Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 8.29.23
By angelamontana

Posted: August 30, 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 (August 28, 2023)

Walleye and perch are being caught in 10-15 feet of water between Duck Creek and Pond 1 and between the Silos and Pond 3, including the river channel. The best action has been while using bottom-bouncers with silver, purple or red spinner blades tipped with either a worm or leech.  Walleye and rainbows are being caught in 30 feet of water between White Earth and Round Top on bottom bouncers or yellow or green crankbaits.  Shore fishing is slow.  Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Hell Creek General Recreation Information (August 28, 2023)

Click here:  CLICK HERE for Hell Creek webcam.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (August 28, 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

  • 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 (August 24, 2023)

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.

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (August 28, 2023)

Holter Fishing Report via MTFWP (August 28, 2023)

Good numbers of Rainbows are being caught around Black Beach, Split Rock, and the weed beds around South Village while trolling cowbells or grey and silver crankbaits and in the Gates of the Mountains area while fly fishing with nymphs under an indicator. Perch fishing has been great 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. An occasional walleye is being found in the same areas as the perch.  A few Kokanee are being caught above the Dam in 50 to 75 feet of water while vertical jigging or trolling various flashers.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

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

Flows in the mid 4K’s. Average. Perfect.

Water temps low at 62 in the am, a bit higher during the day. No fear of closures or fish health issues based on water temps.

Weeds a 6 or 7 on the 1-10 scale. Less upriver, more downriver.

Most are nymphing beginning at the dam. Zebra Midge,Worm, Zirdle, some sort of small Perdition type Euro nymphs as well. There are so many good stinky fast bugs patterns out there this author has not been able to learn them all yet. So stop by and peruse our large selection of Mo River Specific nymphs. Best flies under the Big Sky!

Dry fly fellers loving the Trico Spinner fall. Still great opportunities for killer dry fly angling. Morning is your game. Lots of anglers at the dam. Fewer at WC Bridge. Even fewer at Craig. You do the math.

Ants and hoppers are good. Great? Nope. Ants yes, try them first. Hoppers if you like a larger profile. Re-read Scumliners article here about blind dry fly fishing the MO.

The canyon reach is empty. Lower? Even quieter.

Not as many splash and giggle as we move into the school year.

Book your trips for September and October today. Lodging and guide availability is waning.

Football, baseball, and fly fishing on our minds today as we move into full Autumn.

Call today for any info or listen to the answering machine style fishing report by calling 406-235-3447 ext 3.

Open Daily in Downton Craig Montana.

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

🔹 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.

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

Salmon Snagging opens September 15th
Hooks & Flagging Tape in stock now!

Flathead Lake – Whitefish bite in the early morning has still been good around 40′-50′. Use KB Tackle or Rattle D’Zastors for good results. A few lakers being caught in the mix as well.
Flathead River – Trout are still on the rise, try using Orange Humpy’s and October Caddis. Seeing some pike caught on the lower river using spinner baits and chatter baits too.
Dickey Lake – Rainbows being caught early in the morning trolling small squids and wedding rings. The salmon are being caught on red or pink Hali’s or Swedish Pimples.
Swan Lake – Lake trout being caught off the highway. Try jigging or trolling in around 80′-100′ using hair jigs or trolling spoons and cut plugs.
Blanchard Lake – Very weedy, but some good bass being caught using top water baits. Lots of crappie using small hair jigs or Gitzits are being reported as well.
Swan River – Smallmouth and Pike being caught above the regulating dam. Buzz baits and paddle tails have been a good options.
Lower Thompson – Bass fishing has been slow, but good pike being caught between 3-5 lbs. Look around fallen trees and weed flats using spoons and dead bait.
Murphy Lake – Largemouth being caught using dropshots and Ned rigs in about 15′. Perch being caught using Trout Magnets and Gitzits tipped with worms or maggots.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (August 19, 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

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.


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!


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.

Hauser Fishing Report via MTFWP (August 28, 2023)

Some nice rainbows are being caught below Canyon Ferry Dam, in the Spokane Bay area, and around Black Sandy while casting spinners or spoons and trolling cowbells tipped with crawlers. A few walleye and an occasional perch are being found in Lake Helena and around the Causeway Bridge while pitching jigs and crawlers, trolling bottom bouncers with worm harnesses, or slip bobber fishing with leeches.  Chris Hurley, FWP, Helena

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Bighorn Angler (August 26, 2023)

Flows have dropped down a bit and are currently around 35oo CFS.  Fishing has picked up overall, but there are some odd days where it just isn’t happening.  Not quite sure why.. It’s a good time of year to fish with a guide!

We’re still seeing some fish on Tricos in the morning hours.  Not any pods, but some nice fish.  Black Caddis are around some evenings, although not super thick.  Starting to see more big Tan Caddis below 3 Mile as well.

