Finally, there is good news regarding water flows for fly fishermen this week.
On the Bighorn River flows have dropped to 3,000 cubic feet per second and anglers are now able to start wade fishing. Also, the Gallatin is clearing and falling. Another option would be Spring Creek, which continues to fish well. Fishermen on the Madison River are also having luck.
At Nelson Reservoir, anglers have been reeling in walleye, northerns and smallmouth.
The Canyon Ferry Walleye Festival is Saturday and Sunday. For information, call Dennis Hovden at 406-266-5582 or 406-431-6798. The Hell Creek Ladies Fishing Tournament at Fort Peck is Saturday. For information call Annette Thomas at 406-557-2718 or 406-853-0398.
Ackley Lake: Fishing is fair from boat and shore. — Don’s, Lewistown.
Bighorn Lake, Ok-A-Beh: There was a bass tournament this past weekend and anglers did well on smallmouth. Try flies, in particularly a cicada. A jig head with a worm worked. Walleye are hitting minnows, leeches, crawlers or cut bait around Mile Marker 2. Catfish are in the cracks of the canyon walls. Throw live bait or cut bait. There were a lot of personal watercraft users out, so fishing was tough. — Ok-A-Beh Marina.
Bighorn Lake, Wyo.: A few cats are still being caught, but fishing has slowed down a bit. Smallmouth bass action has been fairly good. Look for fish close to the dam and upstream a bit on the Montana side. Plastic baits, such as tubes and crayfish imitations, will work. Also, drop shot a small 3- to 4-inch rubber worm. Live bait has also been working well, but with the plastics you can cover more water and fish quicker to find the active fish. — Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Cody.
Bighorn River: Last week flows were dropped to 3,000 cfs, so wading is now an option. Water clarity is good downstream to Mallards Landing but fluctuates depending on afternoon thunderstorms. With the decreased flows there is a much greater opportunity for dry-fly fishing, mostly during the evening hours. We are seeing consistent baetis and midge hatches. Fishing remains good. Fly patterns again remain much the same as last week. Wonder nymphs and black baetis (sizes 18-20) trailed behind pink or tan firebead sowbugs (14-16) have been the biggest producers. Also try smokejumpers in red, olive and black (18-20) trailed behind an Adams parachute (14-18). As usual, also have some black, cream or red midge pupae (18-20) on hand. — Bighorn Fly and Tackle Shop, Fort Smith.
Boulder River: Warmer temperatures late last week spiked the river volume. Clear and potentially less water can be found in the upper reaches. Fish primarily nymphs or streamers. Everything from basic beadhead nymphs to larger stonefly nymphs could work, even in heavy water. Try fishing red or chartreuse copper John, blue or olive Montana princes, traditional prince nymphs, hare’s ears and pheasant tails. Larger nymphs like rubber-legs, bitch creeks, girdle bugs or San Juan worms can all get an eat. Dead drifting or swinging basic woolly buggers can also be effective. Dry-fly fishing is tough but still possible in that hard to find, perfect dry-fly water. Fish Wulffs, trudes, smaller yellow stimulators, purple hazes, parachute Adams or X-Caddis in tan. — East Rosebud Fly and Tackle.
Buffalo Bill Reservoir, Wyo.: Fishing conditions continue to be poor. Last week’s heavy rain and snow in the higher elevations didn’t help. It may be a little while till fishing conditions improve. — Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, Cody.
Canyon Ferry Reservoir: Anglers are catching rainbow trout throughout the reservoir. Shoreline anglers are catching fish, primarily using worms, spawn or spoons at the east shore and south end access points. Boat anglers are catching some rainbows trolling cowbells tipped with worms in 5 to 30 feet of water. Walleye action has been excellent midreservoir and good throughout the south end. Trolling in 15 to 35 feet of water using crankbaits (orange, green or firetiger) and worm harnesses (orange, green and pink) has been producing the most fish. A number of yellow perch continue to be caught while chasing walleye. — FWP, Helena.
Clarks Fork, Wyo.: It blew out again. — North Fork Anglers, Cody.
Cooney Reservoir: Some smaller walleye are being boated at night. A few perch were caught while boat fishing. Fishing during the day is slow. Trout fishing is slow. — Cooney State Park.
Deadman’s Basin: A couple guys did really well drifting worms and corn from the boat. Some anglers did OK with worms and marshmallows from shore. — Cozy Corner Bar, Lavina.
Fort Peck Reservoir, Big Dry Arm: Fishing was tough over the weekend at the PikeMasters tourney because of the wind. The biggest northern caught was 43.25 inches and weighed 23.1 pounds. Eddie Mindt of Lambert caught the big northern. The biggest walleye was 29.25 inches and weighed 9.94 pounds and was also hooked by Mindt. The biggest smallmouth bass was 18.75 inches. Crankbaits were the top presentation. The water temp is 62 degrees. When the weather stabilizes fishing will improve. — Rock Creek Marina.
Fort Peck Reservoir, Crooked Creek: Starting on July 4 the marina will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday in July and August. Fuel, cabins, storage, crawlers, ice and camping will be offered. Fishing is excellent with a lot of catfish and northerns being caught in the bay. Boat fishermen are catching good numbers of walleye close. Boats can be launched at the ramp. — Crooked Creek Marina.
