The changes of winter with snowy weather means fishermen should stay aware. The weather and ice 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
Bill says “The ice is two feet deep at Rock Creek. Guys are catching northern pike and lake trout. The walleye bite is slow. You can catch fish on pretty much anything right now. They are finding them at depths of 10 to 15 feet. 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 /Spencer
Spencer says “In talking to Jordan apparently It was just a little slower. It was not as good fishing as he was checking fishermen’s licenses. The perch bite seems to be the better bite. The ice is anywhere from 12 to 15 inches. .”
The fish cleaning station is now closed. I think the weather patterns meaning the barometric pressure from storm systems is changing it at times. “
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.
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says,” People are catching a lot of perch, a few crappies and only a few northern pike. People are having success but they are not going home with their limits this week. Perch aren’t all big but there are a lot of keepers. Ice is 12 inches at places. I now can do SP passes. fishing licenses and OHV permits now. I have a good source for fathead minnows and during the week the machine will be full. I will be open weekends. 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
Clint reports, “Fishing has been fairly decent this week. They are finding them at 14 to 20 feet in the main area. A fair amount of northerns being caught. Not hearing many walleyes being caught. The ice is pretty good. In front of the marina, ice is one foot to 14 inches. To Lucky Point it is 8 to 9 inches and the 2nd half of the bay is 4 to 6 inches. Still telling people 4 wheelers side by siders and no 4 wheelers pulling a trailer. 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
Carrie says, “Fishing has picked up thanks to the weather. Lots of 5 to 8 inchers being caught. The majority of fish are northern pike. They I am only hearing of a few walleye being caught. Actually three little ones. They are finding them at depths of 16 to 22 feet. They are using lots of minnows. Not many are spearing.”
Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark Teynor is the new game warden at Cooney.
Mark says,” fishing seemed to be slower this week. They are actually catching some ling during the day as well as night. Cooney ice is 1 to 2 feet. The 2 foot depth seems to be on the south end. People are still saying everything they are catching is trout. ATV’s are no problem on the ice. The north shore still has pretty thin ice. It is not recommended for truck driving on it. The weather has been real nice and we have had less wind so that will change the ice some. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Bob says, “there have been quite a few people out. The weekend had quite a few. Today there are even a few. They are catching trout and a few perch I hear. It has been good fishing. ”
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Tony says, “ We had 2 or 3 people out fishing this week. They are 10 to 20 feet out. People need to stay on the road. A couple of guys got stuck but it is because they are going off the road. We have seen some melting of snow on the road. It is easy to get in and out. People have to really pay attention to where they go.”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Martinsdale has solid ice FWP states. Lots of huts have been on the ice. People are catching lots of rainbow trout.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Charlie says, “The East Fork has been fishing really good for perch. They are using small jigs, maggots and minnow heads. It is somewhat of a hunt and find. But when you find them fishing is good.
At Achley they are catching fish at depths of 20 to 21 feet depths. They are catching rainbow trout.
Crooked Creek is fishing well. They are using minnows. Frozen herring seems to be working best. Pike fishing has been hit and miss. There is good ice. Use minnows vertical jigging. “
People say ice is good at Crooked Creek. People are catching some nice fish.
Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“The trout fishing is good, walleye fishing is medium and perch are good. Ice is now 18 to 25 inches thick. The ice is in good condition. Guys are catching trout pretty much anywhere going shallow. There is a very large pressure ridge so you need to stop to hear where it is and avoid it. Stay off of it the whole length of it. We do have plenty of bait here. The Lions Club perch tournament is January 28 an 29th. You can register ahead or on the day just call Silos to register ahead. “ Sharon says. The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Jim says, “ At Nelson fishing has slowed some. There is 20 inches of ice. It has been pretty good for decent size perch. Cold weather has slowed for walleye fishing.
I hear Forchette has really slowed down. They have 9 inches of ice .”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen.
McCahen says he has heard,” At Fort Peck guys are able to target fish and they are saying fishing is good. They are catching fish at Hell Creek and Devils Creek. The pike bite is real good. . Frozen smelt and herring are working well. Walleye fishing is slower. Guys are using tip ups and jigging.
At Tongue this week they say fishing was a little slower. Fishing seems to be better for perch than crappies. It is not hot and heavy like it was.
At Cooney they are catching ling at night. There are some big ones being caught. They are catching with a big piece of meat. The ling are at 20 to 40 feet depths.”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” The ice has gotten thicker. The rivers are solid ice.
Fishing is good on Canyon Ferry. The trout fishing varies by fishermen. Some are doing real well and others are doing poorly. Not many walleye caught they say.
At Holter they are catching a lot of perch. They seem to be biting on anything. The ice is 12 ” thick.”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Chris says, “Everything is real clogged up. All the ice goes out on to the shore. Footing is not good. I would not recommend fishing right now. You can’t even get up to the ice anywhere.
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
Beau says,” Fishing is a bit better. The water is clear. There is a token midge hatch. Stock up on your flies.”
Steven Caldwell guide * Unable to contact. No new report this week.
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Rich says, “The fishing is actually really good. It of course is cold fishing. The river is now at 2800 cfs. Nymping is good right now. Try going deep with a gray ray tan, scuds or small beats pattern.
For dries we are seeing hatches early or late in the day. The midges are hatching but not as much.
For streamers there is some action. Try a thin mint or a dark hippy. The big Horn ramps are steeper and slick so you should have a 4 wheel drive. Some guys are actually pulling their boat up with a rope because of the slickness. You can call the shop for ramp conditions as I really watch that closely. At 3 mile there has been early morning dry fly action. Bundle up and come and throw in some streamers as fishing is good. “
Our normal hours are we are closed Sunday and Monday. We are open 9 am to 2 pm now Tuesday to Saturday.
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698
Alice tells us,” A little break in the weather and warmer afternoons have seen midges hatching on the upper Madison and around Ennis. Since they have been hatching for several days, try a midge cluster pattern. Nymphs are producing the most fish, larger to medium stonefly nymphs with a small midge or caddis pattern below will work. Streamer fishing is also good, especially as the weather deteriorates. More water equals happy fish.
Yellowstone National Park
Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is now closed for the season.”