Report COMPILED BY Carol Henckel
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.
Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560
Linda reports, “ It was slow at the start of the week as people got blown off the water. It picked up latr in the week after the wind died down. The water temperature was 53 to 54 degrees. The walleye are starting to bite. Some of the fishermen are saying that the barometric pressure is just about right for the walleye to really start to bite. People later in the week have been catching pike and walleye. They say they are coming loser to the surface now. They are finding minnows and cranks in all colors are working.
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
“ I went fishing last night and caught crappie on a chartruse jig. The cleaning station is open now. This weekend we had about 125 boats on the water. The crappies are starting to bite. The bite on Saturday was good and then Sunday,Monday the fishing was poor. The bite is not steady yet. We do have some murky water. The water is over the spillway now. “
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says,” lots of people caught fish some days this week. The water is at full pool. Fishing is starting to settle in. Walleye fishing has been hit or miss. The walleye are at 10 to 15 feet. They are taking live bait or plastics. The south is more muddy . We had another person catch a 40 inch northern pike using a rattlesnake dare devil. They did catch lots of crappies. They have been moving in and out. “ My hours for May are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pm. Fridayand 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
Clint says, “ Fishing has been not too bad this week. The northern pike fishing has been good. They are coming closer. They are finding pike at 5 to 8 feet of water.. Walleye are being found at Timber Creek . Some good ones and quite a few were caught. The water level is over pool right now. The corp is telling Clint that the water will be up 2 feet by the end of July. ” 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, “The weekend was spotty for fishing. The lake trout have definitely picked up fishing wise. People are heading toward Hackesbee and the face of the dam for lake trout at a depth of 15 to 45 feet. . Some walleye are being caught but not a lot. Try using vertical jigging or crawlers in worm harnesses at 15 to 25 feet. The guys are finding pike off shore using smelt or a sucker minnow. That is working well. It is calm today and my son is out there right now fishing and he is catching some walleye he says. 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, “ People have been out there fishing. There have been people catching some nice small mouth bass. Around 1 to 1 ½ pounders. Rainbow trout are also being caught. We are at full pool. “ Today was the first day of the children coming to Elmo for the end day of the Aquatic Ed program. One young man caught a very nice bass. Many of the other children caught sunfish and a couple of trout. They all caught the fishing bug that is for sure.
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat says, “ We have had very few fishermen this week. There were just no bites. Lots of nibbles but no one caught anything that we saw. Not much catching, just lots of nibbles . 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 talked to some guys who went out this week. One fellow went out and tried Neland, Sutherland, Bair, Martinsdale and Deadmans. His totsl csth this week was a lot of wind and a sucker. I also heard from a guy that headed to Fort Peck and fished off shore and caught a northern pike that was 20 pounds . He also caught some walleye off shore with worms and smelt. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
“It was so cold and nasty this week that people did not go out. The wind was really blowing, No one wanted to be out there, it was just too nasty“ , Judy says.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale says, “ On the Missouri River people are starting to catch catfish . Guys are using cutbait and crawlers. It is muddy . The paddlefish are being caught on Rock Creek to Fred Roberson’s bridge.
It is raining again at Spring Creek so it is blown out so that fishing is off.
The western part of Crooked Creek is fishing good still, Mostly they are using a a jig and a big gulp minnow in almost any color. It has been a solid bite when using worm harness and jigs. “
We would like to welcome Crooked Creek Marina to our fishing report. The new owners who purchased the Marina in April are 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.
Ron said, “ Fishing has been great. Guys are catching walleye and pike from a boat and from shore at 10 to 20 feet. The crappie are moving in. Walleye are at 30 feet right now. They are staying close to shore. Guys are getting fat ones but not limits . The very experienced familiar fisherman is getting a limit. The crappie are starting and are close to shore. They have been a nice size. ” Abby will be at the marina during the week and Craig will work the weekends. “
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“ The weather is calm today. There has been a lot of wind again this week. Some fishermen got blown off the water this week. If you did get on fishing was good. They were catching walleye , perch and trout. The water is steadily coning up. We did have a few walleye caught from off shore. We are definitely in post spawn time. The water temperature is 54 to 55 degrees. “ 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,” . The Lake is almost full . You can use the ramp. Fishing is good. They are catching walleye, northern pike, and small mouth bass. Fishermen are using worm harness’ with a jig. The bass fishing is pretty good.
At Forchette the fishing is 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
Tanner says ,” Cooney is picking up and fishing well guys has said. Lots of walleye being caught. More catching happening in the evening using cranks .The water temperature is up.
The Yellowstone is muddy. I have heard of catfish fishing going on. Someone caught a 12 pounder from shore with a tube jig.
Word on Petrolia is it is fishing well. They are catching walleye and some pike. Guys have caught cats from shore as well.
At Peck Hell Creek people say cranks are working well.”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ I heard lots of complaints of wind, rain and cold weather that made fishing hard to do.
Crooked Creek is still fishing really well. Some fish caught jigging minnows. Some guys are going 30 to 40 feet and catching nice walleye.
Canyon Ferry fishing was fishing okay. The south end is muddy. Someone caught a 23 inch walleye. They also caught trout.
The rivers are extra muddy and raising. It has slowed down rising because of the cool weather.
At Holter and Hauser people are catching some nice walleye. They are catching lots of nice perch. They are biting . ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Bill says, “ The upper Stillwater up at the Rosebud. It is clear and fishable. It is not real high. On the lower Stillwater is is a little clearer today but running real high.
The Yellowstone is high and real muddy. Really not fishable. If you fish it is not easy. “
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 is good on the Big Horn. It is good from the After bay to 3 mile when cloudy. The water is diverting emerald shiners into the afterbay . It is grassy lower. More than last week. From 3 mile to the Big Horn access you can still catch fish using San Juan worms.. Try a streamer or an emerald shiner pattern. It does change from day to day. Streamers are definitely harder to do. I found white streamers worked well. Worms also work well when the water is high. Due to the high water it means there is not much wadding. Access getting 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 better in general since flows have gone up .
Nnymphing 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
Donna says, Fishing is okay. Due to the high water you had better put the line in the water right the first time. The water is 13,000 cfs . Some caddis have been seen. It is a fast float. You definitely have to stay alert. For streamers try dirty hippies and thin mints. White streamers are orking. Use caution wading. 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 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,” I took kids on the river today for the Take a Kid Fishing day program on the Madison. The day went well and most all the kids caught fish. 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.”