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 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
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 Thursday. Friday 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. “
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.”