Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 7.18.18
By angelamontana

Posted: July 19, 2018

Summer has arrived  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. The fire season also means we all need to be alert to are actions and conditions.    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  in fierce strength very fast.  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- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt  1-406-485-2560

Monty proudly announces he is the new official owner of Rock Creek Marina.  “ I am so excited to be able to provide family friendly good fishing. I am looking forward to serving you all.“  He  wants to thank all those who have supported him through this change.

Monty   reports, “ It was good fishing people are saying . One  little kid caught a nice bass.  I bet it was close to it was close to 28 inches.   The people are going to depths of 18 to 38 feet.  Leeches and night crawlers are what seem to be working. The water was 72 degrees the other day and clear.  They are catching walleye and   but only a few pike.  The walleye have been good size. I have seen some 29 inches.  One fisherman lost his glasses in the water and I went diving for them.  I found a full 8 feet of clear water while diving for them.    “

“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,” The water temperature when I checked it in the last few minutes is 78 degrees. Fishing people say it is improving.  They have caught a bit more  crappies in 15 to 20 feet depths.  They seem to be shallow.   The bass caught have been nice ones.  People are saying  the walleye caught  have been decent size.  The water is clear and is down.  It is 34.28 right now.  One fellow was using a Berkley Flicker shad.  “

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

Wade says, “I talked to the boat inspection lady who says the crappie bite has picked up.   They are in the shallows.   She says they are right in the weeds.  Her lure of choice was a pink Mr. Twister.  The crappie bite is better.  Some guys are  trolling in 10 feet of water.  They are catching a variety of fish, walleye, pike, and crappies.”

   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

Tyler  says, “Fishing has picked up.  They are catching some walleye and   a few  pike. They are throwing bottom bouncers  at 10 to 15 feet .  Guys are often heading to Sutherland.

The water is pretty clear with no debris “

 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, “   Walleye are being caught. The lake trout are good   fishing  right now.   People are using down riggers.  Only a few small salmon caught.  The walleye are at 8 to 10 feet. Mostly  they are using   crawlers.  People were still pretty tight lipped on what they did or used with the tournament.  The winning weight was 49 pounds plus.   Don’t have the complete total.  Speed seemed to be the determining factor.  The winners were Jason Eggebrecht from Fort Peck and Drew Alpers from Billings.  The weather the first day became tough.  The wind picked up to 30 mph.  It was really rough and some boats actually came off after 10 am because of it.   People had boat damage.  I want to recognize Kris Keller from Wolf Pont and Strohm Richey who came in at 77th in tournament.  On their second day they had a fantastic day with a weight of 31.14 pounds.  Their total for the days was 42.56.  That is a lot of fish for one day.  I know that   the depths are varying  from 80 to 115 feet.  They are using spoons and downriggers heading to Hacksbee. The water temperature is  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

Cynthia   reports, “ I know people have been catching fish right outside Fisherman’s point. They were catching walleye.  They seem to be fishing there more in the afternoon.  One fellow was jigging and the other was using worms.

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 some more.   At this time the   boat ramp is closed as well.  You can walk in though. There some water over the road by the parking lot so you will need to be careful when driving.  We do not want to close the area.  We have had to pull the ramp twice this week and set it up closer on the north shore. The water does not seem to be going down . “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says,” Lots of people are playing and fishing out there.  The lake is really full.  With the high temperatures people are fishing early mornings and evenings.  They are catching stuff.  We planted rainbows weeks ago and those rainbows are now about 7 to 9inches.  Guys  are catching  perch and some bass.

 The Indian Fort Access  at Reedpoint  will be closed the rest of the summer.  It is restricted to  walk in only.  There has been some damage to the road which has narrowed the road  and is dangerous.  That has to be repaired

The East Bridge Lockwood fishing access is closed as there is   construction going on ,” Bob explains

Grant marsh   fishing access washed out on the Big Horn so it is   walk in only. The Wildlife access  area is completely open.

Deadmans Tony Stefani

 Pat reports.” The lake is still high. The guys are coming here to fish.  They say it has been slow fishing from shore. There have been some fishermen   catching  some small salmon and trout. They are doing better from a boat.  They are not finding any of any size.”

