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 has not been too shabby . I went fishing and caught a saugeye. I had not seen one before had to check with FWP to see if that was what it was. People caught some nice fish this week. I have seen pike, bass and walleye. Everything seems to be all at 12 feet depths. I talked to people who were cranking using a perch colored lure and finding them. Someone caught a 42 inch pike just a little while ago. The water temperature is above 50 and the water clarity was clear this week. ”
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond report, ” People are starting to find and catch more fish. The water is 70 degrees and is at 3429 feet . The flow is definitely high. It is clearer than it was. Fishermen have caught walleye at 6 to 10 depths using jigs and leeches. They have been decent size so walleye are just starting to hit. Only heard of a few crappies caught. The campground below the dam was opened Friday. It is open and fully operational. ”
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 is definitely up. The water temperature was 60 degrees or so. The water clarity is a little better. People fishing this week were using a black jig with a leach. . Not a lot of numbers but people caught fish. I have heard of a few walleye caught but they are catching some crappie on the north end. The guys have been going towards the east more . The walleye are at depths of 16 to 20 feet using a bottom bouncers and a worm . The bass are being caught with a white tail. The reservoir is full, and the dam is opened up. Some are catching perch from the bank. “
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne-Kayler 1-406- 557-2345
Kayler reports, ” the fishing in the morning is better toward Snow Creek. Then in the afternoon they are heading toward Crooked Creek going east. People were using a green, purple or chartreuse color in the evening. For pike guys are cranking at 16 foot depths going 2 mph for the fish in the weed beds. They are catching pike. The water going south is 72 degrees but going north is 65 degrees. There were two guys who just came in that had caught 11 and 12 pound walleye. My dad caught a 2 pound walleye and two other guys caught a 42 and 45 inch pike. A few guys have caught bs but not as many big ones as last week.”
Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Eddie reports, “ Lake trout fishing has been, really, really good. They are heading toward York Island and Hacksbee at 70 to 100 feet depths. They are getting walleye and pike. Right now the bass are just starting.
They seem to be finding a few walleye going west where the water temperature is 63 degrees. The farther west the water warms up. Here the water temperature is 57 to 58 degrees. I looked at my log books from last year and we seem to be about 2 ½ weeks behind. Guys are bottom bouncing, using jigs or cranking and all are doing well. We can cover all your needs and if you want to charter a boat we can help with that too. 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 has been great this week. People have been doing well. There have been lots of walleye caught. It also has been good for northern pike, I have seen some nice fish caught. The last 2 days have been really good for us. The lake trout have been really good. The fish are pretty deep. Guys have found fish at 100 to 110 feet depths. The water temperature has been 64 degrees. For walleye head to the points on the main lake at 5 to 15 feet depths. Use a bottom bouncer with crawlers and leeches, The lake trout are at 80 to 110 feet. “
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
Cynthia reports,” the north shore boat ramp, overlook and most of Red Lodge campground are open. The boat dock at Red Lodge is not open. The water clarity is a little better. People fishing this week were using a black jig with a leach. The guys have been going towards the east more . Fishermen Point, Cottonwood and Marshal Cove continue to be closed. Most roads are not too bad. The road to Willow Creek is pretty bad. They oiled some small parts of it this afternoon but I do not know if that has changed it. We will have to wait and see.
Fishing wise the walleye bite has been pretty good. They say they are using worms or leaches. The trout are not hitting at all. . Not a lot of numbers but people caught fish. I have heard of a few walleye caught but they are catching some crappie on the north end.
If wanting to make reservations or have made a reservation check because they may have been cancelled as the spots closed at Cooney have been extended. ”
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
“A lot of people have been out there fishing. They are catching some nice bass .
Wherever people are going anywhere else you 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,” FWP came and put some fish in here. We have seen more fishermen out at Deadman’s both in boats and from shore. The water is definitely higher. We do know people have caught some fish but no one has said what ones.
I can say when Tony has cleaned the Broadview pond area there has been lots of people fishing very early. There were 15 cars there when he went the other day. The guys are fishing from the bank. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261 Terry explains, “ I have sold worms to guys going fishing at Martinsdale. No one came and told me how they did. At Broadview pond they have been doing good. Last week people caught 4 to 5-pound rainbow trout using powerbait there. Lots of people fishing there. The lot is full often.”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says,” The guys who went to Martinsdale had good fishing. One group who headed to Bair did excellent fishing and brought home lots of fish. I did not talk to anyone else who went there. They caught some browns. The group that went to Sutherlan did not catch a thing. That group decided to try Newlan and caught quite a few salmon that day. ”
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 fishing has been beautiful. It has been spot on beautiful. Look for the fish at depths of 8 to 111 feet depths. It doesn’t seem to matter if you use cranks, bottom bouncers or jig for them. Any color is working. Guys are catching their limits in 3 hours. You do not have to go far to get them. Many of the fishermen are running towards Forchette and the narrows right at the mudline but they don’t have to as close is working well also. Some are finding them toward Fisherman’s Point or Nancy Russell (used to be called Squaw Creek) I saw a nice walleye from there.
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 been good all over. Not many places where you are not going to catch fish. You can’t find one place that is better than another. Some nice ones have been caught. The guys have been catching walleye, trout, perch and northern pike. The walleye fishing has been good. Many have been 14 to 18 and some even bigger.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Canyon Ferry Walleye Sunrise Tournament which is this week. June 22nd and 23. Call the bar at 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 am taking my kids to Nelson right now. I was there this weekend they were catching fish. I saw northern pike, crappie and perch. The fishing bite was better than last week. Many used slow death and worm harnesses. I talked to a few people who were cranking as well.
