Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 1.6.23
By angelamontana

Posted: January 6, 2023

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 (January 6, 2023)

Lake Mary Ronan Fishing/Ice Report via Flathead Valley Fishing Report (January 5, 2023)

Debbie N.: Went to Lake Mary Ronan Ice was definitely better. 7 inches where we were. 38 feet almost half way point. No kokanee just nice size perch.

Tiber Ice Report via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (January 2, 2023)

Troy W.: Figured we should mark it. Keep your eyes open on the hardwater folks #tibergaspockets

John S.: Bootlegger arm south side just passed the cement pump station pretty sure. There’s a couple spots up there to watch. Especially coming out of south bootlegger on the corner where u head up the river. Great job marking that. That will ruin your day!!

Troy W.: bit further west but that whole area is always a place to be extra mindful of

Josh K.: Nelson is the same way. As well as Fort Peck. I don’t know Tiber well enough to just bomb down the ice.

Tongue River Reservoir Fishing Report via MT Fishing Addicts 2.0 (January 3, 2023)

Donny C.: Saturday was good fishing. I was using minnows. 3 inch minnows is what I was using

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (January 6, 2023)

Cooney Fishing/Ice Report via MT Fishing Addicts 2.0 (January 3, 2023)

Logan S.: Does anybody have any tips or tricks on ling in cooney? No luck so far.. dead minnows, about 20 ft, on south west side now. Thanks in advance
Brandon L.: Get on a steep muddy slope at dark.  I’ve had the best luck off Marshall Cove at dark but once I started exploring more of the steep slopes on the north side, we started catching them there too. They tend to come in waves so be patient.

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Headhunters Fly Shop (January 3, 2023)

Summer Booking Alert!

Guides and Lodging are scarce in June and July.

This is your last real warning about June and July. As we stand, only Swiss cheese like availability for guides and lodging in June or July. Late July is the exception. The 4th and final week holds some hope for those who like the dry fly fishing to be highly technical.

Late May is filling as well. May has become a favorite of many anglers including fewer anglers and dumber fish. Most like the previous two components of May.

This is the We Told You So post. At Headhunters we have a 1 week hold of your guide and/or lodging dates if you have previously booked with us. So, if your week is June 1-5, at the end of your trip, June 5th, you have one week to book the same property, or guide. After one week, both rental house and guide are on the free market. Most, who booking during this historically good fishing period, re-book on the last day of the trip. therefore holding both he guide and lodging for the following year.

But, if that week passes, and the guide and/or rental unit is available, youthe not yet regular, can swoop in for the kill.

You cannot book said guide two years in advance. Just cannot happen. Booking systems and anarchy are not analogous to smooth sailing. Nope.

A system. Yep. Just like successful anglers employ. A system for success. 

That is your free tip for today. Efficiency has the sound fish in it. Not a coincidence. Not by accident. Look it up if you do not believe this armchair etymologist. Fish husbandry and Walton and all that shit. That is where it was spawned. At least in my mind, when fishing is slow and Mr. Guide Man is babbling nonsense. Again…

A system for success. If you do not carry this in your Skills Bag, yet, book one of HH’s teaching guides and catch more trout this year. Last year is the year you did not catch enough. Make this year better. Must be better.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via The Rivers Edge (December 27, 2022)

330 CFS @ Gateway – After the cold snap this past week, temps are rising! Be very careful around the newer ice shelves, and watch for icebergs as that ice should be breaking up a bit this week. Nymphing will continue to take the cake, and target the deep pockets. Midges, worms, and stoneflies have been doing well, be careful out there!


