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The Yellowstone River is finally coming down and starting to fish like … well …. like the Yellowstone River is supposed to fish.

It's still not crystal clear, but as long as the rains stay away, it's clear enough for some good trout fishing from where it enters Montana at Gardiner clear down to Laurel.

The salmonfly hatch is above Yankee Jim Canyon, but there's good fishing with streamers, nymphs and attractor patterns in the waters below the big hatch.

Here's the weekly Gazette fishing report:


Absaroka-Beartooth lakes: Most everything is open. Smaller patterns are working well. Try nymphs, scuds and streamers. Spin fishermen are doing very well. — Mike Segota, Suds n' Bugs Fly and Tackle, Columbus.

Ackley Lake: Fishing remains slow. — Charlie Pfau, Don's, Lewistown.

Bighorn Lake: Some nice perch and crappies are being caught. Smallmouth bass are biting. — Scott Lundin, Osprey Realty.

Bighorn River: Minimal hatches, but wet fly and nymph fishing is very good. Ray Charles in size 16 and 18 trailed with a size 18 red or black thread midge is working the best. Black quill nymphs are also producing in 18. Sowbugs, scuds, wire worms and San Juan worms are also good choices. — Tom Osen, Bighorn Fly and Tackle.

Boulder River: PMDs are hatching. Parachute Adams are matching the hatch. Stimulators and royal Wulffs are also producing along with red copper Johns, beadhead pheasant tails and princes. — Shelley Yeager, Rainbow Run Fly Shop.

Canyon Ferry: Walleye fishing has been pretty good on the south end. Most action has been off pond 4. Jigs, bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses and cranks are working. Rainbow anglers have been doing well trolling cranks 20-25 feet deep between Hole in the Wall and White Earth. — Eric Roberts, FWP, Helena

Castle Rock Lake: Bluegills are biting. Everything is biting. — Scott Lundin, Osprey Realty.

Cooney Reservoir: Some 12- to 14-inch walleyes are being caught on leeches and Lindy's, leeches and slip bobbers and leeches and jigs. Fishing is good. — Scott Lundin, Osprey Realty.

Deadman's Basin: Trout are being caught. They're limiting out on the banks with worms. Trollers are using jointed Rapalas. Trout are up to 2 to 3 pounds. No tiger muskies to report. — Garlynn Buffington, Super D, Ryegate.

Fort Peck Reservoir, Big Dry Arm: Not a great bite in the northern pike tournament, but Bob Dolly did catch an 18-pound, 6-ounce pike. Walleye fishing is good, but a lot of them are about 13-14 inches. Bottom bouncers and minnows or leeches are your best bets for walleyes. — Skip Loucks, Rock Creek Marina.

Fort Peck Reservoir, Dam area: Quite a few small ones with some big ones showing up as well. Jigs and crawlers, spinner rigs and cranks are taking fish. Lake trout fishing is very good. They're down about 90 feet. — Donna Moore, Lakeridge, Fort Peck.

Fort Peck Reservoir, Hell Creek: Fishing is heating up both east and west of Hell Creek. A lot of smaller walleyes are being caught along with some nice ones — 4 pounds on up. All methods are working including jigs, bottom bouncers and crankbaits. — Deb Thomas, Hell Creek Marina.

Fresno Reservoir: Some walleye are being caught, with some 4 and 5-pounders. — Howard Stromberg, Stromberg Sinclair, Havre.

Gallatin River: It's dropping and clearing. Salmonflies are in the canyon near Big Sky. Size 6 or 8 salmonfly imitations are producing. — Kris Kumlien, Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.

Hauser Reservoir: A few rainbows are being caught around Black Sandy in the morning. Rainbows have moved to deeper water so anglers are trolling deep-diving Rapalas or spinners. Shore fishing has been slow. Walleye fishing has improved with fish being caught in the Causeway while trolling bottom-bouncers with leeches or worms. — Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Holter Reservoir: Rainbow fishing is fair in the Split Rock area. Most rainbow action has been from trolling deep with cowbells and a wedding ring tipped with a crawler. Shore fishing has been slow. Walleye are being caught off of points and in bay areas. Jigs and leeches are working best. A few perch are being caught as well. — Troy Humphrey, FWP, Helena

Madison River: The lower Madison is getting warm and full of tubers. Go high in Beartrap Canyon in the mornings or head to the upper Madison. There are remnants of the salmonfly hatch on the upper river up high. Caddis are coming off. It's got a lot of pressure. — Kris Kumlien, Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.

