Montana fishing report: Fort Peck Reservoir is the place to be

2013-06-27T00:00:00Z Montana fishing report: Fort Peck Reservoir is the place to beBy JOHN LETASKY jletasky@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Fort Peck Reservoir is the place to be. From northern pike to walleyes to smallmouth bass, those in search of fish are finding them, and having a ball doing it.

The walleye bite has also been improving at Canyon Ferry Reservoir and remains steady at Hauser. Rainbow trout are still being caught trolling at Holter Reservoir, while Bighorn Lake has been providing an opportunity for walleye fishermen at night.

The Hell Creek Ladies Fishing Tournament for walleye is Saturday at Fort Peck.

Ackley Lake: Troll with leaded line and Dick Nite lures. Cowbells are also producing. Bait and fly fishermen are doing well from shore. — Don’s, Lewistown.

Bighorn Lake, Ok-A-Beh: A lot of smallmouth have been caught jigging with worms or minnows. At night, jig at shallow depths with worms or minnows near the canyon walls for walleyes. Worms are available at the marina, but not minnows. An 18-inch ling was caught. The water surface temp is 66 degrees. The Bighorn River Alliance Carp Festival is Friday at Bighorn Lake. — Ok-A-Beh Marina, Fort Smith.

Bighorn River: Very little hatch activity at the moment, but pale morning dun hatches should arrive soon. Flows are fairly constant in the 1,900-1,950 cfs range and water clarity is excellent to Mallard’s Landing. Subsurface activity has been very good with mostly sowbug or scud patterns. Poxyback patterns are the best. The best producing colors have been tan, Bighorn orange and dun in sizes 14-16 still trailed with a beadhead zebra midge (18-20) in black, cream, red or root beer — Bighorn Fly and Tackle Shop.

Boulder River: The river is starting to come down. Go as far upstream as possible. Try nymphing beadhead patterns ranging in sizes 12-16. Red or chartreuse copper John, prince nymphs, hare’s ear and stonefly patterns like girdle bugs and bitch creeks should all produce. Lightning bugs, blue Montana princes and Batman can also work. Dry fly fishing remains tough, however yellow stimulators, PMX, red or yellow tarantulas, as well as caddis are all on the menu. — East Rosebud Fly and Tackle.

Boysen Reservoir, Wyo.: Most guys used crawler harnesses with worms or leeches last weekend. Some used their favorite crankbaits, ranging from Rapalas to Reef Runners. Try fishing at 18-25 feet for walleye. The water temps range from 68-72 degrees. Some trout are being caught pulling cowbells. A few crappie have also been boated. — Boysen Lake Marina.

Buffalo Bill Reservoir, Wyo.: Fishing has been slow as the reservoir is muddy. — Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Cody.

Canyon Ferry Reservoir: A few trout anglers are catching fish near the dam, around Cemetery Island and mid-reservoir either trolling attractors tipped with worms or using worms or spoons from shore. The walleye bite has been good when conditions are right. Fish the south end of the reservoir by trolling worm harnesses or cranks and try jigging bay points (orange or perch colors), in 5-35 feet of water, from mid-reservoir to the dam. Perch are being caught while searching for walleye. — FWP, Helena.

Clarks Fork, Wyo.: The upper river is fishing well. Use a beadhead pheasant tail, prince nymph or hare’s ear. The lower river is high and muddy. — Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Cody.

Cooney Reservoir: Anglers are catching trout up to 15-inches from the shore using PowerBait and/or worms. A few walleyes have been caught from the bank, as well. A ling was caught from the shore using worms. — Cooney State Park.

Deadman’s Basin: From the boat, pull cowbells. From shore, cast a worm and marshmallow. — Cozy Corner Bar, Lavina.

Fort Peck Reservoir, Big Dry Arm: Pike fishing was excellent at the PikeMasters tournament with three teams totaling more than 100 pounds of northern pike with 10 fish. First place was 106.9 pounds. Second place was 104 pounds and third place was 102.5 pounds. The preferred method was trolling spoons or crankbaits. For walleyes, fishing is great using worm harnesses tipped with a worm. — Rock Creek Marina.

Fort Peck Reservoir, dam area: Fishing is hot for northerns and walleye from the dam to the Pines. Flat Lake, Roundhouse Point and the 2-mile marker are good areas. For walleyes and northerns, use jigs with minnows, leeches or crawlers or worm harnesses with leeches, minnows or crawlers. Lake trout are 60-80 feet deep. Use Evil Eye flutter spoons. — Lakeridge Motel and Tackle, Fort Peck.

Fort Peck Reservoir, Fourchette Bay: The water is a little stained. Anglers are bottom bouncing crawlers or leeches for walleyes. — Westside Sports, Malta.

