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Great walleye fishing can be found between Pond 1 and the river channel as well as between the Silos and Hole-in-the-Wall. Walleyes are being caught in 15-25 feet of water on bottom bouncers with slow-death rigs or worm harnesses in silver, red or green colors. Perch and rainbows are being caught by anglers using walleye rigs in these same areas. Shore fishing has produced some walleye and rainbows at Confederate and the Silos on worms. A few rainbows have been reported at Shannon ramp while fly fishing with black or brown nymphs. Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena
Hell Creek General Recreation Information (August 24, 2023)
The Yellowstone has been fishing well recently. A mud plug moved through the river but the water color is back to normal. Olive and yellow streamers have been our go to flies as of late, with flashy flies like sparkle minnows or kreelex minnows being a good option mid day when the sun is high. Nymphing has also been picking up some fish lately! Try running the middle of the river and heavy water with a large stonefly or sculpin followed by something small and flashy. Hopper fishing is also starting to pick back up, ants and beetles have been putting fish in the net too! Big tan hoppers have been killer!
Suggested Fly Patterns
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)
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)
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 is 41% full, inflow is 501 cfs and outflow is 803 cfs. Walleye fishing is fair. Fish the main lake points in 15’ to 20’ of water. Try leeches on slip bobbers, it can really be fun and productive. Nelson is 78% full, 0 inflow and outflow is 164 cfs. Walleye fishing is good. All methods especially swim baits on the weed lines are producing. Also try live minnows on bottom bouncers in the same areas. Again both reservoirs are better during low light periods. Good fishing.
Rainbow fishing continues to be great in the Gates of the Mountains area while fly fishing with nymphs under an indicator and on the lower end of the reservoir while trolling cowbells tipped with night crawlers. Great numbers of perch are being found around weed beds in 10-20 feet of water, around Cottonwood Creek, and around the boat docks between the BLM boat ramp and Log Gulch while pitching jigs tipped with worms. A few walleye are being caught in the same areas as the perch. A few Kokanee are being caught above the Dam in around 75 feet of water while vertical jigging or trolling various flashers tipped with shoepeg corn. Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena
Missouri River Mondays…Rain Days
Liquid Sunshine falling from the sky this morning. So what should you do? Put on your rain-gear and go outside. Just what any normal sound minded angler would do.
The NOAA Weather Service states: Rain. Hi of 80. Cool in the am, becoming warmer, windy to 12 SSE throughout the day.
Trico’s today? Oh yeah. Late though. As late as after noon? Yes, seen it happen here in August.
Hoppers? Sure. But an ant or a well drifted caddis may out produce this common after lunch fly-tool. If most are throwing hoppers with a lot or two, why wouldn’t you toss something that will create more interest? Just think about it man.
Streamers? Totally your gig today. Or give nymphing a shot.
The water temperatures have cooled with this dousing of cooler wetter weather. No worrying about getting too warm this August now. Not that we were, but it is out of the question after this weather event passes through. Temps currently holding at the 62F-64F mark. The flows are stable at the Hi 4K’scfs and all is well. Shoot, not too many more degrees below the 62 mark and we may see some BWO’s? Psuedo’s for sure.
Shoot, maybe a good Psuedo hatch today! Keep your eyes open, protected from the rain and have at ‘er.
5 Tips to Keep you Dry and Warm during the Deluge
- Wear the best rain gear money can buy. SIMMS, Skwala, Orvis. Come on in and Gear Up!
- Fish under the bridge all day. The fish don’t care, they are all wet anyhows!
- Bring lots of hot coffee, soup, and/or Chicken Broth.
- Renegade fish from the car. Wade fishing is good when you have the protection of the car, the heater, and the option to go to Joe’s, stand by the fire, and tell some lies.
Toss streamers all day long, is the last one. May will be doing this all day. Good results in the rain. We love the rain and the cooling of the river. Feels good.
As for the dry flies and the Trico’s. We’ll see how they fare during this rain day. They are not done by any stretch so keep it tuned here for an update after the clouds part. Looks good for the front end of this coming week.
That is all for this Monday morning. Enjoy your week ahead. Keep warm, and wear some killer rain gear. Shop is open daily for all your Missouri River Montana Fly Fishing needs. Streamers, warm layers, raingear/waders, rainpants, warm hats, and for the rest of the week, sunscreen!
