Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 7.26.23
By angelamontana

Posted: July 26, 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 24, 2023)

Walleye fishing continues to be great around Ponds 2 and 3, in the river mouth and Pond 4 in 20-25 feet of water.  Also, from White Earth to Round-top and between Cemetery Island and Hellgate in 20 to 35 feet of water on bottom bouncers with slow-death rigs or worm harnesses in red or green colors. Green jigs and crankbaits have been working also.  Rainbows are being caught as well as a few perch by anglers using walleye rigs in these same areas.  An occasional walleye is being caught from shore on worms around Pond 4. Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Hell Creek General Recreation Information (July 26, 2023)

Click here:  CLICK HERE for Hell Creek webcam.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (July 23, 2023)

The Yellowstone is looking good! People have been having great success on dry dropper rigs with a large grasshopper or chubby and a flashy nymph underneath. Streamer fishing has also been consistent, try a small yellow fly or something flashy! Make sure to check current restrictions before heading to the Yellowstone due to the Train derailment and rising water temps on the lower river!

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Parachute Adams (12-18), Chubbies Pink, Olive, Tan (8-12), Morrish Hopper Pink, Purple, Tan, Brown (10-14), Thunder Grass Hopper Tan (10), Donkey Kong Hopper Tan (10-14), Fat Albert Pink (12-14)

  • Streamer

    Woolly Bugger (4-12), Mini Dungeon Black/ Natural/ White (6), Montana Intruder (4), Sparkle Minnow JJ’s, Silver (4-8), Double Gonga Black/Rainbow (4), Sculpzilla Black/ White/ Natural (4-8)

  • 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), 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 20, 2023)

Fresno is 70% full and the outflow is 3x greater than inflow. Walleye fishing is good. Try fishing near Browns Bay. Concentrate in about 10’ of water pulling bottom bouncer rigs or crank baits. Early and late periods of the day have been productive. Nelson is 90% full and dropping slower than Fresno. Walleye fishing is good using most methods. Fish the weeds, points, and break lines. Sleeping Buffalo is open for business with a new bar. Check it out.

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (July 26, 2023)

Holter Fishing Report via MTFWP (July 24, 2023)

Rainbow action is good between Black Beach and Split Rock while trolling cowbells with a worm during the evening hours. Kokanee are being caught near the Dam while trolling cowbells or other flashers while using a downrigger in 50 to 60 feet of water. Great perch fishing can be found around Cottonwood Creek, Ming Bar and in lower Holter around weedbeds while using jigs tipped with a worm. Walleye fishing is slow with a few being caught in the same areas as the perch. Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Headhunters Fly Shop (July 24, 2023)

We rarely say…

The dry fly fishing is damn good.

At least on Monday.

Water under the bridge? Yep.

Tomorrow, Tuesday.

Will the fish be as bitey?

Who knows.

We do know that warm night promote early fish rise. If, if there is enough garbage, i.e dead and decomposing flies/insects in the film.

Pleasant Trico hatches daily in conjunction with both hatching and spent caddis, PMD spinners, occasional PMD cripples and duns, ants, hoppers, and more. Truly a fun time head by the dry fly set on Monday. Shop reports from both angling guests, guides, with a nod from he fish gods…and you had Monday on Dam to Mid Canon. Maybe good below as well, but did not hear any reports form downriver.

We rarely say…ow good the dry fly bite has been today, yesterday, this June and July. Drift fishing and posted up Headhunting has been good.

And as always, the statement is “It’s as good as you are” rings true.

Nymphing report? Ahh, tomorrow. Let us relish and reflect on the day that was Monday.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (July 21, 2023)

🔹 Flathead Lake- White fish starting to show up on north end of lake. Try Carolina point, the delta, hatchery bay and Somers bay. Use 3/8-1/2 oz jigging spoons, ZIMMERS Rattle Dzastors, KB spoons and JT jigs, all local tackle, work well. Lake trout action, try flashers and Brad’s super baits, Flatfish and Apex plugs working well also. Try mid lake bar and delta, Woods Bay point- 80-120 ft of water. Try Elmo and Big Arm also for perch and white fish.
🔹 Lake Mary Ronan- Good numbers of perch jigging 20-25 ft of water near Camp Tuffit or White Rock bay, also few nice rainbows and bass.
🔹 Thompson River- Fishing well for nice browns, brookies and rainbows.
🔹 Noxon Resevoir- Excellent bass and pike action, few nice walleye.
🔹 Blanchard Lake- Lots sun fish and crappie, few nice bass and pike.
🔹 Bitterroot Lake- Early morning good trolling for salmon, try for bass later in the day.
🔹 Hungry Horse Resevoir- Good cutthroat fishing with gold spoons and flicker Shad’s.
➡️ For and expanded fishing report call into our hotline

