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,” We had quite a few people here this week for the Rock Creek Walleye Tournament. There were 98 teams. The winning team of Ken Schmidt of Glasgow and Mark Jones of Billings won with a weight of 63.28 pounds. The second-place winners are Kris Keller of Glasgow and Whit Rush of Glasgow with a weight of 57.62 pounds. Most teams headed south towards Nelson Creek. Many were using minnows we know but other than that they were very quiet about what they were using. People have been finding the walleye at depths of 3 to 30 feet. Many teams found more solo fish than fish schooled up. The water temperature was in the high 50’s. It was a beautiful weekend with good weather. Pike were very prevalent everywhere.
Next week is the Pikemasters Tournaments here at Rock Creek if you wish to sign up call Clay at 406-860-7435.
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond reports, “ (Wednesday) The water has been dropping. The campground below the dam is still closed. I hope to get the campground open sometime on Friday if we can get it cleaned up quick enough. The water temperature is 68 to 70 degrees. All the docks are now in. People were catching fish. We have seen crappie, bass and northern pike. We only saw one walleye caught this week. I also saw a few cats come in. The crappie are definitely moving and being caught. The water is less muddy .”
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 , “ The water temperature was up this week 60 degrees in the top water. That seems to be causing the crappies to be slowly on the move. People are finding them at depths of 8 to 15 feet. The bite has not been a runoff just a slow action. The big problem is with the high water spilling the water is full of minnows. That means they have lots to eat so the fishermen can throw their minnow in, but the fish are not impressed. So, fishing has been slow going. They just are not hungry. If they are catching it is fishing from shore for bass or pike. Only a few cats and no walleye that I have heard. The water is muddy and there are a ton of carp by the Spillway, so people are bow hunting for them. The bass both small mouth and large mouth are being caught with a white tail. They were finding them at depths of 6 to 20 feet depths. The reservoir is full, and the dam is opened up.”
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345
Tyler reports, ”the fishing this week has been pretty good. It has been good going west toward Timber Creek and Bone Trail for walleye. The walleye are at depths of 15 to 20 feet. It has been hit or miss for walleye. Try pitching a jig with a minnow. If you go toward Snow Creek you will catch more bass and pike at the same depths. The colors to use right now are purple, dark blue with white and chartreuse. The water temperature is between 68 to 69 degrees. Some pike have been caught. They are in the weed bed. ”
Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Staff reports, “ This week fishing has been kind of slow. The rock Creek fishermen found that out as many got a goose egg. The first day 33 fishermen did not get any walleye. Since Sunday the fishing seems to have picked up a little. Some guys are jigging, and they caught a couple of nice size walleye. The pike have been real active. The bass have been very shallow. The lake trout are at depths of 30 to 50 feet. The trick is to find the right spot and jig for them using a minnow or a plastic. Some are heading toward Duck Creek and Flat Lake and getting fish. “
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
(no new report this week unable to get in touch.)
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, Jake
Jake reports,” As of today 6-5-19 we are opening the north shore boat ramp and the day use and overlook between the Spillway and the dam. Other specific parts of Cooney State Park will open up on Friday 6-7-19 at 12 pm-noon for use. The water is slowly going down, but we have found the ground is super saturated so if we get rain as predicted that could change the situation . We just have to watch what happens this weekend .the plan now is to open some of the campground on Friday.”
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, “I talked to some customers, but they did get much fishing at Martinsdale. I do know they are catching some nice fish at Broadview pond. I talked to someone who caught three 5pound rainbow trout using powerbait.
Carol says, ”I spoke to a man who went to Martinsdale and fished from shore for part of the day and caught one fish. The water is really high. He said a couple of guys in a boat went out and they caught 3 nice trout. He said fishing was definitely slow.”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Rick say,” I do know of a few people who went out to Bair and had fair fishing. At Martinsdale some guys went out and got two 4-pound browns. It was not fast fishing, but they were catching. At Sutherland the water is over Spillway, so fishing is tough. Lots of high water. ”
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 , “ Lots of waters are blown out.
Spring Creek is clearing. It is fishing well with spinners and streamers. It is off color.
Achley- Trout are being caught using crayfish patterns. They are catching a few muskies using herring.
Crooked Creek- People who went to Crooked Creek headed to ward Forchette and catching walleye and pike. They ran the lake.
Missouri- On the Missouri they are finding good cats. It is high and muddy.
East fork- Fishermen have been catching some nice perch. They say they caught only an occasional trout.”
