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 by Carol Henckel)
Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560
Bill reports, “ Fishing is picking up. It was spotty during the week. Saturday fishing was good. The guys were pitching cranks close in the bay. The water temperature was 60 degrees. The walleye are starting to bite but it is a hard catch. The walleye they did find were at 15 to 25 feet depths. A few they have found even deeper depending on the day. Some guys are using minnows and cranks and others are using a bobber and a worm. Fishermen are catching smallmouth bass and doing well. The trout are being found at depths of 30 to 35 feet depths.
We are open 7 to 9 during the week and 7 to 11 on the weekend. We do have cabins for rent. Services are available .”
Tongue River Reservoir /Spencer
“ The electrical hookups are now working. The cleaning station is open now. A busy weekend on the water with boats. . More crappies are being caught. The bite on Saturday was good. Other days the fishing was up and down with the muddy water in place. The water is over the spillway now. “
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says,” People are catching fish. The water is at full capacity pool but it seems to have leveled out. Walleye fishing has been hit or miss. The walleye are at 10 to 15 feet. They are taking live bait or plastics. I have been selling a lot of leeches which they seem to be tipping their line with them. The south is more muddy . With that, guys are finding a darker jig is working because of the muddy water in places. Don’t forget the new invasive species stamp you have to pick up to go along with your already purchased fishing license. I have them here. “ My hours for May are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pm. Friday and Saturday the hours will be 8 to 8 pm in May. Sunday will be 8 to 5 pm. I have minnows, leaches and crawlers. You can even pre-order them. 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
Staff says, “ Fishing has been pretty good this week. The northern pike fishing has been good finding them at 10 to 15 feet of water. Using mostly a minnow with a jig.. Walleye are being found at Timber Creek . Only a few being caught at Snow Creek. The water level is going up. Clint tells me they say it is supposed to still go up another 3 feet. ” 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, “There were not many days when you could get out on the water this week as the wind was really blowing. So we only saw a few fishermen. Sunday was a good fishing day and they were catching some nice walleye with a spinner and a minnow. They are saying some wind again this week like Thursday and Friday. If you could get out there you could get walleye. The lake trout had definitely picked up fishing wise. The lake trout are at a depth of 10 to 40 feet. . The wind has been the big issue.
We have a full line of bait, crawlers and minnows. Our hours are now 7am to 7pm Sunday and Monday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday we are open 7 am to 7 pm. ”
Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark is the game warden at Cooney.
“The water level is at full pool. The docks are in. They are catching quite a few of trout right now amd a few brownies. The walleyes caught I saw were in the 2 to 3 ½ pound range. They are fishing close to shore. People are using leeches, worms and power bait. They are jigging .
You need a new decal validation for your boat now. We have found people are bringing boats to the water that they are trying out because they might buy the boat. That boat must have a new decal and it is the owners responsibility to put it on before the boat can be on the water or transferred in ownership. It is green with a 20 on it and is good to 2020. There is no cost for it. You can get one at the Elmo office or go on line to get one, Just a reminder, we are still finding parents who are forgetting all children 12 and under must be in a life jacket or floating device all the time on the water. “ Mark said .
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Staff says, “ guys are out fishing if they could get past the wind.. People are catching some nice bass. Around 1 to 1 ½ pounders. Rainbows are being caught. Elmo is at full pool. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Tony says, “ Fishing was slow this week. There were just few bites. They shut down the flow so there is not as much water. I think that will help start the fishing to get better.
The fees at Deadmans have gone up. Campers with a fishing license will find the fee will be $12./ with no fishing license $18./ senior Citizens and Disabled with a fishing license will be $6. And without a license it is $12. It should start any day now when the envelopes arrive. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says, “I have heard that fishing is better from shore at Martinsdale. There was a lot of wind off and on. The ponds are full. The guys are saying they are catching some nice trout and browns. The fish seem to be coming closer to shore. Guys seem to think fishing has been getting better. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
“With lots of wind people had trouble getting out. The fishing was only fair this week at Bair. We did not hear of much success “, Judy says.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Charlie says, “Spring Creek is off color. About all that is working is nymphing. Do it early and slow.
Achley is producing from shore and boat. It is getting better. It really is in good shape. Fishing is okay it just needs to warm up.
On the Missouri River people are starting to catch catfish . Guys are using cutbait and crawlers. Of course the water is high but they are catching some good cat. The paddlefish are being caught on Rock Creek to Fred Roberson’s bridge.
