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 1-406-230-1283 for Linda
Marina number is less reliable in winter. 1-406-485-2560
Monty reports,” fishing this week was pretty dang good. The teams looking for pike found them at 12 feet using cranks with a wrap. There were two guys who got a nice 32 incher and a 34-incher pike. People were catching walleye using a crank with a Rapala at 12 feet, in fact at the tournament I caught and won the pot for the biggest one which was 28.5 inches. People caught some nice bass many times four or five at the same depth as the walleye. The water temperature is 50 and the water clarity was clear this week. There was wind Saturday and Sunday, but you could hide in the bays and catch some nice fish.”
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond report, ” The water is 62 degrees and is at its normal Springtime high . It is getting muddy from up above where it is coming down. I have heard from some fishermen who caught one or two walleye, a couple of pike and only a few crappies. Most people were fishing from shore. The weather got windy, rainy, and cold so that affected the fishing. The campground below the dam is still closed. I am planning to get the campground open sometime on Friday . We have been very busy with the clean-up and we are hoping it will have dried up.”
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
Stephanie reports , “ The water temperature on Thursday of this week was 70 degrees . Then the weather changed, and it got cooler and we had some rain. That seems be slowing things. I know they caught some bass and some bullheads. The crappies are shallow. They seem to be starting to come in. People are using spoons for the bass. The pike are being caught on a worm right now just at the shoreline. The water is muddy and there are a ton of carp by the Spillway, so people are bow hunting for them. The bass are being caught with a white tail. The reservoir is full, and the dam is opened up. “
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345
Clint reports, ” fishing was good this week . Not quite a great but people caught fish. They have been going west toward Snow Creek and Timber Creek for walleye. The walleye is at depths of 16 to 20 feet using a bottom bouncers and a worm . They are catching mostly eater size 12 to 15 inchers, the bass bite has been real good 3 to 12 feet depths. They are all over in the rock structures. There have been catching quite a few pike at shallow depths. A Rapala is working. ”
Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Carrie reports, “ Lake trout have definitely been good catching with spoons at 80 feet. People are heading to Hacksbee for them. Crawlers are definitely working this week. The bass and the northern pike have been at shallow depths this week. If you find walleye they have been shallow but I have only heard of a couple caught. “
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, “ lake trout fishing is on fire. The fish are really deep. Guys have found fish at 100 to 110 feet depths. Fishermen are using down riggers and some jigging. The walleye fishing is starting to pick up. They are finding them on the main lake and the secondary points. Depths are at 15 to 20 feet depths cranking. Northern pike are being found in the same places. The water varies in temperature from 54 to 63 degrees.
I fished the Fresno tournament with my dad and son. We got 7th place overall. Friday the pre fishing was unbelievable. The best day I have ever had at Fresno. Saw some 22 inchers. Weather changed of course for the tournament but there can be good fishing there right now.
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 ciscoes . 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, Jake
Jake reports,” the north shore boat ramp and the day use overlook are open. Fishermen Point, Cottonwood and Marshal Cove continue to be closed. It will stay closed until further notice so watch for a notice. Red Lodge is open. If wanting to make reservations or have make reservation check because they may have been cancelled as the spots closed at Cooney have been extended.
As far as fishing it has improved. Walleye fishing has been good. I have seen lots of limits gotten. I went out yesterday and got my limit. ”
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
“A lot of people have been out there fishing. They are catching fish and also out enjoying the beautiful weather. People going anywhere else have to be very careful. Many waters are high and muddy. The Voyagers Rest by Worden is now walk in only because of some flooding and high water. ,” Bob reports.
Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat
Pat says,” we have seen more fishermen out at Deadman’s both in boats and from shore. We do know people have caught some fish as we have seen the evidence in the cans. The numbers of guys fishing have increased a little. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry explains, “no one talked about fishing at Martinsdale. At Broadview pond they have been doing fairly well. People have caught 4 to 5-pound rainbow trout using powerbait there. They must have planted more fish there earlier.”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says,” people who went out to Bair and had good fishing. They also went to Martinsdale and had good fishing. They caught some browns. It was all shore fishing. ”
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 Achley Tiger Muskie Fishing Derby is June 22nd. Call us here for information.
Achley- I heard they are catching muskies using herring. It has been hit and miss. The water is clear.
Spring Creek on a scale of 10 it is fishing at a 6 to 7 . Use spinners and streamers both are working. It is less off color.
Crooked Creek- I hear guys at Crooked Creek are heading to Forchette. . You can use just about anything to catch walleye and pike. People have talked of jigging with a minnow and a spoon. Everything is shallow at around 15 feet the walleye, bass and pike.
Missouri- On the Missouri catfish are starting to move up. It is high and dirty. They are not catching any walleye. Make sure you bring bug spray they should be starting to get bad.
Paddlefish- Paddlefish season will be over June 15th, 2019.
East Fork- On the East fork fishermen have been catching perch and pike just about anywhere. They say they caught only an occasional trout.
I hear Fresno is a tough bite right now. The fish they are catching are small fish. Try a jig and go shallow. ”
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 walleye have been shallow but they are starting to move. The bank fishing is slower. You can still find northern pike there. Guys are catching pike . crappies and some cats. Many of the fishermen are running towards Forchette and the narrows right at the mudline.
Chartreuse seems to be the color that works right now. We had a lot of wind. There were a couple days where that storm rolled in and the water had a lot of wind which did help clear it more. One guy was actually using set lines and they were working. Many are jigging at 20 feet and got some nice fish using a worm harness. There has not been much minnow action. ”
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 gotten better especially for walleye. Some nice ones have been caught. It also has been good for everything else. The lake is coming up. The water temperature is around 60 degrees. People are heading toward Hole in the Wall for trout. Walleye has been at 15 to 25 feet.
