Statewide MT Fishing Report Compilation 5.15.24
By angelamontana

Posted: May 15, 2024

Before diving into the fishing report, check out this article that explains the difference between anglers and fishermen.

Please check the fishing regulations before fishing.


Jefferson River Fishing info by Fins and Feathers (May 15, 2024)

The Jefferson River in Montana is a beautiful, Cottonwood-lined stream that is often overlooked due to lower fish populations. Only a half hour from Bozeman, MT, and home to some of the larger trout in the area, this river has certain windows through the year where the angling can be good, typically spring and fall. The Jefferson River is a good option during the spring as long as it isn’t too dirty.

The river is coming up in flows and a bit off color.

It is pretty typical to only hook into a handful of trout on the Jefferson and anglers can normally expect it to be pretty tough as the river is deep and the fish can be spread out. The fish here hold deep and become lethargic, not moving far for their food. When the weather warms, you can find some decent fishing, it is normally due to being in the right place at the right time. The Lewis & Clark Canyon near Cardwell, MT, provides some of the better fishing with the Boulder and South Boulder rivers entering on this stretch. If you are in the area, it is worth fly fishing with nymphs or streamers. Effective patterns include San Juan worms, Zebra Midge Larvae, and Zirdles, fished under an indicator.

The river is open of ice and slush at the moment but is a bit off-color from all of the low-elevation snow melting. Look at some of our other Montana Fishing Reports to see how other areas are producing.

Hell Creek General Recreation Information (May 15, 2024)

Click here:  CLICK HERE for Hell Creek webcam.

Gallatin River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (May 15, 2024)

Fly fishing Montana’s Gallatin River is one of the best options throughout the spring season. Being the closest blue-ribbon stream to Bozeman, MT, the Gallatin River offers many Montana anglers year-long fishing opportunities.

The river has come up a lot with some runoff water and is very off-color at the moment.

Fly fishing has been best from Cameron Bridge FAS to Big Sky, MT, and the Canyon stretch provides good protection from windy conditions. Wild Montana fish are most actively feeding mid-day, when the Sun is at its highest points so no need to get up too early. It is a good idea to contact a local Bozeman fly shop for the most current info regarding stream conditions.

Using nymph imitations throughout the Gallatin Canyon towards Big Sky, MT is the most effective method of angling. Anglers are finding success using Montana staples like the Prince Nymph, Pat’s Rubberleg, or Copper Johns. Drive south out of Gallatin Gateway, MT, and look for turnouts that provide easy access to water that is deep and moves slowly, these areas are stacked with wild Rainbow and Brown Trout right now. Be extra careful when wading around these large boulders especially when there is snow. Our Bozeman, MT fly fishing guides have found that purple worm patterns and black stoneflies have been greatly effective.

Fly fishing with streamers has been decent, especially on low-light days. Small olive or black patterns like a McCune’s Sculpin or a Crystal Bugger are getting attention.

Fly fishing Yellowstone Park is closed for the season so make sure you are outside of park boundaries if you head this way. It is always a good idea to stop by fly shops in Bozeman, MT for some info and flies before heading out on the water.

You can get an idea of the water conditions in the Big Sky area by viewing this webcam, hosted by our friends at Montana Whitewater.

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Bozeman Fly Supply (May 14, 2024)

Early spring is go time on the Yellowstone but as we warm and get moisture the water has and will continue to pick up color. Streamer fishing can move some really big fish this time of the year so don’t be afraid to go big with a Sluggo, Dragon, Dungeon or a Hum Dinger. Nymph rigs are a consistent way to boat some fish as well, worms, zirdles, hares ears, and flashy euro nymphs are our spring favorites on the Yellowstone. On warmer overcast days watch for bugs and rising fish, this time of the year it will be Baetis and Midges, small parachute patterns and Buzz Balls in the 16-20 range are our go to.

