Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 5.1.19
By angelamontana

Posted: May 2, 2019

Spring   is  here and that means sudden changes in weather. 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   call 1-406-230-1283  for Linda 

Marina number is 1-406-485-2560

 Monty reports,” no one was in this past week.  We had winds that were pretty tough.  .

If you could get out there I think you would find the bite is on from the bank.   You should catch some   lake trout and possibly some catfish also from the bank.  The walleye from the week before were caught from a boat heading toward McGuire Creek.  I would   pull bottom bouncers with a minnow.  The road is very compact and passable.  We just need the weather to get warmer as well as the water.”

Linda reports on Wednesday morning,” It is a frosty morning with a temperature of 27 degrees.  It is a beautiful morning. The loons are singing. “

  Linda and  Monty are  available to make reservations for spring by calling 1-406-465-0241 or the above numbers.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer  reports, “  We had the Kats tournament this past weekend so we had a lot of boats on the water.  It was really windy.   Other  people fishing   said it was only okay for other species.  I heard of some people catching a few  crappie.  The water hasn’t turned over yet.    The  boat  ramp dock is in.  The water is rising.  It is about 80 % of full pool.  The electricity is on now in the sites. The water is not turned on. “   Remember to check your regulations for the information for this region about what minnows   you may use on Tongue.

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

Wade, the marina owner reports, “Some nice fish were caught this past weekend on Tongue.  It has been a bit slow. The bass seem to be in depths of 6 to 15 feet.  The crappies are at 22 to as much as 50 feet depths.  Going south the water temperature was 52 degrees and going north was 42 degrees.  People are saying they are marking fish and that they are stacked but not real  active.  Right now things are a few weeks early.

 The marina  Is open and I now have minnows.  We are set up for spring with supplies, food, drinks and beer for your camping needs.  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 guys are catching  pike and doing pretty well.  They  are starting  in the  shallows and toward the bank especially in the heads of the bay.  The walleye are still  in the spawning beds  in timber Creek and towards Forchette.   The lake trout have gone deeper and pulling cranks at 15 to 40 feet.  The bass  are moving into the shallows and the few out fishing were pitching.  It is not great fishing because of the time of the year but it was pretty good. “

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

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

Justin  reports, “ Not many people out fishing.  We had rain and more rain this week.  Lake trout are at depths of 2 to 3 feet.  Guys were pulling cranks and spoons using banana weights.   They have been getting them at Bear creek and Haksbee or at the face of the dam.  Walleye have slowed down. They are in the shallows towards Duck Creek”.

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  noon to 1 pm / Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 10 pm We will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

   Scott says, “The fishing on the weekend was phenomenal.  Some really nice walleye.  The water temperature was in the 40’s.  The lake trout bite was very good as well.  Guys were using jigs and minnows trolling spoons.  The walleye were in the shallows.  Today (Tuesday) my friends and I were out for 12 hours we did not catch a walleye or lake trout.  We could not even mark any.  We caught zero absolutely zero of them.  We caught a couple of pike.  They were in the shallows.  It was crazy after the weekend so they are moving.    “

We have lots of items at  the bait and tackle store. We have plenty of bait and minnows.   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. If you need a  fishing license renewed you can  do it at the marina.

 Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia  

Marina says, “The water right now is muddy and murky.  It clears some going east towards the dam.   Fishing isn’t great people are saying.  People were mostly fishing from boats.  They said they were using worms or spoons and jigs.  The docks are not in.

Guys  are  catching walleye. They are using a night crawler or a spoon jig.  The water in the campgrounds is not on and neither are the docks yet.  All the campgrounds are open.  Please remember dogs are welcome at Cooney but remember your leashes.”

The fish cleaning station is still open.  Our electricity  is on year around.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says, “ Fishing pressure was pretty slim this week.    There was a lot of  wind out there.

Earl told me the Yellowstone River by Billings is very cloudy.  Visibility makes fishing for walleye and bass not very good,  On the other hand it was not bad  fishing for cats.  The river is up.  “

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

Pat says,”  things have thawed to the shore but it is muddy.  We  saw a couple of  guys in boats out there. They seemed to be checking their boats out.  The ramp is open but the dock is not in yet.  Things are definitely muddy and may be more so if we get the rain they say is coming.”

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

 Terry explains, “  Early this week we had rain.  People just were not going out.  We had a lot of wind.  So who the hell wants to go out in that.”

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

 Judy says, “ We got three to four inches of snow.   Not any  people were  out fishing  considering the weather.  It started with rain and wind and then went to snow.  The ice is finally off of  Bair.   The shore is muddy.   ”

 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 , “ The grand opening was a success.  Thanks to everyone who came.

 We got a foot of snow.  We also had days when we had 60 mph winds this week.

Spring Creek – At Spring  Creek  the water is probably dirty because of the rain earlier in the week.

Ackley-   Trout fishing had been good  the week before but now you would probably have a hard time getting out there.

