Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 2.6.17
By angelamontana

Posted: February 9, 2017

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, “Fishing is still good.  Guys are catching   northern pike and lake trout. Linda caught a 37 inch northern pike ice fishing right at the bank.   Ice depths are at three feet now.  The walleye bite is slow.  Fishing has definitely picked up.  We only have a couple of inches of snow.  (as of Tuesday) 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   “I would not say fishing is going gang busters but I would call it steady.  They are catching from Neck Bay area on.  Not much going   North.  You can catch fish going south from the marina.  I have heard of people catching some crappies, more perch and northern pike.  Someone did get a pike spearing as well.  We just got a dusting of snow. (as of Tuesday noon)  The ice is anywhere from 12 to 15 inches.”

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.


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

Wade says,” We did have a   busy Saturday, quite a few fishermen.  They   are catching more perch than anything else. Slower on crappies being caught.    The ice is 12 inches at places. .  I have lots of   fathead minnows and during the week the machine is full. “

As a marina I   can do   SP passes.  Fishing licenses and OHV permits now.  I will be open weekends. Our hours will be 6 am to noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”


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

Cody says, “It snowed all day yesterday. The road is not too bad. (Monday).     Fishing has been pretty good this week. Guys are catching lake trout, walleye and pike.  The walleye are decent size. The biggest we saw was 13.6. That fishing for walleye is better at night.  They are using tipups with smelt bait.   They are finding   them at 14 to 24 feet in the main area.  The ice in the bay is one foot to 24 inches.  The main lake is 12 to 14 inches.  We are still saying 4 x4’s it is just not ready for pickups. “     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 picked up a little this week.   The majority of fish being caught are northern pike.  Some lake trout are also being caught.  Less walleye being caught. Heading to Skunk Bay walleye fishing is better.   They are finding them at depths of 15 to 30   feet and jigging with a minnow.  The lake trout are being found at 35 feet and walleye at 18 to 22 feet.  We have 5 inches of snow. ”


Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark Teynor is the new   game warden at Cooney.    A few ling were caught during the day as well as night.   Cooney   ice is 1 to 2 feet. The 2 foot depths is at the south end. They are catching a lot of trout.  The north shore still has pretty thin ice.  It is not recommended for truck driving on it. “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says, “the same man is out fishing on the pier today. The snow and weather of course has slowed people fishing. They are mostly catching trout. Only a few perch are being caught ,”


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony   says, “   With the weather we saw no one fishing this week. You can get in with 4 wheel drive.  Stay on the road.  Getting stuck is not fun so stay on the road.  I think the Billings people don’t want to deal with the snow and ices on the roads so are not coming here to fish.”


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

“I have heard nothing about Martinsdale.  I do know the ice   is good solid ice there.  It was a slow week because of roads and weather.  I do know a couple of guys went to Basin. They did not have any luck.  They got blown off because of the wind.  There are people fishing at Broadview pond so a few are catching, Terry says.”


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie says, “Fishing is best at Fort Peck. Big northern pike are being caught using large herring.  Head to the west end of Crooked Creek.  It is good fishing with good a minnow bite.

The local pond fishing varies daily and hourly.

On the East fork they are catching 1 to 1 ½ pounders. It is definitely tougher fishing.

If I had to go anywhere I would go to Peck right now. “


Crooked Creek-Grant

People say   ice is good and so is fishing   at Crooked Creek.   People are catching   some nice fish.

Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“We did not get a lot of snow just one to two inches. (as of Tuesday afternoon)  We have not seen a lot of guys fishing this week. The fishing was good the week before.  The trout   and perch fishing was good.  We have ice that is 18 to 24   inches   thick.   The ice is in good condition.  There is now a second pressure ridge. There has been a very large pressure ridge so you need to stop to hear where both are and avoid them.  Stay off of it the whole length of it. We do have plenty of bait here. “     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 was decent.  People are catching walleye and big northern.  The perch are usually 1 pound.  There are lots of fishermen there and lots of fish caught.  The weather is definitely changing the number of fish.  There is   20   inches of ice.”

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan

Congratulations to McCahan on his promotion.  I welcome John Cooper as my source for fishing news and congratulate him as the fishing department manager.

John says he has heard,”   Crooked Creek is still fishing well.   The guys say the  pike bite is real good. Live minnows are working well.  Walleye fishing is slower.

I know the fishing is good at the Big Horn because I fished it this week myself.  A wire worm in 4 or 8 size is working.  The rainbow warriors  in size 20 to 16 is also doing well.  Try the standard midge in brown or black in size 22 to 18.  I caught a 23 inch rainbow by the bank.

Tongue River fishermen   I have heard this week  are catching fewer perch but they are still getting some.  It is  just a tougher bite.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” The ice has gotten thicker We had some snow this week so not many are talking about their fishing. .

Canyon Ferry had a good tournament.  The   trout   fishing  has been good.

At   Holter they are catching a lot of perch. They are really biting.”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Chris says,   “Everything is iced up. There are lots of ice and  of course lots of snow.  Footing is not good anywhere.  I still cannot 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,” I hear Nymph fishing still is good this week they say.  Try sow bugs and midges. They are working. Streamer  fishing is only fair.  The water is clear. The ramps are icy.  Tie flies so stock up on your flies.”

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


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Collette says, “The   fishing is actually pretty   good.   .  The water is clear. Make sure you dress warm.  Make sur to bring WD 40 to keep your rod guides clear.

Nymping is good right now.  Try going   deep with a gray ray tan, scuds or small beats pattern. Some soft tackle is working.  Try pheasant tails and zebra tails and midges in the 18 and 20 sizes.  Tongue teasers are also working as well.

The midges and baetes   are hatching some of the time. It is pretty good for streamers.  Try a thin mint or a dark hippy. Remember the ramp conditions include ice so really watch that closely. Stop at the shop to hear how they are.  “

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,” Open water sunny days you might find midges hatching and rising fish. Otherwise fish nymphs or try striping small black leeches.  More snow and cold temps are creating ice jams… If the weather is dreadful and you have to get on the water, try an olive streamer in deeper water.”

.”Yellowstone National Park

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