Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 6.1.23
By angelamontana

Posted: June 1, 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 with your report.

Please check the fishing regulations before fishing.


Canyon Ferry Fishing Report via MTFWP (May 29, 2023)

The walleye bite has started to really take off with the best action happening around the Goose Bay/Snaggy Bay area, between Pond 1 and the Silos and out from Hole in the Wall.  Dragging bottom bouncers with pink or green spinner blades with worms or leeches in 15 to 20 feet of water has been producing the most walleye.  Crankbaits and jigs in pink or green are catching walleye as well.   A few rainbows and perch are also being caught while anglers are targeting walleye.  Shore fishing is slow.  Bowfishing for carp continues to be good.  Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Friends of Hell Creek Update (May 30, 2023)

J.G.: Fishing continue to improve at HC last two days five over 32″ came in for the taxidermist.

Only real change is that crawlers and bottom bouncer are starting to produce good results.
The best walleye bite seems to be main lake points from Crooked creek east to Bone trail. Several people went up to Timber creek but, they said the water is extremely muddy?
The depth that seems most consistent is around 12′ the other option that is working is pitching jig up to shore and picking walleyes out of the three foot depth.
Northern bite is good trolling edges of weed beds and main lake points or throwing cranks into the shallows in the bays.

Hell Creek General Recreation Information ( June 1, 2023)

Click here:  CLICK HERE for Hell Creek webcam.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (May 27, 2023)

Spring is here and with spring comes warmer temps and more water. The river is big right now but the fish still have to eat. Streamers are a great option right now as well as nymphing larger stoneflies, worms, eggs, and any of your other runoff favorites. Stay out of the water, it is moving fast! 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 Black/Rainbow (4), Urchin Bugger (4), Sculpzilla Black/ White/ Natural (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 (10-18), Jigster Baetis (14-18), Prince Nymph (10-18), BH Hare’s Ear (12-18), Sizzlin’ Hot Spot Squirrel (14-16), Zebra Midge (16-22), San Juan Worm, Matt’s Shagadelic Mop Tan/ Brown/ Green/ Cheeto (10), Hare’s Ear (14-18), Dirty Bird (12-16)

Fresno and Nelson Fishing Report via Brian Olson (May 26, 2023)

Fresno is 95% full. Water is clearing and surface temp mainly in the 60s. Walleye fishing is good. Jigging is best method but some bottom bouncer technics are producing. Best depth is around 10’ especially near emerging weed lines. Nelson is 88% full and rising. Water is clear and mainly surface temp in the 60s. Walleye fishing is good. Again jigging is the best method, also cranking and live bait rigs are producing. Look for the emerging weed lines for best results. Good fishing!

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (June 1, 2023)

Holter Fishing Report via MTFWP (May 29, 2023)

The walleye bite in the Canyon near the Gates of the Mountains has really tuned on and most are being caught while vertical jigging with various hair jigs or Mister Twisters tipped with leeches or crawlers. Rainbow fishing continues to be great from shore and boat at the Gates of the Mountains while using egg patterns, black and red leech patterns, Power Bait, night crawlers, spawn sacks or various spinners. Good numbers of perch are being found while pitching small green jigs tipped with crawlers between the Oxbow Bend and Log Gulch. Good number of rainbows are also being found on the lower end of the reservoir while trolling orange or yellow crankbaits, Thomas lures, Crocodiles or cowbells with wedding rings.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Headhunters Fly Shop (June 1, 2023)

Missouri River June Forecast


Rain. A total of 6 days historically. 2.62″ on the average. Hopefully more this year. Looking like an average month with equal chance higher or lower precipitation and the same for temps too.

Sunshine. Yes. Mostly. Average high temp of 76F and low temp of 46F. Still a month where you should be prepared for anything. I have seen snow on the 11th. Only 9″ though. Gone that afternoon. Raingear? Yep. Sunscreen. Certainly.


