Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 6.17.20
By angelamontana

Posted: June 17, 2020

Summer is upon us and that can bring unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures,  wind  and  water mean everyone needs to be vigilant when being outside.   Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Surprise storms of 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  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.

****This Sunday is Father’s Day.  The weekend of June 20th to 21st  is a free fishing day for the state of Montana according to FWP.  Go out and take someone who has never fished before and show them how much fun it is. Spread the word!

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

 Raymond reports,” It was a very  busy weekend.  We were at full capacity and were  using the overflow parking for camping.  People were catching  mostly bass but   also some walleyes  and northern pike as well. We have not seen any crappie being caught.  The fishing seems to be happening going south to the end of the lake.   The water temperature is 70 degrees.   The water is still going over the spillway, but it has dropped a hair.   The water is clear.  The campgrounds are all functioning fully.  Our office is now open.

The phase II  which is in effect means people still have to social distance . We also ask people to read or review the rules of the park. We are having many new people here who are unaware of the way the park works. ”

 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

In doing this weekly fishing report I meet and talk to many people by phone.  Often, I have never met them in person, but we become friends through our discussions.  I have spoken to Fletcher Metcalf at Tongue River Marina weekly for over a year.  I am saddened to learn that this young man, Fletcher, was killed in a truck accident this week. He was a delight to speak to, loved the sport of fishing  and took his job at the marina very seriously.  He was truly an asset to the workings of the Marina. Montana Outdoor Radio Show Staff would like to give our condolences to Wade and Stephanie as owner of the Marina and Fletcher’s family for this sad loss.  Sincerely , Carol

Wade  reports, “ we are devested at losing Fletcher.   We hope to do something in his honor later but right now we have to get through our sadness.”

  Our hours are Monday to Thursday 8-5, Friday Saturday 6 to 9 and Sunday 7 to 5.

Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt /1-406-230-1283  for Linda & Neil     Marina number is 1-406-485-2560

  Neil   reports, “the Pikemasters  Tournament was this past weekend.  Sadly due to Bob Dolly’s passing,  their biggest fan was not on the water.  He was missed. Team 21 won the tournament with 77.7 pounds for two days.  It was won by Henry Meyer and Jamie Wygle.  Guys were using minnows and leeches.  There were 32 teams.  It was windy part of the time. .  The biggest pike caught was caught by a young man named Zander Baldy of team 11  with a 41.75 inches in length.  His partner was  Jesse Sanchez.

 Other fishermen  were finding  walleye. They also caught a lot of little pike in the 4 ½ to 5-pound range.  They were catching bass on bottom bouncers with leaches, minnows and a few night crawlers “

   Stop in the Marina and we can give you what we know about fishing. All our services are fully functioning.  We do ask people to  limit the number of people in the Marina for social distancing. “

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

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

  Layne reports, ” The walleye  fishing this week was  good.  Lots of large ones were caught. Guys were catching the  walleye going west.  The main lake water was 72 degrees. Many headed to Sutherland. Lots of  bass are everywhere.  Lots of them to catch.  They are catching  northern pike  on the main lake at the points in boats.  Go to depths of 10 to 15 feet   towards shore and use a crank or a spoon.   We did have  some wind some days this week.  “

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

Carrie  reports, “ we again had windy weather through this past week.  We had lots of walleye caught.  The bite is at 13 to 25 feet depths using cranks.  Some big ones.  What has changed is that the quantity of walleye has  increased. They  are small in size. The lake trout are deep.  You can find them in depths of 85 to 95 feet depths. People are  using spoons  and jigging.  The northern pike bite is picking up and are at the same depths as the walleye.  Guys are fishing with a crawler and a slow death lure.

I have bait,  lots of Jumbo suckers, shiners, fatheads’ minnows, smelt and herring.  I have it all.   We also have a few RV spaces. ”

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

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

 Scott  reports “ walleye fishing- Walleye fishing has been picking up.  The weather patterns have definitely thrown a few wrenches into the bite but all in all if you keep searching and you find them, the bite can be really good.  We have been pulling cranks in 10-13 feet of water for best results.  Guys have also been pulling crawlers and leeches with good results.  We have been seeing a lot of good fish this week.

Northern Pike –The  fishing has been incredible for smaller pike in the 3 to 8-pound range with a few big fish in the mix. Using cranks in 10-15 feet of water has been our best presentation.

Small mouth- Fishing  rock piles in the backs of the bays has been producing some great smallies.  Throw cranks and swimbaits for best results.

Water temps  are still between 60 to 61 degrees.

Hope to see everyone at the lake this weekend. “

The bar and restaurant hours are  as follows: open 7 days a week. Monday to  Thursday 11am to 9 pm, Friday 11am to 10 pm.  Saturday and Sunday 8am to 10 pm.  Please be aware we are practicing social distancing.

