Fishing Report Updated November 10, 2022

This Montana fishing report is valid from November 1 until the first run of daytime high temperatures in the high 30s or 40s. Normally that’s called “most of November,” but it has been bitter cold and snowy all month.

Fishing is very poor right now and we do not recommend it. Water temps are in the low to mid-30s everywhere except the Paradise Valley spring creeks, and air temps are in the teens for highs. Significant ice formation is already underway.

Beware of spawning brown trout and don’t bother them. It is best to avoid areas of gravel on up to cobble-sized rocks in 1-4 feet of water for the remainder of the fall unless you see rising trout (which will almost entirely be non-spawners). Avoid clean shallow gravel at all costs: don’t fish there and don’t walk there. Our trout are all wild and the browns need to be left to make the next generation in peace. There are PLENTY of other fish in the sea (or trout in the stream), including those sitting in the bouldery or silty pools downstream of spawning areas, where they’ll be eating eggs and bugs disturbed by spawners.

The Yellowstone River is rapidly icing up and will fish poor. Near the mouth of the Gardner River, fish a stonefly nymph with a midge pupa dropper. That’s probably your only realistic shot.

The lower Madison River is largely in the same boat as the Yellowstone, exacerbated by its shallowness.

The Paradise Valley spring creeks are now on winter rates of $40/day. This is probably the best option in the area until at least early February, since the water never drops under about 45 degrees. It will be cooooollllld fishing, though. Fish midge pupae, eggs, and streamers. If it ever warms up, there might be limited BWO and midge emergences.

The Missouri River is a long way to drive, but will not ice up for a while yet. Scuds, sowbugs, BWO nymphs, and midge pupae will produce the numbers. Swung streamers may produce some bigger fish.

Yellowstone Park’s fishing season is now closed. Moving forward, we expect October 31 at sunset to be the permanent closing date. It used to be sunset on the first Sunday in November. They did get the replacement North Entrance Rd open on October 30, so at least you can drive in to¬†LOOK at the water.

Note: Montana Outdoor‘s website is the only commercial external site authorized to use this content. Please let us know if you see it anywhere else (Parks’ Fly Shop’s report is similar, since Walter writes that one too).

Relevant Montana Fishing Report Links