I have heard from people who went to Forchette and it was real good. The one guy I talked to was using worm harnesses. ”
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 but it should be better in the morning and evening. .
Tongue- Tongue continues to be slow fishing again this week. The water is definitely up.
Scheels Pond- The pond behind Scheels has really picked up. I have watched them get bass pretty often.
Elmo- Lots of fishermen have been fishing Elmo and catching some nice small and large mouth bass. They say use topwaters and Wacky rigs.
Big Horn- The Big Horn has been pretty quiet. Some say they have caught fish but you do have to find the spots.
Fort Peck – At Fort Peck people are telling me that they are getting a few walleye and some nice bass.
Some went to Hell Creek and got a few but one guy caught a 31 inch walleye.there. White bait seems to be working well.
Fort Peck Dam-At the dam someone I talked to caught a small salmon. They were using a jig going deep. They did the same with the lake trout.
Petrolia- I had one person head to Petrolia and said he caught a few here and there. “
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says,” The problem I see is the run off has not started yet. I am afraid our runoff is going to be in July the way it is looking. The Jefferson is very muddy. The Madison seems to be less.
At Canyon Ferry guys are saying they caught lots of little ones again this week. this week. Someone said he found clear water but he had no luck. They just were not interested enough to bite. Lots of little ones have been caught and others that the bite was better as the week went on. , The air this past weekend was 72 degrees. It is muddy on the south end but that is where they are finding the walleye. You can pretty much use any technique. It doesn’t seem to matter. One guy I talked to was using bottom bouncers. With the tournament this weekend that is a good thing.“
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
Jim states,” The Yellowstone is high, swift and off color, so fishing is just too dangerous. With the warmer weather it will have more runoff. Search out small tributaries and lakes away from the Yellowstone. The Stillwater is fluctuating everyday so conditions are also changing. It is up to 4000. We suggest you search out edge streams where the water is slower. You can use nymphs. Try a black bugs like the girdle bugs. Try a Prince or a Pheasant tail. “
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau reports,” fishing on the Missouri River this week was again good . The Canyon has cleared up. There are some PMD ‘s hatching. Dry flies are working okay. You can fish from the dam to Deerborn and have some luck nymphing. Try a sow bug there. 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. It is pretty dam good then. “
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
“Stephanie says, “ The water CFS has jumped up to 8500. It is supposed to jump later in the week to 10000 soon. The water is still spilling over the dam. The water is clearer. A good number of fish have been caught. Nymphing has been decent. Try a tan or gray Ray or a Zebra soft tackle. Orange and pink sows are also working. There is n hatch most days so dries are not working.
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
West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 6/18/19
Upper Madison: It’s been a strange spring on the Madison when it comes to runoff. Alternating between warmer and cooler weather has kept it from really blowing up all at once but moreso in stages up to this point. The forecast isn’t calling for any real hot days in the near future, meaning that unless we get some unexpected hot days, this may be the peak of runoff for the spring. The river is definitely up right now, but currently but remains very fishable in both the wade and float sections. The wade section is nymphing well with more or less the same patterns we have been using over the past number of weeks. Sili Legs, worms, dips, lightning bugs, and hot-spot patterns have all been working well. As for the float section, the West Fork is pumping in some brown color but it is pretty well confined to the river left bank. Again, nymphing will be most consistent, but the streamer bite has also been producing nicely over the past week. Depending on the day there have been a fair number of caddis around and fish have been rising to them, albeit not very consistently. But it’s something to keep an eye out for.
Flies: #8-10 Sili-legs, #12-14 Biot Golden Stone, San Juan Worm, #14 Lake Prince, #14-16 Frenchie, #14-16 Red Neck, #16 Green/Black Lightning Bug, #16 Guide Dip/$3 Dip, #16-18 Soft Hackle Hares Ear, #16 Orange Mary
Hebgen: Hebgen has proven to be a little more hit or miss than it should be lately, but overall things definitely seem to be getting rolling. The chironomid fishing under an indicator will still produce best, but keep an eye out for fish rising to both midges and a few callibaetis that we have just recently started to see.
Flies: #12 Sno Cone, #16 Zebra Midge, #14-16 Turkey Callibaetis, #16 Callibaetis Parachute, #10 Simi Seal Leech, #8 Jig Bugger
Gallatin: The Gallatin is still big and dirty down from the Taylor Fork. Above the Taylor Fork and into the Park stretch should have some decent clarity and be fishable. Stonefly and attractors for both nymphs and dry flies should be all you need heading here. No need to get to the river first thing as the water will take a while to warm up throughout the day. Make sure to bring your bear spray if you plan to fish in this stretch.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole/Madison: The Firehole and Madison have been fishing about as well as we could ask for. On the Firehole, caddis and PMDs will provide you with dry fly action and the wet fly has been very consistent and productive. Both Firehole Canyon and the Madison would be good places to try throwing around some big bushy dry flies over the coming days and weeks.
Flies: #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 PMD Hairwing Dun, #16 PMD Foam Emerger, #14 Tan Spruce Moth, #16 Tan X-Caddis, #12 Partridge & Green, #12-14 Partridge & PT, #14 Tan/Olive Diving Caddis, #10 Simi Seal Leech
(feature photo of Brad Smudzinski submitted last year)