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (July 13, 2023)

  • Flathead Lake – A few whitefish are starting to show up around Hatchery Bay and on the delta. Try jigging between 30′-60′ down with KB Tackle or Zimmer Rattle-d-Zasters to produce some bites.
  • Flathead River – The river flows are at 4800cfs with good clarity. The fish are looking up and taking Hopper patterns along with Purple Haze, Caddis and Wulff patterns.
  • Lower Stillwater Lake – Pike fishing has been good. Mostly using dead bait or rolling spinner baits. We have heard about some perch also being caught off the islands.
  • Church Slough – The fishing remains consistent for good sized pike, along with panfish and largemouth around structure.
  • Echo Lake – Bass are still biting! Try working drop shots or Ned rigs in 8′-12′ of water around structure.
  • Middle Thompson – Some good sized kokanee have been caught fishing down 20′-30′ of water. Try trolling Hoochie Rigs and Slingblades for your best chances.
  • Bitterroot Lake – Jigging salmon in 30′-50′ has been consistent. Mostly using Hali’s and Zimmer Wanna-b jigs tipped with corn or maggots.
  • Smith Lake – There are still lots of pike to be caught using top water baits!

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (July 13, 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 hot weather of summer has finally caught up with us this week, and we’re feeling it here in Livingston. The forecast has more 90s than anything else and the air just has that mid-summer feel to it. It’s a great time to be in Montana, and we are smack dab in the middle of many’s favorite season. There is something fun to do both outdoors and in town every day and no reason to not get outside!

One note before we get too deep into things – as summer heats up so do our waters. Do your best to fish either early in the day or later in the evening, minimize time fighting fish, and keep your fish in the water as much as possible. Be sure to check for fishing hoot owl restrictions or closures if you’re unsure. You can do so on the FWPs website here:

Now on the good stuff.


The Yellowstone River has been fishing really well, especially early and late in the day. The water is heating up, but flows are still good for this time of year. The weekends have been noticeably busier and it’s best to pack your patience at the boat ramp.

As far as bugs go, you can still find a few golden stones around as well as yellow sallies, caddis, and even a few PMDs here and there though they are on their way out. There are plenty of options to keep you looking for heads all day, except in the hottest and brightest part of mid day.

Subsurface you will find more action. Caddis pupa, attractor nymphs, perdigons, rubber legs, pheasant tails, and dead drifted streamers (small ones) are all good choices. Hang something like a perdigon or other jig nymphs under a rubberlegs and have at it.

Hoppers? Still a touch early, but we have seen a few out and about…

These bright summer days can be tough. Our advice? Either be on the water at dawn and taking out when everyone else is putting on, or get out in the afternoon and fish til dark. It’s worth it.


The Upper Madison continues to fish well. Things are heating up, but fish higher up in the river to avoid the warmer temps. Caddis, yellow sallies, and terrestrials are the main menu items up top. You could likely fish a smaller size chubby all day and be perfectly fine with that.

The Lower Madison has a Hoot Owl restriction from Warm Springs to Black’s Ford – no fishing from 2pm to midnight. Honestly, unless you are walking wayyyy up Bear Trap there are better places to fish right now. The recreational floaters completely take over this stretch of river every summer and there are just better places to pursue trout.


The Gallatin River in the canyon is fishing well. The salmonflies have come and gone, but you might find some golden stones here and there. Caddis are out in force, as well as terrestrials. Think ants and beetles instead of hoppers are this time.

The big attraction to the Gallatin this time of year is the Spruce Moths. These moths provide some really fun dry fly fishing for hungry fish early in the morning to midday or so. If you don’t have a dedicated spruce moth pattern, an elk hair caddis with the wing smushed down will work just fine. That being said, we have a bunch of spruce moths that work great at the shop. It’s still a touch early, but stay tuned.

The lower river is getting too warm in the afternoons, and while there aren’t any restrictions on it yet we would advise staying away from it. As on the Lower Madison there are just simply other better places to fish.


The NE corner of Yellowstone National Park is where it’s at right now. While the Madison and Gibbon Rivers are still fishing well on the west side, the sheer volume of awesome water over on our side offers a lot more choice and productive fisheries. Slough Creek, the Lamar, Soda Butte, the Yellowstone… All are fishing well right now. Not to mention the many, many small creeks and streams that criss cross the landscape.

The typical summer hatches of yellow sallies, caddis, scattered PMDs, and terrestrials are all here too. Want to fish dries all day? Come to the park.


Town is busy and we love to see it! We live in a great place and we love to share this town with all who visit. There is live music, farmer’s markets, rodeos, events, music festivals and much more for the rest of the summer. Come spend some time in Livingston and see what all the fuss is about.