If you’re nymphing, think pheasant tail/caddis style patterns.  Frenchies, CDC PT’s, Hare’s Ears and a variety of buggy jig type flies are working.  A few fish are being caught on Sowbugs and Scuds too.

The Grass is starting to show up, so keep your bugs clean!  Other than that, the water clarity is good and temps haven’t been too bad.

Yellowstone River  via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (August 26, 2023)

J.R.: Six crappies outta the Yellowstone river today.

Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report (August 27, 2023)

When fishing’s tough, switch it up!

Hebgen: This is the prime time to fish Hebgen. Anglers on watercraft and wading have been catching cruising gulpers on both of the arms of the lake. Callibaetis and Tricos are hatching pretty thick in the mornings and evenings, even thicker on less windy days. When you aren’t seeing fish rise it may be worth stripping leeches or large damselfly nymphs in the upper reaches of the arms.

Flies: #8 Black or Olive Simi Seal Leech, #6 Balanced Squirrel Leech Black, #6 Olive or Black Hot Bead Leech, #8 Thin Mint, #12 Balanced Damsel, #20 Trico Spinner, #16 Callibaetis Sparkle Dun, #16 Found Link Callibaetis, #16 Purple Missing Link, #16 Long Tailed Callibaetis Spinner
Inflow to Hebgen Lake: 922 cfs
Hebgen Lake Outflow: 986 cfs
Kirby Flows: 1090 cfs

** Flows as of 3 pm August 27th, 2023 **

Upper Madison: The Upper Madison is nymphing extremely well (as always!), smaller mayfly and caddis nymphs, as well as dip style midges are what we’re throwing lately. Hoppers are fishing a little better but still not as consistently as we’d like. Throwing a hopper dropper is the best of both worlds and a good way to search/cover water. Other terrestrials and streamers are also moving fish on slower days.

Flies: #16-18 Redneck, #16-18 Shop Vac, #18 Black Crystal Dip, #18 Olive Micro Mayfly, #18 Hogan’s S&M Black, #14 Olive Hot Spot, #18 BWO Comparadun, #16 BWO CDC Comparadun, #16 Pink or Tan Chili-Dog, #12 Carnage Hopper, #10/12 Tan Thunder Thighs, #6 Black Hot Bead Leech, #4 Olive/White Barely Legal


This is the prime time to be in the NE corner of YNP!! 

Madison near West Yellowstone: 385 cfs
Yellowstone below Yellowstone Lake : 1630 cfs
Gibbon: 111 cfs
Gallatin near Big Sky: 479 cfs

** Flows as of 3 pm August 27th 2023 **

Gallatin: The Gallatin is low, clear, and cold enough that you don’t need to be there before 10am. Fish should be rising pretty readily to terrestrials like beetles, ants, and hoppers. Smaller attractor dries like Royal Wulffs and Stimulators should also entice a rise. Fish in the upper Gallatin tend to reside in deeper runs and pools this time of year so avoid shallow runs and riffles all together.

Flies: #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Black Krystal Dip, #16 Pink Chili Dog, #14 Royal Chubby Chernobyl, #18 Parachute Adams, #16 Orange Spruce Moth, #16 Rocky Mtn Mint PMD, #14 Royal Stimulator, #16 Arrick’s Ant, #14 Royal Wulff, #16 Bionic Ant Brown

Madison/Firehole/Gibbon: As we anxiously count down to the cool fall days of swinging the rivers on the west side of the park, the Firehole is still a bit too warm to ethically fish. The Madison in the park has been slow and is also too warm at this time. The Gibbon above the falls is still cool and fishing well. Try throwing some streamers and soft hackles around the cut banks as fall rapidly approaches.

Flies: #8-10 Partridge and Orange, #8-10 Partridge and Pheasant Tail, #14 Prince Nymph, #16-18 Frenchie, #14 Diving Caddis, #6 Olive Slump-Buster, #6 Olive Montana Mouthwash, #8 Black or Olive Hot Bead Leech

Yellowstone/NE Corner: The Yellowstone is fishing well still but should start slowing down as always as august continues. Hunt around for rising cutties when you see bugs flying. The Lamar and its tributaries are all fishing well with fish looking up, however, parts of the lower Lamar will most likely be high and off color. Look for fish rising on Tricos and small BWO’s. Pink, purple, and red chubbies, as well as other terrestrials like will also fish well. Streamers should fish well if dries are slow.

Flies: #18-20 Parachute BWO, #18 Guide Winna Spinna, #10 Yellow Thunder Thighs, #16 Rocky Mtn Mint Adam’s, #16 Butch Sally, #14 pink/purple/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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