Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 4.18.16
By angelamontana

Posted: April 21, 2016

The spring weather means you should stay aware. The weather and water levels can be very unpredictable.  Enjoy yourself but remember alcohol alters your judgment. So use it sparingly while enjoying the outdoors. Keep an eye on the weather as conditions such as temperature, wind and precipitation can change quickly. This report is compiled on Monday and Tuesday and reflects conditions and results of fishing from the past week.  If you wish other information feel free to contact most parties for current daily information. Good luck fishing from the Montana Outdoor Radio Crew.

(Report compiled by Carol Henckel)

Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560

“Fishing was picking up this week.  Guys were catching mostly male walleyes. They were using a jig and a minnow. The surface water temp was 47 degrees. Water temp was 55 degrees toward Nelson Creek.  Only a few northern pike caught. They are catching lake trout toward Hacksbee,  “Bill said.  The marina will open April 30th. The cabins and campground are open.  We are in the process of getting our deliveries in so we will be ready.


Tongue River Reservoir /Bob

Bob says, “We got 1.6 inches of rain.  We are all feeling frisky because it is fantastic that we got some moisture.  The water is rising.  I believe the water has probably turned over on the South end. One group of fisherman hit the fishing perfectly as they limited out with crappies.  They did well on walleye also.  They came back the next day and got skunked.  So you just don’t know how it will be.  We have electricity to all the campsites and we are slowly working up to opening up the rest of the park with water and such. ”


Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Straley

“It is raining now.  In between the weather changes people were catching crappies in 5 to 20 foot of water. They were presenting plastics. A few were jigging with minnows. If the weather gets warmer like they say this weekend it should be better fishing. We are open 7 days a week.  My hours will be Sunday to Thursday 8 am to 6 pm and Friday and Saturday 7 am to 9pm.  I have minnows, leaches and worms on hand. Remember as of April 1st no shiner minnows are allowed on Tongue,” Wade explained.


Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345  Marina Matheson-Park Office

Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir

Cody says,” Walleye fishing is still slow. If they catch walleye they are finding them going way west or east.  The northern pike are being found  in 15 to 18 feet using a jig an a minnow.  They are slow. For lake trout they are finding them on the main waters going East in 15 to 25 depths. Hit the points to get them using jigs.  I drove ha the road out and it is pretty good. There was a little wash burn but our last rain was Friday so things are pretty dry.   .

The new park manager for Hell Creek State Park will be Marina Matheson. “


Gene Moore Lake Ridge Motel 1-406-526-3597

Gene says,” They are catching some salmon on cranks at the face of the dam and Haksbee Point. Usually about 40 feet down. The lake trout fishing has been good. The Duck Creek area has been good for walleye. A few were found at 30 to 50 feet.Try flashers and hot lips.


Lake Elmo Billings FWP-Bob Gibson

“ Lots of rain this week.  They are catching some catchable fish and brood stock just planted. Most people are using a bait and a bobber, “Bob said.


Cooney Reservoir  Glenis

“We had rain and snow several days this week. So I did not see many boats out there. The trout fishing was doing well. Shore fishing can mean you catch rainbow trout.  Last week boat fishing was not good ”, Glenis said Our new Park Ranger is, Skylar Mitchell. He was transferred from Dillon,” said Glenis.


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony says,” Fishing was real flat this week. No one was catching.  I think there is too much cold water. It is real quiet”. Campers remember it is now a pay site.


Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22

“I talked to guys who did well at Martinsdale.  One group came in at noon because they had limited out. They were using worms and white marshmallows.  They were on the north side from the boat ramp to the dam. If the weather is just right you can catch. In the evening I had guys who fished the same day, all day and got nothing. So it can be good if you are catching but at the same time at the same areas it is just not good,” staff said.


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie says, “Catfish fishing is good right now on the Missouri.  Try using worms and minnows. Spring Creek has gotten better.

On Spring Creek use small spinners. Try small black nymphs and a pheasant tail.   It is no longer muddy.

At Achley the trout are schooling up. Head to the gravel beds and you will do well. The weather has been gorgeous here. Try spinners.  Use a northern spinner.”


Crooked Creek-Grant

Open water at Crooked Creek. Please Call for information on if it is open. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“We have had beautiful days this week.  Canyon Ferry fishing is good. They are catching small walleye close to shore in 2 feet of water.  The trout fishing is still good. The water is coming up,” Sharon said.

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.


West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611

Jim says, “ Nelson fishing remains slow.  You can catch walleye males in shallow water. Only a few pike caught.

I went to Fort Peck and it was real slow.  Northern Pike are biting and walleye are still further up, “Jim said.

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday. Stop in any time!


Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen

Justin says,” Bass fishing on the Yellowstone river north of Fred Robinson has been good. Walleye are slow. Use heavy line with a ½ ounce jigs and minnows.

Other parts of the Yellowstone they are catching catfish.

On Yellowtail try using 1 ½ oz jig with a minnow for sauger.  That seems to be working.

On Fort Peck things have been real slow I hear. Lake Trout are being caught at the dam.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “The rivers are high and muddy. The Madison is not as bad.

I think we will be seeing the spring run off a month earlier.

Canyon Ferry is picking up. The guys caught only a few walleye but lots of trout.  I think they will be spawning  pretty quick now. I heard the Ruby is fishing good for browns right now. With the 80’s coming on the weekend things will definitely change.”

The shop is open to walk ins.  Call for help by appointment as well, Rich said. ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

“ The Stillwater has settled down.  It has cleared up. You can float down it. The ditmo is definitely changing how you fly fish.   is doing well. We are seeing more March brown action.

The Yellowstone has come back. The rain had changed things.  We are seeing clear water again. It is good fishing and floating. We are seeing some BWO action in the afternoon after one or two pm, “ Chris says.


Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

“Fishing on the Big Horn this have been definitely good. The dry fly fishing is seeing midge action from 10 am to 3:30 p.m.  They are just going crazy at that time. The baetes bite has been intermittent. Nymph fishing from the boat has been good. When fishing you do have to deal with floating grass on the Big Horn below 3 mile. Use heavier line and shorter leaders. Watch the flows in the back channels as they are low and narrow,” Beau says.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

“The cfs is 2500 and the water temperature is 40 degrees.  It is clear above 3 mile. Fishing has been good. There is moss below 3 mil. The midge hatch continues to happen all day if it is cloudy. Use orange scuds .  We are seeing streamers working slow. Use deep buggers and zonkers.  Nymph fishing is doing really well.  Try the Gray Rays 16-18, pinkies and orange tackle, juju baetis 18, Smoke jumpers 20, zebra midges 18’s, red midges and San Juan worms. Use small baetis in size 20 to 22, students, and parachute Adams. Rainbows are stacking up.  Stay off of the redds.” Stephanie said.

Our shop hours are 7 am to 7 pm now Monday to Sunday.


Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698

With the weather turning warm we may see some blow out from snow melt later.  Due to the forecast you will see more BWO or Maywings on the upper Madison.  The weather change means more fish will be noticing the hatch. Try nymphing early in the day and late evening.  They have also been hatching on the lower Madison below Ennis. Fly suggestions would be a Nyman’s baetis cripple size 18. For Nymphing be prepared with size 10-12 brown and black stonefly nymphs. Depending on the time of day and bug activity fish size 16-20 midges or similar sized Pheasant Tail nymphs below the larger stonefly. For rising fish, try the size 16-20 Griffith’s gnat and size 16 parachute Adams for good results.  Use streamers like olive or black sculpin patterns.  Rainbows are still on their redds up and down the river so be careful. Fishing season in Yellowstone National Park opens the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.