Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 6.20.18
By angelamontana

Posted: June 20, 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, Monty LeTexier  1-406-485-2560

Monty  reports, “People were catching walleyes using a jig, a crank or a bottom bouncer. Guys were just using anything and they were working.  They were catching bass using the same bait types.  The northern pike bite is harder to find.  The guys are saying they are finding the walleye and bass at depths of 20 feet or less.  They are definitely not finding them in numbers you usually would find.  It rained hard on Saturday.  The wind needs  to slow down I think that is changing things.    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,”  The rain was keeping the campers away.  It is high and murky.  We have not seen any flooding. I have not talked to many who have caught fish this week.    Guys are jigging for crappies.  They are catching some bass.  The walleye people say are shallow 5 to 6 feet down.  The few who fished seemed to think the evening bite was better.  Our ranger and a friend went down to below the dam and caught 11 cats.  It is still spilling over the dam.”


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

Wade says, “  On weekend we saw quite a few walleyes caught in 6 to 15 feet depths.  They were using slow death , bottom bouncers or dragging jigs.  A couple of guys were arguing about whether chartreuse or red worked better so I guess those are the colors   that work. .There is less crappie action right now.  Some small mouth bass were being caught with an occasional pike caught. The water is getting clearer and the run off is slowly coming in.    The   inspection station   is up and checking.    ”

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

Lane  says, “ Walleye  fishing was  a little tough  this week probably because it was cold. They are heading both east in the middle and west.  With two big rain storms and lots of wind fishing does change often.  People are jigging with a minnow.  A few were using a bottom bouncer with a night crawler or leach.   The bass are being caught while fishing for walleye  at 10 feet depths close to shore. The walleye are in 15 feet depths.  The northern pike are doing well.   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

Taylor   says, “ Fishing  for lake trout has been going good.  Guys are catching pike in the main lake using cranks. It is doing pretty good.  The lake trout have been good jigging at 65 to 75 feet depths. If the water is clear they are jigging to 90 feet.  There is not much action at the dam right now.   The walleye are starting to pick up.  It is not a hot and heavy  bite. They are biting on night crawlers and leaches with a bottom bouncer at 10 to 20 feet.  ”

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.

Shauni says , “ It  was raining for the last 2  days.  The Marshall Cove campground   is still   flooded. Now the boat ramp is closed.

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.  At Fisherman Point Campground S2 is closed because of flooding. Campsite 1, 3 and 4 are still open.  We have not seen any one out.    “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

“The lake is really full.  Fishing seems to going well.  Even with the rain there are quite a few people out there.   Guys  are catching fish. Perch and some bass   have been caught.

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 some  fishing access sites in this region right now because of flooding.

Holgren Ranch access up from Columbus has opened up to driving.

Duck Creek is now open.

Sportsman Park or Buffalo Mirage has been repaired and is open now.

There are some places  still remaining walk in only.  Check the FWP  site for changes.

The Indian fort Access  at Reedpoint  will be closed the rest of the summer including at the boat float.  There has been some damage to the road which has narrowed and is dangerous.  That has to be repaired ,” Bob explains


Deadmans Tony Stefani

Pat   explains,” People are coming to camp but the many days of rain meant they never  went out on the water. We have 9 camp sites that are flooded.  There is a lot of mud on the road.   It was really windy this week.  There is one guy out there right now but again it is starting to rain.  “


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

Terry explains,” Fishing has been pretty tough  because of the wind and rain. The rivers are sure high and they are rising.  I can say there is some fishing action on Broadwater Pond.  They seem to be on the south west corner of the pond. Just head over the bridge to the south end.  Guys say they are fishing way down on the bottom.


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

Rick says, “We have had rain as well. Fishing at Bair I hear has been very good even with the rain.  On Sutherlan people say it was not as good.  They caught eater size trout.  It was not muddy.  They are going to depths of 12 to 14 inches.   It was definitely high water this week.  ”


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

** For a report on Forchette please not Rich’s Tackle report from Tuesday evening**

Scott says, “.Ackley was decent  fishing this week.  Guys are catching tiger muskies.  They seem to be shallow and spoons are working.  Try using cranks and twisters. There were two 42 inch big browns from shore.    The water is clearing.

