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
Wyatt reports, “ Fishing has been pretty good this week . People are using a worm or a leach. Guys are heading north for northern pike and they are catching. The walleye are migrating. You can get walleyes pitching toward shore at 8 to 10 feet. Out on the water try depths of 10 to 12 feet. The water temperature has been 70 degrees. 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
Raymond reports,” The water temperature was 71 degrees when I checked it this morning. The weather has been beautiful. I am hearing the fishing is picking up a little. I have talked to people who have caught walleye. I would say I have seen and talked to people who seem to have caught more bass then the past weeks. I have not seen or heard of many crappie being caught. It seems to be a mixed bag. The water has cleared up some. ”
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says, “ The bass fishing seems to be good. You can catch them off of structures. The ones I have seen were nice ones some 4 pounders.
The crappies have been n 30 to 40 feet depths. They have been vertical jigging using a leach or a crawler. They seem to be weird right now not doing the normal depths. It is definitely not on fire yet. I saw one guy limit out on walleye. He was using a slip bobber. They were real nice ones.
The water temperature this week is 70 degrees. One single fisherman caught a nice pike . He caught it, netted it , took a selfie of him with it and released it. It looked big, I am guessing 20 pounds. All the campsites are open 100 percent. 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
Kyle says, “ Fishing has been pretty good. Walleye, pike and a few bass have been caught at 3 to 4 feet off the bank. They also have caught walleye bottom bouncing at 27 to 30 feet . It seems to be 10 feet in either direction. They 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. They are catching 27 inch walleye although most are eaters “
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 catching lake trout off of the face of the dam. Go to depths of 80 to 115 feet. They are using spoons and downriggers heading to Hacksbee, The walleye are at 10 feet or less in a boat. Guys are using bottom bouncers with a nightcrawler. The water temperature is around 66 degrees. They are catching more eaters. You do catch a multiple of sizes. The fishing is very good. ”
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.
Cynthia reports, “ The Marshall Cove campground is still flooded. At this time the boat ramp is closed as well. Fisherman Point S2 has a bit of flooding but is1,2,and 3 is still open. Just yesterday I talked to people who were trolling with a jig and they were catching perch and walleye in the Red Lodge campground area. “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
“The lake is really full. Fishing is good. There are quite a few people out there. Guys are catching fish. Perch and some bass have been caught.
Lake Josephine-. 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. As a personal comment from Carol (the writer of this report) I was at the kid’s fishing day there on Saturday and the only thing caught was a log. No fish even nibbled . None were 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
There have been some fishermen catching some salmon and trout. They were not very big. We have 9 camp sites that are flooded. Right now with the high water there is only 1 foot of beach. The roads are dry and the water is clear.
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry explains,” I have talked to some guys who went fishing. 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
“Fishing wasn’t too bad. That is if you could get on Bair and Martinsdale. The wind was really bad this week and it kept people off at times. We did not hear anybody go fish Sutherlan. It was definitely high water last 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
Colby says, “Spring Creek is muddy. Way too muddy to fish at this time.
.Ackley fishing has been pretty good. 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. The water is clearing.
At Crooked Creek It was good fishing there. People were using bottom bouncers at 12 foot depths. The bugs are bad bring bug spray.
On Petrolia people have been catching some nice perch this week. Go to depths of 10 feet using a jig with worms. Some small walleye also were caught. “
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Kerri says,” It has been a smorgasbord her for catching. Some people have caught some nice big bass like 4 pounds and up. They have been getting tons of crappies. They are either deep or shallow. It is really weird. They are finding them at 5 to 7 feet and then others are finding them at 28 feet. The water is between 68 to 73 degrees. The water is really high. The debris has cleared. You now find the muddy water quite far out. They are catching pretty much all of them perch, bass, catfish and some large drum being caught. The water is high. ”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon reports,” Fishing has been pretty good. The water is very high. Fishermen are having to go to deeper depths. It has been good for catching all over this week. I would say it is 80% good right now. I have heard people are getting some nice walleye and trout.
The water is colored. The Flamingo is now open.
The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
“We had camp walleye this past week. “ Jim says,” We had 13 boats and only caught 23 walleye total. Fishing at Nelson is slow. Go to depths of 25 to 35 feet. The water temperature was 69.4 degrees. The water is clear but it is weedy on the shore line. You have to go out 18 feet out for clear water.” They are getting lots of little ones. The bugs are bad so bring big 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
Matt said,” I fished Cooney and we caught eater size walleye. Try a Rapala Jerk bait..
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.
The Yellowstone it is blown out. The water is still real muddy. .
Tongue- People say they caught eater size small mouth bass. In fact that was all that was caught. Use any small bait pattern that looks like a crayfish. The walleye bite people say was real slow.
East Rosebud- People were going west and using Panther Martins and they were biting well.”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “All I have heard is that Canyon Ferry has been fairly decent. Guys were catching 15 to 17 fish.
The rivers are kind of going down. I was really surprised how the water has dropped. I haven’t seen or heard from anyone who has fished them. The banks look muddy. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken
Chris says, “ The Yellowstone is really, really muddy yet. It is also up some as well. Indian Fort is muddy and closed because of flooding. I would not recommend fishing or floating it right now.
The Stillwater is clearer and has gone down. You can fish the whole river. The Absaraokee area is good fishing. People are catching lots of fish. You can float from Cliff Swallows to Jeffery’s landing. The road is closed above Cliff Swallows for the summer. You have to go around through Nye. On the Stillwater it looks like the next hatch will be Yellow Sallys. Dries are mostly what is being used. They are finding that the Purple Haze and PMDs are working. Some are using a few nymphs with rubber legs. We are open Monday to Sunday from 9 to 5 pm.”
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
The Missouri river is better. It is not as high this week . 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
Don Reports,” The cfs is 1,200 now and is supposed to go down to 1100 in 2 days. It is fair fishing right now. The water is 56 degrees. About the best technique is to nymph. Try sow bugs, San Juan worms or scud patterns. You can try a few streamers but you really have to work for the fish with it. At the 13 mile boat ramp it starts to be off color. ”
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.