Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 12.13.17
By angelamontana

Posted: December 13, 2017

Winter 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.  

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560

Linda   reports, “I am looking out there and see 2 boats on the water right now.  The wind has blown this week. It has been quiet the last two days.  We did have ice in the bay but it is only on the shore edges.  It is cold at night.”

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer said,”  That water  has  frozen  overnight in places.  We   have a skim of ice starting on the south end. We  have one fisherman in a  boat off the marina right now. He is in a ¼ acre  size of open water.   Both boat docks are frozen over.  Going south is not stable ice.  The wind has been blowing. I think with the warmer weather and wind the skims of ice will change. “

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, ” It has not iced up yet so we are still not open. We are just waiting. The south end has started to skim ice  but it is not safe to go out on . “

The Marina is   still   closed right now.   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 “, Wade explains.

 Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345  Marina Matheson-Park  personnel

 I heard they  only had a  few fishermen  there.  A few  local fishermen have tried and they  worked for them .

  We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now.  ­­­­­­­

The park manager for Hell Creek State Park is Marina Matheson.

(Feature photo via Taxidermy.net)

Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597

Eddie says, “ Fishing has been a zero right now. The lake is wide open.  The wind has blown this week. The last two days have been less.   There is not any ice.  I know of only a couple of guys who went out.  They got a few lake trout and a couple of walleye.  They were in Marina Bay.  The walleye bite is on the river right now.  It is more walleye than sauger. The walleye is eater size.  Use a jig and a minnow .  The water is 37 degrees.  ”

 Our hours are  6am-8pm Monday through Saturday6 am to 7 pm on Sunday. ”

Cooney Reservoir –

Aaron reports.” There is a thin film of ice from  Fishermen’s Point to the dam. The middle is open sporadically  between the  ice. On the north shore and red lodge there is ice on the shore.  Maybe after Christmas the ice will be firmer. There were a few fishermen  fishing from the shore.  They say the bite is slow.  “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob  reports , ” Elmo is 90% covered with ice.  The geese can stand on it but it is very thin. Nobody is fishing. “

Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony says,” No fisherman visiting here.  We have had wind.  There is no ice yet.”

 Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22

 Terry says,” Guys have said the wind has blown too bad to go out this week.  No ice news yet for Martinsdale.”

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

 Judy says, “Bair and Sutherland are  making ice but it is just a skim of ice.  It has gotten really cold here at night.  During the day it has been in the 40’s.  We also have had wind. ”

 Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale says, “About the only place to fish around here is at Spring Creek. It is clear water.  Use an assortment of  nymphs.  Nowhere else can you really fish. There are just skims of ice elsewhere.  ”

Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana   James  (Slim) and Abbie Craig  406-429-2999

Abbie says,” The bay  is open right now to Anderson Point.  No fishermen have been down.  The Marina is closed until December 20th. “

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,”  There is 2 to 3 inches of ice in the last 2 to 3 days. Be careful it is not thick.  Discretion is always advised.  Our maggots are arriving on Thursday.  The wind has been blowing this week.  We have gotten in  our ice fishing stock.  Don’t forget 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

  Jim says,” Nelson has ice off and on right now. It is not safe  and  is not fishable.   On Forchette I fished and we caught 6 walleye and 2 northerns. My friend got 2 northerns and 2 catfish.  It was fair fishing  for nicer fish.  Go deep 40 to 50 feet depth jigging with a minnow.   We do have minnows here if guys need them.”

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

 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Dan, Matt

Jayce says,” I have not heard much on fishing.


We hit the Yellowstone close to Billings to fish going east.  We actually  caught a few lings.  I also heard of some walleye being caught going east by Forsythe and Miles City.  That is it for news this week.”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ The rivers have iced up.  We have had 5 degrees the last couple of weeks at night.

 I had a guy who said there is 3 inches of ice  on  Harrison and caught some rainbow trout. He thought it would possibly be 6 by the end of the week.

 I also talked to someone who said George Town has ice.  They had 9 inches one week ago.

I had a guy come through who said Henry’s Lake on the Idaho border  had 9 inches of ice as of Saturday and they were catching big rainbow.

 I have not heard anything on Canyon Ferry except wind”

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

 Chris reports, “ The rivers  are open. There is no ice on the edges of the rivers.  Wading is also possible where the bank is clear.   Try a wooly bugger.  Streamers and nymph fishing should work. ”

 Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau says,” I am on the big Horn River right now.  The water seems to be down about 3600 cs.  The water is off color.  The visibility of the water is not good. The grass is still in it. Try a streamer  maybe  in black with a flasher.  Fishing is not spectacular. Watch the redds if you see them and stay off that area.  ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Collette   said,” The fishing is slowed down.  The water is 45 degrees. You can still  use dries like a baetes #20.  Streamer fishermen are having a blast.  Nymphing is real slow.”  We   are open   8 am to noon now all week. “

Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698

Madison River

 Alice says, ”If you fish  the Madison  streamers and small nymphs are the most productive. Midges can also bring fish to the surface with no wind on the water. Water levels are unseasonably high so fish are in unusual winter lies. Stay warm! ”

Yellowstone National Park    

Yellowstone National Park  is closed for the season until May.