Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 7.10.23
By angelamontana

Posted: July 11, 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 (July 10, 2023)

Walleyes are being caught throughout the reservoir with the best action coming from Ponds 2 and 3, Hellgate and Confederate while fishing in 15 to 22 feet of water on bottom bouncers with silver and white slow-death rigs or worm harnesses with red or pink blades. Various colored jigs have been working as well.  A few Rainbows and perch are being caught by anglers using walleye rigs in these same areas.  Shore fishing between Broadwater Bay and Pond 4 is producing an occasional rainbow, walleye or perch on hook and worms. Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Friends of Hell Creek Update (July 7, 2023)

Another young man broke into the ten-pound club Riely Stanton 11 years old, 31″ 10.5 lbs, congratulation heck of a fish!

Hell Creek General Recreation Information (July 10, 2023)

Click here:  CLICK HERE for Hell Creek webcam.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (July 10, 2023)

The Yellowstone is looking good! Still some color in the water but it is very fishable and floatable for the experienced rower. Nymphing, streamer fishing, and dry fly fishing have been catching fish. Streamers tight to the banks, big chubby dropper systems, and nymphing a small sculpin with your favorite dropper has been productive. Still some reports of big bugs higher up too if you’re looking to fish around the salmonflies!

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Parawulf Dennis BWO (16-20), Thorax BWO (18-20), Parachute Adams (12-18), Purple Haze (16-20), Smoke Jumper (16-20), Extended Body BWO (16-20), Chubbies Pink, Olive, Tan (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 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 (July 6, 2023)

Fresno is 92% full and outflow is 3x greater than inflow. Walleye fishing is good. The north end of the reservoir bite is good around the weed edges. The evening bite is good. As the water drops follow the fish down the reservoir. 10’ seems to be a goo depth. Nelson is full of water. Some are finding the walleye bite tough, but are most likely fishing too deep. I find that 3’-4’ is good. I like throwing swim and crank baits at the weed lines. Lower light periods of the day can be best. Perch, crawdad, and carp patterns are what I’m throwing. It doesn’t hurt to tip your lures with crawlers and other bait. Tight lines and sharp hooks.

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (July 10, 2023)

Holter Fishing Report via MTFWP (July 10, 2023)

The best rainbow bite has been near the cliffs from Black Beach to Split Rock while trolling cowbells or crankbaits during the evening hours. Some nice kokanee are being found near the Dam while trolling dodgers, cowbells, or other flashers with double hook spinners tipped with shoepeg corn in 40 to 60 feet of water. The walleye bite has been hit or miss at times, but most are being found near Cottonwood Creek, and the Clay Banks on the lower end of the reservoir while pitching perch-colored jigs tipped with leeches or slip bobber fishing in the warmer bays with leeches. Good numbers of perch are being found near Cottonwood Creek, Ming Bar, and in the small bays upstream from the Dam while pitching small jigs with crawler pieces.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Headhunters Fly Shop (July 6, 2023)

July 6th Fishing Report Montana’s Missouri River

Trico’s have arrived. Good spinner falls yesterday and today. Riverwide. Tomorrow?

Flows continued higher than normal. Currently 8230cfs. Inflows at Toston falling and into the high K’s. Reduction in flows soon? We think so. This week? Don’t know. Wade fishers finding some water for those in the know. Boat anglers doing just fine.

PMD’s? Waning? Some good PMD spinner falls the past couple days. AS good shot int he arm for those not he dry fly program. Spinner falls of Trico’s helped out the last couple days. PMD spinners still ding the job of fooling big brown trout. Smaller 16’s and 18’s are the recent ticket.

Caddis flies getting fish looking at them. Translucent Emergers, Pupa, Buzzballs, Mo River Special, Corn Fed, Double Duck,. Outrigger, CDC Palmered, Blooms, Half Chicken, X Caddis…

Nymphers delight in the Zirdle, Crayfish, the Purple Weight Fly, Tung Darts, Gold Weight Flies, BH Translucent Pupa’s, Frenchie’s, many of the hot Euro sinks type fish getters/come by and check them out. Split shot or not. Find the secondary or tertiary shelf and ride it baby.

