Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 2.22.23
By angelamontana

Posted: February 22, 2023

Email us your weekly fishing report to include it in this Montana fishing report compilation before the end of the day on Tuesday of each week here along with your name and website/email address you would like to see listed.

Please check the fishing regulations before fishing.


Browns – Ovando Road Report via 406 Ice Fishing (February 21, 2023)

C.N.: 12″ snow in last 2 days still coming down

Holter Ice Fishing Report via FWP (February 20, 2023)

Perch action continues to be great out from the BLM boat ramp, Log Gulch, and Departure Point while using Swedish Pimples, Halis or other flashy jigs and maggots near the bottom in 25 to 45 feet of water. Some nice rainbows are being caught at the Gates of the Mountains while using various ice jigs tipped with crawlers in shallow water. A few burbot are being caught while using cut bait near the bottom at night. The Gates of the Mountains has 10-12 inches of ice and the rest of Holter has around 15 inches of ice.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Koocanusa Ice Report via Flathead Valley Fishing Report (February 15, 2023)

D. D. N.: No. Eureka is a belt stays warmer up there then in the valley.

Holter Reservoir Fishing Report via 406 Ice Fishing (February 17, 2023)

T.S.: Ice was great and 2-3 inches of snow. Got skunked but I made it out. Beautiful windy day

K.K.: It was really busy and lots of perch. Departure point and log gulch are easy to get to. Once you see the fish shelters you know you are there. Heard maggots and worms are working.

M.L.: Go to the prairie dog town find 30’ of water good luck

J.E.: Just me, but I wouldn’t take a mobile out, not needed, unless you wanted to cross quick, and the middle is where I’d worry. Talked to some kids who crossed from departure point on foot and they reported the ice was 3” in the middle. Solid 8-10 nearer shore

Hell Creek Recreation Information (February 22, 2023)

Hell Creek Road Report via Friends of Hell Creek Inc (February 15, 2023)

J.B.: Good…a little standing water…should be colder next few days finally. Watch out around sun beaten points…a few pressure ridges but nothing new. Fishing was decent today. Call the marina. 🎣

Georgetown Ice and Fishing Report via 406 Ice Fishing (February 15, 2023)

T.R.: Zimmer tackle salmon rig on my jaw jacker with maggots. Jigging small Swedish pimple, buckshot, or small jigging rapala or puppet minnow. Keep it moving. Green and pink glows are my best colors.

T.G.: Comers point with a chunk of jerky for bait. Works very well.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Yellowstone Angler (February 15, 2023)

It has been a chilly February so far with another cold spell coming early next week. Fishing on the Yellowstone has definitely been slow. Midges and streamers have been working during the mid-day window, any earlier or later has been a tough bite. The Spring Creeks have been a better bet, with warmer water and fish looking to eat pretty much all day. Midge hatches have been limited, especially on windy days, but there have been enough around to keep fish interested.

The RR bridge is gone! Photo from 2/12/23 7:30AM

The old rail road bridge just above 89 has finally been removed. As such, FWP has re-opened the section from Mayor’s Landing to Sheep Mountain. If you decide to float, (which we still don’t recommend), be sure to check out both the put in and take out before you set sail, as people have been getting stuck in wind drifts. There are sections of the Yellowstone that still have a lot of ice, it would be prudent to wait another month or so for the ice to melt before floating. Feel free to give us a call for the latest conditions. 406-222-7130.

Mayor’s Landing, 2/15/23. Plenty of slush ice floating through town…

Browns Fishing Report via 406 Ice Fishing (February 17, 2023)

G.O.: Ice is great. Limited out both days in 2-3 hours sat and released the rest probably at least 30+ 3-5 pounds

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (February 22, 2023)

Hauser Ice Fishing Report via FWP (February 20, 2023)

A few perch are being found out on Lake Helena while using white and pink Hali jigs with maggots or crawlers. Most rainbows continue to be caught at the Causeway Bridge area and Black Sandy while using various colored jigs or ice flies tipped with crawlers 6 to 8 feet below the ice. An occasional burbot is being found from the Causeway Arm to Black Sandy while using cut bait near the bottom. 16-18 inches of ice has been reported.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena    

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Headhunters Fly Shop (February 20, 2023)

Blowing hard last night. 60 mph locally. Now snowing, sideways. Will continue for the next couple days. Temps not crawling above the Zero mark beyond tonight will keep us at bay for this period.

So, see you later this week when we unthaw here in downtown Craig. Probably Friday. Call if you need to book summer reservations. The retail end at the shop paper closed. Booking line always open!