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, “ Many of the fishermen are running towards Forchette and the narrows to catch walleye. They come back saying they have caught bass, walleye, perch and drum. Some had pretty good days and got their limit but not consistently all of them. On the other hand some people have stayed closer and headed toward ghost Cooley and fished 8 to 10 feet down using bottom bouncers. Those people caught walleye. Some people got their limits. Many are jigging and got some nice fish using a worm harness. There has not been much minnow action. From shore other guys are using smelt and getting northern pike. ”
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 for walleye. It also has been good for everything else. The lake is coming up. On a scale of 10 it is about an 8 to 10. The water temperature is around 60 degrees. The lake is launchable and the docks are in. For nice trout head toward Hole in the Wall. 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
Dan reports,” It has been slow fishing at Nelson. The water temp has been coming up. People have been fishing in the weeds for walleye and have got a few. The perch fishing has been decent although guys say they were not targeting them. With the warm weather in the last couple of days the water has definitely warmed up. .
I talked to some guys who went to Forchette. Some are catching and some just are not getting anything. They were using bottom bouncers. Some found that the bite was better from 5:30 to 7:30 PM . At that time there is no other word but decent fishing I would say. ”
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports, “ High water is a factor in much of the fishing right now.
Deadmans – I have talked to guys who fished Deadmans and had some results. One guy caught a 9-pound brown trout. They also caught some Kokanee salmon using crankbaits at depths of 10 to 15 feet.
Tongue- People say Tongue was slow fishing this week. It is definitely up.
Yellowstone- The rivers right now are high and blown out.
Broadwater Pond-I heard from some people who caught bass were using a topwater Wacky Rig.
Elmo- Fishermen have been fishing Elmo and catching some small and large mouth bass. They say use topwaters and Wacky rigs.
Hell Creek- At Hell Creek people say they are catching walleye and big bass. The pike are in the shallows and people are doing well for them.
Yellowtail- People fly fishing on Yellowtail are using a dry cicada pattern. “
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
All the rivers are way up and are really muddy.
At Canyon Ferry I hear fishing has been good. People are catching walleye. “
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
Chris states,” The Yellowstone and the Stillwater are high. Even the upper Stillwater is high. If
The CFS is 2500. 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 . You can fish from the dam to Deerborn and have some luck. The river is full of mud. There are no hatches right now. 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. We definitely were catching some.“
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
“Rick says, “ The water is spilling over the dam. The water CFS is 6500. The Army Corp is maintaining the water because of the extreme flooding in other states. The notice we received said that in the next two days it would be down to 5500 CFS. There have been a good number of fishes caught. The upper three is a little off color. The lower part is dirty. Dry fly fishing is good. 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 are seeing some midges in the evening. People are catching fish, but you have to work harder for them. Use midge patterns. Try orange scuds and Gray Rays.
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.
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 wills 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
West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report
Upper Madison: We have yet to hit full runoff conditions on the Madison. Flows remain steady out of the dam, but the water is definitely coming up a bit each day. At some point within the week we could see things really get going if the weather stays warm, but then again, the weekend is calling for cooler temps and rain again, so stay tuned and keep an eye on the flows. Not a whole lot has changed when it comes to the fishing. Your best bet for catching fish consistently throughout the day will be nymphing with large stonefly nymphs and smaller mayfly nymphs. Fish have still been consistently holding in the slower pockets along the banks and behind rocks. The one more notable change that we have seen is that more fish are looking up and taking the chubby in the dry dropper rigs we have been fishing, especially along the banks.
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 Orange Mary, #16-18 DOA Baetis Cripple, #16-18 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #12-14 Royal Chubby, #12-14 Peacock Chubby
Hebgen: The lake continues to fish awesome on calm days. The fish rising to midges have still been pretty sporadic but if you can find a pod of fish rising it can provide you with a few looks. We have also had a few more fish starting to take stripped leech and woolly bugger patterns. That being said, the most effective method is still drifting chironomid nymphs under an indicator. We are still focusing most of our efforts along the north shore of the lake.
Flies: #12 Sno Cone, #16 Zebra Midge, #10 Simi Seal Leech, #8 Jig Bugger
Gallatin: The Gallatin is getting big and brown below Taylor Fork at this point. Your best bet will be nymphing in the park stretch during the middle parts of the day when the water temps are at their peak. We always recommend bear spray in this stretch specifically this time of year as there always seems to be plenty of moose and bear sightings.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole/Madison: The Firehole continues to fish well. Baetis and PMD emergences in the late morning and early afternoons have provided some good dry fly-fishing opportunities as have White Miller Caddis, especially during the warm and sunny afternoons. The wet fly fishing has been fantastic as of late. On many of our of recent trips, we have been able to tie on a diving caddis and pretty much leave it on all day long. Swinging a small leech has been effective as well.
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 Diving Caddis, #10 Simi Seal Leech