Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 12.11.19
By angelamontana

Posted: December 12, 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 bay has ice on it. We have had some snow.  I have not been on the road to know if it is good.   The weather was too cold as well as not any ice for anyone to want to go fishing.”

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

Raymond reports, ” the snow we have is only 1 to 2 inches.   Almost all  of the lake now has ice.  On the South end there is 4-5 inches. Some people have gone out ice fishing but a word of warning.  One gentleman was walking on the slush on the ice and he fell through.  His friends pulled him out. The ice at this point is not always consistent in how many inches it is.  Please be careful.  I   can see cracks on the edges when you walk the shore. Sandpoint the ice is very thin and is open around the border.  Neck Bay is not good ice. “

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 ,“  the river is still  forming ice.  It is 1-2 inches in  the bay by the marina but is not good enough to get on.  It is even at I know of a few people who fished on the south end. In fact although there is 4 inches, I was told one man fell through the ice. So you have to be careful right now.  The ice by the bay is not fishable yet.   ”

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

Clint reports, ” the lake is still open.  It is open at the heads of the bay and edges.  The Boy Scout Point is also starting to freeze.  It is starting to freeze on the edges.  We have to have one or two days of really cold and not have a lot of wind as we have had.   We need  a cold snap. There are 3 to 4 inches on some of the lake.   The water temperature is in the upper 30’s. We need a good cold snap. “

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

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

Eddie reports, “ there is not much going on. I know of one guy who went out earlier in the week on Saturday.  He caught some lake trout.  He did well on lake trout.  On the river the dredge cuts are open.  It is starting to freeze .  It has froze up a couple times but then opened up with the wind.  It was never thick enough.  “

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   

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 “  Fishing has been very slow this week.  We had only three boats launch this week and only had a few lake trout caught between all of them.  It was -16 below here this morning so hopefully ice fishing isn’t too far out in the near future and we will start seeing some more fisherman here at the lake.   “

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

Marina says ,” it continues to change every day and have different conditions out here. The wind is moving the ice at times.  We do have 2 inches of fresh snow.  Willow creek has ice with snow on top.  The west side has very obvious ice but different types because you see the changes in color.  The entire east side has ice.  It really appears thin.  The boat ramp is not useable at this time.  I did see someone on the ice, but it is still thin. “

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

Bob tells me, “ a few guys are out there ice fishing right now. I do not know if they caught anything.  I believe it is not very thick.  The south end is thinner than I would like it to be for ice fishing. I want to remind people no matter where you are going to fish on ice remember that there can be springs under the ice that makes it thinner. Where there is snow on the ice you have to watch what is underneath.  “

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

Pat reports,” we have some very thin ice.  It is definitely not thick or safe. We actually had better weather than Billings and warmer weather.”

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

Terry reports, “ It has been pretty quiet.  With the roads being bad not many people came in. We just have to wait for colder weather.   “

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

Rick reports,” No one went fishing this week.  The icy roads were definitely a factor.  Bair has ice.  Sutherlan has ice and there is an icehouse on it.  The roads were very icy this week.”

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

Jon  reports , “ There was a little bit of ice fishing happening.  There is adequate ice  on the East Fork, Hanson Dam and Carters Pond.  You can fish on all of them.

Spring Creek- Spring Creek is open.  You can fish on them.  You can use a spinner and a few  nymphs have worked.

Achley- Achley has open water in the middle.  I want to caution that everyone be careful. With the weather it needs more time to thicken.

Missouri-The Missouri has had mixed results. Some had decent results some did not do well.  There was  slushy ice coming down the river at times.   ”

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 reports, “we  have 9 inches of  ice. I poked holes this morning, so it is official.  There are a couple guys out there right now, but I don’t know how they are doing. On Saturday I stopped by for only a short time and some guys were catching  northern pike and walleye eater size.  They were out 60 to 70 yards fishing.  The phone has been ringing off the hook so many are planning to come up. I suggest you call to check on live bait availability. I have gotten about 150 phone calls so it might be a good idea to check.  The road is good and has 3 inches on the road.  With people hauling some campers I suggest they chain up at the Lookout.”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports, “we did have ice, but the ice was blown off by the wind. It is now growing ice again, but it is in the early stages.   It is maybe an inch  in some places. Right now we have 36 degrees, so the weather needs to get colder.  You cannot ice fish yet.   ”

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,  “Nelson continues to  have good  ice.  There was 5 inches in the  Bay earlier and some had a shack on. Guys have caught walleye, perch and northern pike. They are using minnows, and some are spearing. ”

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

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce  reports, “ Cooney I was told had 4 inches in some places but in other spots 2 inches.  It is not consistent so be really careful if you go out.

Scheels Pond-Guys are ice fishing there and are catching a few.

Georgetown by Anaconda– They are catching trout and kokanee. There is 7 to 8 inches of ice.

Crooked Creek I heard has 6 inches and a few are catching. (As of Wednesday am there is 9 inches of ice.)

Tongue- I heard guys were fishing Tongue on the south end.  The ice is 4 inches, but I also heard a fellow fell in, so you still need to be careful.

Nelson by Malta- I was told some are fishing Malta but they only caught small ones.

Big Horn- One fellow went to the spot on the Big Horn where the Yellowstone comes it. They are catching sauger and walleye.”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ the week  had cold and lots of freezing conditions.  People are buying ice fishing supplies, so I know they are heading out, but I have heard no news about where or what.   The rivers definitely are clearer  of ice. ”

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

Chris reports,” there is  open water so  try nymphing with a beadhead.  Streamer fishing would work if you try  floating the Yellowstone.  The weather is supposed to be getting cold.  My shop is closed except by appointment now.”

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

Beau says, “  The fishing on the Big Horn I  was told was okay this week.  The water is clearer. Try dry fly fishing as it is the best way to try. The  pseudo patterns should work around   noon.   Nymph and  streamer  fishing  has  improved.  You  are catching rainbows. Please stay off the reds as they are out there. “

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

Rick explains, “fishing was good this week.  The water is clear.  Fishermen are seeing  baetes.  Look for them around 3- mile  between one and three o’clock .  When it is  overcast and cloudy use streamers.  The cfs is still 3200.  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