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
Bill reports, “ The Pikemasters tournament was this past weekend. We had two days of 35 mph wind. There were 39 teams. The winning team had 89 pounds.
The wind made it a tough bite. There were some nice walleye caught this week as well. One was 28 ¼ inches. It was caught with a crank. Some people were using a worm others were using a leech. Go deep, like 35 feet. They are starting to bite. Fishermen are also finding smallmouth bass on the rocky points using kits jigs. “
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
“ We had a huge storm last night but the week has definitely had some bad weather. The crappie fishing has been good. The walleye fishing I have been told is okay. They are just starting to come in. They are moving. The water is high and it is over the spillway. The cleaning station has been busy. When it is cloudy the fish seem to be moving down closer to the Marina. The water is over the spillway now. “
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade explains,” Fishing has been excellent. On Friday I went out fishing, there were four of us. We all got our limits of walleye. We also got some crappie. They s are doing really well. They seem to be at 5 to 20 feet depths. Many small ones we did not keep. People are catching crappie. The crappie have been at 15 to 25 feet. People are using blade runners with a crawler or leech. One fellow complained that he had not caught anything and he said you always give a positive report. I told him that I say what is working, how people are getting the fish. I did tell him that shore fishermen, of which he was one were not doing well. They are doing better from a boat. They are not coming close to shore. You can catch some bass from shore using rapella or spinner bait.”
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.”
Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345 Marina Matheson-Park personnel
Clint tells us, “ Fishing has been slow. The wind has been bad many days. They have caught walleye and pike. The walleye are at depths of 15 to 20 feet depths. They have been at 15 to 20 feet depths. In the morning early people are catching fish on jigs. In the late day after 11 pm into the evening bottom bouncers and cranks seem to work better. The northern pike fishing has been good. They are finding them at 10 to 15 feet of water near shore. Bass are turning up. Walleye are being found towards Bone Trail..” 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 weather has been phenomenal. It has been really hot . Early in the week the walleye fishing was good. It slowed down with the heat. They are finding them at the mouth of Bear Creek to Hakesbee. The lake trout bite has been really good. The lake trout seem to be going deeper. They are at a depth of 40 to 80 feet. Spoons are working. Lindy rigs are being used. At night bottom bouncers with a spin glow or what some call a smilely blade are working.
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.
“In checking fishermen I would say fishing has been status quo during the day. They are catching walleye from shore. They are jigging using glow bait. The wind has made it rough to fish at times. They are catching quite a few of rainbow trout and some browns. They can go out for 2 to 3 hours and catch trout, “ Mark says .
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Ken says, ”The fishing in general seems to be good. I just watched some one catch a nice size fish. I could not tell what kind it was but he lost it as he was bringing it in. I suspect they are catching by the number of people out there. I saw some catching perch. The water is plum full and clear. There are a fair number of trout in there to catch . “
Deadmans Tony Stefani
I was told it has been a quiet this week because of weather and wind. Catching was very little among those who were out on the water. The water is still up. There is absolutely no beach right now.
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 a few people have caught fish but they are only a few here and there. I talked to someone who went to Deadmans they got there and it was just too windy to get on the water. The fishing seems to be sporadic. It is hit and miss they say.”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
“It was windy for fishing this week. People were fishing from shore. They have said Bair was fair fishing, At Martinsdale they have had okay results. “ Judy says.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Charlie says, “Spring Creek is high and off color.
On the Missouri River the cfs is 1400 to 1500. People are catching cats mostly using crawlers.
At the western part of Crooked Creek fishing is better. Northern pike fishing is outstanding. Use a jig and a night crawler.
Achley has been great fishing. It is very full. It is getting better.
