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, “For the last four days guys have been catching. Fishing has been good. It is just starting. One group was here for four days and when they left today their report was that they caught 5 walleye a day. Not big ones. They were using worms. We have also been selling quite a few minnows. They have been catching trout at 45 feet using cranks. Trout can be good size. They were going around McGuire Creek. Water temperature has been 55 to 56 degrees. Pike have been caught pretty much anywhere right now. Only a couple of bass have been caught that we have heard so far. “
“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,” We had a busy weekend. We had 30 to 40 campers. People say they are catching small crappies. The crappies seem to be shallow at around 20 feet. The guys say they are finding northern pike here and there. I have heard of a few walleye and bass also being caught. Fishing, guys say is hit and miss. We are putting the slip dock in today. The water temperature is 60 degrees on the surface. The water is fairly clear. The fish cleaning station and the dump site are up and running. We will try to do that soon. The boat inspection stations are up and running.”
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Stephanie says, “ It still was slow fishing this week. One person did catch a 6 pound walleye. The bass and northern pike are in the shallows right now. People are using jigs, tails and minnows. Some people have tried spoons and crank baits. It seems to be just trying a lot of different things. The water temperature is 52 to 54 degrees. The water level is slowly coming up. The inspection station is up and checking. We have everything, worms and minnow. ”
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
Clint says, “ People are starting to catch male northern pike. Only a few hens have been caught. They are finding them close to the bank at 14 to 15 feet. The bass are in the shallows going west towards Billy Creek mostly in the narrows. They have been hitting pretty good in the last few days. Guys are finding walleye going west of Timber Creek. They are starting to pick up. The lake trout are being found going east from Hell Creek to the dam. Some people are heading south from there in water depths of 15 to 25 feet. “
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, “ We have had lots of people up here. The season is starting. They are finding the lake trout at depths of 20 to 40 feet. People are heading to Hakesbee and York Island and also east of the dam. The walleye bite is picking up on this end. The have been using a minnow and a jig at
5 to 25 feet. They are mostly pitching jigs to shore. One guy on Saturday did catch a 10 pound salmon. The people were pulling for lake trout at the time. The water is clear with a surface temperature of 48 to 50 degrees. On this end we are not seeing much debrie . We have suckers, fatheads, smelt, herring and night crawlers. ”
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.
The boat docks and buoys are in . Some people are catching big walleye. There are also trout being caught. The water is turning on more the fishermen are saying and facebook seems to be showing lots of results. We have had lots of fishing from shore and the dam. There are boats also out fishing but not catching much. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
People say,” People are catching . There are lots of guys out there. They are fishing like crazy. The FWP crew just dumped brood stock in of cutthroat and I know they will do more soon. The weather is great for fishing.”
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat says,” We had quite a few fishermen up here this week. We only talked to one guy who was only catching suckers. I am sure they must be catching something else we just did not hear “
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says,” Guys who bought worms headed to Martinsdale. They said the shore line was real muddy. The rivers are sure high. I think each day is different as far as where to fish because of the run off.”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “ It was a good weekend for fishing in some places. People were catching at Bair and Sutherland. At Martinsdale the guys went out and got two suckers and one trout. Then they had to get off the water because the wind was blowing so bad . The lake is clear. They were using streamers. Check the water as it is definitely high and muddy and in some places really roaring. ”
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. They have minnows as well.
“Ackley had no wind this week so people could get out to fish. The fish are just starting to bite so they are catching some trout. People are seeing a hatch at times of the day. Guys are mostly using streamers and nymphs as bait.
On the Missouri Paddlefish season started today. The high water should make it good. They are catching cats because it is muddy.
On Crooked Creek the fishing was okay. Definitely not a runaway that is for sure.
It is still dirty. Use a minnow with a slow presentation. The water is still cold. Use live minnows as they are working. It is not good from a boat. You have to go slow. When the wind comes up there has been a lot of debris showing up.
On Spring Creek the water is clearing up. The San Juan worm is working okay. Some are using nymphs. People have seen some hatches on sunny days. Try some mayfly patterns.
On the river the clarity is about 1 foot down. At Winnefred the cats are starting.
On the East Fork people have seen a lot of perch and are catching quite a few . We have lots of worms and minnows for your needs “, Colby says.