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

  Terry explains,”    People are buying worms  from me but I am not hearing they are catching.  The guys are going out but are being pushed off because of wind.  They are getting some  action on Broadwater Pond.  Many are fishing  on the  south west corner of the pond “

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

 Judy says, “Fishing  has been good.   They are finding more success in the early morning  at Bair and Martinsdale.  Night crawlers seem to be working well.  The reservoirs are full at capacity.  They are catching some nice trout there. The water is clear. ”

Sports Center   320 West Main Street, Lewistown, MT   535-9308  Colby / John Tognetti

 John says, “Spring Creek is clear up pretty well.  If you are using a spin rod try the Panther Martin.  . for fly fishing try a caddis,  Yellow Sallies  or a hairs ears.  Try green drakes on the surface.

On Achley people are fishing early.  They are catching rainbow trout and tiger muskies.

On the Missouri the water is going down.   People are catching cats.  The mosquitos and ticks are bad  so bring your bug spray.

At Petrolia guys are catching little perch right now.  Use a bottom bouncer with a night crawler.

On Crooked Creek fishermen are using bottom bouncers and catching little perch.“

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

Abby says,” We went fishing this weekend and caught fish.  We used every color.  We did not catch any crappie but we caught trout, walleye, pike and perch.  We were finding them all at 15 to 20 feet using bottom bouncers with worms.  We were really nailing them.  For us it was real good.  The other people  that went out when we did only caught  crappies.  It was just weird.  We never caught one. The muddy water clears out about 10 miles out. 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 still excellent.

they are  catching pretty much everything.  Going everywhere people are  finding fish, people are going in all directions. Most are eater size and a few are nice size like 30 inches.  The perch are 12 to 14 inches.   You can pretty much use anything to catch the fish.  It seems everything works.”

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  

“We had 100 degrees in temperatures this week.  So fishing at   Nelson   is still   slow.  There is a lot of forage fishing on the shore.  It is weedy from shore so you have to go deep.   Use a jig and a minnow. The bugs are bad   so bring bug spray.

 Forchette is good fishing right now.   It has cleared up.  They are catching walleye, northern pike, small mouth, cats and crappies.  They are catching all of them

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, “ On the Musselshell it is very muddy.  That will change what you can catch.

On the Yellowstone in Billings I hear they are catching some small mouth.  I checked it out.  You can maybe see a foot in the water.

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

Jeannie says ,”Rich is at Fort Peck fishing.  All I  have heard watching the shop is that on the Headwaters the guys that came in   said they caught three nice fish.  Then they ran out of worms.  At the Ponds they were catching sunfish fly fishing.

I did hear that there was a micro burst at Forchette.  It sand blasted a boat and broke windows on vehicles and campers.“

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

Ken says, “  The Stillwater is  fishing real well.  Use a chubbie,  a purple Haze or Jack Cabe. The Stillwater is clear.

The Yellowstone is getting there.  It is slower than it was.  Use the Chubbie there as well.  You can nymph fish as well.  Try a Prince, a hairs ear, pheasant tail or the Batman.   The Yellowstone River  has a visibility of 6 to 8 inches,  It is clearing daily.”

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,”  I have heard  the Missouri  is still fishing well.  The water is down to 9000 cfs.   The Missouri river is clearer.   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.  People are catching rainbows and brown.  “ Beau explains.

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Rick  reports,” Fishing is really good.  The cfs is  6000 cfs.  That has opened things up.  It opened up more places to wade and the islands are available.  It is easier floating.  For dry flies there is a tricot hatch in the morning and a caddis hatch in the evening.  It is also a   nymphing bite.  Try a gray or tan ray, a zebra, black pheasant tail,  olive pheasant tail , caddis or an emergent. Try  streamers like.  the  thin mint, dirty hippy, vanilla wafer or a sinking tip. The water is a little off color. But the water is still good.  There is no grass or weeds yet.”

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

The big bugs have moved through the Madison river system, but the fish still have plenty of food to eat. Caddis and small stoneflies are hatching and fish are looking for them. PMD spinners in the mornings are also bringing up some nice fish. Nymphing with the above mentioned flies has been great when fish are not looking up.

Yellowstone National Park

Recent warm weather has kept the waters of upper elevation rivers in shape with several different hatches of bugs underway, so go prepared. Look for stoneflies and mayflies on these warm afternoons.   Remember to pack your bear spray and rubber soled wading boots!