On the Missouri it is muddy and some cats have been caught.

Paddle fish season opens May 1st.  Maybe by the weekend  things will be changed.

Crooked Creek-  Guys I talked to said the bite was not  stellar.    A front came in and things just stopped for them. ”

We do have smelt, worms, meal worms, maggots, minnows and wax worms.

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

Our hours will be 7 am to 7 pm daily.

Slim says,  “ The marina  is now open since 4-26-19.   We  are  happy to be here for  you again.

The water is open. It was raining and really blowing.   The guys fishing off the bank guys have said they found  pike and cats.  The bite slowed down  because of the weather. It has been muddy and they have been using smelt and cut bait.  There have been some boats going out.   They tried for walleye and found them at 24 to 28 feet.  As far as the road conditions the Ballatine and Dove Roads are good.  The Crooked Creek Road is washboard and rough.  I am hoping they will grade it soon.

This   next  weekend is the  Crooked Creek walleye Classic Fishing Tournament.  We now have 75 teams so we are full.   It is part of the Walleye Circuit.  Guys are going out to pre fish  but they are not talking about if they have found anything.  ”

 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.

 If you have questions call Slim at 406-366-6313 and leave a message.

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon    46-266-3100

Sharon   says,” people are catching some walleye going east. They are heading to Duck Creek and Pond 1.  The fish have been shallow.   The bite has been pretty slight  as the water temperatures are 55 to 56 degrees.   Fishermen going west are catching trout.  It has also been a shallow slow bite.  The marina bay  is at about 7 feet of water right now.  The docks are in.  There   has not   been much fishing pressure.   The wind has not been a problem.  With the water coming in be  very cautious looking for floating debris.  There have been a few railroad ties.    The best thing to do is  call if you want to get information.. ”

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

The Flamingo is closed right now.

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

Jim  reports,” It has been at freezing every night.  It has been 30  degrees for several days .  We did not get any snow.  Nelson  was so windy nobody could get out.   We had 50 mph winds this week.  We had everything this week cold, rain, snow and sleet.  No one wants to be out there in that.

 Forchette has open water.  It was stained water last week and it probably still is.  “

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

 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce reports, “

Tongue- My friends and I headed to Tongue River last week.   At Tongue the water is wide open and  the water was 54 degrees on the south end.  The bite definitely slowed.  The three of us fished all day and never caught a fish.  We did see little perch following our bait.  It was cold and windy.

Cooney- The bite has slowed down .  Guys caught   only a few  walleye and not with a lot of weight.    They were   using cranks from the boat with a   minnow.

 The wind was up and blowing in a lot of places so getting on the water was tough in a lot of places. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” The weather has changed again.  We had 30 degrees this morning.  The wind and   cold water makes fishing tough.  I talked to a guy who went to the Dry Arm at Nelson Creek.  He found it very windy and slow.  On Saturday the weather was decent and fishing was good.  They caught 30 walleye in the 14 to 15 inch size and one caught a 12 pound walleye.  Canyon Ferry is picking up some.   “

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

Chris says,”  The lower Stillwater has opened.  With the rain and snow it probably will become to be   off color on the   lower part.  Nymph fishing has picked up.  They say there is more dry fly action.   People are seeing some   blue   wings.  On the upper Stillwater the guys are trying blue winged olives and a few  March browns. Try a midge pattern as well.

 The Yellowstone  does have  color and with the rain and snow  we just  got  this week it will probably  be more off color soon.”

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

Beau reports,” I went out fishing this  week for several days. It was okay fishing.  I do think   fishing was a little better on the Big Horn this week.   The water is clear.

 There are   baetes  out there  and only a few fish jumping for them.  Some blue wing olives also  at times.  Not a lot of them.  Fishing continues to be  tough in the morning.  Things pick up fishing wise right around noon before that it is just dead.  It continues to be location.  Find a  specific deep hole.  Fish that spot. It will have just   so many fish there and then  you will have to find another  hole. If you work the holes you will catch some fish but you still have to work for them.   Pink   sow bugs worked. Try some baetes patterns.  ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375   

“Rick reports, “ It is snowing  right now. (Tuesday) People feel like   fishing was picking up  this week.  The cfs is at 3500.  Water temps were 39 degrees on the upper part and 42 degrees on the lower depending on the weather.  Of course with snow today it won’t be as warm.  The fish are starting to move.  People are catching fish more in the afternoon.  On the upper three the dry fly fishing is better.  People are getting results dry fly fishing.  Nymphing is steady.  Try a two tone orange scud or a red blood midge or the BP3 which one of our guide’s ties.   The water is crystal clear.   ”

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

Nymphing has been great on the Madison.  Try fishing  a stonefly with a small mayfly below. Midges and a few blue winged olive mayflies have been hatching. The  fish will eat them on top of the water if it  is calm out.
Streamer fishing can also be good, Use dark streamers which are best to try.

 Yellowstone Park

All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.