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
Linda reports, ” At this point it is just not safe as the ice is breaking away. Right now you cannot even get on with a plank. The ice is in rough shape and very thin in some places. The ice is also very dark and the wind has really been blowing. I am telling anyone wanting to ice fish here to not come. I can see some open water half way in the bay and it is starting around the bend. Call us to find out if conditions have changed. ”
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond said,” we had a little snow and rain today (Tuesday). The snow did not stick but it shows us how this weather is constantly changing. The ice is all gone. We did have a couple of boats put in the water in the last few days. I heard of one northern pike caught. The water temperature is 41 to 42 degrees. There were some guys fly fishing below the damn. They did not seem to have much luck. The water level has gone up. I want to remind people that the boat inspection crew will be out depending on the fishing conditions on the water.”
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.
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade reports,” the ice went off on Saturday. The water temperature depending where you are is 38 to 42 degrees. The Marina is now open every day. If it is raining or snowing we won’t be open. We did have Jim Green catch a northern pike using a spoon in the bay in 3 feet of water. It is a good time to start targeting those northern pike. We have the minnows for doing that. I have the minnows for everything from crappie to northern pike. “
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345
Clint says,” there is still no fishing here right now ( as of Wednesday) . We still have ice. There are many changes happening with the ice. I think that in a week and a half if the weather stays the way it is the ice should be gone and the bay open. We are in that time when we are in a waiting mode. I would recommend that you call for conditions. ”
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, “There is no fishing here right now. The ice fishing is done for the season. The shore lines have busted free. You can’t even shore fish right now. Maybe you might be able to shore fish by the weekend depending on the weather. On the river you can use a boat. Spend your time checking out your boat. That is what Eddie is doing right now. Work on your equipment and tackle box so you are ready. 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,” at this point you can shore fish. There are no boat ramps in. About a third of the lake has ice. The ice has shifted with the wind we are having. The ice is now blocking from Marshall Cove to Cottonwood and the damn. The north shore is open water . Fisherman Point and Red Lodge campgrounds are open. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Bob says,” the ice is bad. Ken and I watched a goose land on the ice and fall right through. So if a goose falls through the ice is not good. Today there is wind. There is a whole lot of fisherman on shore they are by the boat ramp and along the bank throwing a line in right along the edge of the ice before the open water. They must be catching because right now there is more than 10 guys out there and they were there yesterday as well. The shore is opening on the beach shoreline. You can see whole sheets off ice shifting in the wind at times. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Tony says,” I have not seen anyone here this week. It has been windy and cold today. The ice is opening up but it has shifted. There is ice now on the shore and rocks so even fishing from shore in some places is not possible. It is open in certain spots on shore. 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 head out to Deadmans and they said there were people checking out the conditions but no one was fishing. They said there is still some ice there. Some of the shore had ice. I guess we have to wait a week for better conditions.”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “The ice is not good at Bair. It is opening up from the shore. Not enough to shore fish yet. At Sutherlann there is less open from the shore. The ice is not good. It looks really punky. The road is definitely better. ”
Charlie says, “We are in the process of changing 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.
“On the Missouri the water is muddy. They have ben caching a few cats.
On Crooked Creek it is in the process of opening up. I am hoping there will be some shore fishing soon.
On Spring Creek the water is high and muddy from the weather changing.
The local reservoirs and ponds guys were using planks to get out. Now you can’t even do that. You just can’t get on now. There is a lot of ice long the bank. Last night we got rain and snow in the mountains . So there is no ice fishing right now “, Colby says.
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Jim says,” Abbie is going to the marina tomorrow to open the store. The ice is off as far as we can tell and the snow is melting. Cabins are full for this weekend so next week we will have a better fishing report.”
It’s April 18th 2018 and 3:30pm.
This came from Slim at Crooked Creek.
” I am just letting you know that crooked creek looks like it is open but it is NOT there is a shelf of ice floating in the bay under water from the boat ramp to Anderson point. So please leave your boats at home for another week or until the shelf of ice is gone.if you want to fish from the bank it should be okay. thank you. “
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon says,” there is ice floating out there from White Earth north. There is open water but the problem is that the water is very low. It is too low to put a boat in right now. You can shore fish though. 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
Jim says,” Ice fishing is non-existent right now. Guys I know went to Forchette and found that there was 15 to 20 feet of water to the ice. It was honeycombed and it was shifting. On Nelson the ice is breaking up on the sides. You might be able to get on but do it with extreme caution. “
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,” the lower Yellowstone by Billings’s east guys are going out for ling.
Stillwater – Guys have been fishing the Stillwater in places
Cooney- I heard Cooney is almost open in places . It should not be long before you can fish there.
Tongue-People are saying Tongue is opening up.
Martinsdale- Talked to some people who said it was windy and slow when they fished there. They were fishing from the shore. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ The snow is melting off around here.
Canyon Ferry- The ice is off the south end of Canyon Ferry. The bay is real low and you cannot get a boat in. There is still some ice on but no ice fishing.
Holter and Hauser are both open. At Holter the parking lot you had a hard time finding a place to park. They said there were at least 50 boats there. They are catching trout and a few perch.
Rivers- The rivers are also open now. The Jefferson is up quite a bit. The ice is gone from the edges. “
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill
Ken says, “ The fluctuating weather means things are changing as it changes. The water is starting to improve. The lower Stillwater is off color but clearer up above.
The upper Stillwater is fishing well. Try streamers. The March brown is working well. Try a Trina Carnage drape #14 or a purple haze.
The Yellowstone is open and flowing through Columbus. Guys are catching some trout on the water from shore. Try some midges. Use black buggers and go for coffee and brown colors. Use streamers in the open water. “
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 really good right now. The flow is 7,500. It rained so it is a little muddy but I think it won’t last long. It may be cleared by tomorrow, the San Juan worm is really working well right now. There are midges on the surface at times but you really have to look for them. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Rick reports,” The cfs is still at 7, 500 now. The water is clear and still 39 degrees. Fishing is really good. Use streamers with a sink line and go deep. 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, “Since winter still has a grip on the Madison River, we are not seeing spring fishing like in years past. Midges are still hatching, so fish those size 18 and 20 dry flies on the calm days. Nymphing is good with a stonefly and smaller nymph of choice as a dropper. Blue winged olive mayflies should be making an appearance as the water warms. Streamer fishing is also productive with smaller sculpin patterns.
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.