The tackle store is open 7 days a week as well.  Monday through Thursday 7 to 9, Friday through Sunday 6 to 10.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

James(Slim), Carri Craig, Rick   406-429-2999 

Rick says,” The walleye fishing has been good.  Occasionally we have seen a 30 inches.  They have been closer to the marina than in the past. Some have gone to Squaw Creek and then to Snow Creek. The crappie bite has been good with lots of good size ones.  They are even getting them right off the dock.   The northern pike are pretty much out of the bay. They are in boats and fishing towards shore.  If you are looking for clear water that is not stained, you have to run to Ghost Cooley and Lost Creek for clearer water.  It has been busy this week.  We have had 15 to 20 boats out there every day.”

Our hours  are 7 to 7 now 7 days a week.  I am so looking forward to seeing everyone.  Please just remember social distancing.

Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ Dave  654-1712

Open 7:30 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday/ 11am to 3 pm Sunday

Kolin reports,”  people are saying the fishing  has picked up this week at Nelson.  Fishermen are using a crawler harness.  Some are trying a crank as well.  The  depths  have varied some from  10 to 15 feet down. There has been some wind off and on this week.  A few walleye have been nice size like 18 to 20 inches.  People have been having some good luck with Rich’s Tackle spinners and we have them here at Hanks. The fish had been biting on them.

At Forchette they were catching a lot of small stuff.  They have not been much on size but  eater size . They were pulling slow death with a crawler. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, ”    This week’s water temperature ranged from 60 to 68 degrees. With the recent rain and heavy boat traffic the water is a little cloudy. Fishing has remained consistent for walleye and perch. Leaches or green jigs seamed popular this week. Some groups found success with trout using worms and bobbers by the dam.“

Marina says,” some of the Marshall Campgrounds are flooded still.  It changes from day to day.  There is no predicting it from day to day. We had a busy weekend with Saturday being busier.  People were having to park on the road sometimes.

We are asking  people to, pack in, pack out your garbage. We have less garbage receptacles. We all want to see a clean environment, so please pack your garbage out.  Remember your dogs are welcome but, do not forget your leash. “

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob reports, “the flooding situations are still causing problems at some fishing access points.  The FWP properties along the Yellowstone River west of Billings that are closed to all, but walk-in traffic includes Grey Bear west of Big Timber, Bratten and Indian Fort west of Reed Point, Buffalo Mirage at Park City and Duck Creek southwest of Billings. On the lower Stillwater River, access roads to the White Bird and Swinging Bridge fishing access sites are covered with water and people may enter the properties only on foot. Along the Yellowstone River east of Billings, the Gritty Stone, Voyagers Rest and Bundy Bridge fishing access sites are under water and closed to all but walk-in traffic. The Captain Clark Fishing Access at Pompey’s Pillar is closed.

Lake Elmo was really full this week.  There was a huge  amount of traffic. We saw all kinds of recreationalists.   People are definitely catching fish. The fishermen seem to be fishing early morning and late evening. The river is  up, and the lake is full.   Our office is now open.  We will continue to do distancing with our visitors as mandated.”

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat reports,” the water has definitely come up. We had lots of boaters and many campers.  That must mean they are catching some fish.  Please be respectful as you use the area so everyone can use  it.

 Broadview pond has been really busy.  There have been lots of boats as well as shore fishermen.”

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

Terry reports, “ I sold  a lot of worms. The people I talked to were headed to a private pond. I talked  a  guy  who fished Martinsdale. He said they did pretty good.  People were using worms and split shot and catching.

 The fishing at  Broadview Pond has been crazy busy. I heard  people caught a few fish. ”

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

 Judy   reports, “ we had  lots of rain all  week. Fishing has picked up at Bair. The catch was not superior though.

People talking about fishing at Martinsdale said they caught only a few fish. They said Sutherlan was better fishing 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

 Colby  reports , “   Spring Creek is clear.  The guys are catching rainbows and browns.  People are seeing stone flies and caddis coming off the water. Use a beadhead.  One guide I know was starting to use a few streamers and they were working.  If you are spin casting, try the old standby of a Panther Martin.

Achley- The  tiger muskeye  tournament last weekend seemed to be slow.  The bite seemed to be down people said

East fork-  At East Fork fishermen are catching perch.  They are mostly catching night crawlers.  Only a few pike have been caught.  It was not a runaway they said.

Crooked Creek- I was told that little walleye were caught when they went 6 to 7 miles out.

Nelson Reservoir- I am told from several fishermen that fishing was good when they were there.  They were catching walleye and pike trolling cranks real shallow.

Hanson Dam- People say lots of little trout were caught when fishing this week.

Petrolia-
someone went fishing at Petrolia and caught 9 walleye on his trip.  He was using leaches.“

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon reports,” we had lots of rain this week so not as many guys going out.    Trout fishing has still been good  heading north  to mid lake.  Lots of trout caught  if you head to Pond 1 or to the center of the lake.  The walleye fishing is getting better. The lake is up.   Watch  for debris at the mouth of the river. Stop in at the shop or call 266-3100 and I will give you any  information you need.

