Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 2.28.18
By angelamontana

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.  The strength and depth of ice can change very quickly please watch for any changes. 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, ” We did have a few fishermen here and we could hear fishermen across the ice as well  this week.   I don’t know how they did across the ice but the guys here caught 2 walleye.   We have been  snowed in but as of today we finally were able to get out.  If you use our road you have to have chains.  As the wind blows that may change again but we finally got some plowing done. We would still recommend you call about the road.    You can still get to Rock Creek but  people are coming  in through  the north end and use a 4 wheeler to the Marina.  There were a few using pickups.  Most are using 4 wheelers and snowmobiles and side by sides.  There is 6 to 8 inches of snow on the ice.  It makes it hard to see any cracks.  If you have more questions call us.”

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond   said,” I am still hearing of guys catching crappies and a few perch.  It has been cold at night.  Right now it is sunny.  With the snow on the ice you need to be cautious.  We were fairly busy this weekend.  Roads are okay.  The highway does have some ice on the highway in places but it is pretty clear.  Most guys were catching with minnows from the Marina.  We have 12  inches or more  of ice.  “

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 reports,” we had  a busy weekend.  Some perch but more crappies being caught.  I have heard of  rumors that some are catching walleye.   No one is  talking about  if and where they are catching.  We sold a bunch of minnows again.  I am hearing the ice is anywhere from 12 to 18 inches depending on where you go.  Try   fishing   using a glow in the dark spoon and  my small fathead minnows.  The smaller minnow   work   better. “

 The Marina is open Friday, Sat and Sunday.  Our hours will be 6 am to noon each day.  I am getting   minnows right now.  I will have   worms. Mill worms, tackle, beer, pop and snacks.  Check out Tongue River Marina on Facebook.   This year   there will be no vending machine for minnows.

 Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345

Layne  says,” we have had  fishermen here this week.  The walleye bite is  better.  It seems to be more consistent.  They seem to have gone deeper.  The bite is not running away I would say.  Use a live minnow.   The  northern pike are doing pretty good in the bay and on the main lake.  Someone caught a 20 to 21 pounder.  The roads are good.     They are finding  all species at 10 to 20 feet.    Fishermen are  using 4 wheelers and side-by-sides.   We have several pressure ridges so check with us for details.  There are two in the bay and two out on the main. ”

 The Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.  ­­­­­­­

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

Carrie says, “  today it is 20 degrees.  It is sunny and the wind is only blowing 15 mph.  It is great.  Fishig has been slow.  We just keep watching the barometric pressure because when it changes fishing  will really pick up we believe.  It just has not happened yet.  Some guys today had luck at the Pines  catching  walleyes and pike.  As things warm up the walleye bite should get better.    In the past the walleye were only biting an hour before sun rise and an hour after sun set.  There is 8 to 10 inches of snow on the ice.  The ice depths are 22 to 25 inches.  ”

We do have minnows, hooks, floaters, full suckers, wax and   meal worms and white and pink maggots here for the guys to use.  Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday. ”

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson.

Marina reports,”  I have been constantly plowing.   We did have drifting this week.  I spoke to one fisherman today.  He has come and fished a lot and he said it was extremely slow.  He has been getting a few bites on shrimp and worms.  Hr has caught a few.  They were small and they definitely are not abundant.  There have been people all over the ice.  Most people are walking on the ice.  There is now access  everywhere except  I have closed Cottonwood and Overlook going north is also closed.  You can fish at Red Lodge Campground, Fisherman Point and Marshal Cove. “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

“The ice conditions are still good.  There  were quite a few ice houses on the ice  yesterday.  I saw some people catching fish.  Guys have been using everything from corn to cut worms and crawlers.  There is 8 to 12 inches of ice  with some  snow on top.    It is walk on only. ”, Ken says.

Deadmans Tony Stefani

 Tony said,” We again  had no fishermen at Deadman’s this week that we saw.  They have  plowed   the road.  So far drifting has not become  a problem.  So if they come watch the weather closely. “There are   shacks  on Broadview pond.  People  seem to be catching fish.”