Currently in the approximately 8K club. But that may not last. It could bump up a bit? Or not. We will see the flows continue to drop as the inflows in conjunction with the snow pack slipping by us has left us needing the remaining high mountain snow to fulfill the lake needs.

Flow levels for the second half of June and July? We believe about average. But will not know, until the days have passed us by. Then, we will know. You will know, too. This author predicting a perfect storm.

Your Missouri River information source is Headhunters of Craig.

Flows from here on out are dependent on the rain that falls from the sky. We have had a pattern where the warmer than average May air temps have evaporated the waters. Check out the Snow Water Equivalent Map below and see what we are currently situated at.


PMD’s are near. Water temps are nearing the correct temp for these summer hatching insects. They will become more of an issue as the month progresses. Historically the PMD pops on/about June 4, 5, or 6. Then 4 or 5 days until it is game on. This is my favorite fly fishing week on the Mighty Mo. Will the water be appropriate for rising fish this year?

Expect PMD action to increase all the way through the 4th of July. Then it may wane. But wait! It does not end until sometime in July. Late July on higher water years. Sooo…we will have to see what transpires.

Dry flies that will work for the front end include that classic parachute pattern you like. They are dumb easy in the beginning. Then they get more difficult every day. Cripples, spinners, and emergers rule this hatch. The Buzzball is a great pattern for both the caddis and PMD. Remember that our theme is generally presentation first. Fly Second. But if you like a ton of kick ass PMD patterns then look no further than your fly source on the Missouri River, Headhunters of Craig.

Caddis flies will come in better numbers as the month move ahead. Enough on the lower to see a few fish finding the top water caddis. IF you like that kind of action you may want to fish below Mid-Canon for the next couple weeks. It can, and will happen.

Downwinged patterns are popular because they work. those high wingers will get some fish early, but then you must fish it in the film man. CDC, short hair-winged patterns, and soft hackles will find you the best catch rates.

Ants. Fish them. Towards the end of the month you will need a selection of cinnamon, black, and bi-colored patterns on your person daily. Terrestrial play a big role throughout the summer months. Stock up today and fish them all season long!

Yellow Sallies will make an appearance in June as well. Have a few nymphs in your box along with a couple downwind Sally patterns. Although we do like the parachute versions for success. Put that fly in the film as well. And remember it is a stonefly. A small and yellow fellow.

The worm hatch will continue for those who like to soak their flies. All of your cool patterns that you tied all winter long are in play. Caddis Pupa and emergers. PMD techy nymphs like the Split Back and Two Bit Hooker. Fish them and enjoy getting the net wet. Iron Sally. A good one. GRHE too. Big PT’s? Sure. Small ones too. Zebra’s and small black PT’s will finish the month with the Trico on our minds. The nymphs are in play before the dry fly shows itself. Smart nymphers know that!


CraigTroutCamp and CraigLodging are the two portals that you need for any lodging needs you may need fishing the Missouri River in Montana. 30+ lodging options for you to peruse. Book today with our booking agents at Headhunters Fly Shop and Guide Service in Craig Montana 406-235-3447. Lodging for two starting  just over a hundred bucks. Lodging riverside for bit more. Lodging for groups. Lodging for every budget and need.

Guide Trips

Headhunters is the number one rated guide service on the Mighty Missouri River. Our annual return client rate is 78%. Strong. The best in Missouri River guides coupled with our famous Headhunters customer service gives you the best experience on the Mo!

Call today and we will fit you with the right fishing guide for your fly fishing desires. A dry fly guide to show you the difficult, albeit large, brown trout? Got it. A numbers man? Got it. A guide to educate your children, or your wife? Got that covered too. Let Julie, Sara, cater your trip to you! It’s what we love to do and it’s what we do best.

We are open daily at 7am. Earlier sooner than later. Open late too til at least 7pm nightly. Find your gear needs at Headhunters with the best fly selection on the river. We have rods, reels, fly lines, logo wear, accessories and trinkets too. We built our shop around our fly bins and the fly fishing enthusiast!

