Helena, MT Winter Fishing Reports

Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 12.19.16
By angelamontana

Posted: December 21, 2016
The changes into fall with snow and rain weather means fishermen   should stay aware. The weather and water levels have   changed drastically.  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 will 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

Sources say   “ The back bay has frozen over .  The Rock Creek Marina bay right in front of the Marina now has 4 to 5 inches. .  One fisherman  caught one small walleye and only got a couple of bites.  He said the water was cloudy.”  The marina is closed.  We will   still have cabins for rent.  So some services will be available if one of us   is around.”


Tongue River Reservoir /Bob

Spencer  says,” People are catching blocks of ice by the dozen.  LOL  We have had fishermen this week.  Some guys feel the ice is good all over but I am still leary on the north end. .  On the South end the ice is 8 to 9 inches.  People do have shacks out there.  People are   walking  out to fish right now.  It is questionable for 4 wheelers right now.   With the bitter cold I am sure that will change.  Some are catching crappies.  One guy was catching more   early in the morning and late in the evening. That seems to be the most successful time. He said it was good for walleye that  day .  He caught some crappie and 1 perch. It is really slow.  The cold is bitter has made it a little better fishing. “   The fish cleaning station is now closed.  We now have only camper points 1 to 8 to the   north and 9 to 11 open.  The camp sites are now first come first serve. The water is down but fishing is still possible. ”


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

Wade says,” We have   ice.  The marina will not be open this weekend.  You can get bait from the machine.  After Christmas we will be open on the weekends.   The  south end they say has 8 to 9 inches.    It is frozen by the Marina.  Guys are catching crappies and some nice  3 to 4 pound walleyes.   Our hours will be 6 am to noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday.   There will be live minnows in the machine all week.  ”


Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345  Marina Matheson-Park   Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir east to

Others report,   “   Half the bay is closing with ice. The edge has 4 to 5 inches.  Timber Creek and the main lake is still open.  Boy scout has 3 to 4 inches of ice.  There is 5 to 6  inches at Devils Creek.  Some say   I think we need another week for things to be ready for fishing.    We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now. “  ­­­­­­­

The park manager for Hell Creek State Park is Marina Matheson.


Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597

Eddie says,   ” We will be closing early  12-24-16  at 3 pm.  We will be closed the 25th and re-open on the 26th at 6 am.  We have had 49 mph winds this week.  McGuire Creek has ice, 12 to 14 inches.  Nelson Creek has 12 to 14 inches as well.    It has been real   cold out.  Flat Lake is starting to freeze.  I don’t know how much.  “


Cooney Reservoir -Glennis , Mark Teynor is the new   game warden at Cooney.

Mark says,” It has been pretty quiet here   because of the storms.  We did not get slammed like Billings we just have 8 inches of snow.  If you come to camp or do anything in the camping  area. Bring your shovel or snow blower we do have blowing snow  and drifts . We do have decent   ice .  When we had fishermen before the storm   they were bringing shacks out there.  The ice is 3 to 5 inches.  Haven’t heard  anyone  catching  any walleye.   Rainbow trout are doing well.  The ice is completely froze over “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says, “ We do have ice on  Lake Elmo .  We have  had  many fishermen out here.  Ice is in good shape.  It is still walk on only.  One man said there are a few spots that are questionable.    People are using   ice houses out there.  Before the storm they were   catching  rainbow trout. It is definitely cold   fishing. “


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony   says, “   The plow came through late yesterday (Monday) and finally plowed the road.  No one could get in this week and  we could not get out.  We have lots of snow about 2 feet.  The ice has started.  It is only 20 to 30 feet out right now.  ”


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

Terry   says, “  No one is talking about fishing. It is just too cold.  I have heard Matinsdale   is   frozen over.  They say there is   5 to 8 inches.  I heard of some that are catching  but they are not getting a lot ”


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale explains, “   We have good ice all over.   There is 5 to 6 inches on the smaller ponds, mostly the local ones.

At   Achley   there is also good ice. As well as the local reservoirs.

At Crooked Creek the fishing is fair.  There is ice out about 100 yards.  The main thing you are fighting is the wind.  Today we don’t have any but that has not been the case otherwise. “


Crooked Creek-Grant

I was told    Crooked Creek   has  some ice.  Walk on only.   Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“   We will be open until noon on Saturday and closed Sunday.  We will be open Monday.  The ice is decent. There is  6 inches in the bay towards the south end.  The pond has about 8 inches for ice conservatively. They are catching perch, some nice walleye but really we had tons of rain this week so not enough fishermen to hear a lot.   Make sure you call for conditions, weather and how the   ice is. “   Sharon   says.   The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm. Except for the upcoming holiday


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

Jim says, “   Nelson had   14 to 16 inches on Nelson.  Some people are driving   on it.  On Sunday I went fishing and we caught northern pike, perch and walleye.  There was a group of us and we got bites.  We had 25 fish. Fishing seems to be good right now ,” Jim said.

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.


Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen

Conditions at Fort Peck are still pretty iffy.

At Cooney guys say there is 5 to 6 inches of ice. Be aware  of the springs underneath.

On Tongue guys are fishing on the south end.  Some crappies being caught.  It is good toward the dam.

People say Crooked Creek has 8 to 10 inches of ice by the marina.  There are some places to use caution.

At Yellowtail one guy was catching crappie   by shore.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “  Heard from one guy  who found 8 inches of ice at Canyon Ferry by Silos  He caught 8 rainbow trout.

Nelson has  good  ice.  They are pulling shacks on.

The rivers around here are frozen here. On the Madison there is are dams of ice chunks.“


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Chris says,   ” I will be closed Thursday to Wednesday of next week. Things are really not good for being out.   Both rivers have slush and ice.  It is not safe because of the shelf ice. I would not recommend fishing and losing your footing.  There is ice building up and this cold will make more.  You can   book trips now for later, just call the shop.  Our hours now are 9 to 1 Monday to Saturday and 9 to 1 pm on Sunday. ”


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

“   Fishing is   just hard with the cold.  I have heard the water is clearing up.  The browns are still spawning like crazy. Watch out for   spawning beds. Dress warm if you go  and  try sow bugs or small midge patterns.  If you wade watch out for the shelf ice” Beau says.


Steven Caldwell   guide   * Unable to contact. No new report this week.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Hale says, “ Due to the holiday we will be closed until January 2nd. .  Normal hours after the holiday are  closed Sunday and Monday. We  are open   9 am to 2 pm now Tuesday to Saturday in November.


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


Alice tells us,” It is really  too cold for fishing.  If. someone went fishing in these temps you might find some midges hatching on a sunny day but otherwise nymphing  with  small flies or fishing with  streamers are your only options.”


Yellowstone National Park

Alice explains, “ Fishing in the park is now closed for the season.”