Fort Peck Reservoir, dam area: Warmer weather will help fishing. Walleye, northerns and smallmouth are being caught in Bear Creek, Duck Creek and the Pines. Lake trout are 55 to 60 feet deep. Use Evil Eye flutter spoons at Haxby Point and Bear Creek. A lot of northerns are biting off the face of the dam casting red and white spoons or Five of Diamonds from the shore. — Lakeridge Motel and Tackle, Fort Peck.
Fort Peck Reservoir, Fourchette Bay: It is fishing well at Devils Creek and here in 10 to 20 feet of water for walleye. All methods are producing. Northerns are thick. — Don’s, Lewistown.
Fort Peck Reservoir, Hell Creek: Smallmouth and northern pike fishermen are doing alright. For pike, troll crankbaits or pitch crankbaits into the willows. Walleye anglers are taking fish jigging or bottom bouncing using minnows, crawlers and leeches. Smallmouth are being caught by those searching for pike or walleye. The best color changes daily. — Hell Creek Marina, Jordan.
Gallatin River: It is green in the valley and canyon and will be tough fishing at best. Above the Taylor’s Fork the water is clearer and trout are feeding on nymphs. San Juan worms, princes, hare’s ears and caddis nymphs will work. — Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.
Hauser Reservoir: A few rainbows are being caught while trolling cowbells around the Black Sandy area. Good rainbow fishing can be found below Canyon Ferry Dam. Shore fishing has been good while using worms or marshmallows while boat fishing has been good using marabou jigs and leeches. A few small walleye are being caught at the Causeway Bridge and in the Causeway Arm on bottom bouncers and a leech or small crankbaits. — FWP, Helena
Holter Reservoir: Good rainbow fishing continues for those trolling cowbells throughout the reservoir. Rainbows are being picked up from shore around Gates of the Mountains on worms. Small perch are being caught throughout the reservoir in small bays and around the boat docks, and a few walleye are mixed in with them. Otherwise walleye fishing has been slow. — FWP, Helena.
Lake DeSmet, Wyo.: A lot of rainbows are being caught lakewide while trolling. — The Lake Stop, Buffalo.
Madison River: It is fishing well on the upper and lower stretches. PMDs and caddis are out in the afternoons and evenings. Yellow sallies will produce. By the weekend, there may be salmonflies in the Ennis area. — Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.
Martinsdale Reservoir: Fishermen did well fishing from the bank by the dam. — Cozy Corner Bar, Lavina.
Missouri River, below Holter: The river is fishing good. There are baetis, PMDs and caddis out. Caddis are on the lower river from Dearborn down. Parachute PMDs and elk-hair caddis will work. The flow was 4,050 cfs and the water temp was 58 on Monday. — Montana Fly Goods, Helena.
Missouri River, Fred Robinson Bridge: Catfish action continues to stay steady with cut bait and crawlers. — Don’s, Lewistown.
Nelson Reservoir: It is fishing well, despite the windy weekend. For walleye, pull bottom bouncers with worms anywhere from 10 to 38 feet deep. Some of the nicer fish are a bit deeper and biting jigs tipped with a leech or minnow. For northerns fish in shallow water near the weed beds with crankbaits or spinner baits. For smallmouth, use the same tactics as those targeting northern pike. — Westside Sports, Malta.
Rock Creek: Last week’s warming trend caused it to rise again. Either nymph fishing or dry-dropper fishing is the recommendation. Fish smaller princes, copper John, hare’s ears, flashback pheasant tails, psycho prince, Bat Man or even smaller-sized girdle bugs. Dry fly recommendations include smaller (14-16) royal or grey Wulff, trudes, humpy, purple haze, parachute Adams, caddis or stimulators. — East Rosebud Fly and Tackle.
Shoshone River, Wyo.: On the North Fork and South Fork there was fishable water as of Monday. Big rubber-leg nymphs were producing. — North Fork Anglers, Cody.
Spring Creek: It is fishing well with wet or dry flies. — Don’s, Lewistown.
Stillwater River: After dropping to a more manageable flow, the river has ticked back up with some warmer temperatures. For the main river try big, rubber leg patterns, San Juan worms or darker bugger patterns right on the edges. A big stimulator/attractor dry/dropper setup may work in some of the softer water. Golden stones should be showing up any time. The river is very swift and cold so use caution. — Stillwater Anglers, Columbus.
Tongue River Reservoir: A lot of big walleye are being caught. A 13 and 11 pound walleye were landed on Monday. Jig with leeches. Quite a few smaller crappie are being caught. Smallmouth and pike fishing is slow. — Tongue River Marina.
Yellowstone River, Columbus: It is still running high and dirty, but continues to clear. On the side channels you can try big and ugly rubber-leg stonefly nymphs, San Juan worms and buggers on the edges. — Stillwater Anglers, Columbus.
Yellowstone River, Huntley: Blood shrimp, blood minnows and regular minnows are taking catfish, which are running 1 to 5 pounds. — Minnow Bucket, Huntley.
Yellowstone River, Livingston: It is still pretty big. We are only recommending experienced oarsmen try fishing it. — Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.