Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 5.8.17
By angelamontana

Posted: May 11, 2017

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, “   The docks are in.  People have been catching pike, bass, walleye and trout this week.  They are  finding  minnows and cranks in all colors are working.   For pike guys are heading to Sand Arroyo Bay.   They are finding trout toward the north side.   For walleye   a few are using a jig.

The water is high right now.   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

“ It was a busy week with people coming here.  Fishermen have found crappies in the shallows.  Good fishing is on the way. We do have a good amount of muddy water.  The water is 5 to 6 inches from going over the spillway.  The electricity  is on in all the campsites. We have  all docks in. “


Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley

Wade explains,” people had success this week.  We saw people coming in with  crappie and  bass.  Walleye fishing  has been hit or miss.   I think  the high water has scattered the walleye.  People seem to be using tube jigs with a regular minnow or leach.  Leaches seem to be popular right now. The water temperature is 62 degrees or so.   They have been  heading to both sides of the river.  The south is  more muddy I hear.  Someone caught a  40 inch  northern pike using a jig an a minnow.  You can see it on facebook.  “  My hours for April are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pmFriday 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

Clint   explains,   “  The  northern pike fishing has been  good.  They are finding pike at 8 to 10 feet   from the bank.  Fishermen  caught  ten pike   off the bank   yesterday.    The water level is pretty dang full right now.  The guys

are starting to  catch bass.  They are just starting to come on at 16 to 20 feet.  They are catching them   with a jig toward Snow Creek. .    Only a few   walleye being found and you have to head straight out to Bone Trail or Timber Creek  .    The water level   is over maintain pool right now.“   In talking about the Crooked Creek Tournament   Clint expressed the belief,   “ Crooked Creek can be good fishing but really tough fishing.  There is a lot of   water there but not the structure you usually find.  It is pretty much flat bank to bank.  So finding the holes are tricky but like we saw this past weekend the experienced fishermen did well.  You have got to know where the dips and things are.”   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,    The lake trout have definitely  picked up fishing wise.  People are heading toward   Hakesbee not so much to the face of the dam.  We went out yesterday, three of us, and got 9 total, our limit in 2 hours on a silver spoon. They are catching a few    walleye   toward Duck Creek   jigging 8 to 30 feet.    Guys are finding some of the walleye are nice fat ones.    Fishermen are frustrated because whle they fish for walleye they can’t keep the  northerns off their line”  Our hours are now 7am to 7pm Sunday and Monday to ThursdayFriday and Saturday we are open 7 am to 7 pm.   We have all the bait and tackle here you will need right now.  ”


Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark is the new   game warden at Cooney.

“ People are catching walleyes.  They are   fishing close to shore.  Many of them are 3 ½ pounds.  They are catching rainbow trout  with worms.  Not hearing about anyone catching browns.  They are jigging and night crawlers   are  working.  The water level   is   almost full pool.

Just a reminder, we are 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.  We actually had an infant with no  life jacket the other day.    You   also  need  a new decal validation  for your boat  now.  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, “   Mark said  .


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Ken Frazer  says, “  People are out there fishing.    Some   people  are catching  some nice size small mouth bass.  Around 1 to 1 ½ pounders.  Rainbow trout are also   being caught. We are almost at full pool.  “


Winter Fish Kills noted:

Ken explains ,”  staff has discovered fish kills at Lake Josephine, Broadwater Pond, Arapoish Pond.    We also found a fish kill at Laurel Pond.  We have stocked   Broadwater  and Laurel pond partially.  The  other ponds have bass and will be stocked later.  It is too early to do that now,” Ken Frazer did say.


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Pat   says, “  Lots of people were out there this week.  Not much  catching, just lots of nibbles .  We kind of wondered if because FWP was netting the fish were disturbed.   We did put the dock in temporarily.  It is not in completely.  We are in the process of putting 3 more sites in.    The   fees to use 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, “We again had wind this week.   I heard from some guys that   headed  to Deadmans  and fished  off shore and caught a couple decent size fish, trout  12 to 15 inches..  I have   heard  that guys going to Martinsdale were catching  fish from shore.   They say    water level t is filling up. ”


Checkerboard Inn   Checkerboard, MT   Rick and Judy Geordge  406-572-3373

“This week people who headed to Bair found fishing to be good using  worms , they tell me.  They were catching them on   worms and marshmallows.  People were getting their limits.

