Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 4.25.18
By angelamontana

Posted: April 25, 2018

Spring 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   can   come on in fierce strength very fast.  The strength and depth of ice is changing very quickly so use caution. 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

Bill reports, ” The  ice just went off  on Sunday.  There is water as far as the eye can see.  We only had one boat out there this weekend and  coming in was tricky with the ice chunks floating around but that has changed now.  He caught some northern pike and walleye.  We will be open this weekend.  Call us  if you need  to know  more on conditions.  ”

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond   said,” The ice is  gone.  The boat launch  docks went in today.    The temperature today is 50 degrees.  The water level is slowly rising .  Today it seems to be staying stable.   It was a busy weekend.   We did have lots  of boats put in the water  this weekend.  I heard of   northern pike being  caught.   They also caught bass and one large walleye that I know of.   They were fishing close to  shore in the shallows.  The boat inspection station is up and running and Wyoming’s  station will  be open this week.”

Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley

Stephanie, “  All the ice is off.  There was a nice walleye caught last Monday.  I also heard of  sauger, northern pike and a couple of good size crappies caught.  The inspection station checked about 60 boas this on Saturday alone so it was busy. .   Wade reports,” the ice is off .  The  Marina is now open every day.  Our hours in April are 8 to 5 Monday to Thursday  and  Friday and Saturday 7 to 9.  On Sunday we will be open  from 7 to 5 pm.  It was slow fishing  but when you caught something  they were nice fish.  I think we  are gearing up for a great  weekend  weather wise  so it should  be  fun fishing. “

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

Clint   says, “ We are now ready to stat fishing.  It just opened  on  Sunday in the bay.  The main bay is three- quarters open.   Some fishermen  have  caught a couple of  northern pike and some perch.

The Tough Guy Tournament is on the 28th.  You can sign up the day before.  Call Casey Thomas at 406-977-2718  or Clay Phipps at 406-557-2209 ”

 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, “ We are having wind right now.  You cannot put in to fish  right now.  The ice has broken free now and it is shifting constantly.  It is amazing to see it move.  I am amazed how the ice is leaving.  The dam is open all the way to York Island.  I hope it will have changed a lot by the weekend.    Feel free to call to see what conditions are. I don’t know  what the wind will do.    ”

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,” At this point we have no  ice.   There are no boat  docks   in yet .  We have had an equipment failure which we will deal with.  The  three access  ramps are open. I saw two people have some fish they caught. There are fifteen loons on the water and they are feeding off  the fish in the water.  The sand cranes are also here.  We are in the process  of opening the campgrounds but the water is not turned on.  You need to bring your own drinking water.  “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 People  say,” There is wind.  The ice is gone. There are a whole lot of fishermen on shore.  They must be catching  because  there are  guys out there.   The weather is  great for fishing.”

Deadmans Tony Stefani

 Tony says,”   I have not seen anyone  here this week.  They are still letting water in to help those along the Musselshell.  “

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

 Terry says,” I had some  guys buy worms and  head  out but I did not here how they did. People are really  wanting to get out. I have heard the ice is breaking up but don’t know anything  more. ”

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

 Judy says, “  At Bair there is plenty of open water but the shore is still ice.  It makes it hard to get  out.  Martinsdale  is doing fair.  It is opening up. At Sutherlann and Newland  are just beginning  to open up. ”

 Don’s Lewistown-Dale/Charlie

Charlie says, “We are in the process of closing  our shop so we are transferring our report to the Sports Center.  We want to thank all of our customers for their support.”

Sports Center   320 West Main Street, Lewistown, MT   535-9308  Colby / John Tognetti

I want to welcome the Sports Center   to the fishing report.  The Sports Center is a father   and son business which has been in Lewistown for 25 years.   They carry trout flies, lures, walleye jigs, cranks, worm harnesses, and a full line of sporting goods.  Later they will have minnows as well.

“Achley opened last week.  It has been good trout fishing.  They are catching some muskies  using  #9 Flicker shads and large spinners from shore or boat.   The access is real muddy.  Use the amp and do not drive down as that is real muddy and your wheels will be deep in mud.  You will be okay to if you use the ramp.

On the Missouri by Fred Robinson  the water is still high and muddy.  They have ben caching a few cats. I think it should get active.

