Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 11.12.23
By angelamontana

Posted: November 13, 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.


Hell Creek General Recreation Information (November 13, 2023)

Click here:  CLICK HERE for Hell Creek webcam.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (November 11, 2023)

The streamer fishing has been good over on the Yellowstone! We’ve been having luck with Sparkle Minnows, Dungeons, some Deceiver style flies, and Dragons! With the slightly warmer temps, the fishing should be good. Could also see some baetis and midges out there so don’t leave the dry fly box at home! Floating is still an option so get it while you can, just watch for the wind! If wading fishing around the spring creek mouths can be very productive this time of the year too!

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)

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (November 12, 2023)

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Headhunters Fly Shop (November 11, 2023)

12 Month Missouri River Flow Chart

River came up on Friday to over 4K. A big change. According to the DNRC this flow will hold for some time.

Looking for an average water year ahead. Will it snow a ton this winter? Ohh, maybe. Only Mothe Mo knows.

Happy Sunday.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (November 1, 2023)

🔹 Flathead River~ White fish bite is very good. Old steel bridge to Columbia Falls bridge areas are good. Small 1/4 to 1/8” green jigs with 1 1/2” craws are tubes are good. Early mornings usually best action.
🔹 McGregor Lake~ Nice rainbows trolling shoreline with small spoons or Berkley flickershads.
🔹 Vann Lake~ Nice rainbows trolling or shore fishing.
🔹 Lake Mary Ronan~ Still good perch action 30’ of water southwest end, try small forage minnows or gitzit jigs.
🔹 Flathead Lake~ Excellent lake trout fishing shallow 25-40’ of water. Try West Shore, Woods Bay, Shelter Island, Bird Island. Troll or cast spoons early, jig later in the day.
🔹 Beaver Lake~ Good shore trout action.

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (November 2, 2023)

  • Flathead Lake – Lakers Showing up shallow. Seeing good numbers trolling Spinfish and Flatfish in around 35′-50′ down.
  • Flathead River – Whitefish are showing up in good numbers. Check out KB, JT or Zimmer for local whitefish jigs!
  • Church Slough – Still a few pike being caught. Bass are being caught by fishing slow and deep around structure.
  • Thompson Chain Lakes – Still some good numbers of perch being caught in 15′-20’of water. Pike are biting on dead bait and spoons off the shorelines.
  • Murray Lake – Trout are still biting from shore using small spoons and PowerBait.
  • Smith Lake – Slushy ice conditions have made for poor fishing. No safe ice yet.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (October 31, 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

Fresno and Nelson Fishing Report by Brian Olson (November 9, 2023)

Fresno is 25% full, inflow 75 cfs and outflow 40 cfs. Nelson is 82% full with no inflow or outflow. I fished Nelson this week and caught multiple perch, northern, 1 bass, and 1 walleye. Water temp was 40 degrees. I got blown off shortly after noon. The northern and small perch were plentiful in the areas I had been fishing. I saw a couple boats fishing but they left before the wind picked up. Best depth was around 20’. I’m going to return when the weather improves. Good fishing.

It sure seemed like winter was upon us a few weeks ago, but things have mellowed out nicely. Now, we’ve got clear skies and days in the high 40s and 50s for the foreseeable future. An odd fall weather year to be sure, but we’ll take it! Any day on the river with sunshine and halfway warm temps is hard to turn down. 

While lots of people have hung up their waders for the season, there’s no reason to – yet. Here’s what’s happening in our local area waters. 


Fall fishing has been pretty darn good lately. The bright skies haven’t helped dry fly anglers, but you can still find a few BWOs here and there on the more cloudy days. The other factor that is very present and almost always constant is the wind. We are pretty officially in the windy season now and will be for the next long stretch of months. Don’t even ask, it’s basically always blowing. Plan accordingly and be ready for it. 

Since the dry fly fishing has been hit or miss with the conditions, going subsurface is your best bet. Nymphing with classic winter stuff – something larger like a rubber legs, Mega Prince, or small streamer with a BWO nymph, perdigon, or Rainbow Warrior. Water temps are definitely on the cold side, but they haven’t quite plummeted down to winter lows. You can still find fish in their fall hiding places, instead of mid-winter haunts

The best success we’ve heard lately is from people throwing streamers. Big ones, small ones, articulated ones, fished on the swing, quick strips, slow strips… It’s all working pretty well right now. With the bright conditions we’ve had lately, we would start with something small-ish and brightly colored. Yellow, white, gray, sparkle minnows and the like. If you’re into swinging flies (and if you’re not you should be), opt for something with a stinger hook and lots of natural movement. 

The Yellowstone River slows down drastically in the winter, but fortunately we aren’t quite there yet!


Both the Upper Madison River and Lower Madison River are pretty stellar now. Fall is when the Madison River truly shines, and although we are easing into later in the season there are plenty of fish to be caught. You can find BWOs on the cloudy days still, and midges are starting to show up in decent numbers on the upper river. 

Beware the wind, and we’re getting to that point in the year when it’s a good idea to check both your ramps for ice and clearance if you’re floating. You don’t find many other anglers out there, but you will find wind! 

The Lower Madison River is a great spot for a quick outing, especially if you’re based out of Bozeman. You can find some excellent dry fly fishing in the rock gardens up Bear Trap Canyon, look for BWOs still and some midges are starting to show up as well. The majority of days are pretty windy, which can impact dry fly fishing. The steamer bite has been decent and dragging a crayfish pattern with a midge nymph behind it through the buckets in the Warm Springs to Black’s Ford can be a great choice. 

Unlike the Yellowstone, as a tailwater the Madison is a great winter fishery and we can expect several more months of good fishing here. 