– She Demon Bugger Olive #6
– Split Case BWO #18
– Pat’s Rubberlegs Black #8
– Brook’s Sprout Midge Grey #20
– Jim Dandy Worm Brown #12

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (January 4, 2023)

❄️ Ashley Lake- 5” of good ice. Salmon action starting at 45’ of water. Few nice perch.
❄️ Swan Lake- 5” of ice near hey side, excellent lake trout and a few salmon.
❄️ Lake Mary Ronan- 5 inches of ice, good perch off state park area try 20 to 30’ of water.
❄️ Bitterroot Lake-  North west and 3 to 5” of ice, few rainbow, and salmon. Main lake froze no reports on ice depth.
❄️ Dickey Lake- 3-5” of ice. Salmon action good near boat launch.
❄️ Somers Bay- 5-7” of ice. ⚠️ Be careful, can change daily! White Fish action good early morning, few big lake trout.
❄️ Thompson Lakes- Upper and lower good ice, lots of small perch, few pike. No reports of ice depths on Middle, it froze later.
❄️ Beaver- Good reports of nice salmon, few perch.
➡️ Don’t forget this great family event! ⬅️

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (January 5, 2023)

Always be safe when checking ice and use your safety gear.

  • Flathead Lake (Somers Bay) – 5 Inches of ice. Lots of small perch and a few Whitefish being caught as well as Lake Trout.
  • Lake Mary Ronan – 5 inches of ice. The Perch and Salmon bites are getting better. Try starting around 15′-20′ off Camp Tuffit or the Lodge.
  • Smith Lake – 9+ inches of ice. There are still lots of pike biting on tip-ups and small spoons tipped with bait.
  • Bitterroot Lake – 3-4 inches of ice in the North Bay. No reports of ice thickness mid lake.
  • Rogers Lake – 8+ inches of ice. Grayling bite has been good. Try small forage minnows tipped with maggots. Cutties have been slow but give some Tutsos or Wolfinkees a try.
  • Blanchard Lake – 5 inches of ice. Lots of Crappie being caught. Try using crappie magnets or Hali’s for your best chances.
  • Church Slough – 7+ inches of ice. Pike bite has been good. Get out some tip-ups with dead bait. Crappie are starting to bite on small tungstens tipped with waxies or maggots.
  • Murray Lake – 4 inches of ice. The trout are being caught just of the shoreline in about 15′ of water. Suspend some glow hooks on jaw jackers tipped with maggots or waxies.
  • Lower Thompson Lake – 5 inches of ice. Many reports of perch between 6-8 inches being caught on Hali’s with waxies or maggots. Spearing has been ok for pike. Remember to mark your spear holes for safety!
  • Whitefish Lake (State Park) – 3-4 inches of ice. A few lakers being caught in the morning around 40′-60′ down.

Petrolia Ice Conditions via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (January 3, 2023)

Cooper D.: Anyone know the ice conditions for Petrolia? TIA

Travis A.: 12-18”

Cooper D.: nice! Are the roads good getting in?

Travis A.: just fine

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (December 30, 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 (January 3, 2023)

As we move into mid 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 and see some noses throw baetis and midge cluster dries. 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

    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), Griffiths Gnat (16-20), Buzzball (16-18)

  • 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)

Yellowstone River and Livingston Area Fly Fishing Report by Dan Bailey’s (December 30, 2022)

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. This weird week between the holidays is often a daze, and it’s a good chance to slow down a bit and reflect on the past year.

Fishing report is pretty basic. Things are icy. Super damn icy. This recent cold snap put a damper on things pretty hard. The warmer temps are going to create some dangerous conditions as ice jams thaw and ice is moving around. Be super careful, it’s nothing to mess around with. Lots of our fishing accesses across the region are blocked with ice, and you can encounter some dangerous situations as these jams and what not break up and move around.

Our advice? Enjoy good people. Eat good food. Drink good drinks. Live life a bit. Tie some flies and day dream about trips for next year. If you are feeling especially motivated to get out on the water, the local spring creeks are a good option. The caveat? The warmer temps we’ve had this week bring the wind. In a really big way. Be forewarned.

Cheers folks, thank you all very much for reading, fishing with us, and being part of the journey. On to an even better 2023!

Tongue River Reservoir Fishing Report via MT Fishing Addicts 2.0 (January 2, 2023)

Eric B.: Tongue river reservoir never seas to amaze me….7 walleye over 7 pounds so many pike we lost count crappie and few and far between but the big predators sure have been active

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