Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 7.25.18
By angelamontana

Posted: July 25, 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.  

(compiled by Carol Henckel)

Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt  1-406-485-2560

Congratulations Monty on being the new owner of the Rock Creek Marina.  “ I am so excited to be able to provide family friendly good fishing. I am looking forward to serving you all. Thank you for all those who have supported me through this change.”

Monty   reports, “It was pretty good fishing this week. They are going to depths of 18 to 38 feet. That is where the guys are finding walleye and pike.   Leeches and night crawlers are what seem to be working. Reports are the fish are going deeper.  They seem to be catching some bigger ones. In walleye someone caught a 31 incher, there has been a 29 inch and a 30 inch also caught.  A pike was caught that was 38 inches and caught on a crank using the color chartreuse…  People are fishing south of the marina but not as far south as before like Nelson and McGuire.  The water has gone down a little. A few Lake trout have been caught but not in quantity.

“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 would say the fishing has picked up.  People are actually using the fish cleaning station so that is good.  The air temperature has definitely affected things.  We started with a temperature of 101. The rest of the time was 85 to 95 degrees.   I saw someone with 20 crappies.   They caught crappies in 15 to 20 feet depths.  They seem to be shallow.   I also had people asking me “where are the fish? “


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

Heard the crappie bite has picked up.   They are in the shallows.   They are right in the weeds.  A pink Mr. Twister is working.  Fishing at times seems to improving. 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

Clint says, “Guys are doing well on walleye.  Usually at depths of 13 to 15 feet and they are finding them deeper in the evening at 18 to 20 feet with a crank. The pike are biting going east towards Crooked Creek.  The water is clear and about 74 degrees.

The Hell Creek Tournament is this weekend Saturday and Sunday.  There are still some openings.  If you are interested in fishing it call Casey at Ryan’s Packing  406-557-2000 or Clyde Phipp at the Motel 406-557-2009. “

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 not too bad.  They are fishing the main lake towards the pines for walleye.  Guys are catching lots of   small mouth bass .  There have been a few nice pike being caught just not real many.  They seem to be at 8 to 30 feet just about anywhere.  The water temperature is 71 to 72 degrees.  Most are using crawlers but leaches and cranks are doing pretty good also.   The lake trout are good   fishing   right now at depths of 80 to 115 feet. A  few salmon have been caught.  They are small, l like around 5 to 6 pounds. ”

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, “  People  have been catching fish  towards the dam and right outside Fisherman’s point. They are catching walleye I just don’t know how much.  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 now open. The   boat ramp is still  closed  to McClone for vehicles.   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  seem to be going  down maybe a half of foot . “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

I am hearing  many of people are fishing out there. Lots of them are enjoying playing in the water.  The lake is really full.  With the high temperatures people are fishing early mornings and evenings.    Guys  are catching trout,   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

Tony  reports.” We had only boaters this week.   We have only about 2 feet of beach.  Some places it is even less than that. The lake is still high.  They say it has been slow fishing from shore.  The fishermen are saying they are not catching  much  lately.  They say they are catching a rainbow trout every once in a while.”


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

People are  buying worms now .  The few guys heading to Martinsdale have had some luck off and on.  Some guys are going out but are being pushed off because of wind.  They are catching fish  on Broadwater Pond  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 the typical summer fishing.   They are having more success in the early morning and late evening and are catching trout. At Martinsdale it is fishing spotty.  Some guys get a few and some come home with nothing. They have started taking water so the level will be going down.  I talked to people who went to  Bair and Sutherland to fish.  They had no luck.  .  Night crawlers seem to be working well. ”


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

Colby  says, “ I fished the Governor’s  Cup and thought the fishing was okay .  The weather was tough at times. My boat got damaged before the event and my friend had his windshield broke as well as some other damage when the weather got bad.  We did win big fish one day   and some other things so it paid for fuel to get there and back. The wind was 30 mph at   times.

I went to  Petrolia and tried fishing with  bottom bouncers but I did not  catch anything. The water temperature was 76 degrees.