I also heard that guys   who went to Sutherland did poorly.  They were there a long time and went home with only two fish,“  Judy says.


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale   says, “ The Missouri River now has the catfish turned on.  Guys are using cutbait and crawlers.  It is muddy and the temperature is up and that is what they like. The paddlefish is just turning on from Rock Creek to Fred Roberson’s bridge.

The Spring Creek is blown out so that has made fishing off.

The western part of  Crooked Creek as you probably heard was fishing good for the tournament.  Many of those fish caught were around Forchette.   They have been   fishing real good .  Mostly with 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 will be a full service Marina with non ethonal fuel, bait, minnows, worms, leaches and fishing lures.  They also have some rods and reels.  They do have cabins to rent.  The docks are in.  They hope to be open year round for ice fishing and hunting season.

Abby said, “We held the Crooked Creek Tournament this week.  Fishing was really good,  The big winner was Kennie Williamsand Travis Scott.  There were 59 teams.  The number of fish caught was almost record breaking.  Jigging with a purple or red color were working. The fish were shallow on Friday and then on Saturday after thunder the night before the fish were deeper and closer to Crooked Creek.  They also caught pike and some huge bass close to a state record.  Worms are just starting to work.”  Abby will be at the marina during the week and  Craig will work the weekends.   “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“  We finally have calm today.  There  has been a lot of wind this week.  Many 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.  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,” .  The Lake is almost   full . You can use the ramp.  Fishing is good.  They are catching   walleye, northern pike, and  small mouth bass. Carp are starting to spawn. Fishermen are worn harness’   with  a jig.  The ban fishing is started.    At  Forchette  and Crooked Creek  guys are catching some nice fish.  The tournament went well with lots of fish caught .  “

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce

Tanner   says ,” I have heard that Cooney is picking up.The water temperature is up.

On the Tongue I heard the bass  fishing is picking up.  It has been okay for them.

The Yellowstone is muddy and not fishable at this time.  I haven’t heard of any catfish fishing going on.  .”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “  Crooked Creek fishing has been really good.  Lots of fish caught jigging minnows.  Some guys are going 30 to 40 feet and catching nice walleye.

Canyon Ferry  fishing was pretty much stopped by wind . If  they could get out they were  catching walleyes and trout. The walleyes  were 12 to 14 inches not much for size.

The rivers are extra  muddy and very high.  The Gallatin  is 3 times higher that last week.  The island by the bridge is no longer visible.

At Holter people are catching a few nice walleye.  They are catching lots of nice perch.  .  ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Chis  says,   “  Fishing  on the Stillwater and Yellowstone is just not happening.  The rivers are high and real muddy.    If you do fish you would have to do the tributaries.    There you could see  a caddis hatch   and some March browns.   “

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 still  good on the  Big Horn. The water is diverting emerald shiners  into the afterbay  .  It is grassy  below.  More than last week. The water temperature is 47 degrees.    Try   nymphing.   You can still catch fish using sow bugs.   Try a streamer or an emerald shiner   pattern.  It does change from day to day.  Streamers are definitely   harder to do   fishing.  The water is off color.   The flow is up. Try the San Juan worms.  The water temp is 47 degrees . 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

Steephanie   says,   Fishing is okayl.   Due to the high water you had better  put the line  in the water right  the first time.  The water  is   13,500   cfs .  We are seeing a caddis.   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,”  Fishing  has been okay.   The water is up on the Madison.  There are sections of the river that are clear.  Usebig large nymphs.  On the lower Madison  you can see caddis and March browns.  If it is rainy and cloudy throw out a blue wing.   The Madison is not showing signs of runoff as it has been snowing up high, not raining. You can still fish with midges.  When the sun warms the air and water a little then  there are blue winged olives hatching and the fish will rise to eat them.  Run off is coming but it was not here this week. ”


Yellowstone National Park

Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is still closed for the season until Memorial Day weekend.”