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.
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 was good this week. Guys were heading toward Nelson Creek and McGuire Creek. We had people catching northern pike, bass and walleye. I haven’t heard of any trout being caught. They seem to be using everything, jigs and bottom bouncers. They were using minnows and plastics with less luck. A 44-inch northern pike which was released. Someone caught a 29 ¾ inch walleye and a nice 4-pound bass. It was cold and windy. There was not much action in the bay. The temperature of the water at Nelson was 45 degrees and 39 degrees at the bay. “
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond reports, “ It has been pretty quiet. There have been a few catfish caught. I don’t think the bite was good this week as I heard guys grumbling. The public docks are in. The water temperature is 50 degrees right now and the CFS is 3427. We got some snow on Monday. It melted by the end of the day. It was overcast the last couple of weeks. Some of the restrooms are now up. “
Remember to check your regulations for the information for this region about what minnows you may use on Tongue.
The cleaning station is still closed. Camper sites are open, and the electricity is on. “ .
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade, the marina owner reports , “The crappie bite was slower this week for the few who came to fish.
There were not very many people out there fishing this week. As of today (Tuesday) we have decided to keep the marina closed as we have only a few minnows left and also the numbers of fishermen have gone down. Ice conditions are changing as well. We will open in the Spring when the ice has left. Thank you for your recent support of the marina. 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 northern pike and bass bite is good. It is better than last week. They have been shallow. The guys start out good early in the day and then the fish move out. Lake trout have been caught as well going east of Hell Creek to Crooked Creek. They seem to be moving back and forth. The depths for them can be anywhere from 20 to 40 feet. It seems to depend on the day. There have been a few walleye caught here and there. The spawn is still on. The water temperature is 50 degrees in the bay and 44 to 43 out of the bay even in the main lake. Weather is a factor. We have had rain, snow, cold and wind this week.”
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, “ 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. The walleye bite is still slow and only a few have been caught. They seem to be at depths of 5 to 15 feet depths. If the weather warms up this weekend things might change.”
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
(Unable to contact this week.)
Scott reports, “ 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 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,” The ramps are still out until around May 17th. I heard someone caught a 31-inch walleye from a boat this week. He released it back in the water. Some other guys were here for 2 days and caught a 26-inch walleye from shore near the dam. The water level has stayed the same this week and the clarity is somewhat cloudy.
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. We have had some guys catching trout from shore. We also had some guys fishing from a boat and they caught a few salmon.”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry explains, “I have had customers that went fishing this week. The guys caught some kokanee from the boat trolling. They said that anything gold was working. They told me they were nice size. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “The weather was really awful this week. It was so cold and nasty and there was a lot of wind. It was blowing from the east and cold. We saw two guys who went out, but I don’t know how they could stand it. We never heard how they did.”
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 , “There definitely were people fishing this week.
Missouri- I hear the paddlefish are being brought in. It has been good some are saying. The river is up.
Catfish are being caught. When the water warms up it should get better. There is about 6 inches of clarity.
Spring Creek-The water is clear, and people are doing well with streamers. Try a prince to get some results.
Achley- Fishing has been slow at Achley. Not many trout caught. It should warm up and then it should get better.
Crooked Creek- It was good for walleye this past weekend despite the bad weather on Crooked Creek.
The weather made it real tough.
Forchette- Forchette was good fishing generally for all species we have heard.”
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 Crooked Creek Walleye Classic tournament was definitely a challenge. The first-place winners of the tournament were Matt Fischer and Ty Hinderager with a two-day weight of 72.59 pounds of walleye. The second-place winners were Travis Scott and Kennie Williams with a 2-day weight of 63.8 pounds of walleye. The weather was definitely difficult with snow, wind and rough waters. The total weight for the 75 teams for Saturday was 220 pounds . The second day the weather was bad enough teams dropped out and the weight for the teams that went out was a total of 214 pounds on Sunday. The big walleye weight was 32 ¼ inches and 13.69 pounds. The biggest northern pike was 38 inches and the largest bass was 20 inches. The wee walleye was 7.5 inches.
The water was less muddy earlier in the week and many guys were catching heading to Forchette. The northern pike bite from shore has been phenomenal. They were jigging with a minnow or a worm, but the worm was working the best. The bite is definitely on for pike. For the walleye you have to know where to go and how to find them 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
Jodie says,” Fishing has been pretty good. Fishermen have headed to Pond 1 and Hole in the wall because that is where they are finding walleye. At Duck Creek One fellow did well on trout. He caught five that were in the 4 to 5-pound range. The water has gone down a little in the last days, but you can still launch. The water clarity is different every day. One day it is cloudy and the next it is clear because of the wind.”
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 still slow. I know people have caught a few walleye, northern pike and perch. It just has been too cold. The guys fishing the Crooked Creek tournament headed towards Forchette and found walleye.”
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, “Reports from people that headed to Yellowtail was that fishing has been slow.
Cooney-I have been told Cooney’s water is murky. Guys have said they caught a walleye here and there. Just not a lot of action.
Yellowstone- The Yellowstone River has been pretty good for catfish. The river by Columbus looked clear in the last days. With the goofy weather we have had that may change in days to come. Hopefully it will stay decent.
Forchette- In the Crooked Creek walleye classic tournament many people headed to Forchette and found some walleye even with bad weather. Some people have caught some nice northern pike. Smelt was working well for bait.
Missouri- I have heard of a few paddlefish caught on the Missouri. I know of one nice one being caught. The season began on May 1st. “
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” It is snowing right now. (Wednesday) The rivers are frozen.
Harrison Lake- Guys I talked to have said the fishing has been good. As people who go there know the wind can come a lot there. The people are catching rainbow trout, browns, brook trout and kokanee.
Rivers- The rivers are muddy right now. Word has it that fishing has been fair, but the water is going up.
Canyon Ferry- At Canyon Ferry people I have spoken to say they are catching a few walleyes. It is not a great bite. 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 like a dirty milkshake. The water went down which was surprising but with the rain it probably will go up. Fishing has not been good. Those that are trying are using a March brown. At Twin Bridges there is a small sink hole where dirt has been moved and you cannot move in and out of. There is no access there right now. Other places the access elsewhere is fine.”
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau hears,” fishing the water on the Big Horn brings sporadic results. The water is clear. The water is cold. Try a sowbug in orange or pink. Fishing with a streamer brings less result. Nymphs are working better by far. There were a few baetis rising but not many. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
“Stephanie says, “ It is pouring rain right now and has been all day so far. It has been cold and the water temperature is only 36 degrees. The CFS is at 3600. The water is muddy in the lower portion. Some have seen a little hatch of BWO. There have been lots of nymphing going on. Guys are using some pink, but orange seems to work better they say. It does take work to find fish. You do have to work for them.“
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
“Recent warm temperatures have brought on some blue winged Olive mayfly hatches. The continued warm temperatures will bring the mother’s day Caddis hatches right on time! Nymphing had been good with a dark stonefly pattern above a beadhead Caddis or mayfly. Use it before or after the hatch.
The Yellowstone National Park fishing season opens May 25 ! , ” Alice says.