Strippers? Not so much. Dry flies are out. Many focus on that part.

Not as many anglers as we thought would be here this July. Not too many displaced anglers from other rivers here right now. More dry fly guys than last week. The wade army is not here yet. They may not make it here with the higher flows. Not too many spots to dip your toes into.

First cast not he fish is good. Cast at the heads. Reach or slack line presentations are best. The honeymoon period is over for the PMD’s and caddis. So dragging the fly over the heads does not work any longer. Longer tippets. More patience equals more net time.

Headhunters open daily at 630am for shuttles, flies, sun gear and sunscreen, new fly poles, The Headhunter Dry Fly Line, Adipose Boat Rentals, guide trips, the best lodging in the canyon including 39 properties to choose from, fridley helpful fly shop staff and so much more!

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (July 9, 2023)

🔹 Flathead Lake- Lake trout action good trolling 80-120’ with flasher and Brad’s superbaits or Mack trolling flies. Try mid lake bar or delta area on Bigfork side. Some white fish starting to show up. Try Elmo and Big Arm Bay. North end try Somers Bay and Hatchery Bay.
🔹 Thompson River- Excellent trout action try near bend area. Small drys or small spinners.
🔹 Lake Mary Ronan- Perch bite good 25’ of water with small jigging spoons. Salmon bite has been slow.
🔹 Lower Stillwater- Good numbers of nice perch, lots of small pike.
🔹 Middle Thompson- Lots of small pike near highway side. Some good salmon trolling, up to 16”.
🔹 Noxon Resevoir- Excellent bass fishing, few nice walleye.
🔹 Flathead River- Main stem fishing good for nice cutts, try hoppers and stimulators, also gold little Cleo’s doing well.

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (June 29, 2023)

    • Flathead Lake – Fishing off the delta in 60′-80′ using scatter raps has produced some good bites. A few whitefish are starting to be caught in about 30′ in hatchery bay as well.
    • Flathead River – The river flows are at 6000 cfs with good clarity. Try using purple haze, caddis flies or bee patterns as those seem to be generating some bites.
    • Blanchard Lake – Hearing pike still being caught over the weed beds using top water baits like Whopper Ploppers. Also reports of a few largemouth being caught using Senko worms.
    • Church Slough – Good pike being caught using dead bait on a quick strike rig. Great numbers of panfish are being caught on Gitzits and Trout Magnets as well.
    • Echo Lake – The warm temps and heavy pressure have bass moving deeper. Try fishing 10′-15′ using Ned rigs and drop shots to try and coax a bite.
    • Lower Thompson – Kokanee fishing continues to improve as the temps increase. Using pink Hoochie rigs with Mack’s Sling Blades seems to be getting some hits.
    • Bitterroot Lake – Jigging for fish suspended in 30′-50′ of water using Zimmer Wannabes or Hali’s has been producing good numbers of salmon.
    • Smith Lake – Top water baits have been getting good results on pike! Try using Choppos, Revolvers or frogs for your best chances.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (June 29, 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

The busiest and arguably best weekend of the summer is upon us here in Livingston! There is a lot going on around our little area in the next few days, including the famous parade this afternoon and the rodeo later today.

For anglers, there is a lot going on too. The Yellowstone River is finally dropping into shape, and word on the street is that the big bugs are out and about. Read on to find out more!


The Yellowstone River dipped below 10,000 cfs for the first time in a while today! While visibility still isn’t great, there is plenty for fishing. It feels good to say that the river is finally fishable again. Even though it’s under 10k, remember that this is still big water. Wade carefully, especially not being able to see where you’re stepping very well. If you’re rowing, be mindful that things are moving pretty fast.