Stay warm and safe out there in Headhunters Land!

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (February 17, 2023)

Fishing the Bighorn can be a good option throughout the winter. The weather is typically more mild as are the water temperatures on the Bighorn. Fishing with Nymphs and streamers can both be productive this time of the year. Keep an eye out for fish rising to midges. If you spot risers small midge patterns can fool these fish. Nymphing has been best with sowbugs/scuds, midges, worms, and a variety of small perdigons. Streamer fishing has been decent with smaller natural flies. T

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Fins & Feathers is a full-service Bozeman fly shop and Montana fly fishing outfitter.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (February 18, 2023)

🔹Lake Mary Ronan- good numbers of perch in 30 to 40 feet of water. Try near Camp tuffet or in front of Mountain Meadows resort. Small tungsten, jigs in firetiger working well. Few salmon deep early morning, lots of good ice with some wet spots or slush and snow.
🔹Dickey Lake- nice salmon early morning out from the boat launch.
🔹Bitterroot Lake-  good salmon off north and south end, try 100 foot of water at 40 feet down.
🔹Ashley Lake- lots of small salmon, deeper or try 40 feet for perch.
🔹Upper Thompson- lots of 7 to 10 inch perch in 10 feet of water, also try for nice pike with tip-ups.
🔹Blanchard Lake- Crappie bite good early morning or evening. Try small forage minnows or ratso jigs in 15 feet of water. Set tip up out for pike.
🔹Lake Five- Lots of small salmon, also a few nice perch.
🔹Flathead Lake- The delta is fishing well out of a boat. Try big whole fish on bottom or tube jigs.
✅ Mcgregor Lake Derby next weekend!

Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir Ice Fishing Report via FWP (February 20, 2023)

A few kokanee and perch are being picked up while using Hali or Sweedish Pimple type ice jigs tipped with red maggots or corn in 16 to 45 feet of water. 16-18 inches of ice has been reported.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (February 16, 2023)

  • Lake Mary Ronan – 8 inches of ice. A few soft spots with slush. Salmon bite will be picking up and the perch have been steady around 25′-35′.
  • Smith Lake – Still some smaller pike being caught off jigging spoons or hanging dead bait.
  • Bitterroot Lake – 6+ inches of ice. Salmon bite starting to pick up. Using pink flashers paired with glo hooks have been a good option.
  • Rogers Lake – 10+ inches of ice. Mostly a slow bite but still picking up a few trout in the early hours. Although the grayling are still biting throughout the day.
  • Ashley Lake – 6+ inches of ice. We are still hearing good limits of 7″-8″ salmon. Reports of picking up a few perch as well.
  • Swan Lake – 7+ inches of ice, layered snow and slush. A few lakers being caught around 100′ using white tubes. Also a few good pike being caught off tip-ups .
  • Middle Thompson Lake – 9+ inches of ice, layered snow and slush. Lots of perch around 15′-25′ and a few salmon starting to be caught as well.
  • Whitefish Lake – 8+inches of ice. The whitefish bite is happening in the late hours off the east side. Reports of a few lakers being caught in 70′-100′.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (February 20, 2023)

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

Ducks on Ice MTDU (February 20, 2023)

The 2023 Ducks on Ice event was a huge success thanks to DU volunteers, sponsors, and supporters. In just its third year, the tournament raised the bar yet again for attendance and fundraising. And a hearty congratulations to the big winners! Becky Anderson’s 11.36 lb. whopper not only took top honors in the walleye category, it was also the heaviest fish caught in the competition. But, she wasn’t the only Anderson to walk away a winner. Caleb Anderson hooked the smallest fish prize, while Conrad Zuelke was the champion of the youth category. Rounding out the winner’s circle was Peter Reisenauer’s 1.27 lb. perch. Well done everyone! We’ll see you on Montana’s Canyon Ferry in 2024!

Happy Monday everyone. This February has been behaving more like winter than others we’ve had recently. We got a decent boost to snowpack on Tuesday, and it looks like we’ll be getting much more in the next week or so. This is all super helpful for our river water next summer, and is a lot of fun for winter sports enthusiasts right now.

First, a quick look at snowpack. While it isn’t stellar across the state, it could be worse. Our local region in SW Montana is slightly above or just below normal. Lot better than it looked last year at this time! We got a good boost to snowpack this weekend, and there is a lot more in the forecast early this week!

This winter weather isn’t going to help fishing out much, as temps are going to drop down quite a bit again. Keeps our report pretty simple this week again. This will cover all our local waters.


