Spring is here and with it comes sudden changes in weather and high water. Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention with these changes. Flooding can happen quickly so fishermen or women need to keep in touch with the weather service. Some water depths are at June levels already so everyone should stay alert. 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 including snow can come on in fierce strength very fast. 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 via Carol Henckel)
Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560
Bill reports, “This week we had two guys come up to fish. They were catching lake trout at depths of 20 to 30 feet heading north. . No one else has come up to fish. The docks are not in yet. The water is 4 ½ feet above pool right now. The marina is still closed. We do have cabins for rent. So some services will be available if one of us is around.”
Tongue River Reservoir /Spencer
Spencer says, “ It has been cold and windy this week. Not much fishing happening. Some fishermen headed towards Peewee south and campers point. The power is on in all the campsites. We have no docks in yet. The fish cleaning station is still closed. The camp sites are still first come first serve. “
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says,” last week was slow fishing. The lake is coming up and filling. Experienced fishermen were catching some walleye. Rapellas were working on bass. Fishing changed from day to day. One teen caught a 6 pound 11 ounce bass which is getting closer to the state record of 8 pounds. I have been told they hope to have the docks in by Saturday. The Marina is ready and open. My hours for April are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pm. Friday and Saturday the hours will be 8 to 8 pm in April. Sunday will be 8 to 5 pm. There are no docks in yet but boats are getting on. I will have minnows on April 1st. The marina is set up to do SP passes. Fishing licenses and OHV permits now.”
Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345 Marina Matheson-Park Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir east to
Clint says, “ Fishing is not too bad. Guys are bringing their boat up and are not doing too bad on lake trout and northerns. They are finding cranks are working for booth. They are going to depths of 15 to 25 feet depths for lakers . The northerns are at 10 to 20 feet depths. They are catching decent eaters. Pike have been 8 to 12 pounds. “ 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, “the lake trout fishing is about the same. It is good. They are also catching some walleye and northerns. They are heading toward Duck Creek and Bear Creek to catch them. Lake trout are at 20 to 40 feet . The Marina Courtesy dock is in and also the Duck Creek boat ramp. We have all the bait and tackle here you will need right now. ”
Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark is the new game warden at Cooney.
“The water is up. The boaters have been fishing and catching rainbow trout. Many are about 2 ½ pounds. I am hearing only a few walleye being caught. They have even seen a few bass caught. There is not much shore because of the high water level. Some are shore fishing but there is not much room though. There are n docks in and probably won’t be until May. Fishermen are catching pretty much anywhere. I know of fish caught at Overlook, Fisherman Point and Marshal point. It has been windy and the water is a little muddy. It is almost at full pool which I am being told that this is one of the earliest time for that , “ said Mark.
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Ken says, “This week guys were still fishing . I heard of rainbow trout being caught. The front desk heard of a nice 3 pound bass and a cutthroat being caught this week. The water is at full pool.
The guys were out trapping at Cooney. On the last day they got a couple fish that had already spawned out. That was kind of a surprise. It is a little early. “
Winter Fish Kills noted:
Bob explains ,” staff has discovered fish kills at Lake Josephine, Broadwater Pond, Arapoish Pond. Also a backwater slough on the Yellowstone at Gritty Stone. We also found a fish kill at Laurel Pond but have not evaluated the total number there yet. We will be stocking where we can later.” Ken Frazer did say. “ Big Timber was able to bring a few fish down and stock a little this week. They will do more later as was previously scheduled in preparation for possible winter kills. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat says, “ Fishermen were catching fish from shore, all salmon. Mostly small ones. There are boats on the water, many checking their boat out. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says, “I heard from one group that tried heading to Deadmans but the wind blew them off. One fellow got a couple nice size trout at Martinsdale. He was using corn. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
“We heard that fishing was better this week from shore. They caught some nice rainbow trout from shore .
At Martinsdale we head fishing was not too god. We have only heard of a few fishermen out there trying.
“On Sutherland we have not heard anything. We had a lot of wind this week. The week before there was still quite a bit of ice. It was open around the edges but the water is cold, “Judy says.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Charlie says, “ They are fishing at Crooked Creek from the bank. It seems to be that anything has been working. They seem to bite all kinds of bait.
