Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 11.13.19
By angelamontana

Posted: November 14, 2019
Fall  is here. This year we are still having very unusual weather and that means sudden changes in weather and water.  Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Storms like snow and dangerous fire 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

Linda reports,” the wind really blew last week in the beginning and it was cold.  Yesterday was 40 degrees and an Indian Summer day.  So the warmer weather is around.  We have had no fishermen here. There is a little  ice floating from off the bank.  I f you did not look closely you would not see it. ”

If you wish to make reservations for the 2020 summer, please call Monty at 406-465-0241.  If you wish information for winter ice fishing call me, Linda, at the Marina at 1-406-485-2560.  I check my messages fairly often and will return your call.  You can also call me on my cell phone as well 406-230-1283 to get information.   The marina is closed for the season. “


Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Ed  reports, ” the docks are now out.  I have not seen anyone here this week.   The south end has  ice a third of the way.  It is very thin I know I would not get on it. I see the Marina bay is making ice, but it is very , very thin. “

The power and water are turned off. That means the dump station and fish cleaning station are off .  Camping spots 1 to 11 have power but no water through the winter months.    Reservations  are no longer needed for the campground and it is first come first serve.

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

The marina is closed until ice fishing.

Wade  said ,“ I have not been out there, but I heard  the south end has ice  forming.  It continues to move across.  It is not safe at all.  I see by the camera that the bay is forming ice by the marina. It also is not safe.  We are  just waiting for ice fishing but who knows what the weather is going to do.  ”


Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne-Kayler 1-406- 557-2345  

Layne reports, ” We have seen lots of hunters but  not any fishermen. The only ice we have is a little amount at the creek.  With the weather warming up maybe someone will come fish. “

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­


Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597

Haley reports, “ The last 4 days have been very cold.  The first day when the storm was coming a guy came in with his limit of lake trout.  Then the cold came. We had 6 to 7 degrees and one night it was -25 degrees.  Today I have some guys who just came here because of the talk of warmer weather.  Those guys just went out to try their luck for lake trout.  The color purple was working well before the storm.  They were using cranks before and going to 15 to 30 feet depths.“

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  

*** No new report this week. May come in later and I will add it.

Open  Monday to Friday  11am to 9am/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am breakfast and open to 10pm  Tackle Store is open 7 am to 9pm daily

Scott  reports “  Salmon-snagging seems to be just about done as we aren’t seeing many fish in the bay in the last week.  We are starting to see quite a few dead fish.

Lake trout -Not too many guys out chasing lakers but the guys braving the weather have been doing fairly well. Cranks,  spoons and pitching jigs seem to all be effective  right now in 10 to 25 feet of water.  Stop in the tackle shop and we will point you in the right direction to put you on lakers.

Walleye- No  real reports from anybody chasing walleyes right now.

Pike- Fishing continues to be good in the shallows back in the bays. Guys have been trolling cranks and spoons along  weed edges and flats for some good action.

Smallmouth bass-I have heard of a few fish being picked up throwing cranks along the rocks off the dam.

You can also  call  us at the tackle shop for an up-to-date report if your planning a trip up to  Fort Peck. Our number is 1-406-526-3442. “

The bait and tackle store are open  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

According to some fishermen ,” fishing has been slower.  Some were  bank fishermen at Fisherman’s Point  where the willow Creek comes in.  They were catching a few trout. There  is  a skiff of ice in places.  Not safe ice.”

The water has been turned off now.   The electricity is also off except at Marshall Cove and Red Lodge campgrounds.  The docks are pulled. Soon we will be working on dock repairs after the pre-winter maintenance is done.    You no longer need reservations, so the camp sites are first come first serve. The kiosk has the reduced rate for camping  listed.  Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash.


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

With  the warming  up weather we should see some fishermen out. This week no one was out  it has been too cold.  There are still lots of  birds out there.  If you watch birds   this is the place to come.  Lots of  geese have been out there.  There  has been  a skiff of ice on the water but with the warmer weather that may be gone.