Suggested Fly Patterns

  • Dry Fly

    Parachute Adams (16-20), Purple Haze (16-18), Griffiths Gnat (16-20), Buzz Ball (16-14)

  • 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)

Georgetown Lake Fishing Report by Blackfoot River Outfitters (May 15, 2024)

The lake is closed from April 1st until the 3rd Saturday of May.

Southwest Montana Fishing Overview by Montana Angler (May 14, 2024)

The Mother’s Day caddis hatches are over, we’ve had our first run of daytime highs in the mid-70s, and the Yellowstone River is most likely in snowmelt runoff mode for at least a few more weeks. We are officially in late spring and early summer mode here in southwest Montana. That means our tailwater fisheries like the Upper Madison and Missouri Rivers and the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks are the go-to options for anglers for the next few weeks.


For the next several weeks hatches of caddis are the main focus for anglers on the area rivers. Water temps often hit the 50 degree mark on most rivers which means Blue Winged Olives will wane but caddis will increase. The tailwater fisheries on the Missouri and Madison Rivers and the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks will see hatches of caddis and perhaps some very early Pale Morning Duns if water temps climb into the mid 50s.

Fly Selection

Pat’s Rubber Leg’s in sizes 8-16

Zirdles in sizes 8-16

Any beadhead rubber legged stonefly pattern in size 8-16

Beadhead PTs in sizes 14-18

Beadhead Hare’s Ear in size 14-18

Beadhead Rainbow Warrior in size 14-18

Any favorite scud, sowbug, or firebead in size 14-20

Caddis dry flies in sizes 12 to 16

For dry flies a selection of caddis patterns will be crucial. Crime scene caddis and Blooms Hi-Vis are great choices right now.

Streamers, whether stripped or dragged through deeper holes, can produce fish. Go with your favorite choice. Or, if you haven’t yet fished a Circus Peanut, Sparkle Minnow, or Sculpzilla, those are all good choices for this time of year.

Reading Water

During snowmelt runoff reading water is different than any other season in Montana because each river has their own habits. For example, trout on the Upper Madison often migrate closer to bankside structure while Missouri River trout often feed in large current seams that can be originating from bankside structure or midriver structure. On the Gallatin and Yellowstone Rivers, because these are feed by mountain snowpack and often will be too high and muddy to effectively fish.

Cooney State Park Information via FWP (May 14, 2024)

Missouri River Fly Fishing Report by Yellowdog Fly Fishing (May 15, 2024)

Flow Data: Missouri River below Holter Dam near Wolf Creek, MT

Flows are up to a more usual spring flow than they were a week ago. Fishing should remain really good even with the slight bump. Midges and BWO’s are hatching in huge numbers daily and fish have been willing to eat them on the surface. Fish seem to be focused on midges early in the day but switch to BWO’s in the late afternoon when the baetis hatch really takes off. A Peacock Cluster or Griffith’s Gnat will get the job done early when fish are targeting midges. Later in the day A BWO Last chance cripple is tough to beat when fish that are keyed in on BWO’s. March Browns and Caddis coming soon. Maybe Mother’s day with the high in Craig expected to be 81 degrees. Nymphing has been off the chain. Scuds, sowbugs, and BWO nymphs are the aquatic bug imitations to use right now. Tailwater Sowbugs, Pill Poppers, Olive Micro May’s, and Olive Two Bit Hooker are a few of our favorite Missouri Nymphs. However, fish have been very willing to eat about anything dead drifted under an indicator. A worm in wine or red will also trick MO fish this time of the year. Swinging can be a good option all winter long with small buggers or streamers. The streamer fishing has been picking up as well. Kreelex, Sparkle Minnows and Skiddish Smolts produce well in the Spring. Keep an eye out for, and try to avoid spawning trout and their redds.

Hell Creek Marina Fishing Report (May 14, 2024)

May 14 fishing report:
Walleye bite is picking up, still best west of Timber Creek. They’re starting to catch some walleye closer to the marina.
Northern bite is good up in the bays from Hell Creek going west.
Laker bite is still good, but the water is starting to warm up, so they will start going deeper soon.