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,” I was fishing at Nelson yesterday. The fishing bite was slow. We caught some walleye and pike. I used slow death and worm harnesses. I talked to a few people who were cranking as well. Some have found them at 17 to 24 feet depths. ”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports, “ Cooney -People are telling me that they are catching a few walleyes. It is not a strong bite.
Tongue- I am still hearing Tongue is slow fishing again this week. The water is definitely up.
Yellowstone- The rivers right now are high and blown out.
Elmo- Fishermen have been fishing Elmo and catching some small and large mouth bass. They say use topwaters and Wacky rigs.
Fort Peck – At Fort Peck people are catching walleye and nice bass. The pike are in the shallows and people are doing well for them. Everyone has been catching there using zebra midges. The flows are up. Many are putting in at Crooked Creek and heading to Forchette and doing well. Lake trout are being caught at 65 feet depths toward the dam. Hell Creek has been good as well.
Yellowtail- People fly fishing on Yellowtail are using a dry cicada pattern. They are not catching big ones. They are finding some crappies.
Big Horn- On the Big Horn people are using zebra midges. The flow is definitely up. “
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” All the rivers are high, fast and really muddy.
At Canyon Ferry guys are saying fishing has picked up. It is muddy on the south end but that is where they are finding the walleye. Most have been nice size like 18 to 21 inches. A few bigger have been caught. I heard a 30 inch. You can pretty much use any technique. It doesn’t seem to matter. The last fellow I talked to was using bottom bouncers. “
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
Chris states,” The Yellowstone is high and muddy, so fishing is not advisable . With the warmer weather it will have more runoff. The Stillwater has dropped but it still is high. You can watch it and maybe the upper might be able to be fished but it will be a day to day decision. I suggest people seek out the lakes and mountain streams or tributaries. “
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau reports,” fishing on the Missouri River this week was good and some of us think it is ready to really take off . You can fish from the dam to Deerborn and have some luck. The river is full of mud. Not seeing hatches. Nymphing is good using a brown drake. You can also use a San Quan worm. A sow bug is working also. 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 at 5500. The water is still spilling over the dam. The Army Corp is still watching the extreme flooding in other states and that will determine where it will go. A good number of fish have been caught. Nymphing has been decent. The upper three is a little off color. Baetes are coming out and guys are seeing some midges in the late afternoon. The water temperature has dropped and is 42 degrees, so the hatches are less . Use midge patterns. Try orange scuds and Gray Rays.
If you plan on wading to fish, I suggest you call to check to see how high the water is. If you come with a boat, you can pick places to wade so there is no problem there.
The reds are out and there are a lot of them. They are late this year. So, beware and stay off of their beds.“
Our hours are 8 am to 12 every day.
Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg. Open 730am-9pm 406-646-9644.
Madison River , Hebgen and Yellowstone National Park waters
West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report
Tom reports,”Upper Madison: Upper Madison: The Madison in the wade section has definitely come up a bit in the last few days and has picked up even more of a green tinge to it, but it remains very fishable. We really like these conditions this time of year for nymphing and catching really good numbers of fish. Although we did see the river down from West Fork get big and brown for much of the past week, colder overnight temps the past few nights have yet again stalled full blown runoff. The float section is looking better also. As of yesterday, the river below West Fork is pretty much the same color as the water above West Fork. When we get temps in the high 60’s and 70’s this week you can expect it to pick up a lot more brown color again down from West Fork. Nymphing remains the name of the game down here using larger Sili Legs, worms, prince nymphs, Frenchies, Rednecks and Serendipity variations. As usual, be on the lookout for any breaks in the heavy current and for slower pockets along the banks and behind rocks as this is where the fish will be holding.
Flies: #8-10 Sili-legs, #12-14 Biot Golden Stone, San Juan Worm, #14 Lake Prince, #14-16 Frenchie, #14-16 Red Neck, #16 Black Lightning Bug, #16 Guide Dip/$3 Dip, #16 Orange Mary
Hebgen: When the weather has been calm and cooperative, we have been seeing an increase in both the numbers of midges and also the number of fish rising to them. This has provided us with some good dry fly fishing opportunities. The most effective method continues to be drifting chironomid nymphs under an indicator or stripping leeches and buggers. We are still mostly fishing in the bays along the north shore of the lake.
Flies: #12 Sno Cone, #16 Zebra Midge, #10 Simi Seal Leech, #8 Jig Bugger
Gallatin: The cooler overnight temps have dropped the stretch above Taylor Fork to marginally fishable conditions. If you’re intent on fishing here, bring the big nymphs and fish them along the banks. However, it will likely be too muddy again in another day or two. There are definitely better options. Don’t bother below Taylor Fork.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole/Madison: The Firehole has been fishing great and is one of the only viable options to fish dry flies for now. Baetis and PMD emergences in the late morning and early afternoon continue to provide good dry fly-fishing opportunities. Also, look for even more caddis to be around this week once things warm up a bit. When it comes to swinging a soft hackle, all we can say is that it has been about as consistent and effective as you could ask for. If you’re looking for something fun and different, you could also try throwing around a larger chubby or your stonefly pattern of choice in Firehole Canyon.
Flies: #16-18 DOA Baetis Cripple, #16-18 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 PMD Hairwing Dun, #14 Tan Spruce Moth, #16 Tan X-Caddis, #12 Partridge & Green, #12-14 Partridge & PT, #14 Tan/Olive Diving Caddis, #10 Simi Seal Leech