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, Monty LeTexier 1-406-485-2560
Monty reports, “The Pikemasters tournament was this past weekend and they had 32 teams. Again, we had a lot of wind. The first place team won with 73.2 pounds of pike. The 1st place team was Cody and Kally Strohm of Richey. Total number of fish was 10 for both first and second place winners. Second place was won with 68.6 pounds . The winning team was Chris Herman and Bradsen DeVries.
The biggest walleye was won by my son, Wyatt LeTexier with a walleye 29 inches.
The water temperature was the 60 degrees. The walleye seemed to be heading around 16 feet close to shore. Cranks are the method of choice.
The bass are really biting mostly north and at the same depths as walleye. The water is starting to clear up but there are still some mud lines. The water is really high. “
“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,” I am hearing fishing is not great but it has gotten better as the week went on. Guys are jigging for crappies and seem to be getting more of them. They are catching some bass. The walleye people say are shallow 5 to 6 feet down. Leaches were what they were using but they were saying it was slow fishing. The lake is residing some. It is starting to clear up to the north. Otherwise the water is murky.
I talked to someone who tried to fish below the dam. It was just too fast so they quit. The fish cleaning station and the dump site are up and running. The boat inspection stations are running.”
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says, “ On Saturday we were really busy. I think we had the busiest weekend ever . The fish seem to not be in the deeper water. The walleye are shallow along the weed line. Guys were using cranks or a jig with live bait. The bass are definitely around structure. The crappies in the evening are along the shoreline. Use a minnow or night crawler or tube jig. The weather was good this week. The inspection station is up and checking. The campgrounds below the dam are open now. ”
The Marina is now open every day. Our hours 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, “ Walleye fishing was good this week. People are getting walleye heading toward Snow Creek to J marker. They are using bottom bouncers for the bite after noon going to 15 to 20 feet depths. In the morning they are pitching jigs in 3 to 4 feet to catch them. The bass are being caught at 10 feet depths close to shore. They are nice mostly over 5 pounds. The pike are decent size. The bite is not hot you have to look for them. They are in the water at 3 to 5 feet. You have to work for them right now. We have had lots of wind. They are struggling for cover. The water is cleaning down here. The water is high and we lost a bit of the outlets but we are still in good shape. It is extremely high water but the campgrounds are okay. “
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 is still slow. We have had wind all week since Sunday. Guys are catching pike at 10 to 15 feet using cranks. The lake trout have been good jigging at 40 to 80 feet depths. They are catching anywhere 6 from to 40 fish a day. The walleye are starting to pick up but so far only a few are being caught. They are biting on night crawlers and leaches with a bottom bouncer at 8 to 28 feet. Try colors chartreuse, pink and black. ”
We do have minnows, suckers, fatheads, Smelt, night crawlers, 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 says , “ The fishing has been decent at times they tell me. We were full this past weekend. There was rain and lots of wind this week. I saw and heard people were getting rainbow trout. I heard of a few ling being caught. No one said they caught walleye. I know people are using minnows. The flooding is improving. The Marshall Cove campground is still flooded. The water has damaged the road so it will have to be graded so it will be a while until it will be open. You can walk in to fish from shore. I hear of crappie, trout and walleye being caught. People say it is just a medium bite. They are catching from shore and boat. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
“ Fishing seems to be okay. There are quite a few people out there. People are swimming, fishing and having fun. There are lots of activities going on. Guys are catching fish. The pool is real full. Perch and some bass have been caught. Guys are using worms, corn and marshmallows.
Lake Josephine- We are hearing and seeing lots of dead fish on shore. There was a big winter kill there. It seems to have hit the small pan fish hard. We are hearing now that people are catching smallmouth bass when casting farther out.
There is still walk in to fishing access sites in this region right now because of flooding. Holgren Ranch access up from Columbus has opened up to driving. There may be a few opening up in the next days so check the website or watch the news for information ,” Bob explains
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Tony explains,” It was really windy this week. There were too many big waves. The water with the wind sometimes blows over the road. We had shore fishermen here this week. All they were catching was junk fish. So guys were frustrated. They did not catch any trout or salmon. “
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry explains,” Fishing has been they say because of the wind. Guys going to Deadmans said the shore line was real muddy. They weren’t catching anything but junk fish. The rivers are sure high.