See you this June in Craig. Any questions or for bookings call 406-235-3447

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (May 23, 2023)

–No new report–

♦️ Rodgers Lake- Excellent grayling fishing, try small spinners or wet flies near south east shoreline. Few nice cutthroat biting also.
♦️ McGregor- Rainbows hitting trolling shore lines with flicker Shad’s and small flatfish. Small mouth bass also hitting well on tube jigs.
♦️ Bitterroot Lake- Good salmon bite jigging south end 50’ of water. Also try trolling late evening for big rainbows with plugs or flies.
♦️ Lower Stillwater- Excellent perch and pike hitting.
♦️ Thompson River- Trout action has been with flies. Try royal wulff or purple haze. Small spoons or spinners work well.
♦️ Middle Thompson- Very good bite on pike. Try large spoons and plugs. Also few nice salmon on west end.
♦️ Lake Mary Ronan- Good salmon bit jigging near Camp Tuffit, also perch hitting.
🔹 ♦️ Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend 🔹♦️

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (May 25, 2023)

  • Flathead Lake – Lakers are still being caught in about 80′-100′. Try trolling Rapala Scatter Raps or jigging tubes.
  • Flathead River – Water levels are still above 20,000, but clarity is improving. A few drift boats have been finding moderate success in the river at this time.
  • Blanchard Lake – Still seeing a good crappie bite on small plastic jigs or hair jigs. The bass and pike bite are starting to pick up as well.
  • Church Slough – Pike bite is starting to pick up using dead bait or throwing spinner baits out.
  • Echo Lake – Good bass fishing using Senko’s or crawdad pattern soft plastics.
  • Lower Thompson – Bass fishing is picking up. The smallmouth have been hitting fluke tails while largemouth have been hitting Senko’s and Ned rigs.
  • Bitterroot Lake – a few Kams being caught off planer boards and trolling flies. Try black and white or purple color. Jigging for salmon has been slow but a few reports  indicating that Hali’s tipped with maggots or corn are working.
  • Smith Lake – Good numbers of smaller pike being caught. Use some jerk baits or dead bait on a rig.
  • Ashley Lake – Some salmon being caught using Swedish Pimples and glow hooks. The perch are also hitting small jigs like Gitzits and Trout Magnets.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (May 28, 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

Happy start to the work week everyone, we hope you all enjoyed the long weekend. A stroll through Sacajawea Park here in Livingston over the weekend was a great reminder that Memorial Day isn’t just bbqs, an extra day off work, and celebrating the start of summer. We humbly thank and remember those who gave all in service to our country.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer in our neck of the woods, and it certainly feels like it. We’re still solidly in the middle of runoff, but the warmer weather has opened up a few options for the area that should keep us occupied for a while.

Here’s what’s happening in our area:


While the Yellowstone has been coming down, visibility is still sitting right around zero. Flows are still elevated, and we aren’t expecting to be on the river anytime soon. That being said – if this downward trend continues, we might get a window of opportunity! Stay tuned.


The Upper Madison River has quite a bit of color in it these days, but is still fishing reasonably well. The BWOs are pretty much gone, it’s still a bit early for PMDs, and the caddis are still there in places. With the water this off color, most of your action is going to be subsurface. While many people associate streamers solely with the fall, spring can be the best time of year to throw big flies off the bank and get into some really nice fish.

Other standard spring nymphs such as rubberlegs, caddis pupa, worms, and larger attractors like Perdigons, lightning bugs, and other jig nymphs are a solid bet. Don’t be afraid of adding extra weight to get the flies down to where they need to be. In heavier water like we have now it can take more than you think.

While the bulk of the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch on the Lower Madison is over and the buzz around it is winding down, there are still lots of them around. If you want to go catch fish on dries, this is about the best bet for you. Streamer fishing has been really good as well, as has nymphing the buckets this stretch of the river is known for.

The Lower is getting pretty busy, especially on weekends. It’s allllllmost warm enough to start seeing a lot of recreational floater traffic on the river, so pack your patience.