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Robbie Seymore fished the tournament. He and his dad took 5th place. He said, “ The water level was good. There is still some debris in the water but mostly small so it didn’t slow anyone down. Most everyone was jigging and rigging. The biggest walleye came pitching shallow like 6 feet. I seemed to be the only one pulling cranks. The water was pretty dirty other than the Devil/Forchette area. I was fishing in 58 degree watr. The big pike of the tournament was over 41 inches each day, I believe. I didn’t catch any pike. The big bass were over 20 inches each day. There were a lot of shore anglers and all of them were catching pike. The winners with 49 pounds rumor had it were using jigs and dead stinky minnows.”
Robbie also said,”I would still come the Ballantine route.” I was told by Jim last week that everyone shoud use the Ballantine Road because it is a great road. The Dove Tail is not good. It is pretty rough and would damage vehicles. I would advise strongly to take the Ballantine Road. I do not know if that has changed. I would suggest you call for road conditions.
The store is open.”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon reports ,” The water is finally up in the last 3 to 4 days. It is up about 2 feet. You can get a boat on now. We are warning people to be careful at the mouth of the bay. Stay to the north side of the lake. Watch for floating items in the water. Some can be quite large. Shore fishing is good and they are catching walleye and perch. The clarity is pretty good. People are catching trout of course and some small walleye.“
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,” The weather has been nice here. Nelson has been a slow bite. I know of a few being caught.They are jigging using minnows and also slip bobbers. People are leaving with one or two. The water is kind of muddy. The ramps on the right are the best to use as they are deeper in the water. The level is almost full.
At Forchette Bay people are heading towards Lost Creek. The winner at the Crooked Creek Tournament had a total of 49 pounds. The walleye were spotty but the guys did catch some big females. “
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 going from Billings the guys are getting some cats. They are seeing smaller males. Not as many as it has slowed down. The water is muddy.
Tongue- Fishing people say has been slow . That is what people are saying.
Yellowtail- People are getting a few small ones. Some of the boats who went out caught a few small mouth but not many.
Stillwater- The Upper Stillwater they are catching trout on tubes. Some decent trout were caught I heard.
Madison- Guys are telling me they are catching trout on flies that mimic caddis. There is some report of hatches starting.
I have been told they are catching some nice fish on big smelt and suckers. The fishing at Crooked Creek seems to be changing. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ Canyon Ferry has finally come up. Your boat can be put in the water. I hear they are catching trout and walleye. Be kind of careful as there is some debrie.
Gates of the Mountain I am hearing is good for walleye. It is still good on trout as well.
Lake Helena- People are catching walleye. So far they are mostly male that the fishermen caught. They only caught one female and it was 7 pounds.
The rivers are really muddy and high.
Missouri-The paddlefish are being caught on the Missouri. The water is high. Lots of cats were caught by one group. They caught 4 to 5 that were over 20 pounds. The rest were 2 to 3 pounds. It is very dirty. The walleye are not as many as last year was. “
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill
Chris says, “ The Yellowstone is a mess right now. It is high and off color. There is some cottonwood tree debrie in the water. The Scheels River is kicking in and it is starting to turn to look like chocolate milk.
The Stillwater has been coming up in the last 3 to4 days. When people call I have been sending them to the upper Stillwater. The caddis hatch is happening on some days . Use caddis types and nymphs when you fish. You can fish there or in the tribituaries. The lower Stillwater is pretty muddy. The water level has jumped. “
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 was good this week. The water temperature is coming up. They are starting to pull the water off of the top of the reservoir. There is a nice midge hatch at times. Sow bugs are working. You can also use a minnow imitation. I saw a lot of baetis out there . The access areas are good. The water is a little green. I tried pink sow bugs , black midges and olive baetis patterns. It is muddy for the last 6 miles down but it is still fishable. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Rich reports,” The cfs is still at 7, 500 now. The water is about 42 degrees and clear. The water is pretty clear. For drys try midges and smoke jumpers. There is a baetis hatch some days so try a parachute Adams. You can also 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. Use a white streamer in a size 10 or 12. I recommend you use that in the high water. Right now the boat fishing is better than wading. There is good access for wading at the After Bay. ”
Our summer hours are 8 am to 5 every day.
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698
Alice reports, “Snow melt is sending mud down the smaller streams all through the Madison drainage. On some sections of the river, one side is more off color than the other. Mother’s Day caddis have been seen in all stretches of the Madison, with more surface action in the lower stretches. Fish are eating nymphs consistently throughout the river. Stoneflies with a smaller bright, flashy nymph as the dropper would work. March browns have also been hatching so a mayfly nymph as a dropper can be effective. “
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is closed for the season until May 26th.