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “ The wind has been really nasty. We have had rain as well. I talked to people who headed up to Martinsdale and had no luck. One guy was at Sutherlan and when he could get on the water he only caught one sucker. The wind was a problem all week. I have not heard a thing about Bair this week. The streams are going down. It was definitely high water this week. ”
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
“We fished Tiber this week. It was not real good. We caught lots off little ones. People talked about the storms shutting down the fishing. The big temperature dropping from the (0’s to the 40’ss also was a factor. We did not catch anything over 16 inches.
Ackley was decent fishing this week. One fellow told me he caught seven trout in one morning. They were going 5 to 10 feet down using cow bells and spoons. The water is clearer.
On the East Fork the pike are biting. Someone caught a nice 40 # pike. That big of one is a rarity but the pike are biting. They are using twister tails. A lot of little perch are also being caught.
On Spring Creek the water is clearer. Guys are nymphing. There is not much top water action.
On the Missouri at the Fred Robinson-PN the fishing is good. Try cut bait. The guys said that using a fast cast they caught walleye from 2 to 10 pounds. Bring your bug spray as the bugs ae back.
At Crooked Creek they are catching the cats and pike right at Crooked Creek, The bugs are bad bring bug spray. The cats are being caught if you can find the holes. At the Fred Robinson people are using set lines. Guys are fishing closer to the mud line.
The little creeks are high and muddy, “ Colby says.
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Carrie says,” fishing was sketchy this week because of the storm fronts and the wind was bad. They were catching some fish from shore Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They were getting their limits. They caught walleye, crappie, perch, cats and pike. Not huge but definitely eaters. Then the weather and wind hit and it shut down.”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon reports,” Fishing is medium right now. Perch is really good. People are catching trout. They are leaving with about 8 fish per person. They are catching some rainbow trout and small walleye. It is muddy water but it is clearing up. We are almost at full pool . Watch for floating items in the water. The Flamingo is now open.
Don’t forget to sign up for the annual Canyon Ferry Walleye Tournament on June 23 &24th. Call Townsend Marine at 406-266-5700 and ask for Carol. “
The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Don says,” Early in the week at Nelson we found the bite hit and miss. Try crank baits. People are catching a few walleye. At the end of the week it picked up and people were using bottom bouncers and jigs. The water was pretty dirty coming in. The bugs are bad so bring big spay.
At Fort Peck towards Forchette the fish have been either big or small nothing in between. They are finding them from 30 feet to 6 feet. “
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
Matt said,” I was at Yellowtail this past weekend and there was a lot of debris. The water is off color by the slide. We were pitching small tubes and wacky worms. We caught some fish.
The Yellowstone it is blown out. The water is real muddy. They are catching cats in the back channels.
Tongue- The water is muddy so it is slower fishing. People caught some crappies and perch.
Cooney-Cooney was real busy with people this week. Lots of recreationalists make for some slower fishing. .”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “Canyon Ferry is good for walleye people say. They are finding them at 8 to 20 feet. To the north it is clearer.
The rivers are still muddy right now. They are beginning to go down.
Guys are going to the mountain lakes and are catching some trout.
At Fort Peck at Rock Creek they were catching northern pike.
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken
Ken says, “The word is mud and more mud. You are going to have to head to the lakes and streams in the mountains. The Boulder, Stillwater and Yellowstone are so high and really muddy. Head to the Rosebud or those mountain lakes to fish. “
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
The Missouri this week is still high. The water is coming out of Holter. You have to really be careful. You really have to know what you are doing. The water temperature is coming up. It is a harder catch. Use nymphs, sow bugs and San Juan worms and blue wing olives. No streamer or dry fishing right now.
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Leah reports,” The cfs is 1, 400 now. The water is pretty mossy. It is a positively good for streamers in the upper river. Any nymph is good to try. Nymph fishing is consistent. Use a two tone scud, carpet sow bugs, worms or zebras. Right now it is not good for streamers. The hatches we were seeing are not there now so dries are not good to use. Wade fishing is really not an option right now. ”
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, “Water is dropping and clearing. Caddis hatches are happening and providing food for the trout both above and below the surface. Look for more bug activity when we get warmer weather. Flows are still above average and several obstacles on the river have changed with the recent high water, be careful out there!. “
Yellowstone National Park
“Flows on the western side of the park have been dropping and warming over the last week. PMD and caddis hatches are bringing fish to the surface on the calm days. Stoneflies are crawling on the banks and blowing into the water with the recent gusty weather. Remember to carry your bear spray and leave your felt boots at home,” Alice explains.