This week is a bit weird with the warmer temps early followed by highs below zero coming up fast. The next couple of days with highs near 40 and cloudy could be some pretty darn good midge days. If you’re trying to scratch the dry fly itch, now might be the time to do it. It’s actually calm this morning here in Livingston as I write this, which is super confusing for all of us here haha.

Nymphing the deep and slow water with a dead drifted wooly bugger with a midge nymph behind it is a good idea. Think a smaller, black bugger with a zebra midge, beadhead prince, or perdigon. Find the deepest and slowest hole you can find and go deep.

If you do decide to go out this week, please drive very carefully. Roads aren’t great, and keep in mind that drifts and plowed snow might make parking a bit more challenging at times. Just drive slow, pay attention, and remember that four wheel drive doesn’t help you stop!

Be mindful of shelf ice and slush, of which there will be a lot later this week. With the warmer days early this week, some of the existing ice might start breaking up and floating downstream. Keep your head on a swivel and be super careful!

Our thoughts? Wait until next weekend and tie some flies.


We’ve got one day left of our President’s Day Backcountry Ski Sale here at the shop, with 25% off all our remaining ski hardgoods – skis, ski boots, bindings, safety gear, poles, goggles, etc. There is still lots of ski season left, and with this snow inbound this week it’s a great time to put the winter fishing gear down and go enjoy the mountains!

If skiing isn’t your thing, we’ve still got lots of things to keep you warm, safe, and comfortable in all your pursuits. February is fly tying season and we’ve got the tools and materials you’ll need to fill your boxes before spring and summer fishing really takes off.

Stay warm, drive safe, and tight lines this week!

Bull Lake Ice Report via 406 Ice Fishing (February 21, 2023)

S.T.: “Ice is great”

Madison River Fishing Report via The Tackle Shop (February 22, 2023)

Dear Friends,

We are past the half way point on winter. The days are getting longer and with each day hope and excitement grows. Soon we will be showing off Montana, floating wild rivers and having fun.

We are really excited about a few great things in our world. First is the ever expanding inventory of on line flies. We are working to have our extensive fly selection completely available to the at home customer. Take a look and check back often as we are continually adding flies.

Second, is the completion of the Tackle Shop Anthem. This is a project we have been working with Rusty Fox Media for almost a year. We are excited how the full length video turned out. Stay tuned to social media for short reels in the next few weeks. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Our snow pack is still holding steady above 100% of normal. This is great news and hopefully the trend will continue in the late winter and spring. A great water year with cold clean water all summer ensures plenty of dry fly days. Think hopper fishing.

If you have not booked your guide trips for this summer now is the time. Our most popular guides schedules are starting to fill up. If you want a specific guide on a specific day give us a call. We love connecting returning guests with the guides that ignited their passion for Montana.

March is almost here and the Spring Guide Trip Special is about to kick off. If you have never fished the Madison River in the spring you are missing out. It is our guides favorite time to fish. When fish come out of the winter cold they are hungry. Come and experience spring in Montana with us.

Each day going forward the excitement builds on a new season. We look forward to welcoming you back to Montana. Please let us know how we can help.

Good Fishing and God Bless……

John Way

Canyon Ferry Ice Fishing Report via FWP (February 20, 2023)

Rainbows are being caught 15 feet deep out from the Silos and around Duck Creek while using silver and pink or red jigs with worms or maggots.  Walleye and perch are being caught between Duck Creek and Confederate in 35-45 feet of water while using pink, red or yellow Hali jigs or spoons with red hooks tipped with nightcrawlers, perch eyes or maggots.  An occasional ling is being caught along with the perch and walleye on the bottom.  Stay away from the pressure ridges on the south end of the reservoir.  There is over 20 inches of ice from the Silos down to the ponds, 18-20 inches of ice around Duck Creek and the north end has 3-5 inches of ice, but it is pulling away from shore around Shannon. Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (February 17, 2023)

Current Conditions 3/5

Current Conditions

Quite a bit of ice and slush on the river after this last bit of cold weather. There is a slight break in the weather this weekend but expect very cold temperatures by Wednesday next week. Your best bet will be going into the canyon, the closer to Big Sky the less slush and ice. Nymphing long slow holes will be the best bet. Dark rubber legs size 8-12 or a worm followed by a zebra midge, red copper john, prince nymphs, or natural peridgons. If you’re very lucky on the right calm day you may find some fish rising to midges. Use a size 18-22 Giffith’s Gnat or a peacock cluster for those rising fish.

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Gallatin River Webcam – Located at Karst, which is about 1/2 way between Bozeman and Big Sky on HWY 191.

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