The western part of Crooked Creek is still steady fishing, Wind has been a factor. They are saying we will have 50 to 90 mph winds on Wednesday. Mostly they are using a a jig at 20 to 30 feet and a big gulp minnow in almost any color. “
Crooked Creek Welcome Crooked Creek Marina Craig and Abby James 406-429-2999
The Marina’s hours are Monday to Thursday 7 am to 7pm and Friday to Sunday 6am to 9pm
They is full service at the Marina with non ethonal fuel, bait, minnows, worms, leaches and fishing lures. We also have some rods and reels. There are cabins to rent. The docks are in. They hope to be open year round for ice fishing and hunting season.
Abby said, “ Fishing has been steady. It has bee pretty good. We have had wind one day. Guys are catching pike from a boat and from shore at 10 to 20 feet. They seem to be liking worms. That fishing has been good. The crappie are moving in. Crappies seem to be good using a green spinners. Walleye are at 20 to 29 feet right now. They are staying close to shore. The crappie are starting and are close to shore. ”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“ There has been some wind this week. Fishing was good. They were catching walleye , perch and trout. The water is steadily coning up. The walleye that have been caught were 3 to 8 pounds. They have been going toward pond 1 and 2. The flamingo will be opening on Wednesday, “ Jodie 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,” . Nelson is really good fishing. They are catching walleye, northern pike, and small mouth bass. Use a worm harness’ with a jig. The bass fishing is good. Really they are biting on almost anything.
At Forchette the fishing can be harder because of lots of wind.
At Crooked Creek guys are catching some nice fish.
At Nelson the pike and small mouth bass are shallow at shore in the weed beds. They are catching them there. “
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce
Jayce says ,”Cooney is doing well, guys have said. Some nice walleye are being caught. Fish in the evening using cranks .The water temperature is up. Use a jerk bait.
The Yellowstone is muddy. The catfish fishing is starting by Hysham. Someone caught a 12 pounder from shore with a tube jig.
At Fort Peck Hell Creek people say cranks are working well. They are catching. Forchette is still doing well. At the Dry Arm they are doing well catching pike.
On Tongue they have had some better days fishing. Some have limited out on crappies. Small mouths have done well.
On the Big Horn you can catch trout with a minnow and imitation white minnow .”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ I heard there was great fishing from the bank for walleye. One guy caught 7 from the bank so they are going shallow. .
The rivers went down. The Madison is fairly clear. The Gallatin when I looked at it I noticed you could see the bottom so it is clear. The Jefferson is up and is real muddy. All those things could change with the warm weather and melting. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Bill says, “ The upper Stillwater up at Nye for the moment is fishable . It is clear . It is not real high. On the lower Stillwater it is getting muddie and not fishable.
The Yellowstone is high and real muddy. It is blown out not fishable. Not somewhere to fish. “
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 am now fishing on the Missouri. The cfs is 1300. It has risen once since I started. Use spw bugs, gray Ray ‘s in natural, San Juan worms during the day Use a pheasant tail in th evnings. It is real highso that makes it all boat fishing. There is not anywhere to wade ”
Steven Caldwell guide,
Fishing has been better in general since flows have gone up .
Nymphing has been good to great, Try a big Amex or your favorite scud pattern trailed by a sow bug or a green machine, Ttry a worm every now and again.
With dries if you look hard. Look for cloudy days. . Midge clusters or Adams when presented will catch something.
For streamers – throw till your arm far and have fun.”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Stephanie says, Fishing is okay. The water is 14,000 cfs . Water temperature 61 degrees. It is a fast float. You definitely have to stay alert. Use streamers like dirty hippies and thin mints. White streamers are working. Not much dry fly fishing. at this point call the shop to learn about renting boats out. Call us we will give you current daily information which is important for safety. ”
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,” Flows have been seasonally appropriate and VERY high and off color as that little bit of warm weather turned on runoff. Snow in the forecast for this week so that will slow the high and dirty water. Watersheds are still over 100% so this will be the protocol for close to a month…
Blue winged olives hatched later this afternoon but all our fish were caught on nymphs.
Large stonefly nymphs, beadhead Copper John nymphs and San Juan worms are the most effective on the Madison right now, if the blue winged olives are hatching fish will eat the nymphs when they can see them!”
Yellowstone National Park
Alice explains, “Fishing in the park opens for the season on Memorial Day weekend.”