Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 5.15.17
By angelamontana

Posted: May 17, 2017
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 pmFridayand 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 ThursdayFriday 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.  “


Crooked Creek

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.”