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 compiled by Carol Henckel)
Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560
Linda reports, “There have been some fishermen up here. I have seen them heading out south. Last week the Lake trout
Were being caught at depths of 20 to 30 feet heading north. The docks are not in yet. The water is 4 ½ feet above pool right now. The marina is still closed. The marina will open soon we hope by the weekend. That is what we are doing this week, getting ready . We do have cabins for rent. So some services will be available if one of us is around.”
Tongue River Reservoir /Spencer
“The weather in the last few days brought some snow. Overnight we have gotten some snow. The power is on in all the campsites. We have most docks in except the courtesy dock. I have seen some people fishing and heard some have caught crappies.The fish cleaning station is closed until the winter weather is done. The camp sites are still first come first serve. “
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says,” Overnight we got 4 to 5 inches of snow at Dayton and here at the marinas. Fishermen were catching fish this week. People were catching crappies. They were finding them in 15 to 25 foot of water. There were some nice ones caught by boat. They are using minnows and tubes. Orange seems to be the color. I have seen some groups with their limits. Northern pike seem to be getting closer to shore. Rapellas or spoons are working on pike. The Marina is 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. I have minnows, leaches and crawlers. You can even pre-order. 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 personnel
Clint explains, “ We had the Tough guy tournament this week. It was cloudy and overcast. Twenty eight pounds won it. The big walleye that won was 32 inches. Many fishermen went clear over way West. A few headed east. Fishing was surprisingly decent. Sadly, Cody who used to work at Scheels came up to fish and decided to just fish and not do the tournament. He went out the same day and got 31 pounds of fish and a 16 pound walleye. He would have won it all. That is like having luck but no luck at the same time.
This past week before the weekend the walleye bite was slow. The water temp is 42 degrees. The lake trout bite is still happening. It still has been good. The northern seem to be shallow. All the small docks are in. The large one needs some work before it goes in. The water level is over maintain pool right now.“ 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, “It was cold this week. The lake trout fishing is good. They are also catching some walleye and northerns. Guys are heading mostly to Duck Creek . They are jigging with minnows for walleyes. 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.
“ Fishing seems to be status quo. The trout are being caught. There are no docks in and won’t be put in until May. The water level is about the same. I counted 2 dozen boat trailers in the parking lot this past weekend, so people were here. Just a reminder to be on the water you need a new decal validation for your boat now. It is green with a 20 on it and is good until 2020. There is no cost for it. You can get one at the Elmo office or go on line to get one, “ said Mark.
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Ken Frazer says, “ Fishermen ae definitely out there. We have heard of people catching some nice size small mouth bass. Around 1 to 1 ½ pounders. They stocked last year and had some larger bass they put in beyond the normal size so they are in there to catch. Rainbow trout are also being caught. “
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, “ People are catching salmon. Mostly from boats. Only heard they are catching from boats. The dock is not in. We actually have campers here right now. There are boats on the water right now even in this weather. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Pat says, “some guys headed to Deadmans. I have not heard anything about if anyone is getting anything. I have worms but no one is coming in for them ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
“Some guys headed to Bair lake this week. They were catching trout. The best bait was worms and corn they say . Those who went to Martinsdale found it too windy to get out or they were out and came in after a short time, “ Rick says.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale says, “ The Creek is muddy so that has made fishing off.
The western part of Fort Peck, Crooked Creek, Devils Creek and Forchette are doing well. They have been fishing well . They have been catching quite a few walleye. They have been catching northern pike. It has been a solid bite when using worm harness and jigs.
On the Missouri from the PM down catfishing is starting. The water is muddy. The trout are okay. “
There are some fishermen who have caught some nice fish here this week.
Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“The weather is just not there yet. Fishing has been good if you can get out east. The walleye have just about spawned out towards pond 1. We have seen some 5, 6 and one 10 pounder caught. You can catch some trout going toward the west. They are catching trout close to the shore. I do have leeches, “ Sharon tells us.
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. The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Jim says,” Guys are heading to Nelson this week . Fishermen are jigging with minnows or Lindy rigs. They seem to be working. I also hear guys are heading to Crooked Creek and Forchetter and are catching some fish. “
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce
Jayce says ,”
On the Tongue I hear fishing is okay. I hear they are catching bass and pike.
On Fort Peck people say fishing has picked up toward narrows. They are catching pike. Lake trout are still biting. .
The Stillwater some people are catching trout. The fly fishing is good.
On Cooney they are catching walleye on bottom bouncers . I had two different groups of fishermen say they are working well.
At Colstrip a few bass are being caught.
On the Big Horn fishing off the bank at the bank in a few places has been good. The water is really high so not much bank now. They were catching at the Afterbay a few 5 to 6 pounders.
From Hardin down it is just muddy on the Yellowstone. Catfish fishing is slower for sure. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ Canyon Ferry is fishing okay they are catching walleyes and trout. Weather is do dang poor and the water is cold.
On other waters I have heard fishing is not bad. Guys were heading below Totson. Someone said they had caught some nice ones. The water is just cold and needs to warm up. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Bill says, “ The weather keeps changing. It is snowing right now. Fishing has been fairly decent on the Stillwater this week. The Stillwater is fishing well. The nymph fishing has been consistent. We are seeing caddis and March browns. The flow is up to 500. The Yellowstone River has a tinge of color today. We are also seeing March browns there. Guys are catching using pheasant tail, girdle bugs and zebra on the A float is possible on the lower parts. 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 every day this week. The water is murky. You can still catch fish using sow bugs. It is a harder fishing. The flow is up again. . Due to the high water it means there is not much wadding. The baetes are starting to hatch. Below The Denver Club you are starting to see some grass. With the murky condition you cannot see the bottom.. 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 * Fishing has been spotty in general since they have been raising the flows over the past few days. Focus on winter type water, slow inside bends and drops using worms, pink scuds, your favorite hot bead nymph about 5 to 6 ft. below your bobber.
Midge and BWO hatches are increasing daily but still not a lot of surface activity fish wise. If you do find a couple of sippers any properly presented midge cluster or 16 Adams should produce.
Some say they are awesome others say they suck, I say they suck.”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Hale says, “It is snowing lightly. Fishing is still doing well. The water has stayed at 11,500 cfs . It is a fast float. You definitely have to beware. We are seeing caddis and a few March browns. Using streamers is working. Nymphs and streamers are working consistently. For streamers try dirty hippies. Use caution wading. Access is limited. Dry fly fishing is poor. Emerald shiners are coming through. 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,” we have had about a foot of snow in the last two days. So the Madison, not showing signs of runoff as it has been snowing up high, not raining. Still fishing midges. If/ when the sun warms the air and water a little, there are blue winged olives hatching and the fish will rise to eat them.
If there are no surface bugs to interest the fish then take the bugs to them and fish your tried and true nymphs, they will work no matter the water color.
And as I have said before, leave the spawning fish alone! ”
Yellowstone National Park
Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is still closed for the season until Memorial Day weekend.”