Late fall and winter on the Gallatin is an interesting time. Things can slow down pretty drastically, but the Gallatin remains a solid option. Below the canyon can get super sketchy with ice jams and obstructions with colder weather, but we certainly haven’t had much of that lately. 

The canyon is a solid late season fishery from Big Sky on down. The river stays reasonably clear, and the deeper pockets and runs can yield some really good fishing. You might find some BWOs here and there, but midges will start showing up in good numbers here soon. Nymphing with a jig-style fly and a midge nymph behind it should yield fish. Be careful on the road. 


The 2023 fishing season in Yellowstone Park is now closed! Thanks everyone who fished this year and enjoyed it. It’s never too early to start planning next year’s trips! 


The spring creeks of Paradise Valley – Depuy’s, Nelson’s and Armstrong’s – are the cream of the crop for winter fishing in our area. They flow consistently year round and offer some of the most technical and fun fishing of the season. We’re seeing some BWOs and good numbers of midges as well. There is a full season of great fishing and reduced rates ahead of us! 


The big news around our shop these days is the Pray For Snow Celebration, coming up next week on Thursday, Nov 16th and Friday, Nov 17th. We’re showing the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival on Thursday, with our classic party, raffle and silent auction on Friday at the Depot Center. This event is not one to miss! 

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Bighorn Angler (November 8, 2023)

Not much has changed the past week or so.  The clarity in the river still remains marginal.  The reports from a few guide trips have been good, but you gotta know where to fish!  The grass has cleared out some more, but we really need another cold front to help get the river back to its normal clarity.  Crowds are down.  A few people around on the weekends.

Squirmy worms and Orange Scuds are the choices to go underneath.  Various Sowbugs are still working well too.

The streamer crowd has had good consistent fishing and will only get better as the water clears!

Yellowtail Fishing Report via Montana Fishing Addicts 2.0 (November 6, 2023)

G.L.: Horseshoe Bend [put in]. No snow. They pulled the docks. Plenty of water to launch.

Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report (October 15, 2023)

Hebgen: The dry fly fishing on the lake is pretty much finished. Callibaetis/Chironomid nymphs should be fishing okay. When you aren’t seeing fish rise it may be worth stripping leeches, larger streamers, or large damselfly nymphs in either the Grayling/Madison arms of the lake, as migratory Browns and Rainbows are for sure moving into the tributaries.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, #6 Peanut Envy Brown, #6 Sculpinator, #12 O.S. Buzzer

Inflow to Hebgen Lake: 772 cfs
Hebgen Lake Outflow: 834 cfs
Kirby Flows: 875 cfs

** Flows as of 12pm October 15th, 2023 **

Upper Madison: Not much has changed since 10/8 🙂 The Madison is of course still nymphing very well. Smaller mayfly and caddis nymphs, as well as dip style midges are what we’re throwing lately. Dry flies are quickly wrapping up in the valley but streamers are heating up on the upper as the weather chills. We could still see some BWO’s on the rainier days however.Flies: #16-18 Redneck, #16-18 Shop Vac, #18 Black Crystal Dip, #18 Olive Micro Mayfly, #18 Hogan’s S&M Black, #16 Olive Hot Spot, #18 BWO Comparadun, #16 BWO CDC Comparadun, #6 Peanut Envy Brown/Olive, #4 Rio’s Make it Rainbow Brown/Yellow, #6 Black Hot Bead Leech, #4 Brown Sculpinator, #4 Olive/White Barely Legal


Streamers & Soft Hackles are the Kings of October in YNP

Madison near West Yellowstone: 385 cfs
Yellowstone below Yellowstone Lake : 785 cfs
Gibbon: 101 cfs
Gallatin near Big Sky: 355 cfs

** Flows as of 12pm October 15th, 2023 **

Gallatin: The Gallatin is low, clear, and cold enough that you don’t need to be there before 10/11am. Dry fly eats are going to be few and far in between this time of year. We recommend nymphing small mayfly and caddis nymphs. Don’t shy away from small streamers and leeches on cloudy/cold days.Flies: #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Black Krystal Dip, #16 Red Neck TBH, #18 Olive Zebra Midge, #18 Red Copper John, #18 $3 Dip, #8 Simi-Seal Leach Black, #6 Slump Buster Olive, #6 Hot Bead Thin Mint

Madison/Firehole/Gibbon: Same ol’ Song and Dance! Lake run fish have finally ascended into the Madison. We’re getting them pretty consistently on streamers on days with more inclement weather. Soft hackles have also been fishing well most days. The Gibbon is nymphing decent but hoppers are pretty much done here as well. Soft hackles should also be taking fish on the Firehole.

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, #6 Double Bunny Olive/White, #6 Olive Slump-Buster

Yellowstone/NE Corner: The Yellowstone is slowing down drastically as the season continues. The Lamar and its tributaries will also start slowing down as they are at a much higher elevation than here in West. Fish should still be eating nymphs streamers and soft hackles pretty reliably however.

Flies:  #16-18 Redneck, #16-18 Shop Vac, #18 Black Crystal Dip, #18 Olive Micro Mayfly, #18 Hogan’s S&M Black, #16 Olive Hot Spot, #6 Black Hot Bead Leech, #6 Olive Slump-Buster, #6 Olive/Black Crystal Bugger

We are now booking float, & walk/wade trips for the 2024 season. Give us a call if you have any questions or are looking to book a guided trip. 

Missouri River Fishing Report via River’s Edge (November 11, 2023)

3970 CFS @ Holter – Midges and eggs. Maybe a worm. Toss a scud in there perhaps.


– Sprout Midge Black #20
– Holo Flash Midge Purple #18
– Montana Intruder #6
– DB Payczech Rainbow #14
– Glo Bug Chartreuse #14

(Click here for image licensing information)
New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing