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 , Wyatt 1-406-485-2560
Monty reports, “ Fishing has been good this week . The people are finding thee fish deeper. The water was 72 degrees the other day. They are catching walleye and pike at anywhere from 17 to 400 feet. They have caught some nice size walleye that was 26 and 28 inches. The bass fishing has been decent as well. I will say the high air heat has slowed things down the last two days. Guys are heading north for northern pike and they are catching. The walleye are migrating. Guys were pulling cranks for pike. People were catching walleyes on a bottom bouncer with a minnow or a crawler. “
“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
Spencer reports,” I have gotten the report that it is difficult to get fish right now. No one said the caught any crappies. A few walleye were caught that I heard about. People seem to catch if they fish a lot here and know the water. They say right now you really have to work at it. They are trying all kinds of bait and lures. They are trying everything this side of a stick of dynamite. Try the legal stuff not the dynamite. “
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says, “The crappie bite is hit or miss. One fellow caught a nice walleye a 5.6 pounder. He said he was not getting anywhere fishing at higher speeds in the boat. So he went down to trolling with a bottom bouncers at ½ mph. He said immediately he had a bite. Fishing has definitely slowed down. The water temperature was 75 degrees and I suspect it is probably 78 degrees today because it is so hot. The bass fishing seems to be pretty good. For small mouth people are using predominately cranks. The fish are just not on the shoreline right 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
Kyle says, “Fishing has slowed down since the temperature has gone up. We have had bursts of storms as well. The guys are catching them off and on they just are not hammering them. The water temperature has varied from 70 to 75 degrees. Walleye, pike and a few bass have been caught at 3 to 4 feet off the bank. They did catch some walleye with bottom bouncers at 27 to 30 feet. It seems to be 10 feet in either direction. Guys are heading to J marker or towards Crooked Creek. The water is pretty clear with no debris. Use a normal hook with a bead in natural colors. “
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, “Fishing has been good. Walleye fishing has picked up and is good right now. The fish are definitely moving around. Crawlers and leaches are working. The lake trout are really good right now. The depths are varying from 80 to 115 feet. They are using spoons and downriggers heading to Hacksbee. The water temperature is around 68 to 71 degrees. The small mouth seems to be scarce. Northern pike are plentiful right now. ”
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, Cynthia
Shauni reports, “ It was very busy this week. I talked to a family at noon that had a stringer of 7 or 8 walleye on it. They were 12 to 13 inches. They caught one perch that was 10 inches. They were fishing from a boat. It was fun to see how excited the kids were about catching something. The water is going down. The Marshall Cove campground is still flooded. The water is going down but we will keep it closed so the road can dry out for a few day. At this time the boat ramp is closed as well. People were also catching from shore. I saw more people catching fish this week. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
The warm weather brought out lots of people playing and fishing. The lake is really full. Fishing is good although some say it slowed down with the high temperatures. Guys are catching fish. Perch and some bass have also been caught.
There is still walk in only 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
Tony reports.” The guys are coming here to fish. There have been some fishermen catching some salmon and trout. They are doing better from a boat. They are not finding any of any size. The water is receding slightly. The roads are dry and the water is clear.
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry explains,” They struggled to get a line in the water at Deadman’s and Martinsdale because of wind. They are at full pool. The guys are going out but I am not hearing of any catching. They are getting some action on Broadwater Pond. Most people are on the south west corner of the pond. Just head over the bridge to the south end. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “Fishing has been very good from shore and boat at Bair. One fisherman did well fly fishing there as well. The fishermen caught a couple of brook trout, mostly 15 to 16 inches. I have heard a few bigger ones were caught. Martinsdale was fair fishing this week. You had to deal with the wind . The water is clear. My son-in-law went to Sutherlan a week ago and three in a line. He said the fish seemed more picky. It was a hard catch. ”
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
John says, “Spring Creek is clear. People are having success. Both spin fishing and fly fishing are both good. Try a pheasant tail, a prince or a hairs ears. Try green drakes on the surface or an elk hair. For spin fishing use a panther martin or a Mepps.
On Warm Spring Creek they are catching rainbow trout and small mouth bass. A night crawler is working. The water is clear.
Judith River is high. It is off color. It seems to be getting better every day. I think it will be clear by the weekend.
Casino Creek Reservoir is beginning to clear. They are catching bluegills, perch and bass on bait.
On the East Fork Reservoir they are catching northern pike and perch.
On the Missouri people are catching cats. The water level is dropping. The mosquitos and ticks are bad so bring your bug spray.