The shop is your one-stop shop for anything outdoors here in Southwest Montana. Our fully stocked fly shop can get you the gear and flies you need (as well as the right info), but if hiking, biking or camping is more your speed we’ve got all that too.

Come say hello this week and share a fishing story! Tight lines.

Hauser Fishing Report via MTFWP (July 24, 2023)

Walleye fishing is good in Lake Helena, around the El Dorado dredge piles and at York Bridge while trolling bottom bouncers with a leech or worm.  An occasional perch is being caught in Lake Helena on walleye rigs.  Rainbows are being caught while trolling cowbells with worms around Black Sandy and the mouth of the Causeway.  Yellow and orange crankbaits are working for rainbows as well.  Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Bighorn Angler (July 20, 2023)

Down, Down, Down she goes

GET READY FOLKS the Bighorn is dropping quickly.  Fishing has been outstanding during the high water, and as the river drops the fishing seems to be only getting better.  7850 cfs as we write this (vs. 10k+ just yesterday) and dropping like a rock.   Word on the street is 5,000 by early next week….we will see.  The one certain thing is as water levels drop over the next week, outflows will originate exclusively from bottom of the lake vs. a mix of bottom and warmer top water causing river temps to cool (currently 54 at afterbay – 62 downstream) and the wade fishing spots will begin to show themselves.

LOTS of bugs out there right now mostly caddis & hoppers, but good numbers of PMDs and Yellow Sallies mixed in.  Yes, some fish up on them.  Dry fly windows vary depending on where you are and time of day but more reliable later in the afternoon and evening, enough to keep things interesting and will just get better from here on out.  Downright grasshopper infestations in certain fields around the valley and plenty of hoppers on the water recently, but fish are too busy gorging on caddis and the other staples to seem overly interested.  But as the water gets lower that could all change…

Nymphing continues to be excellent from the top all the way to Rotten Grass creek.  No longer the big worm bite, but smaller worms, caddis pupa, pmd nymphs, sow bugs all getting it done.  Good choices are poodle sniffers, frenchies, perdigons, carpet bugs, orange scuds.

Very hot temps people, so pack accordingly and take advantage of prime summer time on the Bighorn.  It’s all happening

– Mike Dewey

Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report (July 22, 2023)

What’re you doing reading this? Go fish!

Hebgen: Fishing on the lake has been getting better every day. Anglers are catching fish in both the Madison and Grayling arms. Callibaetis season is rapidly approaching, look out for gulpers cruising around shallow. Leeches and nymphs are also productive.

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: 946 cfs
Hebgen Lake Outflow: 1141 cfs
Kirby Flows: 1260 cfs

** Flows as of 8 am July 23rd, 2023 **

Upper Madison: Nymphing a two fly set up will be your most productive method right now, think smaller if you’re nymphing (#16 and smaller). Fish are actively feeding on caddis, PMD’s, Yellow Sallies, and small chubbies. Attractors are fishing well additionally. Terrestrials like hoppers, beetles, and ants should start fishing soon.

Flies: #16-18 Redneck, #16-18 Guide Dip, #16 PMD Split Case #16-18 PMD Loop-Wing, #14 Olive Hot Spot, #16 Pink or Tan Chili-Dog, #14 Butch Sally #15 CDC Elk Hair Caddis #6 Olive Slump-Buster, #4 Olive/White Barely Legal


The Yellowstone river and its tributaries are open and fishing well! 

Madison near West Yellowstone: 415 cfs
Yellowstone below Yellowstone Lake : 2960 cfs
Gibbon: 138 cfs
Gallatin near Big Sky: 550 cfs

** Flows as of 8 am July 23rd 2023 **

Gallatin: The Gallatin is seeing a multitude of hatches, and is low and clear in the park section. Nymphing has been very productive. Look out for fish rising on Caddis, PMD’s, and BWO’s. Ants are beginning to fish very well with other terrestrials soon to follow.

Flies: #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Green Lightning Bug, #16-18 Black Krystal Dip, #18 ICU Midge, #18 Split Case PMD, #18 Parachute Adams, #18 Tilt Wing BWO, #16 Rocky Mtn Mint PMD, #18 Baetis Cripple, #14 Royal Stimulator, #16 Arrick’s Ant

Madison/Firehole/Gibbon: The Firehole is too warm to ethically fish. The Madison in the park has been slow. If 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 fishing great as well. Look for fish rising on Sallies, PMD’s and Drakes. Pink, purple, and red chubbies will also fish well.

Flies: #18-20 Parachute BWO, #18-20 Sprout Baetis, #16 Rocky Mtn Mint PMD, #16 Butch Sally, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #14 pink/purp/red Chubby Chernobyl, #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. 

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