Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 3.25.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: March 26, 2020

Spring  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, “  We had a couple of fishermen this past weekend. It got cold so the ice re froze again.  You could walk on. There was 8 to 10 inches.  So they caught 5 northern pike. One  fellow did decent on trout.  They did not go very far out.  It is starting to break away on the edge. The north side has some ice.  The points are opening up. The land at the end of the road has open water.”

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

  It is not good ice at all.  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, “ We had some cold weather, so we have had a skim of ice.  You can’t walk on the ice.  It is definitely changing. I predict it will be a couple of weeks before it is gone.

  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, ”we have had no one here this whole week.  There is 12 to 14 inches  of ice  to  fish on, but it is  walk on only.  I had one guy who brought their boat up.  There is no open water to put a boat in.  The lake is coming up and the ice is not going to last. I could say the season is done but in truth mother nature is in charge of when that happened.  “

Hell Creek Marina is open 7 days a week. ­­­­­­­

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

Haley reports, “ we still have some ice . About 11 ½ inches.  Some guys are walking on and they  did get some lakers. The walleye and pike bite is really slow.  the edges are not far from starting to pull away.  We have 41 degrees today and the wind is really blowing. The river is open. We are not doing any more guided trips because it is too much of a liability on the 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.  Nothing going on yet.  The ice is still trying to hold on.  Hopefully we will get some warm weather and it will open up and we can get some fishing done.  Please stay healthy and take care.“

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 again have  been unable to speak to staff at Cooney and have found no one who has been there.

I have talked to another person who said there is still ice but not good ice to get on they thought.

 Please make sure your vehicle is being driven on the road and you have your dog on a leash.   Scheels has had people say the edges are soft.

 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

 Elmo has open water.   Many  families   have been  coming to fish probably to get a break from school at home and burn off steam. There was quite a few fishing  from the pier and shore.  There are a couple of boats out there.  I did see someone catch  some perch.

We have locked the doors ,  We  are working in the building. If you need a license you can get that online only. If you need a question answered call and we will try to work with you.

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 had one camper here this week.  We did  not see anyone out  fishing this week.  We never saw the camper fish.”

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

 It is reported no one has seen any people because of the virus.  The bar is closed right now. “­­­­­

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

 Judy  reports,”  Bair refroze. again and we  saw  several  groups on the ice.  We do not know if they caught anything.  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.

We know of several people who walked on the ice and fished at Sutherlan .  We again did not hear if they caught anything.   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

 Colby   reports , “  the Missouri River is open.  The ramp was plowed out and you can  get to the PM and Fort Robinson Bridge.  It is muddy and cold so I hear people are not catching much but if you want to take the boat you can do that.

Hanson –  You could still go out and fish Hanson.  Fishing is okay.

Spring Creek- You can fish Spring Creek. No problem with the shoreline right now.   The water is clear for wade fishing.

East Fork- I heard you can still ice fish at East Fork.  The bite was okay.

Casino- You can also fish at the local Casino pond. People are catching a few fish.“

 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 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 continue to be 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 banks are open.  The water is open,  but it really is not safe to go out.  The wind is blowing the large areas of  ice around.  The problem I see and am concerned about is yes there is open water but there is a half of acre of ice.  You could get out in your boat but when you are ready to get off the water you might find that ice has blocked you getting off the water.   It keeps blowing back and forth.  So it is just not wise to go out there.  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.

Nelson Reservoir-I have been told that a couple of guys went this weekend and ice fished Nelson.  They caught  15 fish and 2 were walleye.

 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- I talked to someone  who went on the Yellowstone by Billings going East  and caught some rainbow trout and some ling. They were using mostly worms.  A couple of cats also were caught.

On the Yellowstone where the Big Horn runs into the Yellowstone, they were catching a few sauger.

Yellowtail- Some guys went on Yellowtail in boats and found fishing slow with only  an occasional walleye on a jig.

Tongue- The edges are pulling away and so ice fishing is not a possibility, I was told.

Rock Creek at Red Lodge- A few guys tried fishing at Rock Creek and caught only a few.

Elmo- I again was shown pictures of some nice cut throats that were caught on Lake Elmo this week.  “

 Someone said Georgetown has ice right now.

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ I am in the shop but to make things safe for my wife and I will sell my bait through a call or knock.  With the pike bite ready to come on, I do have lots of herring.  Just call and I will meet you at the door.  That helps my business and your recreation needs. The number to call is 285-4540. Thank you

 I heard the ice fishing on Canyon Ferry is not recommended.  There are huge ice pieces that are moving in and out. ”

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

I spoke to a fellow who went  fly fishing  on the Stillwater and found the water off color at Fireman’s Point. Fishing at  Cliff Swallows and he said they were catching but it was slow.  He also said there was still 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 hear from those fishing on the  Big Horn it is decent. People are using  nymphs mostly.

I do know of the advisement about staying home and want to say if you go fishing go alone.  Then you won’t be in contact with others or having others touch your vehicle or boat.  We all know we want to get out but please take the precautions they request.

 I continue to stay 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,” people have been fishing.  It has been decent  fishing in places  this week. There are more people out, but we want you to  come and fish alone as that keeps everyone safe.

We are not doing any shuttles to protect ourselves and you.  Please stay safe.  The  nymphing has been fair. The river is up. The CFS is 5,200 and the water is gin clear.  Use midges if it calm, and early.   “

  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