Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 5.6.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: May 6, 2020
REPORT COMPILED BY Carol Henckel

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.

Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt 1-406-230-1283 for Linda

Marina number is 1-406-485-2560

Linda reports, “ our opening went well this weekend. People caught bass, walleye, and northern pike. Many people were cranking really slow and had good results. I know of a 30-inch walleye caught by one lady. Other walleye, caught were a 32, 29, and 30 incher caught. They caught some nice walleye in the shallow weeds. Someone caught a 25 ½ inch northern pike on a Kit’s disco lemonade tipped with a minnow. People were in the bay and then headed south to Nelson. The water is coming up slowly. All our services are fully functioning. The electricity and water are on now. “

Monty explains, ”We are open. We will limit the number of people into the Marina for the 6-foot social distancing mandated and hope everyone will use common sense while recreating. We are concerned about this problem but want people to be able to relax and fish. We are excited and looking forward to seeing our customers.

To make reservations for the 2020 summer, please call Monty at 406-465-0241. “

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond reports,” We will be open for camping on May 1st. It will be first come first serve still. We will still not have all our services up like the cleaning station or electricity. It will take a while to get things set up. The 11 sites will be available like they were through the winter.

The water temperature two days ago was 53 degrees and as of this morning (Tuesday) is 56 degrees. We were busy this weekend. We had 40 to 50 vehicles here. We had lots of boats out on the water. Talking to a couple of fishermen we heard they were catching a few bass and some nice walleye. Did not hear of any crappies being caught. We just want to people to follow the directions given by the Governor. The building will be open as of May first ”

Highway 212 does have check points and we want to make sure you know that. We don’t know if that will continue .We ask you to do the right thing at this time.

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 explained, “ lots of people came out to be at the water this week. People caught more bass than any other fish. A few northern pike were caught but I heard of no crappie caught. People were jigging with a minnow shallow at 5 to 10 feet depths. The water temperature is warm, like 58 to 59 degrees. You can launch a boat from the ramps.”

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

Clint reports, ” we opened on May 1st. It was a decent weekend. I had a fair number of families who wanted to go to Boy Scout Point for bank fishing. We were told Boy Scout will not be open until May 20th, 2020. Parks said they did not have enough staff to man the bathrooms. Northern Pike fishing is on fire right now at the heads of the bay. They are going towards Timber Creek and the Narrows. . The bank fishing has been good for pike as well. The lake trout fishing is decent. It is normal spring fishing for them. The walleye fishing is also good. They were jigging with minnows for them. We just ask that you follow the Governor’s orders on distancing. Come on up and fish.”

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

Justin reports, “ we had a busy week. Saturday had good weather and the fishing is good. Fishing for walleye was good. Some people also caught lake trout but only a few. The pike are being caught mostly by chance while they fish for walleye. The walleye are out further in 5 to 20 feet depths of water toward the Dry Arm and Duck Creek. The water temperature was 40 to 48 degrees. On Sunday, the wind really blew so people had to get off the water. It also rained. They have been using minnows and crawlers which we have here. We also have RV spaces available. ”

Our hours are 7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina Jessica & Scott Collinsworth 1-406-565-6283

Scott reports “ we are currently open Thursday thru Monday in the tackle store and bar/restaurant. The campground is open as well. If you need anything at all in the tackle store on Tuesday or Wednesday. Please do not hesitate to call 526- 3442 and we can help you out. We have a great selection of sucker minnows and creek chubs. We also have night crawlers in stock. We will be ordering leaches very soon. Campground is open so give us a call to reserve your spot 526-3442.

Walleye fishing-Fishing has been picking up with some really nice fish caught. Most guys are throwing jigs with minnows and jigs with swimbaits at rocky shorelines. Sounds like some pome post spawn fish are starting to get caught as well.

Northern Pike -Pike fishing has been getting better with the water temps in the back of the bays getting warmer. Jigs and minnows/ swimbaits have been working well along with casting or trolling crankbaits.

Lake trout- Fishing has been hit and miss for lakers with guys jigging and trolling spoons and cranks from 65 to 100 feet of water. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Jake

Jake reports, ”the water temp at Cooney is 46 degrees. It is muddy on the south end. People trout fish this week were trolling with a cowbell and wedding rings or Rapella shad dancer. Those things produced some nice rainbow trout. If you fish from shore, try a worm on the bottom. The walleye seems to be illusive right now. People catch some one day and not any the next day. They have been trying shad raps trolling. The Paddle tail soft plastic and a Rapella jigging rap in a light colors are producing. I recommend a slower presentation. Please return back the females to keep a healthy population.

Please remember to keep the distance of 6 feet from each other no matter where you are at Cooney. Our overnight camping is open. The Marshal cove dock is in. I am waiting for a part that I ordered in the fall and it still has not arrived so we can repair another dock and then it can go in. I am hoping to get them all in by May 15th, 2020.”

The water has been turned off now. We ran into a problem when we turned on the water so we must do some repairs. We hope to have the water on by the 15th of May. The electricity is on. Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash. Please make sure your vehicle is being driven on the road.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says,” there were lots of people out and about with the lifting of the Governor’s restrictions . Elmo had lots of people, especially lots of families. With the lifting of the stay home orders for recreation we saw a lot of people out and about. We hope you will remember to continue distancing guidelines whether you are at Elmo or anywhere else . Remember no groups larger than ten people. You can fish from the pier and picnic areas because the restrictions will be lifted.