Martinsdale Reservoir: Anglers are catching trout. Worms from the bank are producing. Trollers are also taking trout. — Garlynn Buffington, Super D, Ryegate.

Missouri River, Below Holter: Caddis are hatching with size 14 and 16 imitations doing well. PMDs in 14 and 16 and 18 are also good choices. Parachute patterns are a good choice. Buggers and MFGs are also working well down under. — Joan Stocker, Montana Fly Goods, Helena.

Nelson Reservoir: Jigs and worm harnesses are working. Leeches and crawlers are the best baits. Walleyes are being caught all over. — Melissa Lundstrom, Westside Sports, Malta.

Smith River: The river is at 248 cfs. Try golden stimulators, golden stones and hoppers. Brown drakes and green drakes are also on the water. Trick or Treats and Electric Buggers are working underneath. — Joan Stocker, Montana Fly Goods, Helena.

Spring Creek: Try beadhead princes, hare's ears and copper Johns. San Juan worms are also working. A little baetis hatch is coming off on the lower creek. — Charlie Pfau, Don's, Lewistown.

Stillwater River, Lower: Yellow and red stimulators are working along with stonefly patterns and golden stones. Bitch creeks are producing under. — Mike Segota, Suds n' Bugs Fly and Tackle, Columbus.

Stillwater River, Upper: PMDs, black and tan caddis and golden stones are hatching. Jack Cabes and stimulators trailed with beadhead princes or pheasants tails are a good bet. Royal Wulffs and parachute Adams are also taking trout. — Shelley Yeager, Rainbow Run Fly Shop.

Tongue River Reservoir: If the weather settles down, the crappies will start biting again. Walleye fishing is spotty. — Will Suralski, Minnow Bucket, Huntley.

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Yellowstone River, Columbus: t's a little off-color but has dropped and is fishable. Muddler minnows, bullet-head woolly buggers are good choices fished deep. A good caddis hatch is coming off late in the afternoon. — Mike Segota, Suds n' Bugs Fly and Tackle, Columbus.

Yellowstone River, Livingston: It's clearing with about 1.5 to 2 feet of visibility. Salmonflies are at Carbella Bridge and above Yankee Jim Canyon. Some good streamer and nymph fishing is available closer to Livingston. — Kris Kumlien, Montana Troutfitters, Bozeman.


Bighorn Mountain creeks: Fishing is good during the day on attractor patterns and hoppers sizes 12 and 14. Water levels are dropping and you have to be sneaky. — Zac Sexton, Just Gone Fishing, Buffalo, Wyo.

Bighorn Mountain lakes: Fishing is good in the early morning and late in the evenings. Size 16 or 18 royal Wulffs, Adams, irresistibles and Griffths gnats are all working. Beadhead princes and pheasant tails are working down under. — Zac Sexton, Just Gone Fishing, Buffalo, Wyo.

Boysen Reservoir: A lot of perch and trout are being caught and some walleyes. Crankbaits and worm harnesses are your best tactic. The biggest walleye in the Wyoming Governor's Cup over the weekend was nearly 6 pounds. — Sam Hackett, Boysen Lake Marina.

Buffalo Bill: The lake is fishing well when the winds back off. Anglers need to remember that even though the North Fork of the Shoshone opens this Saturday (July 1) the North Fork arm of the reservoir won't open until July 15. — Robert Crooks,

Clarks Fork: Water is high but fairly clear most days. Should be starting to fish well. Anglers wanting to experience some solitude should hike into the canyon. Lots of pocket water and good numbers of wild fish. — Robert Crooks,

Keyhole Reservoir: Some real nice pike are being caught. Crappies are still biting well. Quite a few walleyes are also coming in. Many are small, but every so often, a real big one comes in. Fishing is good. — Dennis Tebeau, Keyhole Marina.

Lake DeSmet: Trolling with a worm harness is working well. Some 14- to 18-inch rainbows are being caught. Some aren't fishing deep at all. — Zac Sexton, Just Gone Fishing, Buffalo, Wyo.

Newton Lake: Fishing is very tough. Some hatches coming off but fish just aren't up working them. Things probably won't improve much now until cool fall weather drops water temps. On the bright side, what few fish have been caught are in good condition. — Robert Crooks,

North Fork Shoshone: Opens Saturday and should be very good. Water is still high but clear and fishable. Sustained thunderstorms can quickly change water clarity, especially below the forest boundary, so check the weather before heading out. — Robert Crooks,

Shoshone River: Below the reservoir the water is a chalky green color. Not many anglers fishing so no recent reports. — Robert Crooks,

Gazette outdoor editor Mark Henckel can be contacted at 657-1395 or at

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