Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 4.3.19
By angelamontana

Posted: April 4, 2019

Spring   is almost here and that means sudden changes in weather and water on ice. Ice conditions are deteriorating  and flooding could become a problem.  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

Monty reports,” The ice is open around the peninsula.  There is no doubt the ice is done. It is open 20 yards from the shore.  It is just not ready for fishing.  It is a waiting game. “

  *** Monty is  available to make reservations for spring by calling 1-406-465-0241 and he can set you up.  He can help you. “We have closed the Marina as of October 1st,   2018 for the season.   The   Marina number   will not bring results at this time.  “Monty says.

Neil is recovering from his health emergency. He and Linda are not  up at Rock Creek yet but hope to be there soon.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports, “The ice is still on the water 80 to 90 percent. The water was rising last week but has stayed the same this week.  The water level is at 3426 CFS so it is up 5 to 6 feet.  There is water on the ice.   The ice is breaking up on the edges.  It is not safe at all.  It is breaking up to 10 feet from shore already so it is not safe to be on. You could possibly fish in a cove on the shore line I guess. The river on the south end are opening up.  The nights are still cold but days are much warmer and are going to continue to get much warmer.  The frog pond has water in it.  No ice fishing is possible  anymore. “

Remember to check your regulations for the information for this region about what minnows  you may use on Tongue.

Everything is still 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 they have electric hookups on year round.   “    .

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

Wade, the marina owner reports, “Ice fishing is done.  The  ice has broken  away from the edges.  The wind is blowing and we have warm weather during the day. I suspect if the wind keeps up it will help get the ice off.  Fishing is coming soon. The marina   is now closed and we are setting up for spring.  We will open when the ice has left.  Remember the rules on bringing minnows to Tongue River if you come to fish and that   your license expired March 1st. ”

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

Clint says,” The mud is drying up.  Conditions are changing and the ice is rotten. We are just waiting for the ice to go.  It is breaking away at the shore line now.  I think if we have a couple of windy days  the ice could blow off.  We could have  possibly some fishable water by the weekend if the wind continues. There is open water right now at Boy Scout Point right at the channel.  There is ice still at the Marina and no open water.  The ice is rotten.“

Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.  ­­­­­­­

Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597

Staff reports, “the ice is melting.  There is water on the edges of the ice.  You cannot get on. The ice is not safe anymore.  Just waiting for spring now.  You can fish on the river.  People are catching some rainbow and brown trout and a few walleye. You can call us at 406-526-3442 for details. “

  Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina  Jessica & Scott Collinsworth   1-406-565-6283

Thursday, Friday and Monday 9am to noon/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 9pm

 Scott reports,” The ice is pretty gray. It is definitely not fishable or safe.   The edges are  breaking  up to about 10 feet out.  Everyone is going to have to just wait a couple of weeks to fish.  The Milk River is flooding near Glasgow so this weather is changing things quickly.

The river fishing is real slow.  With the milk blown out it is just rough fishing.  We went out and did not mark any fish.  I think they are still up higher.  “

We have been filling up the bait and tackle store.  You will find lots of products there for your need. . We also have campsites available with power for anyone that wants to bring your camper to the lake. The spots are concrete and right on the lake shore. You can access the lake right from your camper. I want to remind people that fishing licenses need to be renewed on March 1st.   “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia  

Marina says,” The shore has broken away from the ice.  There is about 20 foot of water from shore.  The ice is super thin. It has been freezing every night but of course the days are warmer so the ice is changing. The ice color and conditions seem to be changing rapidly. The road and parking lot are open and the dirt is drying out.”

The fish cleaning station is still open. 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 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  no ice  out on Elmo this week.  It is 100 % liquid.  There are a few out in a kayak but no shore fishermen today.

As far as other news the Rosebud isle site is still closed .  That is the one in Fishtail.  There is an ice problem and now flooding there so it is not safe to enter which is why it is closed.  The Captain Clark site has been repaired and is going to reopen today (Tuesday).

On the Missouri at the James Kip the huge ice jam broke up this morning so that has improved conditions.“

Bob reports as of Wednesday at 1 pm that ” Part of the Grey Bear Fishing Access Site along the Yellowstone River west of Big Timber is restricted to walk-in traffic only because of hazardous road conditions. The restrictions will  remain in place on the campground side of the fishing access site until road conditions improve and crews  can make repairs. MFW closed the gate to the campground, west of the North Yellowstone Trail Road bridge .Snowmelt and a failed culvert and drainage plugged by beavers forced floodwater on the roadway. The boat ramp and east road by the bridge remains open to traffic..People walking in are asked to  park near the boat launch not along the county road right-of-way.”

