available right now.

Expect more clammy cloudy weather through the weekend and into next week.  March continues to come in like a lion and we’ve yet to see the lamb.  Rain and snow mix will dominate forecast.  Fortunately daytime temps will ooch into the forties which is at least a small sign of spring around here.

At the moment the river is clear and in good shape.  Don’t expect much in the way of dry fly fishing and insect activity until we get some substantially warmer daytime temperatures.  The water is still cold but trout will start to feed a bit in the coming weeks.

This is always a good time of year for nymphing.  With low flows you don’t need a heavy rig.  You just need to get the flies down in softer runs and pools where trout are most likely to be holding this time of year.  Don’t spend a ton of time fishing fast riffles.

Streamer fishing is also productive this time of year especially since bigger fish will be hungry after laying low for a couple months during the dead of winter.  Keep in mind they will not necessarily want to move too fast or too far to get a meal.  Get your streamers down and fish them slowly and erratically.  Nothing like a wounded minnow to get a big rainbow interested in at least a sniff.

In Boston Red Sox news, it’s PLAY BALL!  After several weeks of a lockout the players union owners have finally come to an agreement.  Spring training will start immediately and while opening day was and remains delayed until April 7, the season will still be 162 games.  For now the Sox have managed to keep essentially the same playoff roster they had last season.  Infielders Dalbec, Arroyo, Bogaerts, and Devers are key players.  In the outfield Jackie Bradley Jr. has returned to Boston and Kike Hernandez and Verdugo will anchor the deep green.  Ace Chris Sale will hopefully be healthy and other starters from last year will hopefully pick up where they left off in October.  Go Sox!!!

Give a call anytime if you need more Kootenai River details or information on any of our hunting or fishing adventures.  And please check out our e-commerce site for all Linehan Outfitting branded swag and Orvis gear.

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

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (December 4, 2022)

As we move more into late early winter, 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! Areas of the river with spring creek influence can be a great option right now as there will be warmer water pumping into the colder main river, giving the trout a comfortable place to pod up and look for food. 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 Grizzly Hackle: 1/5 (December 5, 2022)

Winter is here to stay on the Blackfoot.  Shelf ice and slush will make for hard to impossible fishing. Time to break out the vise, wax the skis or watch Netflix.  Lots of slush in coming down in the mornings and some ice starting to build up.

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 (November 26, 2022)

-No new report-

Hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving! Now we’re in the midst of the holiday season, Christmas will be upon us in no time. It’s kind of a blessing that this is about the slowest time of year for fishing – life is busy enough with all the holiday stuff. But if you do need to get out of the house and find some peace and quiet, here’s what’s going on.


Things are pretty icy these days. There’s a fair bit of the Valley that is locked up with ice, and there are quite a few chunks and slush floating down as well. If you’re wading, watch out. With the colder temps in the forecast, expect a lot more ice coming up.

From here on through the colder months, except the wind to be a constant companion. Hold on to your hat and try to find shelter if you do go out. In the colder temps it dies down a bit but holy wind batman it’s been breezy.

Honestly, at this point, either fish the spring creeks or stay home and tie flies if your only option is the Yellowstone.


The Lower Madison is a solid winter fishery that is close enough to town to be worth the drive if you only have a few hours to get out and go fishing. The ice isn’t too bad in Bear Trap and down to Black’s Ford, and the fishing has been decent. Things are moving slow, so fish the deep buckets and slow water. If you’re streamer fishing stick to swinging or dead drifting under an indicator.

Crayfish and attractor nymphs have been producing as a point fly, with a midge hanging off the back. Zebra midges, Rainbow Warriors, and Ice Cream Cones are all good options. A double nymph rig is your best bet at this point. Things get windy this time of year down on the Lower Madison River, but if you can find a sheltered spot or get lucky and have a calmer day look for midges hatching.

The Upper Madison has been getting a bit icy in the lower stretches, but up by Three Dollar and Reynold’s Pass you can have some really good fishing. The Three Dollar area has well earned reputation as a really good winter fishery, if you feel up to the drive.


Winter has set in on the Gallatin. It’s a fun winter fishery in the canyon, at least below Big Sky. The river stays reasonably ice free below Big Sky with the town’s runoff. Fish the deep, slow water with attractor nymphs and midges.

Down in the valley, you’ll find a bit more ice and a few less fish. Less people also, so it’s a trade off. Be willing to walk a ways from any access point and you’ll do pretty well. It’s a great option for just getting out when you need a breather.


The Spring Creeks are a solid option for local fishing for us right now. Their constant flow and water temp keeps them reasonably ice free and the fish somewhat active this time of year. Right now you can access them with reduced winter rates. If you’re after technical fishing and your best local chance at dry fly fishing, this is where you want to be. Fish long leaders, small flies (midges), and get sneaky.


There is always a lot going on around town this time of year. This evening the 26th we have the Light Up Livingston event at the Depot Park where the Christmas lights get switched on by Santa – always a great event for kids and families. There are a host of festive events for the rest of the year all over town.

For us, we are hosting our annual Ladies’ and Men’s Nights shopping events again. It kicks off with Ladies’ Night on the 8th, and Men’s Night a week later on the 15th. Save 10% on the entire store with an additional 5% off anything on your gift registry! Stop by the store and talk to us for more details on that. There will be snacks, libations and some fun games to save even more.

We’ve got a ton of great clothing and gear for all tastes, activities, and budgets. It’s never too early to finish up your Christmas shopping!

Tight lines this week.

Missouri River Fishing Report via Headhunters Fly Shop (December 2, 2022)

3350 CFS @ Holter – An awesome fishing option throughout the winter, the MO continues to uphold its namesake. Whether you want to toss a bobber, swing, or strip, all of these options have been pretty solid, besides the dry game. Sowbugs and scuds, or a small midge nymph with a lighter split shot has been rewarding as of recent.


– CH Bow River Bugger White #4
– Tungsten Parrot #16
– Bead Body Scud Pink #14
– TB UV Sowbug Rainbow #16
– Balanced Leech Bruised #14

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