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  murky.   Guys are finding  nymphing working.  Use a prince or a pheasant tail. 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 Hell Creek   and   Crooked Creek  fishing is picking up.   They are catching pike at  Crooked Creek,  The bugs are bad bring bug spray.  The cats are also  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, “


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

Abby   says,” fishing was steady  this week.  We went out the other day.  My daughter Attison,  who is 10 years old, caught a 16 pound pike.  A nice one that is for sure.  They are catching  perch and crappie at 10 to 15 feet .  The water is muddy. They are heading to the main lake for them.  The walleye is a mixed report.  They are catching them shallow  during the day at 10 feet and then later they become a deeper bite. The debris   is less now in the water.”


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon   reports,” I would like the rain to quit here.  Fishing was good if you could stand the cold and rain. They have been catching plenty of walleye and trout.

It is muddy water but it is clearing up. We are almost  at full pool about 3 more feet and we will be there .   Watch for floating   items in the water. The Flamingo is now open.

Don’t forget to sign up for this week’s   annual Canyon Ferry Walleye Tournament.  It is  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  

Jim   says,” At   Nelson   they are getting lots of little ones.  It takes a while to get them.  The lakes are full.  It is pretty clear.  The lakes are full. Try crank baits.  At the end of the week it picked up and people were using  bottom bouncers and jigs.

Early in the week Forchette was clear from Malta.  It is muddy on the main lake.

**For more about Forchette  information  please read Rich’s tackle report.**

The bugs are bad   so bring bug spay. “

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,” I hear at Fort Peck dam lots of nice walleye were caught.

At Hell Creek they are catching lots of walleye I hear.  They are pretty small.  Guys are catching small mouth as well.   They are finding it is slower.  Most are pretty small they are saying.  The water is 60 degrees. One guy tried bottom bouncers and another was pulling cranks. Both caught some fish.

On Tongue they are catching by bass and some crappies still.

At Yellowtail  there was a lot of debris.   The water is off color by the slide. Pitching small tubes and wacky worms seems to be working.

The   Yellowstone it is blown out.  The water is real  muddy. .

Tongue- The water is muddy so it is slower fishing.    People caught some crappies and bass.

Cooney-At Cooney we  were catching eater size walleye using cranks.  The water is high.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “My buddies and I headed up to Forchette.  We fished all week.  With the weather we fished in 4 to 5 foot waves at times. In 5 days we got fish 3 days.  We caught 6 fish  between 20 to 26 inches.  The rest of the fish were little.  We caught nothing in the 15 to 20 inch size.

We left Forchette on Tuesday afternoon we could not go out the Zortman way because the road was really bad.  So we decided  to go out the Malta way.  There were 5 different groups all going out together.  It was pouring and had been during the week as well.  We figured the Malta way had more gravel.  The road was awful.  At times we were driving through 18 inches of mud.    It was tricky and at times we had to wait for one truck pulling a camper and a boat to make sure it had stayed on the road.  We made it to Malta where it was also pouring.  We stopped to eat and heard that the Malta exit from Forchette was closed.  The amount of water we saw on the way out and on the way home was something I have never seen before.  The mud was really, really bad. We were all lucky we stayed on the road.  Right now stay away from Forchette until it dries up.”


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

Chris says, “ The water is way up on the Stillwater. It is way off color.  It is 2 times up in volume. You are going to have to head to the lakes and streams in the mountains. Head to the lakes, the Rosebud or Emerald Lakes.   “

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 river has really spiked this week. It is up to 1,500 cfs.   The water is coming out from Prickly Pear.  The dam is blown out.  It is not a good week to fish on the Missouri.  The best water is 3 miles up so all the boats are pushed together.  It is really , really muddy from 3 mile down.   You have to really be careful.   There is debris as well.  The Gable is at 8000 cfs and that is the highest I have ever seen it.  Not a good time to fish here. You really have to know what you are doing.   The  water temperature is coming up, “ Beau explains.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Stephanie   reports,”  the water is way up. The cfs is  1,400 now.  The water is   pretty mossy.  It is a positively good for  streamers in the upper river. No dries will work.  Try a dirty hippie or thin mint.  Sow bugs and worms are really working.  Use a long leaders and lots of weight.  Fishing is good.  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.

Madison River

Alice reports, “Madison River

Check the flows before you head out.. With all the recent rain, the flows out of Hebgen Dam have increased and will continue to go up. If you are fishing, heavy flies along the banks and structure. Streamers are also good in these conditions.

Yellowstone National Park

Heavy rain has brought an increase in the flows of the rivers in the Madison drainage. Caddis are still hatching on the Firehole and Madison but other bugs have been sensitive to the temperature changes. Look for more mayflies once the temperatures of the rivers increase. Remember to carry bear spray and wear rubber soled wading boots!