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. ”
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
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.