Fall is here and with it comes sudden changes in weather and changes in water conditions. Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes. Storms can happen quickly so fishermen or fisherwomen need to keep in touch with the weather service. 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, fire 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
Linda reports, “I can tell you the water temperature is definitely cold. It is real chilly. We had friend who were also fishermen here. We fished off the shore it a challenge. Our friends caught one fish, a 42 inch northern pike. They had other bites but were not able bring them in. They lost them in getting them to shore. They were using smelt. It is supposed to be warmer this next week so you could fish if you wanted. It was 40 during the day last week and they are saying possibly the mid 50’s this week. ”
We do have some clothing, oil and some tackle for sale but bring your own bait if you are coming. The docks have been pulled. We will have some fuel if you can find someone to help you with it. There will be people here when ice fishing starts.
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Spencer said,” We have pulled the docks a while back. We do have open water now. We did have a skim of ice but it is gone. We had a few fishermen in boats but have not seen any one’s catch. So people are getting out. I do see some ice starting to form on the south end.“
Some of the campgrounds have been shut down of electricity. Campers point north has electricity. That is the camp site closest to the marina. The cleaning station is closed. The water is turned off. There is no water at the dump site and in the campgrounds. The boat inspection site is closed.
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says,” The ice we had is gone. We have open water right now. The Marina is closed right now. So we are just waiting for ice. As soon as there is safe ice we will be open weekends but not yet. This year there will be no vending machine for minnows. When we do open we will sell them. So bring your own worms as there are none here right now with the marina being closed. There will be no fuel available. “
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345 Marina Matheson-Park personnel
Layne says,” Late in the week we have no one here. We are in that time between hunting and the ice coming on. We had some local fishermen earlier and they did pretty good pitching for small mouth. That worked for them and they did pretty well.”
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, “We again have had a small handful of fishermen this week. They are catching some lake trout. Not any activity of lake trout at the dam. A few are getting walleyes using a jig on the main lake points. There have been good temperatures this week for fishing but it seems to change every other day with the wind, Stay alert with this kind of weather. ”
Our hours are 6am-8pm Monday through Saturday, 6 am to 7 pm on Sunday. ”
Cooney Reservoir – Mark is the game warden at Cooney.
Reports are saying the ice is gone on Cooney. The weather is changing water on the inlet side. Fishermen are going out to fish but not much catching. The bite seems to be slow.
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Bob reports , ” It has really warmed up and right now there are white caps on the water. The water is open on Elmo. There have been a couple of fishermen by the boat ramp but it looks like it is pretty slow. There are lots of geese out there and lots of ducks.“
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat says, “We have not seen any fisherman this week. There is no ice on the road. We have seen wind. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says,” I just am not selling worms and I am not hearing that any one is fishing. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “The roads and highway are great. There was a skim of ice just starting on Bair but the changing temperatures may have changed that. I have not heard of anyone trying to fish. ”
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale says, “ It is the same, people are fishing at Spring Creek. Nymphing is doing well. Guys are using copper and pheasant tails. I did know some guys who headed to Peck for bass and I heard the fishing was spotty. ”
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
I heard from one source that the ice has water on it but cannot confirm with Jim.
The Marina’s hours are Monday to Sunday 7 am to 7pm
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. We hope to be open year round.
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“Sharon says,” The wind was blowing this week. We just did not see people head out. We have no ice. We have gotten in half of our ice fishing stock and will get the rest in the next couple of days. Mark your calendar for the Broadwater Lions Club Ice fishing Tournament on January 27th and 28th, 2018. “
The inspection station at the landing has closed.
The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm. We still are making and selling sandwiches at the Marina.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Don says,” I heard the ice is off of Nelson. There is just a little on the edges because of warm weather and wind. . We do have minnows here if guys need them.
On Forchette I have heard guys are going out in boats. They are fishing deep using minnows and reps. They were catching 2 to 3 pound walleye. It sounded like if you kept at it you could catch some fish. “
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday
Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan, Matt
Matt says,” On Nelson I heard it was not good fishing and the ice was off. They said fishing was spotty.
Yellowstone: A few guys have hit the Yellowstone to fish. They are catching using a jig and a minnow.
Yellowtail: They are still catching fish at Yellowtail at the state line.
Crooked Creek: Guys said there was water on the ice at Crooked Creek so things are changing, ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ The sun is shining and it is not snowing. The temperature is 45 degrees right now. You can fish the river, I have not heard anything on Canyon Ferry except wind ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill
Chris reports, “ the rivers are clear and open. I had a few guys who floated the Yellowstone so you can do it. Just pitch streamers to have some success. ”
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau says,” The Big Horn has cleared up some. It is still somewhat grassy in areas. Watch the redds if you see them and stay off that area. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Colette said,” The water is at 4000 CSF so it is down a little. Using nymphs is difficult and almost brings no results. The whisker grass in the water is breaking off the bottom. Try using a #20 dry. Streamers can work. Something with a silhouette with a sparkle is working. We are open 8 am to noon now all week.
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698
Alice says,” On the Madison River recent warmer weather has produced some midge hatches down on the Madison. Fish are still looking for nymphs and will eat a dark streamer in the right water. Enjoy the weather while it lasts!
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is closed for the season until May.