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

Pat says,”  It is pretty muddy here right now.  We still have ice all the way to the edge.  It is obviously thin.  The ice has changed and there is thinness on the edges this week. The ice is just not safe anymore.”

 Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261

 Terry explains, “People are getting itchy to go fishing.  They say the ice conditions are not good.  With the warm weather I would guess ice fishing is done.”

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

 Rick says, “There are no fishermen at Bair.  We got the ice shacks off.  We still have had very cold nights and the ice is frozen to the edges.  The lake is up 30 to 5 feet.  I have heard Sutherlan has ice and people were fishing it.  The fishing will change if the temperatures warm up. ”

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

Colby reports , “ Conditions are changing.  The snow is leaving.   The creeks around here are blown out.

At Spring Creek  the water is muddy right now. It is fishable though.  So fishing would be tough .

Achley- The shore is opening up.  There is no ice fishing happening.

The river is open and there is ice on the shore.  It is muddy.

Crooked Creek-  I heard it is not fishable right now.  Ice is not good. ”

We do have smelt, worms, meal worms, maggots and wax worms.  We have live minnows but they are sold out quickly at times.   “

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

Slim says,  “ The ice has deteriorated.  Ice fishing is not possible.  There is no place to shore fish. There is a lot of water on the ice.  The ice is getting really soft.  I am keeping Crooked Creek Campground and Marina  closed.   We are going to have to wait a couple of weeks to be able to fish. Feel free to call the number to get information on conditions.”

 When you can get to Crooked Creek  I suggest you bring minnows if you have them.   I do have some bait but not a lot so I suggest people bring some.

When open Slim is at the marina full time now.  He is open 7am to 7 pm   Wednesday to Monday.  He will be closed on Tuesday.  If you have questions call Slim at 406-366-6313 and leave a message.

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon   says,”  I think ice fishing is done.  There is 18 inches of ice  here but the edges are open.  It would be hard to get on or off. There is no way you could use a wheeled vehicle of any kind.  Of course if you want to chance it you might be able to walk on but the temperature has been in the mid 40’s so things will change often. Please  stop at the marina before fishing to get information. ”

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 done for ice fishing.  It is soft on the sides.  It is breaking up for 5 feet.  One guy went out with an air boat and he was just waiting for it to break through. We are just waiting for it to open up.   They turned the canal on last Tuesday so it will change things.

On Forchette I know the road is clear.  There is water on the ice  and the ice is not good. I know people.

Some high schoolers have found spots to fish on the Milk River.    They have gotten some cats.  The water is coming up.“

Don’t forget you do need a new fishing license now.  It expired  March 1st.”

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.

 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce reports:

At Olka Bay –On the Yellowtail people say they are jigging. .  They finally plowed the road.

Yellowstone  The Yellowstone is really muddy and guys are fishing for cats going east and getting some.

Yellowstone- The Yellowstone going west from Columbus to Big Timber has been fishing okay.

Stillwater  On the Stillwater they say it has opened up.  Guys are nymphing for trout and getting some.

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” the Rivers are  open now.  Surprisingly, they are not very high.

Madison -I talked to one guy who fished the Madison.  It was open water and slow.

Canyon Ferry- At  Canyon ferry you could still fish on the weekend.   Some people found 20 inches of ice on Sunday but of course that was days ago so who knows what it is today.  They were catching rainbow trout.  Conditions are definitely changing because of the warm temperatures.

Holter – At Holter  I hear guys are catching perch. They were ice fishing and 3 guys caught 9 perch between them. “

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

People who headed out are trying from shore.  The Stillwater has opened up.   The warmer weather made it easier to  get close.  Small streamers may work.

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

Beau hears,” Fishing is still slow on the Big Horn my guys say.  The water is pretty clear.  They are sitting low in the water.  Fishing action time seems to be from 11:3 am to 3 pm.  It is not super active. You can catch fish but you have to find a very specific deep spot.  When you find the spot stay there.  They are not spreading out yet. Try nymphing.   Try pink  midges or baetes or a sow bug. ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375   

“Collette reports, “People are coming and fishing the Big Horn. It is crystal clear. Fishing is fair.  The water is still cold. It is somewhat of a struggle to find the fish.  That makes the fish pretty sluggish.  Use the pink  zebra pattern as it is working.  No dry fly fishing right now.”

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

Madison River

You can find a  midges hatch during the middle of the day on the Madison. Trout are more willing to eat them on the warm days without wind. You can try using a  stonefly nymph with a midge pattern below as well. Olive sculpin streamer patterns also  may work well throughout the day.

 Yellowstone Park

All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.