The Gallatin is still running pretty high and dirty. There are other, better options. You might find some clearer water up above Taylor’s Fork and into the Park, but there are closer options.


We’re entering that time of year when the spring creeks are fishing really well, but they are generally booked solid for the next few months. If you’re lucky enough to have one of those dates, come into the shop and talk! We’ll make sure you get what you need.


The fishing season for Yellowstone National Park is open! While the Northeast Corner is pretty high and muddy right now, you can still find some fishable water in the smaller creeks and streams. Keep your head on a swivel and mind the fast water. This part of the park is going to just get better and better as we move into summer.

The West side is in much better shape. The Firehole River has been fishing well with BWOs and PMDs giving a good show for opening weekend, and we’ve heard the Madison was doing great as well. The Firehole shines in the early and late season, before water temps rise mid summer. Get out there!


With area rivers high, a lot of anglers have been headed to the local lakes and ponds in the area. Hyalite Reservoir has iced out, and is always a good time in the spring. Leeches and chironomids slowly stripped from just under the surface to within the first couple feet of water always do well. Have some small parachute adams or purple haze in the box too.

Dailey Lake can be a lot of fun on a calmer day, with some large trout and other species providing some good fun. Get the boat out, get the tube out, just go walk the edges even. It can be busy on the weekends so if you can go during the week, have at it.

The higher mountain lakes are in various stages of ice off, and if you can hit it just right when the ice melts off you can have some of the best fishing of your life. We’re entering the time of year when the odds are decent you will find fishable water in most lakes instead of a sheet of ice, but stop in or give us a call before headed out if you have any questions. And if you have any updated info, we’d love to hear it!


Summer is basically here! There is a ton of stuff going on in our area from now through the summer and it’s a great time of year to be in Montana. Our shop is in full swing for the season and we have everything you need to get out and make the most of your time in our incredible part of the world. Dale even dressed up the front of the shop with the traditional flowers for the season.

We hope to see you in the store this summer season. Tight lines this week!

Castle Rock Reservoir via Castle Rock Live Bait Shop (May 29, 2023)

The fishing is getting real hot.

Hauser Fishing Report via MTFWP (May 29, 2023)

The walleye bite on Lake Helena has been great while trolling perch-colored crankbaits and bottom bouncers with orange, white, or green walleye spinners. A few walleye are being caught while pitching small jigs tipped with leeches around Eldorado Bar. A few rainbows are being caught from shore at Riverside, York Bridge and Black Sandy while using Power Bait or night crawlers and while trolling orange, yellow or brown crankbaits or cowbells with a wedding ring between Black Sandy and the Powerlines.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Bighorn Trout Shop (May 29, 2023)

Water flows are at 2,800 cfs. Fishing has been slow overall. Don’t expect to catch large numbers of fish, although the size of the fish is impressive. The best action occurs from late morning through early afternoon, and if you get in the right hole, you can do well. Baetis nymphs and midge pupa patterns are the most productive, but scuds and sowbugs are working as well. There are a few dry fly opportunities (2:00 to 5:00 PM) but the fish can be selective. A double-fly rig with a larger Baetis Sparkle Dun up with a Student or some other emerger pattern below has been working. Streamer fishing has been slow but should pick up as water temperatures slowly rise in June.


Detailed Forecast


Baetis and midges



Yellowstone River Fishing Report via Yellowstone Country Fly Fishing (June 1, 2023)

This Yellowstone River fishing report is valid from May 8 through approximately June 25, when we expect spring runoff to begin fading.

Blown out due to an early surge of spring snowmelt. It may drop into some sort of ship midweek, but it’ll only remain there for a couple days. Fish stonefly nymphs, big San Juan Worms, and maybe dark streamers fished primarily on a dead-drift in good lanes.

Once the river blows back out again, there might be brief clear windows through mid-June, but only during cold spells of several days (preferably without rain). Most of the time, the river will be shot due to the melt. We expect spring runoff to end a bit earlier than we did a few weeks ago, since it started early. Look for the Yellowstone to begin dropping into shape around June 25 to July 1.

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