Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 5.15.19
By angelamontana

Posted: May 17, 2019

Spring is here and that means sudden changes in weather and water. 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

Linda reports,” Fishing has been good. Walleye , northern pike , bass, cats and perch are being caught. They are using minnows. One group caught a 28 inch walleye, a 44 inch northern pike and two five pound bass. Guys went out in a boat and they caught a walleye that was 27 inches and 7 ½ pounds and a 6 pound walleye that was 26 ½ inches long. They are using orange spinners with a minnow. Some people cast toward shore and caught a bunch of northerns. The water is clear but still cold. I haven’t heard of any trout being caught. They seem to be using everything, jigs and bottom bouncers. “

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer reports, “ The weather has been nice. All the docks are now in. There is water turned on at PeeWee north. The bathrooms are working and the trash cans are out. Some people have caught fish. I have heard that mostly bass were caught. I did not hear of any walleye caught and only a few northerns caught. It is starting to look like the reservoir is turning over.“ The water is still chilly.

The reservation system goes into effect on Friday. We are part of a new pilot program that allows you to make a reservation one day ahead. We are hoping that this brings in people who have been unable to use the campground on short notice. Other spots like Campers Point, Sandpoint, Peewee, Rattlesnake, Peewee North, and River view below the dam are open to first come, first serve. They have no electrical. The docks are in.

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

Fletcher reports , “The pike bite is a little better. They have found them in 6 to 8 feet depths. Fishermen are using jigs and minnows. They are catching decent bass and crappies. Minnows are working best with a bobber or a jig. I have not heard of any walleye or sauger being caught. Only a few perch caught. The water is murky and 52 degrees. Docks are in now. We have lots of minnows and rock chubs. “

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

Lane says, ” All docks are all in. The northern pike and bass bite is good . They are close to shore .

It is better than last week. They have been shallow. Walleye have been caught as well going west of Bone Trail to Timber Creek. The water temperature is 40 degrees. I know of a 9 pound, 7 pound and several 2-3 pound walleye caught there on a jig and minnow. ”

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

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

Carrie reports, “ Fishing is starting to pick up. Guys in boats are pitching jigs toward shore. No special color is working. They are catching some nice pike from shore. The water temperature is 41 degrees right now. The lake trout are doing fairly well. They are at depths of 18 to 40 feet. The guys are using spoons and banana weights. People are heading toward Bear Creek and Hacksbee. One fellow actually caught 2 lake trout 3 days ago below the dam.”

We have meal worms, wax worms and maggots. We also have smelt herring and large sucker minnows. 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, “ Scott says, “Lake trout fishing is sporadic. They are at 20 to 70 feet. The main lake is 47 degrees and the bays seem to be a touch under 50 degrees. Walleye fishing has a sporadic bite as well. It is starting to increase. Try a swim bait with a minnow and a jig produce best. People are catching pike from shore. Swim bait and minnows are working best. They also are doing well with crank baits. We should have leeches by the end of the week. We also have crawlers and minnows. “

We have opened the bait and tackle store on Thursday thru Monday and we have everything you need for chasing fish on Fort Peck. We also have campsites available with power for anyone that wants to bring your camper to the lake. The spots are on concrete and right on the lake shore. You can access the lake right from your camper. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia

Marina says,” The fishing has been slow people are saying. The walleye are biting for some people. One little boy caught a 3 pound rainbow. The water is warming but it still is pretty cold. The docks are in.

The fish cleaning station is shut down due to a water line break by the pump station. Drinking water is available on the west side of the campground.

Your dogs are welcome at Cooney but please do not forget your leash.”

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

“There are people out on Elmo right now and seem to be hammering fish. There are not many guys out, about 10 each day but despite the weather they seem to be catching. The weather was cloudy and cold this week. It seems to be better fishing in the middle of the day. Guys are spin casting with bait. The birds are out on the water, so people are enjoying watching, them. So, whether they catch something or not it is fun just to be out to watch the birds ,” Bob reports.

Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

Pat says,” There have been fishermen out at Deadman’s this week but no word if they are catching. We did talk to someone who caught trout from shore. He was using worms. ”

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

Terry explains, “I talked to some customers that went fishing this week at Deadmans. The guys caught a couple of small trout. It was slow. I have heard at Broadview pond they were doing good on trout.
They got quite a few small ones. ”

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

Rick says,” People have said it was slow fishing at Bair and Martinsdale. The water is clear. Considering that the banks still had snow on them last week that is not surprising. The water is still very cold. There is still lots and lots of snow in the mountains yet. We did not hear any thing on Sutherlan.”

