Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 12.5.18
By angelamontana

Posted: December 6, 2018

Autumn is here and that means sudden changes in weather and 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 is still on us so it means we all need to be alert to be alerts 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 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. They can not take any ice fishing reservations.  Linda says that you can still make reservations for spring  and summer 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 will still be at Rock Creek.  We still have cabins for rent.  Call this number 1-406-230-1283 .  The  Marina number  will probably not bring much result. With the other number Linda or Neil will help you.  If you call and come up we can provide food.  Speak to Linda about that.  The fuel docks are pulled but we do have fuel by the Marina should you need it.  “Monty says.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Staff says, “We haven’t seen many fishing this week.     The South end is frozen all the across.  It is still not safe yet to walk on. The varying temperatures are changing conditions to freeze the ice.   There is some ice forming on the edges in front of the Marina.  Out further the north end is open. ”

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 yet.  Ice is slowly starting to form up.  There is some ice firming up on the edges   and on the south end. The south end is still not safe to get on.  There is ice on the docks. Once we have ice we will be open and will be stocked with multiple size minnows.

 We have now closed the Marina until there is a need   during ice fishing season.

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

Clint says,” No one has fished this week.  We do not have any ice.  You probably could catch a Northern pike if you did go fishing.  It has not been below freezing this week.   “

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, “No fishermen were out last week.  The wind has been a factor.  I tried to take some fishermen out but the boat ramp was icy so we had to cancel.  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 report:

We have ice at Red Lodge and Willow Creek   Campgrounds.  It is variable in conditions.  One fellow braved the ice at Willow Creek   and found 4 inches.  He fished   and only got little “bites.  There is snow on the ice so the depths    of ice vary a lot.  It can be dangerous.  There are still boats going out on the third of the water that is open on the north shore.  In some places the ice is just ¼ to ½ inch.  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

Bob says, “There is a skiff of ice on half of Elmo.  It is not enough in thickness 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

We have seen no one out fishing   this week.  It just has   been very quiet.  There is open water.  It has been windy many days at 40 mph,” Pat tells us.

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

 Terry explains,” I hear there is no ice on Martinsdale.  I had some guys buy crawlers and were heading to Sutherland as they heard there was some ice. “

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

 Rich says, “Bair has 4 to 5 inches of   ice.  It is   completely iced over but the dam area is very thin.   I have not heard   that Sutherland is iced over.   Historically it usually ices over before Bair.  I have heard no word about Martinsdale.”

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, “Some guys have been heading to Hanson Dam where there is ice.  Some have been on it but they are very brave.  I heard it is not solid in many places.

Guys are going out on the Missouri.  People say fishing is okay. They are catching walleye.  Use a jig and a minnow.

At Spring Creek they are fishing.  Mostly spin fishing. Try a blue fox or Panther Martin.

At Achley ice is wide open.  At least last Thursday there was a skim in a few places. ”

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

 The bay is frozen over.  It is NOT good enough to walk on yet.  It is thin ice.  That means no fishing.  The river was wide open last Saturday.  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,” We have skiffs of   ice.  It is getting   closer to firmer ice. The water has stopped   steaming so the water temperature must be close to 32 degrees.  We have seen   shore fishermen off the docks.  There are a few   trout being caught.    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.   The ice is clear. It definitely is fresh ice.   By the weekend I think the west end will be decent.  No word on Forchette if it is still open.  “

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, “I had some guys heading to Georgetown to fish.    They said there was 4 to 6 inches of ice.

 On the Yellowstone heading east   guys were hoping to   catch ling.  Only a few ling have I heard caught.

I heard the Horn has picked up some.  Try a sow bug or a baetes.

A lot of places have thin ice so I am seeing guys coming in and getting their supplies for ice fishing.   “

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” I had   guys come in preparing for ice fishing supplies.  Some guys were headed to Sutherland to fish. The ponds around her are froze over but I don’t know how thick it is.  No word on Canyon Ferry from anyone.  ”

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

A few people heading out said it was slow.  There is some slush on the edge of the water. On the Yellowstone things are about the same.  You can fish if you want to fish in the cold weather.  Sometimes   small streamers are working.

 Anyone going to the Stillwater is   wading or walking to fish.”

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

Beau says,” The Big Horn some say is picking up.  People   told me streamers were working real well.  They said baetes and midges were working.

 Some say on the   Missouri   they   have been getting some fish.”


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

 Colleen  says,” the water is clear on the lake but the water is still a little murky on the river.     A few guys have said nymphing is hit and miss.  Streamers are working but not in natural colors.  Rather use ones that look like a silhouette.  Not many people fishing.  ”

Our hours   are   8 am to 12 every day.

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

Fishes Madison River and Yellowstone National Park waters


Try nymph fishing as it has been the most productive. Sunny, calm days will bring the midge hatch on in the middle of the day.  Fishing with olive streamers has also been good.

 Yellowstone Park

All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.