I also went out and camped near Reedpoint. I saw a lot of people pulling campers looking for spots because there were so many people out. On the Yellowstone the water was muddy and it was up a foot just while we were there. On Friday there was a huge caddis hatch. It was really thick. Then on Saturday, instead of caddis there was a mayfly hatch that also was thick. ”

Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

Pat reports,” we had lots of boats out this week. The water went up a lot in the last few days. In fact there is almost no beach at this point. We ask that you are respectful of the rules the Governor has laid out. We did see a few shore fishermen.

We also saw that the Broadview pond had quite a few people fishing there. ”

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

Terry reports, “ the bar is now open. It has not been very busy yet. I am hearing Broadview Pond is really hot fishing right now. They are catching rainbow trout and cutthroat trout, Word has it they planted some solder trout just recently. I also heard the fishing on Deadmans was pretty good. In the people I talked to none of them got skunked.”

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

Rick reports, “ we are open. We have seen some people in boats out on Bair. Others did see guys were fishing on Sutherlan but we did not hear how they did. ”

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 , “ With the opening from the Governor lots of people were out.

Spring Creek- The water is really dirty. I did not hear anyone catching any fish. It rained there.

Achley- Achley had lots of wind this week. That made fly fishing hard. Some guys were fishing toward shore and catching rainbow trout. They were using spinners.

Crooked Creek- People said fishing was on fire at Crooked Creek. They are jigging with a minnow or a plastic. Some were cranking at 4 to 16 feet depths. If you are jigging, you seem to get the bigger ones. The smallmouth are being found at 12 to 20 feet depths. They are catching pike from shore using smelt.

Missouri- The Missouri is dirty right now. I hear paddlefishing is a little better. No other successful fishing as the water is high and muddy. It is too muddy to jig. People are fishing from shore. Some people are starting to catch some cats.

Achley-People are crushing the trout from shore. If you are fly fishing use nymphs as they are working.

Petrolia- People are saying fishing was a bit slower this week. Fishermen caught a few smallmouth going to shallow depths. Use a jig with a plastic. The water is muddier than it was. “

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

The marina will open May 11th. I have been remodeling the inside and are waiting for two new freezers. The new deck is now done. Then I will have all services. I ask if you come down to fish you follow the Governor’s orders. “

The water is extremely muddy. The people who have been fishing have been heading to Forchette. They have caught some fish, but they have not been distancing at times. “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon reports,” the campground is open with rules. The camp host will have a paper telling you what rules that you need to adhere to. The social distancing mandated by the state in in effect. The walleye fishing was good on Saturday toward Pond 1 and across the lake. . On Sunday it was windy. The trout fishing was decent towards the south and mid lake. The water is coming up. Stop in at the shop and I can give you any information you need.”

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.

The Flamingo is closed.

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt

Jayce reports he has heard, “ lots of people are getting out and many were excited to get out fishing this past weekend.

Tongue- I heard the Tongue has been pretty quiet. The bass bite has been pretty slow and only a few crappies have been caught.

Yellowstone- People have been fishing the lower Yellowstone. It is getting dirty but not brown. They have caught some cats close to Billings and caught some catfish. The guys were using a jig.

Stillwater- the Stillwater is clear above Absarokee.

Yellowstone- At Hysham the runoff has started. Some people are catching sauger and bass. The fishing they say has been pretty quiet. A few people have caught a few cats.

Crooked Creek- I talked to some guys who said the water is really muddy at Crooked Creek. They were having to go as far as Forchette to find clear water. They were catching some walleye. A few pike were caught from shore.

Nelson Creek- At Nelson Creek, on the dry arm, they are saying there were a lot of boats out fishing toward the shallow water. They were catching walleye and northern pike.

Hell Creek- I heard a few people going to Hell Creek but only caught a few northerns. As far as walleye they got their limit, but they were little fish.

Fort Peck Dam-Guys are saying they are doing well on walleye and few crappie. They caught them mostly while jigging.

Missouri-I have heard a few paddlefish. One fellow got quite a few cats on a set line. I hear it was slow fishing.

Whatever you do protect our fishing by following the guidelines. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540

Rich says, “ my shop will open May 8th. I ask because of the virus that you come in with a mask. Please remember to follow the Governor’s phase 1 order with distancing and less than 10 people congregating in one place.

The water is low on the south end of Canyon Ferry.

The rivers here are down and getting muddier. People have said that they are finding hatches on the rivers. ”

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

Chris says, “the shop is open. The Stillwater is off color. It is clearer above Absarokee. People are seeing caddis in the afternoon and evening. There is not much dry fly fishing right now. Use a caddis nymph right now. The Yellowstone is really off color. We are taking appointments for guiding now. Remember the non-resident rule of quarantining for 14 days.

We are having classes on fly casting on Saturday. You need to call to register ahead. It is $60. For a class or a 150 for all of them. They are for beginning, moderate or advance fishermen. “

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

Beau says, “ I headed to the Missouri and have been there 4 days. It has been fairly good starting about the lower portion below Dearborn. It is starting to clear there. While fly fishing I am seeing baetes and midges in the in the afternoon. In mid-morning there is a small hatch that is decent. I have been nymphing with sow bugs and baetes patterns.”

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

Rick explains,” We continue to be shut down. We have gotten word that there are some talks going on, but the county, state, feds and Indians have to agree so it could take some time to get a plan that works. We have some directives to fulfill before we can open. We are shut down by the County, so no shuttling is allowed. The reservation officers are still stopping people and sending people back to their home. The After Bay to 3-mile exit and Oka Bay is closed. Unless you are a resident you cannot get to the big Horn. Please stay safe. Right now it is a wait and see what happens next. “

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 and park open