This weekend is Father’s Day and Saturday and Sunday are free fishing days. ”

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

The Flamingo is now open.  Come and enjoy the new food menu and some of the old favorites.

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

Rich says, “  I  heard  Canyon Ferry had some high winds with huge waves. I was told 60 mph winds.  Kind of tough to fish in that.

The rivers are really still up and muddy. ”

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

Jasmine says, “  the Stillwater is finally down some.  It is a little clearer. Try a girdle bug.  The salmon flies are just about ready to start.  The Yellowstone is still   high and  very  blown out.  The water is off color.  There are a lot of  problems getting access because of the flooding at some of the fishing access sites.  Some rafters are floating  but fishing is just not possible.   The Boulder has gone down. It is clear.  Try a girdle bug or a woolly bugger on it and or other tributaries. Need a guide? We are taking appointments for  guiding now. “

Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports,”  the Missouri is fishing well.  It is clear water.   It has been a  good  bite.   You  can find  PMD’s and caddis  hatching.   Try a dry fly or  nymphing.  Try a pheasant tail , sow bugs or San Juan worm.  “

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

Rick explains,” The After Bay is open and all access points are open. We had our official opening on June 15th for out of state friends.  Call and talk to the shops to get the information.

The fishing is good. The CFS is 2000 right now.  The reds are not done yet.  Wade fishing is  good.  You can fish everywhere.  The water is clear.  The dry fly fishing is good especially on cloudy days.   All camping has opened up.   Many days we see midge and baetes hatches. Olka Bay is open. Fishermen are trying a zebra, a BP3,  or a Ju Ju baetes.  You can also use a soft gray Ray or a pink bead soft tackle pattern in a size #18. Try a streamer. Some people have had luck with them.  A sink tip, a thin mint, a dirty hippie, or a wooly bugger will work.  Nice rainbows and browns are being caught.

Our lodge is open so you can stay with us.  Come and go fishing.   Our shuttle service is available. “

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  6-9-2020

Tom reports,” there is still good fishing even with the high water.  Here is the report for Montana.”

Upper Madison: Flows on the Madison have come down almost 50 percent throughout the course of the last week and they are still coming down gradually. The river is coming into great shape and is now much more navigable for all anglers. Wade fisherman can venture off the banks more and floaters can now get under bridges to open up the Lyons to Windy/Pal stretches. Nymphing and streamer fishing will still be your most productive methods, but we should hopefully start seeing some dry fly action picking up in the near future.

Flies: #8-10 Sili-legs, #12-14 Biot Golden Stone, San Juan Worm, #12 Tactical Tung. Pink Hot Spot Jig, #14-16 Frenchie, #14-16 Red Neck, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #16 Iron Lotus, #6 Mini Sex Dungeon, #6 Mini Bangtail, #2 Meat Whistle

Hebgen: Fishing on the lake picked up much more consistently for us when we haven’t been getting blown off the water these past few gusty days. While we have still been focusing most of our efforts along the north shore, don’t hesitate to spread out and explore the Madison arm and main lake. Chironomid nymphs under an indicator will provide your best action.

Flies: #12 O.S. Opal/Red Buzzer, #14 Black/Red Nugget, #14-16 Flashback PT

Gallatin: Like the Madison, the Gallatin has dropped significantly over the last week as well and should be plenty fishable. Nymphing with a larger rubber legs or worm with a smaller trail nymph is going to be your best bet for now, but this is a place we’ll also hope to start seeing some dry fly opportunities soon as well. There is construction happening on 191 and you will likely get stuck waiting at one of the stoplights for a bit, so just be patient.

Yellowstone National Park

Firehole: If you are looking to find rising fish, the Firehole is still your place. As we get some stormier weather starting today until the weekend, look for baetes and PMD emergences in the afternoons. You can also almost always bet on at least a few fish-eating White Miller caddis. Swing soft hackles the rest of the time to make for a day of great fishing.

Flies: #18 BWO Sparkle Dun, #16-18 BWO Klinkhammer, #16 Parachute PMD, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 PMD Cripple, #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis, #14 Tan/Olive Diving Caddis, #12 Partridge & Green, #12 Partridge & Peacock, #14 Partridge & PT

Madison: We have been having some steady fishing with Salmon flies, though this may slow down given the weather over the next few days. While the weather may affect how many naturals you see, it still wouldn’t hurt to try throwing some around. There still could be a fair number of fish looking up for them. Like the Firehole, PMDs and baetes could make an appearance in the next few days as well so keep your eyes open for that.

Flies: #10 Hot Cake Salmon fly, #8-12 Razorback Salmonfly, #8 Supafly Salmonfly