Lake Mary Ronan- Still good perch action, try 20-25’ of water jigging small spoons or Gitzits with worms. Few nice rainbow trolling small plugs.
Flathead Lake- White fish still biting near the Delta 45-50’ of water, also lake trout mixed in with them. Try large tube jigs or whole fish on bottom. Trolling for lake trout with silver/green flashers and small brads super baits or apex spoons deep 180-200’ or large Glo flatfish early on the bottom.
Smith Lake- Lots of small pike using swimbaits or spinner baits.
Middle Thompson- Few nice salmon trolling, up to 18”. Lots of small pike.
Swan Lake- Lake Trout near river mouth or troll shore line for nice rainbows.
Echo Lake- Nice small mouth 20-25’ of water drop shottimg, some nice crappie also.
- With our low water flow and higher temperatures Montana FWP are asking Anglers to help reduce stress and mortality for fish by following these practices when catching and releasing fish, though fish mortality may still occur:
• Fish during the coolest times of day, where permitted.
• Keep the fish in water as much as possible.
• Let the fish recover before releasing it.
• If high temperatures persist, anglers may want to consider fishing areas with less stressful temperatures, such as larger lakes or reservoirs, or higher elevation waterbodies.
For further information and updates, visit https://fwp.mt.gov/news/current-closures-restrictions/waterbody-closures or contact the FWP Region 1 office at 406-752-5501.
- Flathead Lake – Whitefish are starting to slow down off the delta but still good numbers and size down by Elmo. Try jigging around 45′-55′ using KB Tackle or Rattle D Zastors.
- Flathead River – Trout bite is still doing ok. We are seeing some risers on hoppers and purple haze. You can also try using yellow and red Panther Martins or black Rooster Tails if you are spin fishing.
- Lower Stillwater Lake – Still good reports of pike being caught using buzzbaits or spinner baits paired with soft plastics.
- Echo Lake – Bass fishing remains a little slow. The small mouth are still hitting on crawfish imitations as well as some pike being caught off the causeway.
- McGregor Lake – Morning trout bite has been ok. Use Lil Cleo spoons or sinking bait off the bottom. Lots of small mouth being caught in the shallows using small Senkos or drop shots.
- Middle Thompson – Salmon fishing has been decent using small reaction squids paired with Mack’s Sling Blades or dodgers.
- Loon Lake (Ferndale) – Largemouth are biting well using Senkos and Texas rigs. Get out around lilly pads and fallen structure.
- Smith Lake – Very weedy but still good reports of pike on weedless spoons from the dock.
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. https://linehan-outfitting.myshopify.com/
We look forward to hearing from you. 406-295-4872
Late summer is here, and it sure has felt like it this past week. Pretty safe to say this past week has been the hottest of the year so far for us here in Livingston. However we’ve got some cooler weather and even some moisture coming down the pipe. Fall is also on the horizon, though September can often feel more like summer than fall around here.
While water temps on the Yellowstone River have stayed shockingly low for how hot it is, we’re still recommending you fish early in the morning or late at night. Keep your fights short and your fish wet, this isn’t the season for long, drawn-out fights on 5x. Water temps around the region are stressing fish as is, and throwing a fight into their day can be a lot for them to handle. Be mindful and respectful of the resource please.
You can always keep an eye on FWP waterbody restrictions and closures on their website here. Currently the only body of water in our area with an official Hoot Owl closure is the Lower Madison, but keep in mind that many of our waters are stressed.
Late summer on the Yellowstone River means mainly one thing: hoppers. The hopper fishing has been pretty decent, especially in the afternoons and evenings. Hang a dropper underneath it and fish two zones at once. Find areas with brushy banks or with ag fields nearby and you’ll have the best success. Windy afternoons are best, as the wind blows the hoppers around.
With how hot and bright it has been, fishing slows dramatically during the midday period. Get out early and look for nocturnal stones, fish attractors, or try a hopper. If you want to fish nymphs, a rubberlegs or dead drifted wooly bugger with an attractor nymph or perdigon behind it fished deep is the ticket.