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

 Terry says,” I have had no one   again who went  fishing.  Everyone seems to be staying close to home.  I had   music this past weekend and it was even quiet for that. ”

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

 Judy  says, “We fished this past weekend to Bair.   We caught 3 fish and another group caught 4.    We were all using worms and maggots.   It   is not lively   fishing .  You can get into Bair,  just make sure to  be prepared with chains because of the patches of ice on the road.  There   is 22 inches of ice all over on Bair.

 We talked to some people who went to  Sutherland.  They parked at the top of the hill and walked down.  The road was open yesterday.  They said they caught ling.  Today it is blowing, so there may be drifting on the road today.    Don’t leave home without a shovel and chains. ”

 Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale  says, “  We still  have lots of  snow.  There is just not many places to go right now.  You can go to the East Fork  on the county road toward the East side and catch some perch.  Just watch for drifting.  You can also get to Achley.  Some trout are being caught there.  The wind is really howling again today and it is cold.  Just not great for getting out to fish .”

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

Slim says, “ We are still  closed.  .  It is  impossible  to get to Crooked Creek because  of the snow.  The Marina cannot be accessed so it   IS closed right now.  The road is not plowed.    I do   not   advise  trying to go in with a snow mobile either.  There will be no   services and no one will be  there. Pay attention  to facebook for any changes.  ”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

  Sharon says,”  the ice is good. Fishing has still been  good.   Some days there is wind.  Guys are catching trout and some walleye.  If you want to catch fish and don’t mind the cold you can catch them.    All in all fishing is good.  The ice is 12 to 15 inches. There are still pressure ridges.  Just go around but don’t go over them.  Check at the marina for details. “

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,”  guys are catching on  Nelson again.  There is a lot of snow and you will need chains.  The wind has settled down.   There were  guys catching some nice walleye.  Some 3 to 4 pounders.  They are fishing  at night starting right at sundown using minnows.  I   hear Forchette is still   blown in.   You can’t get in there.  “

Stop by the store.  We do have bait, minnows and crawlers here if you need them. Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday

 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Dan, Matt

Jayce  says,”   Not many people going out.

Holter-They are still catching perch on Holter.  They say the perch are really deep, like 50 feet deep.

Fort  Peck-  I had some guys say Fort Peck   fishing was okay.

Cooney- Guys  say fishing on Cooney has been slow.

Rock Creek- A couple of guys said they did well at Rock Creek for northern pike. ”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “  we have had days with 3 degree temperatures.   We still have  a lot of  ice out there.  It is sunny today which should help.  We also have wind today. No one has gone fishing and told me they caught anything   this week. ”

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

 “ There are no ice jams yet.  The cold and freezing weather makes it tough to try fishing.  There is lots of ice buildup   in the Yellowstone.  It is tough to access anywhere right now.  Use the break to tie flies and book your trips for later ,” Chris says.


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

Beau says, “I don’t know of anyone who has gone fishing on the Big Horn  river.  It is just too cold.  The   water is clearer.  The Missouri should be good for fishing right now   on days when it is sunny and warm. ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Stephanie  says,” I had a couple of  guys  come in and go to try fishing today.  It will be  cold  fishing . The cfs is still at 4500. The water is 45 degrees.    Some  guys have seen a few midges at 3 mile when the wind is not blowing. Today is the first day it has not blown in a long time.  Streamer fishing was the way to go.”

Our winter hours are   8 am to noon all week. “

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

Madison River

Alice reports, “ Midges will be hatching in the middle of the day if it stays warm.  Before and after the hatch try , nymphs with a smaller midge below a stonefly nymph pattern.

You can try  olive streamers also, .

Watch for  rainbows which will be possibly  prepping a  redd, Stay away.”

Yellowstone National Park    

Yellowstone National Park  is closed for the season until May.