Chancy and Dave’s Fish Camp Fishing Report (May 14, 2024)

🎣🎣 Chancy and Dave’s Fishing Report 🎣🎣
🔹 Lake Mary Ronan- Perch starting to bite, try 12-15’ of water, near the weeds. Salmon starting to hit near Camp Tuffit and back south shore 30’ of water.
🔹 Bitterroot Lake- Salmon starting to bite on the south end and mid lake. Jigging Hali jigs or JT tackle tail draggers in 50’ of water. Try trolling for trout in the late afternoon.
🔹 Ashley Lake- Perch and salmon starting to bite. Look in the the weeds for perch, for salmon troll or jig in 40-60’ of water. Troll early morning for trout.
🔹 Dickey Lake- Some salmon action, few small mouth bass.
🔹 Thompson Chain of Lakes (middle, lower, upper)- good pike action in all three lakes, also nice bass and a few good perch along weed edge. Try middle west end for salmon. ⭐️ Don’t forget the pike derby on Thompson’s this Saturday, May 18th.
🔹 Flathead Lake- lake trout action, good Lakeside to Westshore shallow, trolling perch scattterraps. Also try T50 flatfish on bottom 40-80’ of water. Try Somers Bay for a few nice pike and bass.
🔹 Koocanusa- Rainbow action heating up. Rexford end starting to get muddy. Yeah I like it.

Flathead Valley Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter (May 10, 2024)

Brought to you by Snappy’s
A Store Like No Other, Since 1947.

    • Flathead Lake – Lakers are still biting off the delta. Both jigging and trolling are good right now.
    • Echo Lake – Bass are moving up shallow. Using soft plastics and shallow cranks have been good options.
    • Lake Koocanusa – Kokanee fishing has been picking up around Rexford. A few rainbows and bulls mixed in as well.
    • Church Slough – Bass are moving around structure and starting to fan beds. Try using Senko’s and craws to encourage a bite.
    • McGregor Lake – Laker fishing is still good. Try jigging off ledges in 70′-80′ of water.
    • Flathead River – River is still flowing around 12000 cf/s. Expect more run-off with higher temps melting off snowpack here soon. They are calling for higher than normal levels in Flathead Lake by Memorial Day, so that water will be running down the river.
    • Swan Lake – Good pike fishing on the south end. Use weedless spoons or dead bait for good action. The lakers are biting small pearl tubes in 60′-80′ of water.
    • Murray Lake – The trout are still biting around the shorelines. The best options have been using spoons or marshmallows.
    • Smith Lake – Lots of smaller pike biting. Using spoons or spinner baits in white or red have been the best choices. You can also try dead bait off the bottom to get some hits.

Bozeman Fishing Reports by Fins and Feathers (May 15, 2024)

This warmer weather is causing rivers around the area to increase and flows and decrease in visibility. The effects of runoff are becoming apparent and areas like the Madison and Missouri rivers are going to be fishable areas while others become high and dirty.

The Madison River fishing has been solid near Three Dollar Bridge and Raynolds Bridge FAS, about 40 minutes south of Ennis, MT. Using nymphs like Pat’s Rubberlegs, San Juan Worms, Spanish Bullets, and Zebra Midges have been hot sub-surface. The dry fly fishing is getting better each day with the emergence of the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch.

Missouri River fishing has been really good near Holter Dam, near Craig, MT. This area provides a healthy population of Rainbow and Brown trout that feed on sowbugs, scuds, midges, and small mayflies. Our Bozeman fly fishing guides say that pink and red are the best colors.

The Gallatin River fly fishing has been good through the Canyon, north of Big Sky, MT. This national forest area provides a lot of access to deep holes and slow-moving runs where trout will hold. Stoneflies, worms, and Midges are the golden ticket when fishing the Gallatin River. The river has a nice color to it through the canyon with a few feet of visibility, this is a good option when trying to avoid the wind.