Fort Peck Reservoir, Hell Creek: Quite a few anglers are limiting out on walleyes. Most are using jigs with minnows anywhere from Snow Creek to Crooked Creek fishing the main lake points in 8-16 feet of water. For northerns, pull crankbaits in 10-15 feet of water. Quite a few smallmouth are being picked up with the northerns. — Hell Creek Marina.

Gallatin River: It is fishable. Salmonflies and golden stone nymphs should start hatching any day. Chubby Chernobyl, Pat’s rubber leg and Dan’s Delektable stoneflies are good choices. — Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.

Hauser Reservoir: Rainbows are still being caught around Black Sandy and Devil’s Elbow while trolling cowbells with a worm. A few rainbows are being caught from shore at Black Sandy and Riverside while using PowerBait or worms. Walleye fishing is good in the Causeway and around Devil’s Elbow using bottom bouncers or jigs with a Mr. Twister tail. The Causeway Bridge has produced a few walleye from shore while using floating jig heads with a worm or leech. — FWP, Helena.

Holter Reservoir: Very good rainbow fishing can be found while trolling cowbells tipped with a worm around Split Rock, Cottonwood Creek and Log Gulch. Shore action for rainbows is slow. A few walleye are being caught while using bottom bouncers with a leech around Cottonwood Creek and the bays around the dam. Perch fishing is good with worms in 6-15 feet of water around the clay banks or any small bays. — FWP, Helena.

Lake DeSmet, Wyo.: Anglers are still catching trout from boats and the shore. — The Lake Stop, Buffalo.

Madison River: There is a golden stone hatch on the lower river. On the upper river, golden stones and salmonflies are hatching. Chubby Chernobyl, Pat’s rubber leg and Dan’s Delektable stoneflies would be good bets. — Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.

Martinsdale Reservoir: Fishermen did OK for nice trout, but a lot of planters are biting, too. — Cozy Corner Bar, Lavina.

Missouri River, below Holter: It is low and clear, but it is getting fairly weedy. Dry fly fishing is best. Caddis and PMDs will work, along with purple para Wulff. For wet flies, MFGs and Quasimodo will also take trout. — Montana Fly Goods, Helena.

Missouri River, Fred Robinson Bridge: Catfish action has been good. — Don’s, Lewistown.

Nelson Reservoir: Fishing has slowed. Bottom bounce with crawlers or leeches for walleyes in 8-13 feet of water and run crankbaits in shallower water for northern pike. — Westside Sports, Malta.

North Fork of the Shoshone, Wyo.: On the upper North Fork above Newton Creek the water is starting to clear. Action is on beadhead nymphs or woolly buggers. Spin fishermen are doing well with Thomas lures or Kastmaster spoons in gold or silver. A Little Cleo would also work. On July 1 the lower half of the river will open. — Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Cody.

Rock Creek: It is still fast and potentially off-color through irrigation areas. The nymph fishing can be as simple as a two-fly setup consisting of copper John, pheasant tails, hare’s ear, prince nymphs, North Fork Specials or one’s favorite subsurface fly. For dry flies try smaller yellow stimulators, royal Wulff, trudes, purple haze, or elk-hair caddis patterns. — East Rosebud Fly and Tackle.

Spring Creek: It is blown out. — Don’s, Lewistown.

Stillwater River: The river has dropped and gained in clarity. Nymph fish the edges. Girdle bugs, bitch creeks, stoneflies and prince nymphs would work. — Stillwater Anglers, Columbus.

Tongue River Reservoir: On Saturday, fishermen did excellent jigging with live bait for walleyes. A couple of nice northern pike were caught. Crappie fishing has slowed down a bit, with morning or evening being the best time to fish. There are some bass being caught jigging or throwing crankbaits. — Tongue River Marina.

Yellowstone River, Columbus: It is recovering from the plug of mud that flowed through last week. It has clarity on the edges and the volume has dropped considerably. Try nymphing the edges with girdle bugs, bitch creeks, stoneflies, yuk bugs and prince nymphs. Drift a small woolly bugger or streamer. — Stillwater Anglers, Columbus.

Yellowstone River, Huntley: The river is starting to clear. The catfish bite is good from Huntley east. Use cut bait, minnows, crawlers or shrimp. At Anita Reservoir, some crappie and largemouth bass have been caught. At Broadview Pond, anglers are taking nice trout. — Minnow Bucket, Huntley.

Yellowstone River, Livingston: The flow has dropped below 7,000 cfs and is steadily coming down. Water clarity has improved with 3-plus feet of visibility. There is a little bit of salmonfly action in the Livingston area. On overcast days, streamer fishing is an option. — Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.

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