Winter continues to linger in much of the area, which is keeping some fishermen off the water.
However, some have been out on the nicer days or braved the conditions. With the increased river flows, fishermen are having luck on the Bighorn River using San Juan Worms. Reservoir fishermen continue to have success at places such as Martinsdale and Buffalo Bill in Wyoming, barring the wind.
Here’s The Gazette’s weekly fishing report:
Ackley Lake: Over the weekend, it was clear but there has been precipitation since. Try slip bobbers and worms in 23-25 feet of water. — Don’s, Lewistown.
Bighorn Lake: There haven’t been many fishermen there. — Pryor Creek Bait Co., Laurel.
Bighorn River: The cfs was at 6,250 on Monday. Fishing is incredibly good, but with increased flows we are changing from midge larva, etc., to San Juan Worms in a wire worm or ultra chenille pattern (6-12). Colors working are red or orange. Run fairly significant scuds, like a dark orange Bighorn (14-16), as well as soft-hackle sowbugs (14-16), or firebead soft-hackles (14-16). If wading, be careful because there are some undercut banks. — Bighorn Fly and Tackle.
Boulder River: It was at 227 cfs on Monday and fishing well. Use bitch creeks and beadhead lightning bugs, March brown nymphs, shop vacs, and prince nymphs. Dries include baetis and March browns. — Rainbow Run Fly Shop.
Buffalo Bill Reservoir, Wyo.: It is fishing well. Anglers are jigging with deer hair jigs in white or black with sucker meat for lake trout. Fish the bottom, in 50 feet of water. Rainbows are being caught trolling with spoons or Rapalas. Sucker fillets are available at the store to use as bait. — Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Cody.
Canyon Ferry: Rainbow trout anglers are doing well from shore on the north end of Canyon Ferry. The outhouse, Shannon, Chinamen’s and Kim’s Marina are fishing best. Anglers are having success using worms and wet fly patterns (beadhead nymphs, woolly buggers and San Juan worms). Boat angling for trout has been slow. Walleye fishing has been slow. Look for walleye fishing to pick up over the next month. No report for yellow perch or ling. — FWP, Helena
Cooney Reservoir: It is free of ice. Trout fishermen are doing OK from shore. No news on walleyes. — Pryor Creek Bait Co., Laurel.
Deadman’s Basin: It sounded like shore fishermen did pretty well on trout fishing early in the morning before the wind started. Use worms, marshmallows or Power Bait. — Cozy Corner Bar, Lavina.
Fort Peck Reservoir, Big Dry Arm: There is a little more ice off, but there is still ice on a majority of the Dry Arm. — Rock Creek Marina.
Fort Peck Reservoir, dam area: It is still covered by ice. It is breaking around the bays, points and edges. One can get a boat in at Duck Creek, but can’t go very far. By the weekend we should have enough open water to fish. — Lakeridge, Fort Peck.
Fort Peck Reservoir, Hell Creek: As of Monday, from Hell Creek west, most of the reservoir is fishable by boat. Northern fishing in the bays is good. The walleye bite is tough. Jordan’s Jerry Johnson and Billings’ Jerry Evenson won the Tough Guy walleye tournament. A total of 9 pounds won the one-day tourney Saturday. During the event, only Hell Creek Bay was accessible because of ice. — Hell Creek Marina.
Gallatin River: It is fishing well. The river is in good shape and the clarity is perfect with a tinge of green, which is good for this time of year. A few BWOs and drakes are out. We are seeing more mayflies. For nymphs, use stonefly patterns with smaller beadheads. — Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.
Hauser Reservoir: Rainbow action is good around York Bridge. Shore anglers are using worms or spawn sacks while boat anglers are trolling orange or lime crankbaits. Shore fishing is good for rainbows below Canyon Ferry Dam and at the Causeway. A few walleye are being caught in Lake Helena, however most action is slow. — FWP, Helena
Holter Reservoir: Rainbow action is very good throughout the reservoir from both shore and boat. The rainbows are congregating at the ramps and being caught on woolly buggers or egg pattern flies. Boat anglers are trolling crankbaits near the surface. Perch and walleye fishing is slow. — FWP, Helena
Lake DeSmet, Wyo.: Several boat fishermen were out over the weekend. They are using worms. — The Lake Stop, Buffalo.
Martinsdale Reservoir: Shore fishermen are catching nice trout with crawlers. — Pryor Creek Bait Co., Laurel.
Madison River: It has fished well. The upper river is in good shape. Use nymphs, like a stonefly trailing a mayfly and caddis nymph off the back. Worm patterns will also work. — Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.
Nelson Reservoir: It still has ice. The ice is starting to rot and break up around the edges. — Westside Sports, Malta.
Rock Creek: Cool temperatures have kept it fishing well. Nymphing continues to be strong with Copper John’s, Montana princes in blue, and of course the hare’s ear. Dry fly fishing just keeps getting better. Fish a dry/dropper setup, with a March brown up top, otherwise fish a two-dry setup consisting of a blue-wing olive and a midge cluster like a Griffith’s Gnat. — East Rosebud Fly and Tackle.
Stillwater River: It was at 370 cfs on Monday and fishing well. Nymphs include beadhead princes, red Copper John, March browns and small San Juan worms. For dry flies, use midges and baetis on overcast days and March browns in the afternoon. — Rainbow Run Fly Shop.
Spring Creek: It is muddy. — Don’s, Lewistown.
Tongue River Reservoir: Over the weekend, there was a bass tourney and fishing was a little slow for bass. The water temperature is around 44-46 and probably a little too cold. Some nice northerns have been caught on crankbaits. A few crappies were caught Saturday. — Tongue River Marina.
Yellowstone River, Huntley: Catfish action has been really good on minnows or shrimp. — Minnow Bucket, Huntley.
Yellowstone River, Livingston: It is fishing well. Streamer fishing is decent. A few BWOs and drakes are out. Nymphing is decent. The biggest issue has been the weather. — Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.