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.
(Compiled by Carol Henckel)
Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560
Bill reports, “ This past weekend we had the Rock Creek walleye tournament. It was hot, real hot, 95 degrees with no wind. There were 119 teams. The winning team had 40 pound. It was a tough bite. It has been a sporatic bite this week. T he guys were pitching cranks. The walleye are starting to bite but it is a hard catch. One fellow went out yesterday and came in with 15 walleye and today had a hard time finding them. The walleye have been at 15 to 40 feet depths. Guys were using bottom bouncers and a worm. Fishermen are also finding smallmouth bass on the rocky points using kits jigs. One group came in with 30 small mouth.
This next weekend is the Pikemasters tournament up here. There are still openings to join it. “
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
“ The electrical hookups are now working. The cleaning station is open now. A busy weekend on the water with boats. . More crappies are being caught. The bite on Saturday was good. Other days the fishing was up and down with the muddy water in place. The water is over the spillway now. “
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade explains,” People are catching crappie. I thought the crappie were headed to the shore line but it has not happened yet. The crappie have been at 20 to 30 feet. If you want to catch them try a worm harness with a jig or a tub jig goinging one mph. Many are limiting out right now.
Walleye fishing has been pretty darn good. They are getting them using a leech or a minnow going 10 to 20 feet deep. Look for them along the weed line. People have also been catching lots of bass using plastic. They are finding them at the north and south ends. “
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, “ The northern pike fishing has been good. They are finding them at 5 to 6 feet of water. Bass are turning up. Walleye are being found at Snow Creek and Timber Creek at 14 to 17 feet depths. The walleye have been a lot of big ones and some nice eaters. The walleye are just starting in the mouth of Hell Creek. ” 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.
“People fishing by the dam have been doing pretty good catching walleye. The water level is at full pool. The Marshall Cove camp ground does have some flooding. The docks are in. They are catching quite a few of rainbow trout and some browns, “ , Cynthia says .
Don’t forget 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 good to 2020. There is no cost for it. You can get one at the Elmo office or go on line to get one.
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
The fishing has been decent. People are catching some nice bass and some rainbows are being caught. Elmo is at full pool. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat says, “ It was pretty quiet this week. Catching was very little among those who were out on the water. Fishing had few bites we have been told this week. The water is still up and we called for the dock to be moved again today because of the high water. It is up about 3 feet. 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 that fishing is better at Martinsdale. They say they are catching some nice trout and browns. The fish seem to be coming closer to shore. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
“It was all good news this week. We had lots of fishermen tell us fishing at all three spots were good fishing. They have said Bair, Sutherland and Martinsdale have brought good results. All of their fishing was by boat only, “ Judy says.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale says, “Spring Creek is now fishable. It has started to clear. There is some dry fly action. About all that is working is nymphing.
On the Missouri River people are catching cats . Guys are using cut bait and crawlers. It is getting better every day.
The western part of Crooked Creek fishing is better. The warm weather has helped. I want to caution people of the wind. It comes up fast . Wind has definitely been a factor.
Achley is decent from shore and boat. It is getting better. “
Crooked Creek Welcome Crooked Creek Marina Craig and Abby James 406-429-2999
Abby said, “ Fishing has been good from a boat. A worm harness with a green spinner. Green and orange seem to be the colors that are working with bottom bouncers for walleye. The minnow bite seems to be off. Leaches and worms seem to work better. Our son caught a 28 inch walleye. We also had someone catch 43 inch and 42 inch pike. It has been pretty hot. It was 100 degrees on Saturday. The fish have been at 10 to 16 feet. It was amazing to see how many fish you could see on the fish finder. People are catching walleye, crappies, perc and good eater size walleyes. Someone caught a drum from shore. It was a huge one like 6 pounds. We checked with FWP and it was not a record. ”
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
“ It has been a busy week. Lots of fishing happening. Fishing has been good. They were catching walleye , perch and trout. Some big walleye also some big trout were caught. 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. 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 still good fishing. They are catching nice eater size walleye. There were 5 eater size walleyes that I know were caught on Saturday. The water is dropping because of irrigation. Things are really dry. I was surprised how dry. We definitely need rain, They are also catching northern pike, and small mouth bass. Use a worm harness with a jig. The bass fishing is good.
At Forchette the fishing has been catching lots of little walleyes using bottom bouncers. Some big northern pike have been caught. The bass are starting to bite. It has picked up. “
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce
Jayce says ,”
The big news is Cooney is doing well. Lots of walleye being caught. Some nice walleye are being caught. Fish in the early morning and evening using cranks . Use leaches and bottom bouncers.
At Fort Peck fishing is on everywhere we are hearing. They are catching if it is not windy.
On Tongue they are catching quite a few fish especially crappies. I am hearing they are also getting decent northern pike and bass. Small mouths have done well. People say the walleye ae at the south end.
On Yellowtail one of the guys at Scheeels did well on small mouth bass. He only caught a few crappie .
The rivers are really blown out. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ I heard the fishing at Canyon Ferry has been off and on. On Saturday people caught quite a bit of big walleye. I know of a guy who caught 5 over 27 inches. I also heard of two fish over 27 inches and one 18 inches. Some days people dealt with lots of wind. I was there yesterday and there were 4 foot waves.
The rivers are up again and they are muddy. The water is moving.
I have heard that Totson is close to 18 inches over the bank. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Chris says, “ The Stillwater and Yellowstone are blown out. I am saying it is so high I would stay away. At Livingston it is really ripping along and very dirty. It has lots of color and dity. I think it is way to dangerous to fish even from shore because you can not know if it is undercutting underneath. Just not somewhere to fish. “
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. The cfs is 1300. It has risen once since I started. Use spw bugs, gray Ray ‘s in natural, San Juan worms during the day Use a pheasant tail in th evnings. It is real highso that makes it all boat fishing. There is not anywhere to wade ”
Steven Caldwell guide,
Fishing has been better in general since flows have gone up .
Nymphing has been good to great, Try a big Amex or your favorite scud pattern nymphing 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
Hale says, Fishing is good. The water is 13,000 cfs . Water temperature 60 degrees. It is starting to come down. You definitely have to stay alert. The emerald shiners are still around. So the San Juan worms are working. Use streamers like dirty hippies and thin mints. White streamers are working. Not much dry fly fishing. at this point.
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,” Flows are VERY high and off color. The little bit of warm weather turned the runoff one. There was snow in the forecast this week. . 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 is open.”