Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 12.12.18
By angelamontana

Posted: December 13, 2018

Winter   is almost  here and that means sudden changes in weather and water or ice  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 and let others know where they  are for safety sake when  out and about.  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 with fierce strength.  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  For winter call 1-406-230-1283  for Linda

Marina number is less reliable in winter.  1-406-485-2560

  The past weeks have been difficult for Neil and Linda as Neil had triple bypass heart surgery.  Due to the emergency they will not be up at Rock Creek.  Linda says that you can still make reservations for spring by calling 1-406-230-1283 and she can set you up.  She has the book with her.  At this point she has no idea when things will change. So there are no services there.  Neil is mending and following doctor’s orders.  We at the Montana Outdoor Radio Show wish him well as do all of their fishing   friends.

“We have closed the Marina as of October 1st. We still have limited services.  Linda and Neal sadly will not be at Rock Creek.   Call this number 1-406-230-1283 for any questions or news .  The  Marina number  will probably not bring much result. With the other number Linda   will help you.  “Monty says.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond says, “ Everywhere is frozen now but some places have less ice than other  places. I walked out by the boat ramp and would guess the ice depth is about two inches.     The South end is frozen all the way across.  A few people have said it is six inches thick.  We did have a few ice skaters out there. The south west   area is not as thick. I had one person go through there.  So the depths vary a lot. ”

There are no reservations needed for camp sites it is now first come first take. Everything is shut down like the electricity and water.  The cleaning station has been closed.  There are sites still open at Campers Point #1 to 11 and have electric hookups on year round.   “    .

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

Wade explains, “We are getting closer to ice fishing but we are not there all over the ice yet.  Ice   is about 2 inches thick by the marina.    On the south end  I have been told they found 4 inches of ice.   The south end is firming up but I think we still need a week or two for good safe ice everywhere.  Safety  is what is important before people go on the ice. Now that   we have more   ice we are scheduled   to  be open  on the 28th of December .  We   will be stocked with multiple size minnows.”

 Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345

Clint has said  he has had no one fish this week.  They  do not have  ice.  You  could catch a Northern pike if you did go fishing.  The temperature has fluctuated a lot.

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, “Few  fishermen were out this  week.   The boat ramp is icy and not accessible. A few guys did fish on ice far back in the bay and caught a couple of northerns. We do not have ice.  If you could get out you could catch a northern, walleye or lake trout.  Feel free to call for conditions.   ”

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

Marina reports, “ We do  have ice at Red Lodge and Willow Creek   Campgrounds.  It is getting thicker.  The depths    of ice vary a lot.  It can be dangerous.  There were some guys out there trying to fish. You have to be aware and know it can be dangerous.”

The fish cleaning station is still open but I hear not much activity there.   .  The campground is now first come first serve now as the reservation system is done taking them for the season. The boat ramps are out.  The Marshall Cove campground is now open. The drinking water has been shut down for the winter.  Our electric is on year around.  The North shore campground is now closed.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Reports say there is  some  ice on  Elmo.  It is not real thick yet.  The skiff ebbs and flows.  Half of the shore line is open to fish.  The birds are the only ones able to walk on the skiff. No fishermen are out fishing today.  “

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

There is a thin edge of ice right now.  We have a couple of fishermen today who punctured the skiff of ice from shore and are trying to fish. I don’t know if they caught anything,” Pat tells us.

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

 Terry explains,” I hear there is no ice on Martinsdale.  People have   headed  to Sutherland as they  said  there is some ice there. “

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

 Rich says, “Bair has somewhere around 6   inches of   ice I believe. There have been two collapsible huts on the ice. I don’t know if they caught anything.  It is  completely iced over but the dam area is still thin.    Sutherland also  has ice. ”

Sports Center 120 2nd Ave South  Lewistown, MT   535-9308  Colby / John Tognetti

Our hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4pm on Sunday.”

 John   reports, “There is ice on Achley, the East fork and  on Hanson Dam .  It is anywhere from 6 to8 inches.  They are catching trout and musk-eye. It is just setting up in several other places right now.

Out on the Missouri it is icing over now.  People say fishing is okay. They are catching walleye.  Use a jig and a minnow.

On Crooked   Creek the ice is 6 to 8 inches and they are catching a few northerns. “

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

 The bay is frozen over.  It is still  NOT good enough to walk on yet.  It is thin ice.  There  still is no fishing.  The river was still partially open.  There is no fishing from shore.

Slim will be at the marina full time starting 12-19.  If you have questions call Slim at 406-366-6313 and leave a message, Carrie explains.  “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon says,” It is blowing  a lot today.  It is blowing any ice out there.  We did see one   shore fishermen yesterday but that is all we have seen.  Feel free to call if you want to know how conditions are.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the last week in January for the annual Lions perch tournament.”

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.

The Flamingo has closed for the season.

West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611  

Jim   reports,” Nelson is iced over and has 4 to 7 inches.  They  are getting fish at all depths.    The ice is clear. It definitely is fresh ice.  People are only venturing on foot.  On Forchette .they are going out deep in boats.  Just waiting for ice.  They are catching some walleye. “

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   reports, “ On the Yellowstone  east of town.   Guys are   catching some  ling.  Only a few.

There is ice on Elmo.  Some are braving the thinner ice to ice fish.

Cooney has 3 to 5 inches of ice.  A couple of guys tried fishing and said the bite was super slow.  “

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,”   The rivers have ice and you see lots of floating ice.  Some ice is 10 feet out but poor at shore.

The Jefferson is the worst.   The Cardwell and three forks have lots of floating ice.

 I had   guys come in preparing for ice fishing supplies.  Some guys were headed to Sutherland to fish.

No word on Canyon Ferry from anyone.  ”

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

A few people who  headed  out in the cold said it was slow.  There is ice on the edge of the water. You can fish if you are brave  in the cold weather.  Sometimes   small streamers are working.”

 Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau says,” The Big Horn some say is picking up but you are in the cold.  Streamers have worked.  They said baetes and midges were working. ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

 The water is clear on the lake but   murky on the river.     A few guys have braved the cold and said nymphing is hit and miss.  Streamers are working but only in natural colors.  Use ones that look like a silhouette.

Our hours   are   8 am to 12 every day.

Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter  406-640-1698.


Try  midges  in the middle of the day and use streamer nymphs  throughout the day.  Really watch the type of water you are   fishing in to tell what to do.  Midges   hatch out of riffles so fish in the slower part of the run.  The water flowing on the upper Madison are good flows. It has good clarity.

 Yellowstone Park

All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.