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
Bill reports, “It is official there is no ice. We are working on getting the docks ready. I have heard no word on any walleye spawns. There have been no boats getting on the water. No one has been up here to fish. 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, “ It has been cold and windy this week. We had snow last night and some this morning but it did not stick. I talked to a couple of guys who did real well on walleye. They are the always early experienced fishermen who show up right after the ice comes off . They 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 Thursday and Friday we had some fishermen who went out had go luck catching walleye. In fact all three fishermen got their limit. They were using a fathead minnow with ½ ounce jig at 20 to 40 foot depths. The week of fishing has had storms come in and out so the fishing changed from day to day. Saturday was a real nice day and there were quite a few fishermen out. They were catching also from shore. They were catching a few with rapalas . 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, “The ice is off. People are bringing their boat up and are doing fairly well on lake trout. They are finding them at 14 to 20 feet depths going east. Surprisingly guys are finding cranks are doing better to catch them. We are starting to see a few northerns but definitely lakers. The water temperature is 38 degrees. “ 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
Eddie says, “guys arepicking up lake trout, walleyes and northerns. They are heading toward Duck Creek, Bear Creek and Hacksbee to catch them. They are finding them at 15 to 35 feet for all of the species. The lake trout seem to be at 16 foot depths. The Marina Courtesy dock is in and also the Duck Creek boat ramp. Those are the only ones right now. We have all the bait and tackle here you will need right now. ”
Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark is the new game warden at Cooney.
“ They are catching a few walleye from boats and the rainbows are definitely biting. Someone caught a 3 ½ pounder from shore going shallow with a worm. The walleyes were keepers to eat not many big ones. Cooney has been busy, I counted 24 boat trailers on Sunday. It is almost at full pool which I am being told that this is one of the earliest time for that . It does mean there is much less shore to fish from , “ said Mark.
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Ken says, “The water is at full pool. I see one fishermen out at Elmo fishing off the pier right now. I have seen that they are catching trout. I saw someone using worms and a spinner. Someone caught a 1 ½ pound small mouth bass. Right now there is a nice ripple on the water from the wind. “
Winter Fish Kills noted:
Bob explains ,” staff has discovered fish kills at Lake Josephine, Broadwateer Pond, Arapooish 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 Frazzer 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, “No one has even come in and buy bit this week. We did have wind this week. Deadmans, Martinsdale and Bair I have been told are pretty low. Drivng by the Musselshell it is running real low”.
*** We would like to welcome the Checkerboard Inn to the fishing report. The owners Rick and Judy Geordge will provide information on Bair Lake and Sutherland when they hear information.
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
On Bair Lake the ice is almost gone. It should be totally gone in a couple of days. Fishing is excellent. They are catching rainbow trout from shore . Worms, marshmallows and corn are working for bait.
“On Sutherland there is still quite a bit of ice. It is open around the edges, “Judy says.
“Shore fishing has been good. They are catching some rainbows now from shore. You can throw a rod out there 12 to 15 feet, “ Rick says.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Charlie says, “ We have 4 inches on the ground as of last night and this morning. The waters around here are definitely muddy.
The ice is off the Missouri river. You cannot launch at Kips landing yet. You can launch at Judith landing, though. “
Crooked Creek is open water someone reported.
Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“Fishing has been pretty good this week with trout. The water temperature some days have been warm. Some walleye have been caught in the 14 to 16 inches. 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, “Everything is open right now. No one has told me they fished on Nelson this week. There is no ice on the lake. Remember that at Nelson they have started filling so the lake is rising. It is going up 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 they are still catching cats.
On the Tongue I am hearing some walleye are being caught.
Guys are saying on the Yellowtail the bite is tough. The water is real cold which is slowing things down.
On Fort Peck the lake trout are now being caught. Boats are having n problems getting on.
At Yellowtail guys are having success with a jig and a minnow.
As far as Cooney guys are catching trout. They are biting. Guys have been surprised to find bottom bouncers going shallow for walleye ”.
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “
At Canyon Ferry people are now walleyes. One group that came in caught 43 walleyes. They were mostly 17 inches. They did catch a 29 incher. They caught 8 walleye between the size of 15 to 17 inches. They had headed toward the ponds. The rest of the fish were thrown back.
The Gallatin is up and muddy. The Madison is not as muddy. The Jefferson is also muddy. The Mssouri as of today was a little clearer.
I also heard that guys are catching a few salmon on Deadmans. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Bill says, “On the Stillwater it is time to try midges and blue wing teals . It is should be good on dries. A float is possible on the lower part.
Both the Yellowstone and Stillwater have opened up. The Yellowstone still has some color.
Nymph fishing has been decent. It still has to warm up for the march browns now.“
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, ” Fishing was really good when I fished it this week. The flow is up 9000. That means there is not much wadding. Try the San Juan worms. The fish are hungry and eating. There are a lot of midges. Not much action on the surface. 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
Rick says,” Fishing is very good in fact I would say excellent. The water has stayed at 9,000 cfs . The water temperature at the Afterbay 40 degrees. It is a fast boat float. Use caution wading. Access is limited. There is midge action and a few baetes . Dry fly action comes about 11 to 3 pm. At this point call the shop to learn about renting boats out. Call us we will give you current daily information. ”
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,” Really, most conditions are the same as last week. Try nymphing with smaller nymphs like caddis and blue winged olives below a stonefly is the best option most days. The right weather allows the mayflies and midges to 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 day.
Rainbows are still spawning so stay off the redds!.. ”
Yellowstone National Park
Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is still closed for the season.”