Spring Creek has started doing  well.  They are seeing a caddis hatch and some mayflies,  Yellow Sallies  or hairs ears are working.  Try green drakes on the surface.

On Achley people are fishing  and a few muskies are catching a few big ones but only a few. Cranks are working with a Reef Runner.  They are catching most of them from boats.  Shore fishing has not found any right now.   They are catching rainbow trout and tiger muskies.

On Carters Pond the water is getting mossy.

On the Missouri the water is going down.   People are catching walleye   toward Loma and Shema.  The water is starting to clear. The mosquitos and ticks are bad  so bring your bug spray.

On Crooked Creek fishermen say it is fishing well.  Try   using bottom bouncers with a worm or a leech as they are working.  People are saying they are catching walleye.

On the Musselshell guys are catching cats heading toward Mosby. “


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

Carri  says,” We  took the whole family, even the baby and went fishing this weekend.  We really found fish.  We knocked em dead.   We  caught fish,  walleye, small small mouth, perch, drum, and pike.    We used every color.  Everything worked. We were finding them all at 15 to 20 feet using bottom bouncers with worms.  We were really nailing them with green, red, blue, and  orange. Even purple with bottom bouncers was working.   We were close to shore. Nothing huge but eater size.  We used deep diver plugs for walleye in 25 to 30 feet.  The water was 78 and then 82 degrees.    The other people  that went out  did catch walleye and perch.  There is a fire by Forchette somewhere that people are watching. So watch the news.”

Carri said earlier,  ”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 really  excellent. It is fishing well everywhere in all directions.   They are  catching  pretty much everything. The trout have been 3 to 4 pounders.  Going everywhere people are  finding fish,  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  

“ Fishing at   Nelson   is still   slow.  They found a few at 25 feet.   There is a lot of forage fishing on the shore.  It is weedy from shore so you have to go deep.   Use a bottom bouncer with a leach.  Bring lots of worms you will need them.  The perch bite at times was pretty good.  No one I talked to caught any pike. 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

Matt   said, “ I fished the Governor’s  Cup.  I got one of the big fish pots for my 39 inch pike.  It helped pay fuel. We found the walleye at 10 to 12 feet.  The river was good.

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

On the Yellowstone they are catching a lot of walleye.

I have heard the Boulder is fishing well.

The walleye fishing on Cooney has been fair I am hearing.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Greg, Rich’s son  says ,”Dad and I fished at Forchette.    Fishing for us was hit and miss.  The fish would not bite and then for a couple of hours they would bite and then it was done.  We threw everything in our tackle box out there and nothing works.  We also threw worms and leaches.  We trolled, jigged and just cast and nothing worked.  We did catch a few like a 10 pound pike and  s few walleye in the 5 to 6 pound range in 25 foot depths.

We did see the 7 smoke jumpers fighting the fire.  We were told the fire east  of Forchette Bay is out but the fire at U Bend is still going and active. “


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

Ken says, “ The Stillwater is  fishing pretty good.  Use a chubbie,  a purple Haze or Jack Cabe are definitely working. The cfs is 2200 so it has gone down. The Stillwater is clear.

The Yellowstone is getting better.  It is improving.  Use the Chubbie there as well. The Grinch is working. It is not optimal. It is clearish.  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 going down

I fished the boulder one day.  It was excellent.  Brookes are excellent fishing .  I used purple haze.”

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 fished the  big Horn.  It  is still fishing okay.  I think the river is in   rough shape.  You can catch fish.    The water is  coming down.  The water is greenish.  Try using cray fish, sow  bugs or a size 12 pheasant tail.  The temperature has been hot so the water is hot, “ Beau explains.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Rick  reports,” The water is dropping.    The cfs is  5000 cfs right now.  It will be 4,000 on Thursday and 3500 cfs on Friday they say.    That has opened things up.  There are  more  places to wade and the islands are available.  It is easier floating. I see the water as getting better and better.   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 are out there and they  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!