Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 5.23.18
By angelamontana


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 Mondayand 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, “ The walleye fishing shut down after the storm for a while.  The  trout and bass turned on a day later.  They were catching them on minnows jigging in the weeds 8 to 18 feet down.  The northern pike are also  being caught.  I had a friend I had not seen in years come to visit.  We went out fishing.  She hadn’t been fishing in  40 years and she caught a large northern pike on a crank.  It was her first time catching a pike.  We were near Sand Aroyo.  The water looks good and is high.  We had quite a few people here this week. “

It is time to sign up for the Ranch at Valhalla  sponsored  3rd annual pike and walleye rodeo .  If you are a fire fighter, law enforcement officer, EMS or veteran contacts them to secure your spot for the June 26-29thevent at Rock Creek Marina.  Contact Linda Wellinitz at 406-485-2560 for information or to help by donating to the cause.

“Our hours are Sunday to Thursday 7 am to 9 pm.  Friday to Sunday 7 am to 11pm.  We are willing to open early or later than these hours depending on the need.  We are excited to get people fishing and hear their fishing stories , Monty says.”

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond   reports,” People were saying this week that they were catching a little of everything.  The guys were catching lots of good bass.  They also caught  crappies and northern pike.  They are starting to see more walleyes.  The water is high and   going over the spillway.  The surface water was 62 degrees.  The carp and crappie are spawning right now.  Someone caught a nice catfish.  The water is clear.  There is  some debris and branches in the water.  The fish cleaning station and the dump site are up and running.   The boat inspection stations are  definitely  checking boats..”

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

Wade   said, “  Fishing is really  picking up.   Some walleye being caught were in depths of  6 to 18 feet.  They have been  jigging  with leeches, night crawlers and minnows.    Some guys are   using  bottom bouncers  also. They are catching bass off shore from the structures using Rapalas.   The crappie has been a better bite at night but they do seem to be starting to be coming in.  The water is slowly coming up but the visibility is still good.

The inspection station   is up and checking. We now have leeches ”

   The   Marina is now open every day.  Our  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.

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

Lane says, “Guys are catching walleye.  Walleye are picking up but it is not a run away.

They are done spawning.    They are jigging  at depths of 20 to 20 feet with a minnow  heading w towards Timber Creek.   The  northern pike are doing really well.  They are heading to Grass Flats using cranks at 10 to 15 feet depths to catch them.  I have also seen some small mouth in the 2 to 4 pound range.  I saw one guy caught one that was 6 pounds 8 ounces.  The water is high but not a lot of  stuff floating in it.    “

 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, “ Fishing has been hit and miss this week with it only picking up slightly.  Guys are  vertical  jigging with a minnow.  Last week  they were finding the lake trout at depths of 20 to 40 feet but this week they are going deeper.  Many guys are heading to Duck Creek for walleye and northern pike.  A few catfish have been caught.   It has been decent fishing for northern pike and lake trout.  The pike are in the shallows by the bank.  People are using cranks and bottom bouncers and I have talked to a few guys are even trying down riggers at 80 feet occasionally.   There are some people who are heading to Sunken island towards Bear Creek and York Island. We have suckers, fatheads, smelt, herring and night crawlers.   ”

Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday. ”

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson.

Marina, “ It was a little busier here this  past week.  The water is going up and it is  murky and somewhat brown.   The   boat   docks have had to be pulled up every couple of days. The   buoys  are  in .  People are saying it is harder to catch fish because of the dirty water.  People are catching a  few   walleye   jigging .  It seems that they are fishing along shore.  There are also trout being caught.    There are boats also out fishing but with not a lot of results they say . “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

   People   say,” People  are out there  fishing .  They must be catching because there  are lots of   guys out there.   They stocked the reservoir last week.  I saw the first big trout this week.  The weather was  great  for fishing since the rain stopped.

At Lake Josephine the winter kill was really severe.  There are   definitely less fish to catch.  Kids are getting some sunfish.”

Deadmans Tony Stefani

 Pat   says,”   We had more  fishermen up  here this week.  I talked to a few  fishermen who caught a few brown trout. Others   only caught  suckers.    The water is up about 8 to 9 feet in the last week and flooding is a possibility if it grows up higher this weekend.  They did shut of the flood gates.  The ramp and dock is in.  The shore is still muddy making it   harder  fishing from shore right now.  The road is good. “

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

 Terry   says,”   The reservoir is full.  At Martinsdale  I talked to some guys who went out and only got 2 fish.  They did say other guys were not having any luck.  They said the shore line was still muddy.  The rivers are sure high.  Broadview Pond has people fishing   on it.  They say they were doing quite well.  Most guys are going to the west side going over to the west side and about half way down.  The guys are fishing right on the bottom and catching.  Guys are using  night crawlers  and power bait.  They caught some nice size rainbows.  ”

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

 Rick  says, “ People were doing well  last week for trout  but it is only pretty fair this week.  .  It is definitely high water this week.  The water is running over the dam.   Fishing in Bair and Sutherlin has only been fair.   The lake is murky and that is going to factor in on how you do..  They are using streamers.  Check the water as it is definitely high and muddy and in some places really roaring.   ”

 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

 At Ackley people are catching  muskies.   Use the original shallow floating Rapala in size #11 and #13.  Go to depths of 2 to 5 feet.