Yellowstone River fishing is getting better every day as temperatures warm. The flows have dropped and the river is in a good condition to fish before our runoff prevails. Find a day with low wind and head over to the Yellowstone River near Livingston, MT. Fishing with nymphs that imitate Stoneflies, Midge Larvae, and Caddis are effective. This is a good time to fish with streamers as well, smaller sculpin imitations can catch some larger trout.

Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting (May 3, 2024)

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

Caddis, Baetis and midges are all hatching here, and a small beadhead dropped under your dry can help up the odds when fish are rising sporadically. Be sure to walk softly, as these fish spook easily! These creeks are a great bet for surface action while many of the larger rivers are in runoff!


-401k Baetis #18
-Sprout Midge Black #20
-All-Season Caddis Olive #16
-Jig Spanish Bullet Quill #18
-Holo Flash Midge Black #18

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Yellow Dog Fly Fishing (May 15, 2024)

Flow Data: Bighorn River near St. Xaiver, MT

The Bighorn is fishing well. Nymphing is the best and most consistent option with the current flows. There have been a few BWO’s and midges hatching and the occasional fish slurping them down on the surface. Fish have been a bit picky so a good first drift is imperative. Flies to use to trick these risers include but are not limited to the Quill Gordon BWO and BWO CDC Biot Comparadun. In the event that you find fish rising to midges a Peacock Cluster or Griffith’s Gnat will fool a consistently rising fish with a good cast and presentation. Flows have been dropping, and the weather gets warmer this weekend and as these changes occur the dry fly action should just get better. Scuds, sowbugs, worms, and midges are Bighorn spring fare to imitate. Ray Charles, Pill Poppers, Tailwater sowbugs are great choices followed by a Manhattan midge or Zebra Midge. BWO nymphs have been working when the aforementioned flies have not been getting it done. You can nearly always count on a Wire Worm or a Squirmy Worm to trick a few trout. Small streamers swung or fished deep and slow can pick up fish as well. Streamer fishing has been relatively slow overall.

Upper Madison River Fishing Report by River’s Edge (May 13, 2024)

1210 CFS @ Kirby. The West Fork is pouring a bit of mud into the Upper right now, so the best clarity will be in the Raynold’s and $3 Bridge area for the next few days, until dirty water makes its way through Quake Lake. Nymphs are probably the best option here, though there could be a few BWOs and Caddis around here and there.


-Matchstick Quill Jig Olive #16-18
-Zebra Midge Black #16-18
-Rubberlegs Coffee #8-10
-San Juan Worm Red #10
-Zonker Copper #6

Cooney Fishing Report (May 14, 2024)

The trout are biting. We landed 9 in 4 hours. They were good sized and fought hard.

Tongue River Reservoir State Park Update (May 1, 2024)

Park Updates 5-1-24:
The electric is now on at the campsites- all sites at Campers Point (CP1-40) and Pee Wee South (PWS1-41). The water samples need to be tested yet for spring start up, but should be available next week. The fish cleaning station will be available once the air temperatures stay above freezing at night. Same with the water at campers point and the dump station.
Lake temperature is 54 degrees at the CP dock. Water level is 3425.51′ or 87.1% capacity. Yes, you can get your boat into the frog pond area and your CP site.
Fishing is hit and miss. Seeing some walleye and bass.
All camping is first come, first serve until May 17th, cash or check self pay. Don’t forget the dump station is $5.00 to dump.
Remember to slow down (10 mph), dogs on leash, don’t drive on the grass, double sites cost double even if you only have 1 camper.
Marina is open Thursday through Sunday.
See you soon!

Headhunters Fly Shop Missouri River Fishing Forecast (May 13, 2024)

Meditate. Monday. Updates.

Water levels on the river primary stable. A bit of upward movement from the deluge this past mid week. Tributaries have been slowly growing and the river proper is somewhat off color in sections.