On the local ponds guys are catching bass.
At Spring Creek fishermen are catching fish by nymphing.
As far as weather we actually had snow today. In town there is not much but where I live out of town we have 8 inches. “
Someone has reported they have caught some nice fish here this week.
Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“ We have had wind for three days. Luckily today (Tuesday) there is no wind. Fishing has been good if you could get out. They are finding walleye on the east side. Going west they are catching trout close to the shore. The water temperature some days have been warm about 40 to 45 degrees. Some walleye have been caught. They are also catching trout from shore as well. Guys are heading toward Pond 1 and 2.
They have set up an inspection station at the landing. Every boat will be inspected when they come out of the water. The live well needs to be empty of water. The plug needs to be removed and the live well needs to be wiped down. We do have plenty of bait here. They are now setting up a water cleaning station up from the ramp. “ Sharon says. The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Jim says, “the weather has been bad this week. We had lots of wind and rain. No one has told me they fished on Nelson this week. Nelson is still filling so the lake is rising. It is going up about 2 ½ feet a week. “
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce
Jayce says ,”
On the Yellowstone going east the catfish fishing has slowed some. The higher water is slowing things down.
On Fort Peck they are catching pike and lake trout. Someone we heard caught a 33 pound northern pike. We hear they are catching fish at Crooked Creek. Also heard the lake trout are good for catching at Hell Creek.
One of our guys headed to Rock Creek and definitely caught a few fish.
Someone else went to Red Lodge Creek and caught a brown trout . ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “
The weather is busy this week. We had lots of wind, snow, rain and sleet.
I was at Canyon Ferry yesterday and the wind was blowing 51 miles mph. At Canyon Ferry people are doing fair for walleyes. Most of them are not real big. Most are 12 inchers with a few 14 to 17 inches. They are in shallow water 3 to 5 feet.
The rivers are up and muddy. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Bill says, “Guys are catching using dry fly midges and blue wings on the Stillwater. A float is possible on the lower part.
The Yellowstone has a little color.
Fishing has been one day up and good and the next day not good. So it can be tough. There are no March browns seen yet.
On the Stillwater you may see caddis nymphs on the rocks. The water temperatures are driving the bug hatch. “
You can book trips now for later, just call the shop. We are now in Spring hours. We are closed Monday and open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 to 5pm and open 9 to 1 pm on Sunday.
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau says, ”I fished the Big Horn today. It definitely was really good . The flow is up to the high 90’s. It was more murky and off color past the after bay down. I would say it was unfishable from 13 mile down. Due to the high water it means there is not much wadding. Sow bugs are definitely working. Access on and off is tricky so really pay attention. Make sure you check for conditions as they could change pretty quickly.”
Steven Caldwell guide * Unable to contact. No new report this week.
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Colette says,” Fishing is very good . The water has stayed at 10,000 cfs . Use size 18 zebra midges or a black bead head. Sow bugs in size 18 will also work. Pretty much any fly that is big and chunky will work. For streamers try dirty hippies or a thin mint. The boat float is a quick float. We are asking people to be prepared for approaches. Make sure to pull aside at the accesses so people can come out. They are saying that today the water is less cloudy. Use caution wading. Access is limited. There are a few heads popping up but not any midge fishing yet. At this point call the shop to learn about renting boats out. Call us we will give you current daily information which is important. ”
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 says,” It snowed in West Yellowstone on Tuesday. The water is colder which affects the fish. Try nymphing with smaller nymphs like caddis and blue winged olives below a stonefly is the best option most days. If the day is a little warmer the mayflies and midges can hatch and fish are looking up to eat them. Stream action depends on the color of the water, which only changes below some of the smaller creeks after a warm, sunny days which we have not had many. Rainbows are still spawning so stay off the redds! Hebegan still has ice. I am heading to the Madison to try some fishing. My guide friends are catching fish there. ”
Yellowstone National Park
Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is still closed for the season until Memorial Day weekend.”