Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 5.2.18
By angelamontana

Posted: May 2, 2018

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

Monty reports, “Fishing has been pretty good.  People are using SR-9 Rapalas for trout and catching.  They are going to depths of 15 feet.   Walleyes have been allusive.  Water temperature has been 46 degrees.  The pike that have been caught have also been at 15 feet but in the shallows by the shore.  No one, of course, has caught any bass. The road is actually surprisingly good.  With so much snow and being closed we have no ruts. 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. “

 Call us if you need to know more on conditions.  ”


Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond   said,” We had lots of people here this weekend.  It was pretty busy.   The boat launch   docks are in. we are in the process of turning the water and electricity on.  The fish cleaning station and the dump site are not up yet.  We will try to do that soon.  I heard of a few northern pike being caught.  I also know 2 big walleye were caught.   The fishermen seem to   be in the coves.  The   water level is down a little at 34.23.5.  The water is 54 degrees.    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

Greg  says, “ It was slow fishing this week.  Some decent small mouth bass were caught.   I also heard of   northern pike being   caught.  Fishing had been hit and   misses  this week.  But, when you think about it the ice has been off for only a week so fishing will pick up. The water temperature is 58 to 59 in some places.  I did hear of one decent walleye could this week.     The inspection station   is up and checking. We have everything, worms and minnow  but leaches.  They should be in next week. Support   your local Marina.”

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

Kayla   says, “ The lake trout are being found in waters 20 to 25 feet going east.  Some fishermen  have  caught a couple of  northern pike and some perch. The Northern pike are in 10 to 15 feet depths and are spawning.  The pike are mostly in the shallows. They are using cranks and minnows.  The walleye bite is slow probably because the water is cold.  “

 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, “ They are finding the lake trout at depths of 10 to 100 feet.  Everyone is  finding them in different places.  If I had to say what the most common depths was it would be 30 to 40 feet using a deep diver.  They are fishing at Hakesbee, the face of the dam and York Island.  The walleye bite is slow. The have been using a minnow and a jig.  I know of only one guy catching some. The water is clear with a temperature of 38degrees. The weather is starting to get better.    ”

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  boat  docks and buoys  are  in . Some people are catching but it is a matter if you know how to fish on Cooney an are experienced.  If you are new to fishing Cooney you leave without a bite.  Some are catching  big walleye.  There are also trout being caught.    The   loons are still   on the water and they are feeding on  the fish in the water.   The water is turned on.  We

have had lots  of fishing from shore and the dam.  There are boats also out fishing but not catching much. We are in the process   of opening the campgrounds. “

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 of 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

 A source  says,” I know of  some   guys who  bought  worms and headed to Martinsdale.  What I heard   was that they went to Martinsdale but weren’t catching anything.   ”

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

 Judy says, “  We have heard  Bair and Martinsdale are clear.  The fishing on Bair and Sutherland are fair.  There is a thin layer of ice on Sutherlin.  Guys were fishing from shore and the ice was moving towards them with the winds.  It is open at the dam. At Martinsdale   they came to fish but they were not catching but they were frustrated because they were watching others catching. ”

 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

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 is doing well.  They are catching 2 to 3 pound  rainbow trout.  They are mostly using streamers and nymphs  as bait.  They are catching some muskies   using   #9 Flicker shads and large spinners from shore or boat trolling with cranks.   Someone caught a  37 inch muskie.  Remember that you can only keep them over 40 inches.  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 Paddlefish season started today.  The high water should make it good.  They are catching cats because it is muddy.

On Crooked   Creek  it was  good pike fishing off shore.  The water is dirty.  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 high and is clearing.  It probably will be better in a week.

On the Musselshell  the fishing was good this week.  It   is high water but if you go to the small creek off shoots   you can catch some fish.

Carter Pond was winter killed.  “, Colby says.

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

Jim says,”  We are having the Crooked Creek walleye classic tournament  this weekend. There will be  75 teams.  There are still openings.  Call Ken Nagel 406-380-0791 if interested.  It is $300 for a team and the big fish pot is $100.  The rules meeting is Friday at 6 pm.

People are fishing and catching cat fish and northern pike.  They are going crazy for worms and smelt.  The walleye  are slower.  They are catching a few but they are not telling me where because of the tournament.

Tell everyone to 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.

 The store is open .”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

  Jodie says,” We have  open water  but the problem is  the water is very low.  The only place to possibly get your boat on is really tricky.  At the south dock if you know what you are doing and have a small boat you can get on.  It is really tough though.   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.  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 can get on  Nelson.  I know they are fishing there but I have not heard anything.

 At Forchette Bay the water is murky and the fishing is slow.  There is no problem getting 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, Matt

Jayce  said,” On the lower  Yellowstone going from  Billings’s  east  fishermen  are  going out for cats. The cat fishing has   slowed down. The water is muddy.

Tongue- The people I have talked to went fishing but found fishing to be sow.  They only caught a few.

Cooney- I heard Cooney is open .  Guys are catching a few walleye.  It  was slow.  At least for me.

Yellowtail- Some of the boats who went out caught a few small mouth but not many.

Fort Peck- I hard Tough Guy went well.  The winner has 15 pounds and the send  place had one fish.

Petrolia-People say Petrolia is super dirty.

I am hearing the river is blown out in lots of places.”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ Things are pretty much the same.

Gallatin-The Gallatin is high and muddy.

Jefferson-The Jefferson is dirty.

The3 Forks ponds are good.  Not really dirty.  Someone caught a nice 5 ½ pound bass.

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 still 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.  A few people have been gotten on but it is tricky.

I drove by the Yellowstone at Livingston and was kind of lower than I expected.   “

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

Ken says, “The  Stillwater is less  muddy but high.  Try streamers.  Try a Trina Carnage drape #14 or a purple haze.  The March browns  are  working well.

The lower Stillwater is pretty muddy.  The water level has jumped.

  The Yellowstone  is pretty muddy.  Guys were floating from Johnson bridge to Jeffery’s landing but it was bad from there down and stopped there. Walking and wading was good.  Some of the upper is pretty skinny.  Streamers are producing well. Use the Grinch.  For nymphing use the red Batman or the Pats ruby leg.   “

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 okay this week.  There is a nice baetes hatch afternoon.  The water is still running high.  Not many fish with the high water.  Try streamers they are working okay.  White and black streamers are working.  For nymphing I would say it is working best.   Use the  San Juan worm, baetes, and nymph midges  as they are  working well right now. There are  lots of BWOs and midges  on the surface right now.  The sow bugs are working. It is muddy for the last 6 miles down but it is still fishable.  ”

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   clear. The water is  39 degrees.  The  smoke  jumper is working.   Fishing is  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

Madison River

Alice reports, “There is not a lot that has changed. When the water is clear, fish will eat small nymphs. They are eating small stone flies and beadheads especially when it is off color. The water is off color and slow.  The Prickly Pear is blown out.    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 watch for the bug activity to pick up with the warmer temperatures

They are increasing the flow on the Missouri for run off concerns. “

Yellowstone National Park    

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