Salmonflies are out and about, but the hatch hasn’t really started in full force yet. Be sure to have some patterns in the box, and rubberlegs fished tight to the bank under an adult pattern is a great strategy. While everyone wants to focus on this hatch, there is still lots going on that can provide some great fishing. Keep an eye out for golden stones, PMDs, caddis and more. It’s going to be a good week on the Yellowstone.

For subsurface, streamers on cloudy days can be killer. If you’re into throwing big flies, now is a great time to do it. Nymphing can be very productive with rubberlegs and stonefly patterns, as well as PMD nymphs, caddis pupa, and general attractor nymphs. Focus on the more clear water near the banks and you should have a good time.


Once again, salmonflies are the name of the game on the Upper Madison River. Big flies, big fish, big fun. The river has been pretty busy in the last few weeks with the Yellowstone out of commission but as other waters open up after runoff, expect things to spread out a bit. The entire Upper Madison is fishing really well right now – stoneflies, caddis, PMDs… take your pick.

If you aren’t seeing dry fly eats, fish a rubberlegs or other stonefly pattern followed by a mayfly nymph or caddis pupa tight against the banks. A dead drifted streamer under an indicator is always a really good choice. The classics (wooly bugger, zonker, etc) work great in this instance.

The Lower Madison continues to fish well, but we are starting to get a lot more recreational floater traffic. The hot weather makes everyone want to get out and enjoy what Montana has to offer! To beat the crowds you can float below Black’s Fork, or if you’re insistent on the Warm to Black’s stretch go early or late. For wade anglers, a stroll up Bear Trap can pay off big time. Be mindful of snakes and poison ivy, but go walk until you feel like stopping.


The Gallatin River is still running high, but is fishing well. The Canyon stretch has cleared up well and with its wealth of access there are plenty of spots to enjoy the river. Fishing above Taylor’s Fork and on up into the park can be a lot of fun this time of year, especially if you’re insistent on clear water.

We’re still waiting on the premiere summer hatches on the Gallatin – namely the Salmonflies and Spruce Moths. Stay tuned on those, but it certainly won’t be long for the salmonflies. While the Yellowstone and Madison get the most press for this impressive hatch, the Gallatin has a lot to offer as well.

Stonefly patterns fished tight to the bank with an attractor nymph trailer can be a really good option. Keep an eye out for rising fish, of which you will find more of in the evenings. This is a great time of year on the Gallatin, before the weeds and moss of late summer. Get out there!


Fishing in Yellowstone National Park has been improving quite a bit over the past week or so. The waters of the Northeast Corner are all in fine shape, which plays very well into our favor here in Livingston. The Lamar, Soda Butte, and Slough Creek attract anglers from around the world, and for good reason. Want to catch native cutthroat in a wild place they’ve been living literally forever? Try here.

The west side of the park has continued to fish well. The Firehole River is starting to heat up with these warm days, so try to avoid fishing in the middle of the day. The Gibbon and Madison are doing quite well.

On all the Yellowstone Park waters, look for PMDs, caddis, and drakes here and there. Keep in mind that all hooks must be debarbed and no lead is allowed. You’ll also need a fishing permit specific to the park. Oh, and don’t forget the bear spray!


As mentioned before, this is about the busiest week of the entire summer here in Livingston. There is so much going on – the parade today, the art fair across the street, the rodeo, farmers markets, music, good food… the list goes on! It’s a beautiful start to the summer here and Livingston should absolutely be on your list to visit this year.

Here at the shop we’ve got everything you need to get out and enjoy Montana in the summer time. From rods, reels, flies, and the right info to hiking gear and even e-bike rentals! If you’re in town for the festivities this weekend, come by and say hello.

Tight lines this week!

