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.
Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt 1-406-230-1283 for Linda
Marina number is less reliable in winter. 1-406-485-2560
Linda reports,” We had quite a few people here this week. It was pretty cold and there was a lot of wind. Fishing was pretty good for early in the week, but Saturday people said it was slow and spotty. Guys still caught some fish. They caught some northerns , just not great size to them. The road is decent. “
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond reports, “ (Tuesday) We had some nice days this week. We had less people than normal around Memorial Day. The water temperature is 55 degrees. The water is spilling over the spillway. The CFS is 3428 right now. All the docks are now in. People were not catching a lot of fish. They said they caught a few crappie, some bass and a couple northern pike. The water is starting to muddy up. One of my crew has fished for catfish below the dam and said it is hit and miss. “
Raymond reports, “(Wednesday) The Campers Point Campground has high water in it which we are watching closely. The campground below the dam also has some water problems and at this point we are looking at it closely and have not made any decision about what may be done. We will keep watching it closely.”
The reservation system is now in effect . 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, Fletcher /Warden Jordan Staley
Fletcher reports , “ This week fishermen say they caught tons of bass both small mouth and large mouth using a white tail. They were finding them at depths of 6 to 20 feet depths on leeches and minnows. An occasional crappie was caught. The reservoir is full, and the dam is opened up. The water temperature last I heard was 55 to 56 degrees. Some areas have a mud line. It seems to be more north. Docks are in now. We have lots of minnows and rock chubs. “
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345
Clint says, ”I have been getting calls asking if Hell Creek is flooded. We ARE NOT FLOODED. I don’t know where the rumor started but it is not true. In the beginning of the week the rain stalled things, but it has picked up. People have been going toward Timber Creek and Bone Trail for walleye. You still have to run up there for them. The water temperature is between 40 to 50 degrees. Some pike have been caught. The bass bite is really strong right now in depths of 12 to 14 feet depths. ”
Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Eddie reports, “ This week the weather played a part in fishing. Sunday the wind was really blowing. On Monday we were able to get out as were others early before noon and then the wind picked up. We caught walleye, pike and some lake trout. Guys are pitching jigs for walleye and are finding them in the points at 5 to 25 feet. They are going deeper from 15 to 35 feet for the lake trout. Others were trying downriggers and finding lake trout at 80 to 100 feet depths. Some are heading toward Duck Creek and Flat Lake. “
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, “ fishing is picking up. Guys have found fish consistently at 12 to 15 feet depths using a jig and a minnow or a jig with plastic. The guys are pitching toward the banks. Some are using cranks and had good luck with them on the secondary points on the bays. People are catching walleye, pike and lake trout with a few cisco . We also have, leeches, 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
Cynthia says,” As of 5 pm 5-28-19 Cooney State Park is officially closed due to dangerous water and flooding until 8 am 6-5-19 or conditions improve. The boat ramps are not useable. There is no assess to the lake. All campgrounds are closed. The Marshall Cove campground is completely under water. This is the worst flooding I have seen in 15 years. Cooney State Park is closed.”
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
“People are out there fishing. They are catching fish. You can see the bugs coming off the water. The guys seem to be spin casting with bait. The lake was stocked with trout a short time ago, so the fish are out there ,” Bob reports.
Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat
Pat says,” few fishermen were out at Deadman’s this week because of the rain. We do have water in some campgrounds. As of today Tuesday, there is water in half of the campgrounds, but the other ones are open. The road was muddy, but it is drying out and is passable. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry explains, “I talked to some customers, but they did not go fishing with all of the rain this week The Musselshell was flooding in places so getting to Martinsdale was not possible. It took some of the bridge out that was under construction. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says,” we had bad weather this week. We got pea size hail. In fact, I have a pile of some out the back door from yesterday (Tuesday) The Acton Road was closed for a while. I do know of a few people who went out to Bair and had good luck fishing before all the rain started. The trout were nice size 16 to 17 inches. They were using spoons and a few worms ”
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 , “ Lots of waters are blown out right now because of the weather and rain.
Spring Creek- Spring Creek is blown out.
Fred Robinson – I fished by the Fred Robinson Bridge in the morning the other day. There was no rain. We caught a few paddlefish.
Achley-You could fish at Achley as it still is pretty clear. People have been catching fish there.
I have heard the paddlefish fishing has gotten better this week.
Hell Creek- I had friends who went to Hell Creek. They caught some bass. The guys also caught some eater size walleye.
With the warm weather coming fishing will get better as the water will warm up. ”
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, “ We have no flooding. This weekend fishing was awesome. I can speak from experience. We went out on Saturday. We got our limit in 4 hours. We caught crappie and bass. We were bottom bouncing with a silver smiley blade with white beads. I did well every time I put it in the water, I had a nibble. We were at depths of 6 to 12 feet. Some guys were jigging and deeper and catching walleye. The water is not clear people say until past Forchette. We did not go that way. People were catching walleye offshore. Someone caught a 42-inch northern pike and someone else got a 23-pound pike. We only got a little rain. The road is dry and is decent right now.”
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,” the lake is coming up slowly. It is slowly coming up nicely. Fishing has been medium. On a scale of 10 it is about a 6 or 7. The water temperature is around 55 degrees. The lake is launchable and the docks are in. I would suggest people head up to Hole in the Wall. They are getting nice trout towards White Earth. Walleye has been at 15 to 25 feet and the trout are shallower. Don’t forget to sign up for the Canyon Ferry Walleye Sunrise Tournament which is on June 22nd and 23. Call 266-5000 for further information.”
