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, ” My husband and I finally were able to get out of Rock Creek for Easter. At this point I am telling anyone wanting to fish here to not come. The ice is just not safe. The ice is still melting and there are changes in the ice. Ice is starting to open up. There is water and snow on the ice so you cannot tell what bad underneath is. The road into Rock Creek is still closed and very muddy. Call us to find out if conditions have changed. ”
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond said,” we have seen no people fishing this week. There is still ice covering part of the reservoir but the edges are pulling away from the ice and there is water in some places of 10 to 15 feet open. It is not enough open to fish from shore yet. It is not safe. At this point you cannot ice fish here at all. The river is open below the damn for shore fishing. In some places there is not even enough shore to fish. The roads in the park are cleared off. “
Some of the campgrounds are still 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,” the Marina is still CLOSED. The ice is coming off the edges. My son and I headed to fish from shore below the dam but we did not try for very long. There are spots of open shore for 30 to 40 feet in a few places. There definitely are edges are starting to break and I even have noted a difference this afternoon from the morning. Fishing is unsafe. We are still stocking the Marina with inventory so we will ready and stocked. “
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345
Clint says,” there is no fishing right now. There is a lot changing on the ice. There is definitely still ice out there. IF you are going to WA LK on which is all you could do. You have to be real careful. No 4 wheelers can be used. I would recommend that you call us for a condition report on the ice. ”
The Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Eddie says, “The ice is still good here. There is no snow or snow on the ice. The lake trout fishing is good. Jigging is working at 35 to 80 feet. Guys are also spearing and getting some walleye and northern pike. The ice is 27 inches thick. There is not much melting. The temperatures overnight have been single digits. Feel free to call to see what conditions are. ”
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,” the ice is slowly melting. You can see a large gray. It is melting in a lot of places. It has pulled away from shore. The north shore has some shore opening where you might be Abe to fish from shore in midafternoon. I have not seen many fishermen this week. It is not safe to get on the ice. Conditions are rapidly changing as it warms. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
FWP staff said,” The ice is bad. The shore is opening on the beach shoreline. It is not safe right now. We are not recommending that anyone go out there and fish. There is not enough open water out there yet. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat says,” No one should come here to fish It is starting to melt. there is water on the edges for 20 to 30 feet. You might be able to fish from shore but not much is safe. They are also letting water in to help those along the Musselshell. There is no gravel on the road. No ice fishing here. “
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says,” no one has headed out fishing from here. The ice is melting and not safe to go on.”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “we did not see fishermen out there this week probably because of the holiday and the weather. Due to Easter we did not go on the ice either at Bair this weekend. Last week the ice was changing too quickly for it to be safe. I would say it won’t be safe in a short time because of the warm weather. The road is definitely better. ”
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Dale says, “We have lots and lots of snow right now. If it not snow it is lots of places that are muddy. Achley still has ice but the ice is really dangerous. Crooked Creek is just plain dangerous. The river blew past Fred Robertson. There is still ice in places but not good. The ice is really dangerous. Stay home and get your fishing gear ready and stay safe. ”
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Jim says, “no one should try to go to Crooked Creek right now. The ice is starting to melt and way too dangerous. The Musselshell River just opened up yesterday so it is only a matter of time and it will be at Crooked Creek. The Marina is still closed. It only got a skiff of ice there but Lewistown got a foot overnight. The road is open.”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon says,” the ice is really bad. Nobody should be on the ice right now. There is ice still out there but we are not recommending people go out there as it changing all the time with the weather. You can actually fish from shore and catch some trout. The ice is NOT safe. 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,” Jim told me to say that the ice is bad at Nelson. There is water and snow on the ice on Nelson. Nelson is just too dangerous to fish or get on the ice. “I also heard from someone else that they went to Nelson and it looked bad enough they went home. They also said the ice was too bad to get on.
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 said,” I heard from someone they were catching walleye on Rock Creek at the Dry Arm.
Stillwater – Some guys have tried fishing the Stillwater and said it was good. The water was clear this week. Try a BWO.
Yellowstone- the Yellowstone is very quiet for cats right now are hearing. I am hearing less catching.
Cooney- I definitely have heard the ice on Cooney is not safe right now. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ Holter and Hauser are both open. Guys are taking boats out and they are catching some fish. The rivers are open now. The ice is gone from the edges.
Canyon Ferry- Canyon Ferry is not good for ice. The edges have pulled away and there is water on the ice. It just is not safe to go on.
3 Forks Ponds- The River is open and has been for a week. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill
Chris says, “This morning the Yellowstone was slushy. It is clearer today (Tuesday). It is open and flowing through Columbus.
On the Stillwater the problem is the access points. They are still jammed up and you may not be able to use them yet if you float. The Stillwater is open and guys are catching some trout
If you can get to the edge there are some midges out there. Use streamers in the open water. Use caution as conditions are changing. “
You can book your trips for later now
We now have changed our hours for the spring. We will be 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 Bighorn is good fishing right now. It has cleared. The flow has jumped up. There are midges and baetes on the surface. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Stephanie reports,” The cfs is at 7, 000. There is a midge hatch some days. The guys are seeing a few baetes as well. The water is clear and 39 degrees. Use midges, like zebra midges or a single cluster. You can also use little sow bugs and quill nymphs. You can 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, “We have had sun and snow this past week. Dry fly midge fishing has been good with the clouds. Cloudy and snowing days have more fish rising to dry flies. Sunny days have had better nymphing, still smaller nymphs most days. Streamer fishing with lighter colored flies has been most productive.
Don’t walk on the redds so the rainbows can spawn! “
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is closed for the season until May.
(feature photo of Downrigger Dale (l) and the Captain from June 2015 via Brett French – Billings Gazette)