Hauser Fishing Report via MTFWP (July 10, 2023)

The walleye bite continues to be great in Lake Helena, at the Causeway Bridge, below Canyon Ferry Dam and from the Causeway Arm to Black Sandy while trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses, or while slip bobber fishing with leeches. The best Rainbow action has been near Black Sandy while trolling cowbells with a wedding ring or using crawlers and a marshmallow from shore. Some rainbows are being picked up below Canyon Ferry Dam while using marabou jigs, Power Bait, and small streamer flies.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Bighorn Angler (July 5, 2023)

We hope everyone had a great and safe 4th of July!  Bighorn River flows were on the way down, but have since stabilized at 15000 CFS.  Bighorn Lake inflows are the major contributing factor of whether flows will drop or not.  It was on the drop, but is now back up.  Hard to say for how long…

Fishing has still been excellent throughout the entire system.  WORMS are still the name of the game.  A few fish are being caught on big Carpet Bugs, Orange Scuds and Ray Charles.  Make sure you are running a bunch of weight and find the softer edges, shallow shelves.

We’re seeing a decent number of Black Caddis already.  As flows drop, the fish should become more interested in those.  Maybe even hoppers in the near future?..

Streamer fishing seems to have picked up.  We’re not getting a lot of fish, but BIG fish.  Large articulated Galloup and White river style patterns in white or yellow seem to be the ticket.

As always, be careful out there as the river is no joke right now with these high flows!

Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report (July 10, 2023)

It’s July in the greater Yellowstone Area and our rivers are firing on all cylinders. Dry fly fishing has been getting better every day, with nymphing being solid as always.

Hebgen: Fishing on the lake has been getting better every day. Anglers are catching fish in both the Madison and Grayling arms. Nymphing under an indicator is your best bet but look for gulpers cruising the flats eating callibaetis on calm days as well.

Flies: #8 Black or Olive Simi Seal Leech, #6 Flash-a-Bugger, #6 Olive or Black Hot Bead Leech, #8 Thin Mint, #18 BBQ Baetis, #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis, #12 O.S. Buzzer, #20 Low Water Baetis, #16 Purple Missing Link

Inflow to Hebgen Lake: 954 cfs
Hebgen Lake Outflow: 1085 cfs
Kirby Flows: 1310 cfs

** Flows as of 8 am July 9th, 2023 **

Upper Madison: Fishing is lights out on the Madison lately. Nymphing a two fly set up will be your most productive method right now, but fish are actively feeding on caddis, PMD’s, small chubbies, and big bugs too!. Salmon flies are here, so larger attractor dries may also entice a strike. Don’t be afraid to strip streamers on bad weather days.

Flies: #16-18 Redneck, #16-18 Guide Dip, #10-12 Sili Legs, #16-18 PMD Loop-Wing, #14 Olive Hot Spot, #16 Pink or Tan Chili-Dog, #8 Water Walker Salmonfly, #8 Gee’s Supafly Salmon, #8 Chili-Dog Salmonfly  #6 Olive Slump-Buster, #4 Olive/White Barely Legal


The Yellowstone river and its tributaries are open! 

Madison near West Yellowstone: 475 cfs
Yellowstone below Yellowstone Lake : 3990 cfs
Gibbon: 155 cfs
Gallatin near Big Sky: 887 cfs

** Flows as of 8 am July 9th 2023 **

Gallatin: The Gallatin is seeing a multitude of hatches, and is low and clear in the park section. The Taylor Fork up to the park section is looking much better than the rest of the river. Look out for fish rising on Caddis, PMD’s, and BWO’s. Salmon flies have also been seen in the lower reaches of the park section.

Flies: #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Green Lightning Bug, #16-18 Black Krystal Dip, #18 ICU Midge, #18 Split Case PMD, #8 Water Walker Salmonfly, #8 Chili-Dog Salmonfly, #18 Parachute Adams, #18 Tilt Wing BWO, #16 Rocky Mtn Mint PMD, #18 Baetis Cripple

Madison/Firehole/Gibbon: The Firehole is already too warm to ethically fish. The Madison is following close behind. If you you do choose to fish the Madison, try to get off the water by 11am/12pm. The Gibbon is still cool and fishing well. Try dries in the mornings and soft hackles during the mid-day lull.