On   Spring Creek   the water   is murky.   Guys are catching fish  on spinners.  The  silver and gold ones would work blest.

On the East Fork people are catching decent trouts and some small perch.

On Crooked   Creek   guys are doing pretty well.   Minnows are  working the best.  They are jigging  and going  18 feet  deep.  The colors  that are really working well is pink and purple.  The water is really murky so guys  are going as far as Lost Creek for it finally to clear up.  That is where the murky water  finally ends.

The northern pike bite is strong  from shore.  Smelt and  cut bait are working best

I was at the Fresno tournament.  It was a tough bite.  The guys who won were using slip bobbers. We use jigs with rubber.  You ha to work for the fish.  The first day we got no fish,  the second day we got 20 fish and then the third day we got 4.  They were small 14 to 15 inchers.

On the Missouri the water  is really high. People  seem to be catching  paddlefish  hit and miss this year.    Lots of cats have been caught.  You just have to find the spot where they are.  So  that is the challenge, “ Colby explains.

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

Abby says, “ The guys have been doing really well from shore.  They have been catching pike and cats.  They are doing real good jigging.  Jigging is working like crazy.  Try the lighter colors or use real worms and tails.  Boats are going 10 miles to Lost Creek and finding fish at 5 to 20 feet.  It has just been really good.  It has been a free for all for walleye.  The water is starting to clear up.  It is muddy in the bay.  There is less debris  in the water.  The walleye are really turning on.  It really was a free for all for walleye.  Guys are jigging like crazy.  Use colors  blue, green silver.  ”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

  Sharon   reports,”The water is up 7 to 8 feet.  There is no problem getting  boats  on the water.  Fishing is medium   well for walleye.  They are catching plenty   of trout.  People are catching a  medium   amount of perch.   Watch for floating   items in the water.  Some can be quite large.  They are fishing all over not in one specific location.  Shore fishing is good and they are catching walleye and perch.”

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,”  At Nelson people are catching some walleye.  The bite is scattered.  They are catching walleye using cranks and  slip baits with minnows from a boat.  From shore they are using worm harnesses and bottom bouncers.

On Forchette the walleye fishing is phenomenal .  They are catching northern pike, small mouth and cats from shore.   Some guys are heading to ghost Cooley at depths of 8 to 18 feet.  Outside  of the bay is clear. Other places are murky.

We went on the Milk River and caught all kinds of fish.  We caught walleyes , cats, golden eyes.  My 12 year daughter,  Cede caught a real nice 15 pound Dum.  “

Stop by the store.  We do have minnows 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 going from Billings the guys are getting some   cats but I hear it has slowed some. The water is high and real muddy.

Tongue- People are   saying  that bass fishing is good using plastic worms going shallow.

Cooney-I have been told fishing has slowed down at Cooney.

Yellowtail- Guys are saying that they have caught small mouth using Gitzit tube bait.

At Intake the guys are saying they are catching only a couple of paddlefish right now.

I heard some people caught some shovelnose sturgeon in the Yellowstone by Miles City to Glendive.

People are saying the mosquitos are really bad come prepared with repellent. ”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ The rivers  are really rolling.  They are real dirty.

The lake is coming up and she is dirty.  Not much being caught right now.

Canyon Ferry water is finally up.  I think it is up about 3 feet.   Your boat can be put in the water.  I hear they are catching trout and walleye.  Be kind of careful as there is some debris.

On Holter the walleye, trout and perch fishing is good.  They are jigging for them. “

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken

Chris says, “   The   Stillwater is up.  The upper Stillwater is now dirty and way up.  I doubt it will be fishable with the rain coming and the high flows.   The lower Stillwater continues to be not fishable.

The Yellowstone is totally unfishable.  Hit the small tributaries lakes and ponds right now.     “

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, “I   fished the Missouri this week.  It was good fishing.   The cfs is 1500.  Use pink and gray sow bugs using a 9 foot lead.  You can also use San Juan worms as well.  No dries are working.  If it is cloudy streamers work good.  There is a lot, a real lot of water.   ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Rich  reports,”  The fishing is real good.  The cfs is still at 8, 000 now.  The lake is down 76 %.  The water is   pretty clear. The white streamer in a size 10 or 12 is really working right now.   For dries   try midges  and   smoke  jumpers. There is a real good baetis hatch.   Try a parachute Adams.  You can  try a Just buster , a cripple Thor or a student baetis.  Any nymph is good to try.  Use a two tone scud, carpet sow bugs , the San Juan, gray rays, zebra midges or JuJu   baetis.      Streamers have been really good.  Right now the boat fishing is better than wading.  ”

Our summer hours  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, “As for weather we have had it all.  I have been on the water. Flows on the Madison were recently increased for the annual flushing flow, so check current conditions this week.

There is a blue winged olive hatch during the middle of most days, with a few fish seeing through the off color water to eat the adults, but mostly they were eating the nymphs. With the water rising, larger stonefly nymphs are more effective. As the flows change, fish will likely move from the middle of the river to the quieter inside seams. Once the flows come down, we should see an increase in the bug activity. “

Yellowstone National Park    

Yellowstone National Park is closed for the season until May 26th.

(feature photo of Brad Smudzinski)





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