On Crooked  Creek  it should start to produce good pike and catfish  now that the ice is gone.  When the wind comes up there has been a lot of debris showing up.

On  Spring Creek  the water is high and muddy from the weather changing.   Fishing is not possible right now.

The local  reservoirs and ponds  are open and ice free.  Fishing season is starting“, Colby says.

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

Jim says,” People are fishing.  As of Tuesday you can take a boat out all the way to Forchette Bay.  I think the ice that is out  there will be gone by the weekend.  Guys are catching northern pike and cats using worms and smelt from shore.  The water is still pretty cold.  There has been lots of debris at times when the wind blows close to shore.    The store is open now.  We hope to possibly have fuel by Thursday.  The docks are not in as of Tuesdayhopefully by the weekend.”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

  Sharon says,” We have  open water  but the problem is  the water is very low.  The water is so low I would not take the risk with your boat.  I suggest you call about conditions to each dock location as it varies from location.  Shore fishing is good and they are catching walleye and perch.  They are still letting out water.  I have been posting  the government notices on the website.  They are catching trout.   You need to call for information for what is happening because it is changing often. “

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

Mindy   says,”  You cannot  ice fish at Nelson.  There is still ice and snow there but it is bad ice.  You     cannot fish the Milk because it is over the banks and flooding.  I have not heard anything about Forchette at this point.  “

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, Matt

Jayce  said,” On the lower  Yellowstone  Billings  east  fishermen  are  going out for cats. The water is muddy.

Tongue-People are saying Tongue is opening up.  The people I have talked to went fishing but did not get anything.

Cooney- I heard Cooney is open .  Guys have  told me the walleye fishing was slow.

Yellowtail- Some of the boats who went out caught trout I have been told.

Crooked Creek-  The water is super muddy I have been told.  It is open as far  as you can see with lots of wind.”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ On Monday we had snow and rain.  It did not stick down here but there is some in the mountains.

Gallatin-The Gallatin is muddy.

Jefferson-The Jefferson is very muddy.

Madison- Like the other rivers the Madison is also muddy.

Missouri-The Missouri is very cold in water temperature.  It looks like chocolate milk and it is definitely up.

Canyon Ferry-    The bay is real low  and you cannot get a boat in.  The south old ramp is so low that one person  said you can really get stuck.  He said on that ramp do not back in it is so low and muddy you could lose you axil.  He was speaking of someone’s experience. “

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

Ken says, “ Mud, mud and more mud. The fluctuating weather means things are changing in conditions.

The upper Stillwater is fishing well. Try streamers.  .  Try a Trina Carnage drape #14 or a purple haze.  The March browns  are  working well.

The lower Stillwater has lots of color.  It is tough fishing but you can do it .  At least that was what  it was like on Saturday  night when  I was fishing. The water level has jumped.

  The Yellowstone  is recovering  and  it looks like chocolate milk by Columbus. “

You can book your trips  now.

We are  open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 to 5 pm,” Chris says.

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

 Beau says, “The  fishing  on the Big Horn is still really good  again this week.  The flow is 7,500.  Use the  San Juan worm as it  is really working well right now. There are  lots of BWOs and midges  on the surface right now.  The streamer fishing is also decent.  ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Stephanie  reports,” The cfs is  still at 7, 500 now.  The   water is  about 39 degrees  and  very clear. and still  39 degrees.  The latest fly to use is a smoke  jumper.   Fishing is really good.  Try  streamers  deep  with a sink line.  Rainy days are good.  Nymphing  is okay. Use a gray ray, tan ray, pink sow bug or an orange sow bug.     Use midges, like zebra midges or a single cluster.  You can also use little sow bugs and quill nymphs.  The water is good for  access  at the wading edge. ”

Our summer hours start April 1 and are   8 am to 5 every day.

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

Madison River

Alice reports, “When the water is clear, fish will eat small nymphs.  They have been looking for dry flies on the cloudy, calm days, mostly baetis and midges.  In the off-color water they are  likely to need big nymphs and streamer fishing should be good..

Stay off the redds and stayed tuned for the bug activity to pick up with the warmer temperatures. “

Yellowstone National Park    

Yellowstone National Park  is closed for the season until May.