Flies: #8-10 Partridge and Orange, #8-10 Partridge and Pheasant Tail, #14 Prince Nymph, #16-18 Frenchie, #14 Diving Caddis, #18-20 Parachute BWO, #18-20 Griffith’s Gnat, #16 Rocky Mtn Mint PMD, #16 Royal Stimulator, #14 Larimer’s Yellow Sally

Yellowstone/NE Corner: The Yellowstone is low and clear enough to begin fishing well. Hunt around for rising cutties when you see bugs flying. The Lamar is fishable as well. Look for fish rising on Sallies, PMD’s and Drakes. Don’t be too shy to throw a streamer during the higher water or when fish aren’t looking up.

Flies: #18-20 Parachute BWO, #18-20 Sprout Baetis, #16 Rocky Mtn Mint PMD, #16 Butch Sally, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #6 Black Hot Bead Leech, #6 Olive Slump-Buster, #6 Olive/Black Crystal Bugger

We are still booking float, & walk/wade trips for the 2023 season. Give us a call if you have any questions or are looking to book a guided trip. 

Yellowstone River Fishing Report via Yellowstone Country Fly Fishing (July 9, 2023)

This Yellowstone River fishing report is valid from July 9 through July 20.

The Yellowstone River is now at 6000cfs near Gardiner and fishing fair. The fishing will improve as the water continues to drop and the trout settle into their standard July and early August holding water in the first turbulent seams off the bank and in the riffles. Right now, the rapid drop seems to have the trout off the feed a bit. Plenty of fish are getting caught, but lots and lots of them are of the “silvery” variety (whitefish) rather than the “spotted” variety (trout). The best trout bite appears to be near Gardiner; this is the only stretch we’ve caught much of anything on dries so far this season. Even fishing dry-dropper near the banks with jig-style streamers instead of nymphs, the whitefish have been going wild.

Our best flies lately have been 20-Incher stonefly nymphs and small olive marabou Euro-jig streamers, as well as #10 Gold Chubby Chernobyls near Gardiner.

We expect the trout bite to rapidly improve over the next week.

For now, fish streamer/nymph rigs under indicators, with the rigs set fairly deep. Run sculpins or Zonkers with caddis pupae and Yellow Sally nymphs on the dropper. Alternately, run similar flies on a “short leash” nymph rig near the bank, or replace the bobber and the big nymph with a large Chubby Chernobyl.

When the trout start rising better, medium-sized Chubby Chernobyls and caddis-style attractors like Clacka Caddis trailing small Princes, Yellow Sally Nymphs, and caddis pupae will be the best options for a couple weeks, before the hoppers kick in.

Our next Yellowstone River fishing report will drop around July 20 when we expect full-scale summer dry fly conditions to start.

About That Train Wreck…

  • It occurred at “Twin Bridges,” near the bottom of the Yellowstone’s trout waters. Last year we ran one trip on this water, so it doesn’t impact Livingston-based operations much.
  • No impacts to fish have been found. Only three animals are confirmed to have been killed: two garter snakes and one shorebird. Thank the fact the train derailed at high water. The high flows dispersed and diluted the toxic spill much better than low water would have.
  • The Yellowstone River is currently closed to floating between Reed Point and Columbus. We seldom float any of this water anyway, but the closure DOES make the rest of the Yellowstone somewhat more crowded.
  • We expect normal operations in the closed area by Labor Day.

Learn more about fishing the Yellowstone River (in Montana).

Info about our float trips, a majority of which take place on the Yellowstone.

Info about our Montana walk & wade trips, which in winter and early spring take place on the Yellowstone.

Hauser Fishing via Montana Fishing Addicts July 9, 2023

B.M.: I always had a killer time with nightcrawlers and a floater below the dam. Even caught a 35 inch walleye one day. It was a senior but still huge lol

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