 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

Pat says,  “ We  did  not see anyone here this week.  I am sure that is because of the weather we had.  ”

Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261

Terry reports, “ I have heard nothing  this week.  People are talking hunting but not fishing. It just has been too cold, and the roads were really bad. “


Checkerboard Inn   Checkerboard, MT   Rick and Judy Geordge  406-572-3373

Rick reports,” Bair Lake is froze over but it is not thick yet.   It is just not ready yet.  We did have two guys who went to Martinsdale and they got one rainbow and one sucker. ”


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 , “  I have not had many people talking fishing.  The weather just has been really cold and  nasty.

Missouri – I know that the Missouri river out here is froze up so you can’t fish there.

Spring Creek- You can fish Spring Creek it is still open.

Achley-I have not heard anything about Achley.

Hanson-There was ice on the water on Hanson last week, so I am sure it is still there. .  I hear it is getting thicker but not safe yet. ”


Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana   James  (Slim) and Abbie Craig, Carri Craig   406-429-2999 

The marina is open.  We are open 7 am to 7 pm every day.

Slim says, “ the bay is frozen but not thick yet.  Right now there is no boating or shore fishing because the ice is not ready to step on.  It is getting there but not ready yet.  The road is snow packed but passable.  We have 3 to 5 inches and the wind did make drifts but not on the road in.  Today it is starting to  freeze over.  I suggest you call before you come so you can hear conditions. ”


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “I had a few  fishermen go out last week.   They are catching trout.  If you can get out when the wind dies down, you can catch trout.  We do not have ice .  You can boat and shore fish still.  The docks have been pulled.  ”

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,  “This week we had -25 degrees.  On Sunday we had rain and snow and -38 degrees It was 42 degrees below with the wind chill.  No one was out.  Nelson has only a skiff of ice and was froze all the way across. The docks were pulled  out on Wednesday. ”

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.


 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce  reports, “ I have not heard much from fishermen.

Yellowstone- On the  Yellowstone I heard from one guy who was in  the Hysham and Custer  going for walleye.  The water was 34 degrees he said.  They were going for walleye and sauger jigging with a minnow.   They caught some and an occasional bass as well. I did see a jet boat heading when I was heading out of town on the Yellowstone, so they are still trying.  The warm weather forecasted may make it that you can go out there.

Big Horn-I heard fishing is still slow on the Big Horn.  Try a scud, or a sow-bug  they say.  There are some weeds still.

Cooney- “I did talk to someone who went out.  He was trying cranks pretty shallow for walleye.  A few were jigging.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “I have not heard any  news on fishing.  The only people we saw  this week were  8 elk hunters who came in and bought one hundred worms.  They were headed to private land to hunt and fish.  It must be a pretty good pond. ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine

“Some say the weather has been tough for fishermen. The changing in weather coming  will change things in a good direction people are thinking.  With the change some say to try different  types of nymphs.  They believe that the weather  should mean people will see more  blue wing olives.  “


Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau says, “ It was too cold, so I and my guides did not go out. I heard the fishing was about the same on  the Big Horn.  People say it has improved a little. The clarity seems to be a little better.  Try using  pseudo patterns about  noon and we found that the pseudos came out about 2 pm.  Using a nymph or a streamer  has improved.  People were catching rainbows and brown trout and it is a tough bite they say.“


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375   Rick/Stephanie

Rick says, “ With the moisture we got this week the water is now  a little more off color.   The river is at 3,000 CFS and 99 % of full. The water temperature is 54 degrees. Fishing I am hearing is a little better.  I am going out myself and I intend to use streamers.  The guides say to try a JJ special or a thin mint.  Use a soft gray Ray or an orange scud. A San Quan worm  or a two-toned red wine-colored fly should work. The warm weather  means it looks good for us fishing wise.  Dries are just not working. Stay off the reds the browns have started.”             We are in winter  hours and are open  8 am to 12 every day.

Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg.  Open 730am-9pm  406-646-9644.

 West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 10/7/19 


No further fishing report until Spring