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 , “Achley- Fishing has been good for trout from shore this week. Try a worm and a marshmallows or worm harnesses or spinners that look like crawdads. I have not heard of any muskies caught.

Spring Creek- People are doing okay fishing. I talked to one guy who was stripping big streamers. They have seen some small hatches midday to late afternoon.

Missouri- The Missouri is muddy and starting to clear. I have heard of a few sauger caught. I hear the paddlefish has been good some are saying.

Catfish are being caught. When the water warms up it should get better. There is about 6 inches of clarity.

Crooked Creek- Crooked Creek had good fishing for pike from shore. My friends went out in a boat and the wind was bad. There were bouts of mini wind bursts. The weather made it real tough. Walleye were caught this week heading towards Ghost Cooley and Forchette. They did well for trout in the narrows to Hanson dam.

East Fork-On the East Fork I heard of someone catching 3 to 5 pound perch and some pike.”

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

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

Carri says, The pike bite was good this week from shore for pike. Guys caught some nice size ones. One was 41 inches and 16 ½ inches. On the lake they are pretty much catching everything. Some walleye, crappie, drum, northern pike and bass. The water is muddy but not as much farther down. Most people were using jigs and only a few tried bottom bouncers. The weather was beautiful despite the wind bursts.”

When you come 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 minnows.

The campground and marina are 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,” Fishing has been medium decent. It is starting to pick up but needs the water to heat up. The fish are working on the spawn. Those fishing for walleye got 4, 6, and 7 fish. Some found perch at 30 feet depths. They are finding walleye going east at depths of 15 feet. Going west they are deeper at 25 to 30 feet depths. The water is not to muddy. There is not a big mud line. The river is running hard. The water is 5 feet in the bay.”

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 has picked up a little. . People have caught a walleye, bass and perch. It is not a runaway. People are using leeches and worms. The water is clear. They are jigging,

On Forchette one guy caught some big walleye but not a lot. He was targeting them by jigging. ”

I do have larger minnows for sale right now.

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

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Jayce reports, “ The water needs to warm up some for fishing to improve.

Cooney-I have been told Cooney is starting to pick up. Guys have said they caught a walleye jigging with a leach. We now got leaches in.

Tongue-People have caught some smallmouths on Tongue this week. They have been quality fish.

Big Horn- I hear the Big Horn is a little better. People were catching rainbow trout nymphing. They also caught a few browns.

Stillwater- The Stillwater is still clear in some places but the rain predicted might change that. People have had a little success. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

Rich says,”

The rivers are coming up and are more muddy. The Yellowstone is high and really moving. It is getting muddier with the rain we have had.

Canyon Ferry- At Canyon Ferry people I have spoken to say they were marking walleyes but just could not get them to take anything. They just don’t want to bite. The water was warm on Saturday at 54 degrees. One fellow got a few trout. The bite was off and on during the day but he caught 8 to 12 the days he went out this week. The water level is coming up. “

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

Jasmine states,” The Stillwater River right now is clear both on the upper and lower river. Use a March brown in a size 14. Try a hairs ear, a pheasant tail or a prince. If the fish are rising, try a purple haze or an Adams. The water is rising. No hatches have been seen yet.

Yellowstone- The Yellowstone looks muddy. The Stillwater is off color. You can still fish but by the end of today it might not be. I think the Yellowstone will change a lot in the next day with rain forecasted. . It will start to get dangerous footing wise. The Stillwater is also muddy and up. Looking at the graph just now the Stillwater has doubled in volume. At this point the tributaries might be the place to go or the Big Horn.”

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

Beau reports,” I fished on the Missouri River this week. I can say fishing was fantastic. We were catching rainbows and browns. I used sow bugs and baetes all day. The Prickly Pear Creek is starting to blow out. Deerborn is also starting. It should also be good fishing. Accsess is good to Mid Canyon.”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

“Rick says, “ The water is warming up slightly. It is 40 degrees today. We are seeing midges in the l ate afternoon. We also are seeing some beates in the evening. People are catching fish but they have to work harder for them. The water is coming up. The water is clearer and you can see the bottom. Use midge patterns. Try orange scuds, Gray Rays, and Zebra midges. Try some little BWO’s as well.“

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


Warmer water temperatures brought out some bugs in the last few days. Blue winged olive mayflies and the Mother’s Day caddis hatch have been seen in the lower stretches of the Madison. Continued warm air temperatures will melt snow, lowering the water temperatures and slowing the hatches. Nymphing a larger dark stonefly with a smaller mayfly or caddis nymph will be effective before and after the hatches. Check the flows before you head out.

Yellowstone Park

The Yellowstone National Park fishing season opens May 25 ! , ” Alice says.