Little Prickly Pear is tossing a bit of color. Not too much. Currently at press time LPP gauge reading 175 cfs right at historic seasonal averages.

The Dearborn is blowing some mud at 498cfs. She too, at normal seasonal gauge height. The Dearborn at this level is 23.5% of the size of the Mo. Add it to the mix and the DB can taint the color of the river downstream. And it is. We had predicted that it would not get this level. But, alas, we guessed incorrectly. Visibility in the lower is about 2 feet.

Even a bit of color out of Sheep Creek. Generally runs clear.

Lots of boats out there in all reaches. Those with local river tenure and confidence are fishing below the Dearborn confluence.

Bugs all over the river. MB’s and caddis on the lower reaches as well as BWO’s and midge. Fish like overcast skies or evening light.No eyelids. Can’t squint. Bugs don’t care. Water temps are the driver for our aquatic friends. PMD’s will be seen in the next couple weeks. Probably. Historically the first PMD sightings happen around June 4, 5, 6. This year? We think earlier. Projecting here, Based on long term 30+ year data. Although the March Brown and Mo Day Caddis are right on schedule. So, probably just fantastical dream based annual guessing.

Short and long rigs for the nymphers. Still a sow bug game on the upper. Worms included now as the turbidity is such that those larger profile worms get attention. Larger Pheasant Tails and the many and varied European cousins like the Perdition, Quilldigon, Bullets, etcetera. Zebra Midge, Little Green Machine, Two Bit Hooker, Anatp May, Micro May , Radiation Baetis, Chartreuse Little Green Machine, Little Black Mo, Frenchie, any of the BWO fishy nymph fly patterns.

Streamer strippers chucking the false stuff. Bright flies, bright days. Mostly using intermediate tips in the  water levels of the day. Need a new streamer line? If you had to think about it, then probably yes. Headhunters with the line selection on the streamer side that you need. Come in and see if our several options can level up your streamer game. At Headhunters we have a fly line guarantee. If you don’t like the fly line bring it back. Why should you use a fly line that does not suit your needs. Bring it back and we will swap it out for your correct match. No harm, no foul. Buy with confidence at Headhunters Fly Shop in downtown Craig Montana.

Swingers liking the Scandi style. Enjoying the varied flies you can present at this time. Lots of bug critters subsurface to choose from. Wets and soft hackles are super fun to swing. Come in and shop the wide selection of swing flies that grace our bins in Craig. Demo rods too! Try a new line. Just ask!

Dry fly fanatics enjoying the evening session. Be out there nearly alone. The winds knocks down, the light fades, and the fish can respond. Will they? Usually. Cripples, emerges, and some duns. The caddis are out too. Flies that spend the in the film are always good. X Caddis, All Stages Caddis, HF Caddis, Hogan’s Wing Man, Outrigger Caddis. and the like. D & D Cripples, Poly Wing Cripples, Hi Vis BWO Spinner, Splitsville Spinner, Brindle Chute, Parachute Adams, Purple Haze, Hare’s Ear Parachute, March Brown Cripple.

Flows currently 4420 cfs.  Water Temps at 50F.

Headhunters is your lodging super store. with well over 30 nightly lodging options. Call us today and book your late summer or fall lodging reservations. Large or small groups can find the right mix to enjoy your river stay.

Guide Trips, lodging, shuttle services, ice, lunch drop off location, rental boats, ANS boat wash station, Best Flies under the Big Sky.

Open daily 7am. Late to 7pm.

Gallatin River Fishing Report by Montana Angler (May 14, 2024)

Current Conditions:

The Gallatin River near Big Sky and Bozeman is high and muddy and not the best option for fishing. There is a small section of cleaner water upstream of the Taylor’s Fork but it is also high and requires extra caution when wading.

Check our Lower Madison or Upper Madison or Missouri River report for some other options in the Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park area during snowmelt runoff.