There isn’t a whole lot happening in late August as far as hatches go, but late afternoon into evening is when you’ll find the best success with hoppers. While hoppers get the bulk of the attention this time of year, certainly don’t overlook ants, beetles, and other terrestrials. A drowned ant pattern can be surprisingly effective behind something larger like a Thunder Thighs.
The Upper Madison River is in kind of the same late summer pattern as the Yellowstone. Hoppers, terrestrials, and try to avoid the midday bright sun if you can. Early and late is the name of the game these days. Red and black ants are always a good choice, or go subsurface with a double nymph rig. Jig style flies behind a big prince, a rubberlegs, or a crayfish would be our choice.
The Lower Madison currently has a Hoot Owl restriction, no fishing from 2pm to midnight. We continue to urge you elsewhere – it’s very crowded with recreational users and there’s just other, better places.
Spruce Moths are still out on the Gallatin River in the canyon, and the hopper/terrestrial bite has been pretty decent as well. Below the canyon is getting too low and too warm to really fish, but from Williams Bridge up into the Park it’s all doing well. Smaller hoppers are working, as are ants and beetles. If you’re fishing nymphs when you can’t get fish to look up, stick to the deeper runs and pools. The water from Big Sky to the Park boundary is getting pretty darn skinny, but you’ll get a lot less traffic there. Fishing the Park stretch can be really fun this time of year.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Kind of the same story here as well. The NE Corner has been fishing well this summer, except for when the bigger storms muddy up the Lamar. Hoppers, ants, beetles, and attractor patterns are all working well. If you’re fishing slower water like Slough Creek or anywhere within about a mile of the road go smaller than you’d think with fly selection and bring the finer tippets. Fish are getting picky these days.
We’re getting close to seeing some fall hatches in the park!
LIVINGSTON AND THE SHOP
This has been a great summer here in Livingston, and we’re looking forward to an awesome fall. Lots of events still going on, and it’s a great time of year to be in town.
The shop is your source for info, gear, flies, and everything you need. We’re starting to get some of our fall apparel arrivals, and we might need some of it on these chilly mornings coming up!
Tight lines this week.
A few rainbows are being caught while trolling crankbaits or cowbells from Black Sandy to York Bridge and while using crawlers and a marshmallow below Canyon Ferry Dam. Walleye fishing has been good the near the Causeway, York Bridge, and the El Dorado dredge piles while pitching jigs and crawlers, trolling bottom bouncers with worm harnesses, or slip bobber fishing with leeches in 15-20 feet of water. Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena
We just had another heat wave here on the Bighorn and it was a hot one! It put a damper on the afternoon fishing, but morning has been good. We’re seeing some grass growth throughout the whole system, but the Upper 3 definitely is seeing the bulk of it. Guides are spread out from A to Mallards, so pick your favorite stretch and go!
Subsurface we have been doing well with Frenchies, Hare’s ears, various Perdigons and a few Carpet Bugs and Orange Scuds still.
A few fish are still looking for the hoppers, so that’s a good option, although a day to day kind of deal.
Tricos are around in the morning hours, but not tons of fish on them. We’re seeing some nice single fish eating them. Psuedos are around in the afternoons, if you want to torture yourself. Black Caddis and a few BIG Tan caddis are around as well during the evening hours.
Tongue River Fishing Report via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (August 21, 2023)
D.P.: focus on the intake side of the reservoir. I got lucky and had the perfect fishing weather both days. I had to have gone through 9 dozen nightcrawlers. Fish were scattered as shallow as 6ft to as deep as 26ft. Good luck
Yellowstone River Sauger Success via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (August 16, 2023)
J.R.: 24.5in sauger. New PB. Caught him on the Yellowstone.
Nymph, Nymph, Nymph!
Hebgen: Fishing is good on the lake currently. Anglers are catching fish all over the lake, focus your efforts on glassier, less windy areas. Callibaetis season is here, and so too are the gulpers – cruising around shallow. Hanging/stripping leeches and nymphs has also been productive (more so now with the cold front that moved in ((again 8/19)).
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, #16 Found Link Callibaetis, #16 Purple Missing Link, #16 Long Tailed Callibaetis Spinner
Inflow to Hebgen Lake: 556 cfs
Hebgen Lake Outflow: 1018 cfs
Kirby Flows: 1140 cfs
** Flows as of 8 am August 19th, 2023 **