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.
All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.