Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 3.18.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: March 19, 2020

Winter  is still here. The unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures, ice conditions, wind  and  water mean everyone needs to be vigilant when being outside.   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 ice was really deteriorating when we left.  We have not heard from anyone all week that they fished at rock Creek so I am assuming that no one can fish up there yet because the ice is unsafe for bank fishing or ice 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

 Spencer reports, ” good luck getting  on the ice.  It is not good ice at all.  We had 54 degrees yesterday.    The water level has raised  3 feet already.  You can see muddy  water on the ice.  The frog pond has open water. There might be a couple of bays you could throw a line into but not many.“

  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

Wade explained, “ I would not tell people to walk on the ice.  It is definitely changing. We are just waiting for it too leave.  There is not any ice fishing.so we have closed the marina until the water opens up. Can’t tell you when we will be open as the weather can change.  ”

The Marina  is open on Saturday and Sunday  from 6:00 am to noon.

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

  Clint reports, ”there is a little bit of ice  to ice fish as a walk on.  The guys  have had a northern pike bite. The lake is coming up and the ice is not going to last. I would say the season is done.  “

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­

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

Haley reports, “ The ice is now real iffy. Some are walking on, but it won’t be long before it is not safe.  No one is heading to York island.  A few have tried  Flat Lake and Duck Creek, but I would not have. There is some open water and very rotten ice on the points and humps. I am telling people it is not safe. We are not doing any more guided trips because it is too much of a liability on the ice. It is turning into questionable ice.”

  We can cover all your needs.   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 “  ice conditions.-Conditions have deteriorated extremely fast.  A few guys are still walking on, but I would not recommend it.  We are in that transition between ice and open water.  Some days that ice is just not looking  good.  We stress to everyone,  it is only a fish, no need to put yourself at risk over a fish.  Live to fish another day. “

Stop in the bait store or give us a call 406-526-3442  for the most up to date reports and to let us help point you in the right direction for a great trip.  We have all the tackle and live bait to make your trip a successful one. “

 Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Jake

According to the phone message  on 3-9-2020 due to warm weather  the ice is no longer safe.   I have been unable to speak anyone at Cooney and have found no one who has been there.   See Scheels report for a mention.

 Please make sure your vehicle is being driven on the road and you have your dog on a leash. .

 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

 On Elmo the ice is totally gone.   Many  people  have been  fishing from the pier and shore.  There is even a boat out there among the ducks and geese.  I did see someone catch a small fish.  I think a small perch.

Remember you need a new fishing license now as of March 1st and you can do it online.  ”

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

Pat reports,” Deadmans is now  open.  We have not seen anyone out there fishing this week. ”

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

 Terry  reports, “I have not seen many people because of the virus.  My dance this weekend is cancelled.  No one is thinking of fishing. “­­­­­

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

 Judy  reports,” The cold weather made Bair refroze. You can  walk on, but you need to be careful.  It has been cold up here.  There is 8 to 10 feet open water, so you have to be very careful.  The guys went on and pulled their ice houses off.   As far as Sutherlan we saw people walking on. There is more ice there.   We heard  Martinsdale has some open water.   Our bar is closed at this time. ”

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 , “  in truth there is  not much fishing here right now.

Hanson –  I did hear you could still go out and fish there.  I heard fishing was okay.

Spring Creek- You can fish Spring Creek. No problem with the shoreline right now but the water can be muddy at times.

East Fork- I heard you can still fish and the bite was okay.  I also heard the ice is starting to get rotten in some places.“

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

The marina is open.  We are closed for the month of March until the ice is gone and it is safe to shore fish.

Slim reports, “The ice has turned rotten so it really is not safe. There is no walk on ice fishing now.  Shore fishing is not advised right now.  Please be careful if you go anywhere to try and fish.

I am still closed for the month of March. The marina will be closed so there will be no services like bait or fuel.  I plan on working on the cabins. You can come to fish from shore if you wish if the ice leaves.  You will not be able to rent cabins for March.  Call me at the number if you want to rent cabins in April you can call me now.    ”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon reports,” The ice is bad if there at all. There is no ice fishing .  There is open water.  You could try  fishing  from shore but no matter where you are be careful. We are in between season right now.  ”

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,  “ My shop is closed permanently .  The inventory will be sold off later.”

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce reports he has heard and knows, “ the pond behind Scheels is wide open and it has no ice. It is fishable

Yellowstone- We went fishing by Custer.  We caught some ling.  The cold front came in about 4 pm and things picked up especially from 4 to 5 PM.  We also caught 4 cats.

There were a few jet boats on the Yellowstone where the Big Horn runs into the Yellowstone on Friday.  They were catching a few sauger.

Elmo- I saw pictures of some big cut throats that were caught on Lake Elmo this week as well.  “

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “  I heard the ice fishing on Canyon Ferry is completely done. I talked to one guy who went out  and fished a little by the shore.

Nelson Reservoir- I talked to someone on the weekend who said he found 28 inches of ice.  He said it was really cold during the weekend.  He did not say how he did  fishing.

 The  rivers have floating ice on them now.  ”

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

I talked a man who went fly fishing and he reported  he went  on the Stillwater and found the water off color at Fireman’s Point.  They went to Cliff Swallows and fished.  He said,” I lost a Grinch with a big fish I almost caught. We were using a Grinch and getting bites, but fishing was slow. There was lots of diatom algae on the water.

 My shop is closed except by appointment now.

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

Beau says, “I heard from someone that fishing on the Big Horn was decent. People are nymphing mostly.  Try  pink scuds and sow bugs. I have been home taking care of my kids, so I am not getting out. ”

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

Hale explains,” Hale tells me fishing has been decent in places  this week. Not many people have gone out. The  nymphing has been fair.  They were getting their limits. The river is up.  Use midges if it calm, and early.  There  has not been much wind. “

  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