The local ponds are picking up as well. Fishing is improving. “
Crooked Creek Welcome Crooked Creek Marina Craig and Abby James 406-429-2999
Craig said, “ A few people have caught pike off the bank. Fishing has been good from a boat. Lots of crappie , small mouth bass and some small walleye were being caught. A few walleye were caught in the 25 to 27 inch size. The water is pretty stained. Right now it is raining. The wind is stirring up the color. It is blowing at 30 mph. They are using bottom bouncers with worms and leeches. Cranks people say are not working. Off shore they are using smelt and cut bait.. ”
The Marina’s hours are Monday to Thursday 7 am to 7pm and Friday to Sunday 6am to 9pm
There is full service at the Marina with non-ethanol fuel, bait, minnows, worms, leaches and fishing lures. We also have some rods and reels. There are cabins to rent. The docks are in. We hope to be open year round.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“ Fishing has been good except when the storms hit. Most walleye have been the 16 to 18 inch size. Surprisingly lots of big ones. I would say the best I have seen in 10 yeas right now. Trout fishing is its usual good. Perch fishing has been decent. We did have one day where the wind was listed at 84.3 gusts The water is steadily coning up. The fishermen have been going toward pond 1 and 2 for walleye, “ 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. It is halfway between the landing and the highway. 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 fishing good. It has been steady. They are catching walleye, northern pike, small mouth with a bottom bouncers and worm harness’. At Forchette the fishing has been slow. There has been quite a bit of wind. They are catching crappie. That seems to be the most common species. The fish are just there.“
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce
Mat Cowen says ,” Cooney is doing well. Lots of walleye being caught. Leeches seem to be really working.
.On Tongue they are catching quite a few bass I have heard. Try a blackie jigging.
The rivers are way too high. It is too dangerous to fish.
At Martinsdale people have caught some nice trout. Spoons seem to be working well.
The big horn has been fishing well. It has been good but high. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ I just got 15 thousand worms in. So I am ready for fishermen.
I hear on Fort Peck at the Dry Arm the walleye have moved out to above Rock Creek.
The rivers are real high and muddy rivers. Not really fishable in places.
I heard the fishing at Canyon Ferry has been off and on. I hear it will be at full pool by the weekend.
I hear at Holter the fishing is good. They are getting perch with some walleye caught as well.”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Chris says, “ The Stillwater and Yellowstone are not safe to fish. They are both blown out. The water is down just a little. Sadly we lost a fisherman at Rock Creek the other day so please be careful and realize how high water is dangerous. The water is just too fast. I am saying it is so high I would stay away “
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. Fishing is good. The river is up. There is a PMD and caddis hatch right now. So dry fly fishing is good. Use sow bugs up by the dam by Holter. The water is clear below the Deerborn River. It is pretty good with nice size fish being caught ”
Steven Caldwell guide,
Fishing has been better in general since flows have gone up .
Dry fly fishing has been good, Try a big Amex or your favorite scud pattern nymphing trailed by a sow bug or a green machine, try a worm every now and again.
With dries try a. 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
Leah says, Fishing is good. The water is 11,000 cfs and we have been told it will continue to go down by the Corp. (I received a report doing this report that the cfs will go down to 1050 at 4 pm today.) Water temperature 60 degrees. You definitely have to stay alert. For nymphing try sow bug, pheasant tails size 18, red worms, gray Rays, in gray and tan and azebra. Dries are not working. Many fishermen are heading to the Lake where the cicada and beetles are out so use streamers. If it is cloudy try the dirty hippies. Just remember for nymphs to use a lot of weight. Come in and we will help you. It is more thatn you expect weight wise. There is some moss I would call it a greenie color.
Call the shop to learn about renting boats out. Call us we can 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,” Not only did we have wind, we had snow and freezing rain. Thankfully I wasn’t on the water for that.
So the Madison out the side of the park is fishing good with nymphs when the water is dirty. Caddis and Blue winged olives have hatched on cloudy afternoons. With the cooler weather, look for the water clear over the weekend.
Yellowstone National Park
Alice explains, “Fishing in Yellowstone National Park is concentrated in the western part of the park on the Madison, Gibbon and Firehole rivers. They are coming down in flows and the early season insects are hatching. The Firehole is seeing two species of caddis hatching most mornings and oddly enough, pale morning duns have been hatching in the afternoons. The Gibbon also has caddis hatching most mornings. The Madison has seen caddis and pmds almost every day and sporadic salmon flies in the upper part of the river.
Carry bear spray!”