The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
The Flamingo is closed.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Jim reports,” It was cold and windy on Sunday. It was a good day fishing at Nelson. They got their limit. The next day they could not catch a walleye. They caught lots of pike. They were using bottom bouncers with a worm harness. They caught their limit.
I talked to some guys who went to Forchette. They were using bottom bouncers at 25 to 30 feet depths and caught walleye. The water was clear they said. Later in the evening they were at depths of 15 feet.
I took my family to Cole Pond and we got some two-pound northerns. A good day for family fishing. ”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports, “ The weather definitely changed fishing for Memorial Day weekend.
Tongue-Guys said the bites were slow this week. The only caught a few crappie.
Sealey- I talked to a couple of guys who went to Sealey Lake and fishing was okay. They caught a few pike.
Yellowstone- The rivers right now are high and blown out.
Fort Peck Dam- The people who went to Fort Peck below the dam said it was not hot and heavy. They caught lake trout and a few walleyes.
The Paddlefish fishing has picked up. It is not hot and heavy, but they are catching some. “
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,”All the rivers are way up and are more real muddy.
At Canyon Ferry I had someone go fishing and they got off the water because he felt it was too full of people fishing and skiing . That is the only person I talked to this week. “
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
Chris states,” The Yellowstone is high and muddy. I don’t recommend anyone fish it.
The Stillwater is also high. The upper Stillwater you might be able to fish in a few places. The lower is high. The Stillwater has a CFS of 3000. I suggest people seek the tailwaters to fish. The snow melt is definitely going to be a factor.“
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau reports,” fishing on the Missouri River this week was again fantastic! The water from Holter above is fishable. Nymphing is pretty good using a brown drake. You can also use a San Quan worm. A sow bug is fishing okay. They are working well. After noon there is a gray brown hatch. Try a size #12 Parachute Adams which imitates a march brown.“
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
“Rick says, “ The water CFS is 4500. The upper three is a little off color. The lower part is dirty, and I suspect it will clear in a few days. We are seeing a better hatch of baetes this week. Baetes are coming on and guys are seeing lots of midges. We are seeing midges in the late afternoon. We also are seeing some baetes in the evening. People are catching fish, but you have to work harder for them. The water is 42 to 43 degrees at the upper part and 44 to 45 degrees at the lower part. Use midge patterns. Try orange scuds and Gray Rays. We have seen some really nice 30-inch fish. “
Our hours are 8 am to 12 every day.
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698.
We would like to thank Alice for her time and effort to provide us with a timely and complete fishing report. Remember even though she no longer will be doing the report she is a very qualified fishing guide should you need one.
Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg. Open 730am-9pm 406-646-9644.
Madison River , Hebgen and Yellowstone National Park waters
Tom reports, “Madison- Upper Madison: The weather this past week stayed pretty true to the forecast with most days reaching highs somewhere in the 40’s and plenty of wind and rain. The cooler weather did a good job of putting a temporary hold on runoff. Flows have been pretty consistent and have even been slowly trending downward, which is unusual for this time of year. However, look for water levels to rise and some color to return to the river once we get a few days in the 60’s again this coming week. Tactics remain largely the same as the last few weeks. The nymphing continues to be very consistent where you can find some soft pockets of water and any sort of sudden depth change. Sili legs, worms, and an assortment of smaller nymphs will be your best producers. If you’re intent on fishing dries, look for a few fish to be rising to baetis in the afternoons when they aren’t getting gusted off the water by high wind. A Chubby with a dropper has still been a fun way of getting a few fish to the net throughout the day as well.
Flies: #8-10 Sili-legs, #12-14 Biot Golden Stone, San Juan Worm, #14-16 Frenchie, #14-16 Red Neck, #16 Black Lightning Bug, #16 Guide Dip/$3 Dip, #16-18 DOA Baetis Cripple, #16-18 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #12-14 Royal Chubby, #12-14 Peacock Chubby
Hebgen: The lake continues to fish well. Suspending a pair of chironomid nymphs a few feet under an indicator is definitely going to be the best producer. Experiment with your depth until you key into where the fish are cruising at.
Gallatin: The Gallatin remains fishable below Taylor’s Fork for now, though you will be pretty much limited to nymphing with patterns such as Sili Legs, San Juan worms and some hot-spot nymphs. The park stretch is now open as well, though there is no need to rush over there first thing in the morning as it is running pretty cold. Nymphing will also be the best bet in this stretch, though it often pays to throw some attractor dries around.
Firehole/Gibbon/Madison: We had a good number of really positive reports from opening weekend. Look for fish to be rising to baetis and PMD’s during the early afternoon hours. White Miller’s and other Caddis will be most prolific during warmer and sunnier weather, but there always seem to be a few fluttering around that the fish key in on. If you don’t happen to catch a hatch in there, try swinging some soft hackles or small streamers.
Flies: #16-18 DOA Baetis Cripple, #16-18 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 PMD Cripple, #14 Tan Spruce Moth, #16 Tan X-Caddis, #12 Partridge & Green, #12-14 Partridge & PT, #14 Tan/Olive Caddis Diver, #10 Simi Seal Leech.