Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 12.6.17
By angelamontana

Posted: December 7, 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 white caps.  The wind has blown almost all week.  The fishermen have stayed away.  It was 31 degrees this morning and now it is 38 degrees.  It has been cold a;; week.  We got a sprinkling of snow.”

 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 open water now.  We   have a skim of ice starting on the south end. I have not seen any fishermen in boats during the week but they may be here on the weekend.  From Crappie Point   going   north is open.  The wind has been blowing. There has been more wind here than   passed in congress. “

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

There is  open water right now.  The weekend is supposed to be warmer.  So probably   no chance of ice this  week.  “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

 Layne says,” We have had few fishermen  here.  Guys are  hunting and  waiting for  ice to  come on. A few  local fishermen have tried and they did okay.  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.


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

Mindy says, “ The wind has blown all week.  Today it is blowing 40 mph and they say by the end of the day it will be 53 mph.  There is not any ice.  There is a bit of ice on the edges in the bay on the shore.  Not many fishermen this week.   If they were able to get out they could   catch  some  lake trout. There is still no activity of lake trout at the dam.  ”

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


Cooney Reservoir – Mark is the   game warden at Cooney.

Aaron reports.” that there is a thin film of ice at Fishermen’s Point.  You can’t fish there. The shore is not assessable.  There is open water on the north end.  So there you can get on shore to fish if you wanted to. “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob  reports , ” Elmo is open water but the wind has been blowing a lot this week.  Today there are white caps and even the geese are not on the water.  I have not seen guys fishing this week. “


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

We are not seeing any   fisherman.  We have had wind.


 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.  Have not heard of anyone going   out to fish. ”


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

 Judy says, “Bair is making ice but it is just not ready yet.  There is just a skim of ice.  It has gotten really cold here.  The weather is miserable.  We got 10 inches of snow from the last storm. Sutherland people say is just a little open.   ”


 Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale says, “Talked to a few guys that headed to the Reservoir at Peck and they were using slip bobbering from the bank.  A few guys   are   fishing at Spring Creek.  Nymphing   is okay.  Streamers would also work but not dry flies right now.   Guys are trying   pheasant   tails”.


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

Slim says,” There is ice out on the lake but you can’t get to it.  It is open right now   in front of the Marina.  You could try fishing off the ramp but each day the conditions changes. Lewistown got 8 inches of snow but we just got rain and a smattering of snow.  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 have been a couple fisherman fishing off shore.   The wind has been blowing this week.  We have no ice. We are just between seasons.  We have gotten in half of our ice fishing stock and will get the rest in the next couple of days. 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,” there is no fishable   ice on Nelson right now.  There is just a little on the edges because of the warmer weather and wind. .  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,” On the Big Horn I heard minnows were working at the After Bay.  They are catching some big trout.

Cooney: On Cooney some guys came in and said they had caught 4 to 5 eater size trout. They were casting from a boat toward the shore. At 15 feet.

Rock Creek:  I had some guys go up there but they had no luck.

Hysham: Guys are catching a few saugers   on the Yellowstone but no ling caught.

Yellowstone: A few guys have hit the Yellowstone to fish.  They are   catching  using a jig and a minnow.

Sutherland: Someone said 4 to 5 days ago fishermen caught a ling through the ice. ”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “On Saturday I had a guy who took a canoe on Harrison and caught some rainbow trout.  . You can fish the river but there is wind and it is cold. We only got 1 ½ inches of snow. I have not heard anything on Canyon Ferry except wind”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

 Chris reports, “There is still slush on the edges of the rivers.  The rivers are clear and open.  You can float the Yellowstone if you want to.  Wading is also possible where the bank is clear.   Pitch a bead head or a wooly bugger.  Streamers and nymph fishing should work. ”

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

Beau says,” The Big Horn  has cleared up some. You can catch some but you will work for it.  It is still has some water cloudiness   in areas.  Watch the redds if you see them and stay off that area.”


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Hale   said,” The water is off color. The water is still at 4000 CSF.   The browns are spawning.  There is a fall baetes or mayflies hatching some days.  There are some drifting algae in the water.  You can float and also shore fish. Try using#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

Madison River

 Alice says,” Brrrrr. it finally feels like winter over here.

On the Madison  streamers and small nymphs are the most productive. Midges can also bring fish to the surface if the wind isn’t blowing them off 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.