.Ackley fishing has been pretty good. . The water is clearing. Guys are catching some muskies using cranks. Some people are also trying flies and getting a few. Try a Dick Nites and put a lead on to pull it down deep. “
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Kerri says,” It is 92 degrees today. Fishing this week was real good. The guys are catching fish not very far up the lake. Use bottom bouncers or cranks at 20 to 28 feet. They are using cranks from shore in 3 feet of water. One little boy threw a purple colored lure in on Sunday and immediately caught a fish. Most of the fish are 16 inches and a few are 19 to 20 . Those that decide to go way out are doing okay. They are not slamming them. They were heading to Timber Creek. The muddy water clears out about 10 miles out. By the Marina it is muddy you can still only see very far down. The water is high.
We now have a boat wash for people by the water. The Marina now has water and there is a water hydrant at cabin #2 so the cabins have water close by. ”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon reports,” Fishing is excellent. It is good for catching everything. Most are eater size. A few are nice size like 30 inches. The perch are 12 to 14 inches. The lake water is very high. Fishermen are having to go to deeper depths. It really varies from place to place. You can pretty much use anything to catch the fish. It seems everything works. The water is colored.”
The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
The Flamingo is now open.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
“Fishing at Nelson is still slow. Go to depths of 25 to 35 feet. Use a jig and a minnow and of course use cranks for pike, The water is clear but it is weedy on the shore line. You have to go out 18 feet out for clear water. The bugs are bad so bring bug spray.
I have also heard that from Forchette to Timber Creek fishing has been good. Of course the heat will change things, “
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,” At Cooney they are catching eater size walleye.
On the Stillwater people are rafting to fly fish on the upper pat. It still is tough to wade.
At Hell Creek they were catching. They got a few large size ones with bottom bouncers. Some guys did well at the dam.
On Tongue the guys are saying they are catching a few here and there. They are catching more small mouth and largemouth bass.
On the upper Yellowstone at Paradise Valley the caddis and salmon flies are out. Use flies that have very little color. They seem to work well .
On the Yellowstone East toward Huntley and Ballantine people are catching cats.
At Martinsdale guys are trolling with a rapala for rainbows and catching some nice fish and lots of them. Some are nice fat football size.
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ Canyon Ferry has been fairly decent. People are catching . Some fish are over 15 inches. They are using leeches. They are using leaches with bottom bouncers. Spinners are also working. It is clear once you get to Goose Bay. Use colors blue, purple, white and green as they are working. Going north they are going deep to 30 feet jigging.
The rivers are way down. They look close to norm. the Gallatin and Madison look pretty clear. The Jefferson still looks darker. People are fishing the rivers but I have not heard if they are doing well. The banks look muddy. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken
Ken says, “ The Stillwater is good for fishing now. The Boulder is also good.
If you want to fish the Yellowstone stay home. You might be able to get around the edges. If you do float it use streamers towards the edges. Watch for debris . there are some log jams and at some spots it is shallow.
We are seeing some surface action on the Stillwater. Use a Jack Cabe, Stimulators and of course the Purple Haze. Also try the Parachute Adams. The upper Stillwater is tough to wade. It is clearer and is slowing down. On the Stillwater it looks like the next hatch will be Yellow Sallys. They are also seeing some hoppers starting. The Boulder is fishing similar to the Stillwater so use the same things.
We are open Monday to Sunday from 9 to 5 pm.”
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Bea says,” This is my last week on the Missouri. The water is down to 9000 cfs. The Missouri river has better clarity. The fish are closer to the surface. Nymphing is good. Try a caddis. Try using cray fish, sow bugs or a size 12 pheasant tail. The upper Deerhorn River is clear. There is not a lot of debris. We were catching rainbows and brown. “ Beau explains.
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Leah Reports,” The cfs is down from 1,200 to 6000 cfs. It is easier floating. It has really opening up now. It is good fishing now. It is a nymphing bite. Try sow bugs, San Juan worms or scud patterns. Try a few streamers on the upper 3 miles. Use light colored shiners like the vanilla wafers. For dries the bite is just beginning. Some people are seeing more caddis. It seems to be stabilizing. You don’t need the extra weight on your line now because the water is down and clearer.
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, “Madison River
Caddis, Mayflies and Stoneflies are all hatching somewhere on the river right now. Flows have come down and the fish are starting to look up.
Forecast is for warm, sunny days, please quickly release your fish back into the cool water.
Yellowstone National Park
PMDs are still rising on the Firehole, although afternoons temperatures have slowed the fishing a bit. Look for fish on the Westside of the park in the cool, deep water. The Gallatin coming out of the Yellowstone National Park is still chilly but should see bugs hatching in the next week. Carry your bear spray and wear vibram soled boots.