Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 2.13.17
By angelamontana

Posted: February 15, 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. We still have good ice. As long as the lake level isn’t changing it will stay the same.  We have 3 feet of ice in the bay. I went to town this morning (Tuesday) and the road was muddy.     Guys are catching   northern pike and lake trout. Two walleye have been caught this week that were 32 inches and 28 inches. Other smaller walleye were also caught.  Fishing for walleye maybe   picking  up .  We still have only a couple of inches of snow.  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   “Right now, I would say be really cautious.  The edges are getting softer.  People are taking off their ice houses.  There is slush and water on the ice.  I have seen four wheelers breaking the ice at the edges.  We did have 12 degrees this morning  (Tuesday) and it is refreezing at night.   I have heard of people catching some crappies, more perch and northern pike.  The ice is anywhere from 12 to 15 inches. Just be aware.”

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,” the ice by the marina is still good. (Tuesday)  We never got the extreme warm weather.  On Saturday, the fishermen found the ice at 15 inches at places. They   are catching more perch than anything else. Slower on crappies being caught. I am checking ice conditions daily so check the facebook page for conditions.    I have lots of   fathead minnows and during the week the machine is full. “

I am now set up to  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, “ We still have ice.  In the bay we still have 2 feet of ice.  The main bay Clint and Cody both say it  is 14 to 16 inches.  The pressure ridge has gotten bigger.  It is still good for fishing.  (Tuesday). Guys are catching lake trout, walleye and pike.  The walleye are decent size. We are still saying 4 x4’s it  only as it is just not good 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 on Saturday.  More and more walleye are being caught.  Lots of fish being caught are northern pike   and some lake trout as well.  They are finding   depths of 14 to 30 feet for pike. We did not get snow this week. The lake trout are being found at 35 feet and walleye at 18 to 22 feet.  We have 5 inches of snow. We have no water on the ice.”


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

Mark says, “ FWP biologists will again be out tonight (Tuesday) checking for ling.  Last night they found a  healthy fishery with trout.  I don’t know about the ling count. There was some ice melt this week. The edge has broken away in places so guys are bringing boards to prevent them from walking in water. Many people have limited out on rainbows this week.      Cooney   ice is 1 to 2 feet. The 2 foot depths is at the south end. The north shore   has pretty thin ice.  It is not recommended for truck driving on it. Keep an eye on conditions and changes with our warmer weather. “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says, “.I am looking out there at the dock and a fisherman is catching a perch right at this moment.  Ice is good still and is 18 to 25 inches.  Guys are drilling lots of holes. Many are ice fishing.  That same fisherman just pulled out another perch just while we are talking.  That is not bad fishing.”


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Pat   says, “   There is a one foot opening at the edge of the ice.  We had a fisherman out there today (Tuesday) but it is obvious the warmer weather is   changing things.  Pay attention as getting stuck can be a problem  so stay on the road. ”


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

“The warm weather and the low water leveI means you really have to pay attention. Watch the warm weather. I have not heard from any fisherman about Martinsdale.  I would think things are pretty muddy, Terry says.”


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie says, “Crooked Creek by Lewistown and Crooked Creek by Winnett both are all water.  They are blown out.  So Spring is here maybe.  On the Musselshell the water is really moving and running fast.  There  are  fly fishing on the creek but not getting much action.  It  varies daily and hourly.  “


Crooked Creek-Grant

People who fished this weekend ended up with  Crooked Creek being blown out by Sunday.  Ice fishing was a challenge as the water was eroding the holes so they were losing tipups in the water on Saturday. Ice was gone early Sunday.

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


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“Ice is still good . (Tuesday afternoon)   The trout   and perch fishing was . Walleye is a medium bite.  We have ice that is 18 to 25   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, “  Nelson is good  fishing still.  The perch bite is good People are catching walleye although the bite was slower and still catching some big northern.  There is   34   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.

Dan  says ,”  Some of our guys were at  Crooked Creek this weekend and the ice blew off so they left on Sunday.  They were losing tip ups because the water was eroding the holes so the tip ups were falling in.  It changed really fast. .

The fishing tournament at Hell Creek had 47 teams.  The big northern was 33 inches.

The Big Horn is still fishing well.  Try a wire worm in 4 or 8 size is working.  The rainbow warriors  in size 20 to 16 are 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 the bite is off and on. They  are catching fewer perch but they are still getting some.  It is  just a tougher bite

On Cooney I know FWP is checking ling and will be doing it tonight. (Tuesday) They asked I I could come but sadly I have to work.  I know guys are catching ling.  So we will see what the  smping shows.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” At Canyon Ferry the fish are biting. One group I know ended up going in in on the East side because the pressure ridge had opened to eight feet wide.  It did freeze over but I would not trust it. They could not get around it.    They did catch   trout  and the  fishing  was good.

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

The rivers are open some but there is a lot of floating ice. There is still a lot of ice around.  Footing would be rough.”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Chris says,   “The ice is breaking  up. There is still lots of ice.  Footing is not good anywhere.  I still cannot recommend fishing right now.  You   can’t know if the ice is safe anywhere to stand on.

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

The water has definitely come up and it is clear.  Streamer   fishing is good  they say. Use scuds, sow bugs and puppas .”


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


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Hale says,” The water has definitely come up.  We are at a cfs of 3400.  That is our normal flow number.  The water is clear.  The feeder streams are cloudier.  Like at Sarpy Creek and Beau’s Creek. Streamer  fishing is good. I hear Nymph fishing still is good as well  Try scuds, sow bugs and puppas.  There is a limited midge hatch if there is no wind.”

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,” Sunshine and warmer temps, melted all the ice.  A few midges are around for the occasional fish looking up. Although most fish are eating nymphs, small olive mayfly  nymphs and smallish midge patterns. Rainbows will be spawning soon, so be on the lookout for redds. .”

.”Yellowstone National Park

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