The Month Ahead:

Snowmelt runoff has started on the Gallatin River…but things can, and often do, change on this freestone. With a cold, dry weather pattern there could certainly be some windows of fishability in the coming month, but it is best to check our report or inquire locally.

Bighorn River Fishing Report via Fins and Feathers (May 15, 2024)


The Big Horn River near Fort Smith, MT, is some of the best fly fishing in the state. The tailwater provides an extremely healthy trout population that offers Montana anglers opportunities throughout the year and is a prime option during spring, as temperatures here are typically much milder versus the Bozeman area.

The Bighorn is fishing good and is one of the best options as other areas of Southwest Montana is experiencing the effects of runoff. The flows just dropped to around 4,500 CFS and nymphing has been the ticket with your typical springtime flies like an HB Ray Charles #16, tan Carpet Bugs, and pink Jellybeans fished about 5 ft under an indicator. There are plenty of BWOs out right now so fishing Baetis nymphs has been good as well as dry fly imitations..

Fly fishing with streamers has been hit or miss, mainly depending on the conditions. Some anglers are finding success with white or two-tone flies like a Barley Legal. Our Bozeman fly fishing guides have found that using a sinking tip line and making medium-length strips has been best.

Make sure you stop by some of the fly shops in Fort Smith, MT like the Bighorn Angler and the Bighorn Trout Shop to get the latest information and conditions regarding the river.

Spring Creeks Fishing Report via Yellow Dog Fly Fishing (May 15, 2024)

The Spring creeks have been fishing well. If the wind is low, expect to see fish rising to midges and BWO’s. A few March browns here and there along with some Caddis. The caddis action could really take off soon with the warm weather in the forecast. Conditions this week could provide some good dry fly action. If you find risers they will likely take a Peacock Cluster, Miracle Midge, or Griffith’s Gnat with a good drift and presentation. If these patterns are not working a Slick Midge or Smoke Jumper will be the answer. There are a few BWO’s on the water in the afternoons and a few fish rising to them. A 401k Baetis or Stealth Link have successfully tricked these picky Spring Creek trout. Small scuds, sowbugs, and midges work well under a dry fly or under an indicator this time of the year. Any midge nymph with a white or flashy wing such as the Manhattan Midge seems to get a but more attention than other patterns. BWO nymphs and emergers will be in play once again. Nymphing will be pretty consistent in the event that the trout do not want to cooperate and eat bugs from the surface.

Fort Peck Walleye Spawn Update by FWP-Region 6 (April 30, 2024)

-by biologist Heath Headley

The weather conditions have continued to cooperate in the Big Dry Arm of Fort Peck Reservoir. Water surface temperatures have increased to 50-53F throughout our trap netting locations. These favorable water temperatures have allowed us to capture good numbers of walleye since the last update.
Nearly all female walleye captured over the last several days have been ripe. Very few greens have been collected. In addition, numbers of spent (released eggs) female walleye have increased indicating walleye spawning activity will be winding down.

We’ve managed to hold an egg-take each day (4/24 to 4/26) since the last update, thanks to good numbers of ripe female walleye captured in the trap nets. These egg-takes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday averaged close to 10 million eggs each day which quickly brought the total to approximately 83 million eggs for the season. This should provide enough eggs at the Fort Peck and Miles City fish hatcheries to meet fry and fingerling stocking requirements for 2024.

On behalf of the fisheries and hatchery staff at Fort Peck, I’d like to thank all the volunteers who assisted with this year’s efforts. Be safe on the water and best of luck fishing this year!

Yellowstone River Fishing Report by Yellow Dog Fly Fishing (May 15, 2024)

*Flow Data: Yellowstone River near Livingston, MT

The Yellowstone has officially entered runoff mode. The river gained 2,500 cfs today and will be very tough to fish until flows begin to drop and the river clears. The area Tailwaters will be the best bet for a while. When it starts to shape up a big stonefly nymph and a worm will be the ticket. Streamer fishing will also be a good method to get fish when the river starts receding.

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