Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 6.3.20
By angelamontana

Posted: June 4, 2020

Spring is almost over. The 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. 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

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond reports,” We had a super busy weekend. We had lots of day users. People were catching mostly bass. They were catching a few walleyes, and northern pike are starting to bite. I heard of a few cats and people said the crappies were very few. Many people seem to be going to the south end to find the fish right now. The water is going over the spillway. The water temperature was 68 degrees at the ramp today. The fish cleaning station is up and running. The restrooms are open. Our office will be open as of this Wednesday. The phase II which is in effect means people still have to social distance . Please be patient with each other as we all follow the mandates. ”
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
Wade reports, “ man, we were slammed this week with lots of fishermen especially this weekend. It was great to see people come. People had lots of success getting walleye. They were pitching jigs using a worm or minnow in 3 to 20 feet going with a really slow drag. Mostly 2 to 3 pounders were caught. The crappie bite is hit or miss still. It seems to be just starting. The water was 68 degrees on the weekend. I only heard of northern pike being caught from a boat. Those fishermen were using a five of diamond spoon. It definitely was good fishing.
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
Linda reports, “we had a very busy week. Lots of people came to fish. They were definitely catching fish. The fishermen caught a lot of northern pike from a boat. They were finding them at 12 to 15 feet depths using cranks with a minnow. As far as walleye, they are just catching them here or there. We did see a 25- inch and a 26- inch walleye caught. One was caught by a little girl off the dock. People did find some bass in rock structures under water.
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
Clint reports, ” We saw many people here this weekend. Guys are catching everything here this week. Many walleye and northern pike are being caught. The walleye are being caught towards Timber Creek and Snow Creek in 14 feet depths of water. People are both jigging and bottom bouncing and having good luck. The northern pike fishing has been really good. We have had some wind some days. If the weather is windy or miserable go deeper. The northern pike have been in 14 to 15 feet depths. Other people are catching pike from the bank throwing a line in the top water using spoons and spinners. The bass guys have been happy as they were catching bass every day. They are catching them shallow. They are also catching walleye while they are targeting the bass. The bass have been really nice size. It is a good Spring bite. “

Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt, Haley 1-406-526-3597
Eddie reports, “ we had some bad weather through this past week. We had times of high winds. So fishing was good depending on the weather. The lake trout fishing is going good. You can find them in depths of 60 to 80 feet depths. People are using spoons jigging. Some were pitching for walleye using a jig and a minnow or a plastic at depths at 10 to 25 feet depths. The northern pike are at the same depths as the walleye. Guys are fishing for them off the points and pitching spoons or using cranks. They are everywhere. The smallmouth bass fishing is picking up. They are finding them in the rocky points. I am hearing they are using cranks, slit bobbers, jigs, , plastic and minnows or the bass.
I have bait. I am in Billings getting fresh bait right now. We have lots of Jumbo suckers, shiners, fatheads’ minnows, smelt and herring. You name it, we have got it. 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 “ 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.

Walleye fishing- Fishing down the dry arm has been a little spotty from day to day. Fish have been getting caught from pitching jigs up shallow to pulling spinners and crawlers out over deeper water. Fishing to the west has been getting more consistent with some good fish being caught. Main lake points and secondary points in 3-15 feet of water have been the most consistent.
Northern Pike – fishing has been incredible for smaller pike in the 3 to 8-pound range. It seems like about anything you throw at them they are willing to eat.
Small mouth- Fishing the rock piles in the backs of the bays has been producing some great smallies. Throwing cranks and swimbaits are working.
Water temps have been between 58 to 61 degrees.
Hope to see everyone at the lake this weekend. “
Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana James(Slim),
Carri Craig 406-429-2999
Carri says,” We had a busy week. Fishing was good on the lake this week. People were using bottom bouncers or pulling jigs in the 2 to 10 feet depths. The minnow bite seems to be done right now. We have seen perch, crappies, walleye, bass, northern pike, and cats caught. The walleye have been small in size. I saw a nice 7-pound sauger that someone caught. I also saw a nice 31 ½ inch and 30 incher fish caught. The shore is fishing is still slow right now. The lake is higher, and the water is muddy. We did have an evening storm that brought a micro-burst in the area.”
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
**The Montana Outdoor Radio Show and I would like to welcome Hardware Hanks and Kolin to our fishing report. They will fill a need for information about Nelson Reservoir and Forchette fishing.
Kolin reports,” Nelson Reservoir has been slow fishing this week. Fishermen are using slow death with a crawler and a harness. They are getting a few walleye and northern pike. A few people have used a crankbait in the evening. The water temperature has not warmed up and that is a reason the fishing is slow, I believe. The lakes are full, and people have had to deal with wind as well this week. “
Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson, Jake, Cynthia
Jake reports, ” This week we saw an increase in water temperature. The majority of the reservoir is now in the 60s. We are experiencing a lot of runoff, so the water is off colored and going over the spillway. People are catching fish all over the reservoir, but not limiting out. The walleye are really biting on worms and leeches. Try worm harnesses on the bottom or slip Bobbers with a leech. The trout are biting on cowbells.
Marina reports,” we had a lot of people on the weekend. Sunday brought in a lot of day users and parking was definitely a factor. Marshal Cove is still flooding beyond the two campgrounds off and on. It is changing in how much it floods from day to day. I would call the flooding moderate. It is different from day to day, but I hope to keep it open as much as I can. The upper loop is all that is open there. The water is now over the spillway. “
We are asking people to follow the pack in, pack out garbage. We have less garbage receptacles and the garbage has really increased. Remember your dogs are welcome but, do not forget your leash.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Bob reports,” The big news I need to get out is the flooding situations at some fishing access points. Here is the press release on those closures.
Flooding restricts traffic at south central Montana fishing access sites
BILLINGS – High water from spring runoff has flooded parts of at
least 10 fishing access sites in south central Montana, prompting Montana
Fish, Wildlife and Parks to restrict traffic in them to walk-in only.
Above-average seasonal temperatures during the past few days
melted mountain snowpack and raised the level of all rivers in the region,
sending at least two of them out of their banks at FWP fishing access sites.
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.
Traffic restrictions will remain in place on all of the fishing
access sites until further notice when flood water recedes, and any repairs
can be made.
As of Tuesday, we have added and closed the Captain Clark Fishing Access at Pompey’s Pillar. There is lots of high water going through the access.

We had many people here at Elmo this week. We have seen sailboats, kayaks, bird watchers, fishermen and just families gathering. People are catching fish. The river is up, and the lake is full. They are out on the pier, as well. People are catching fish by using bait on the bottom. Our office is now open as of today, Wednesday June 3rd . We will continue to do distancing with our visitors as mandated.”

Deadmans Tony and Pat Stefani
Pat reports,” the water has come up. The campground was completely full on the weekend. The boat ramp was jammed at times. We have been busy all week. People were catching pan size trout and some salmon.
Broadview pond is still being fished a lot this week. There are lots of guys fishing there. It was a busy week with lots of people getting out.”

Cozy Corner bar Deadmans/Martinsdale Lavina 406-636-2261 Terry
Terry reports, “ I heard from many guys who visited here and bought worms. Many went to Bair and fished. I talked to one family that did well early in the week. At Martinsdale I had a number of people who caught fish there. Someone said they had just planted fish. He said he was using worms and split shot and catching.
The fishing at Broadview Pond must continue to be good. There have been lots of cars there. So fishing must be good. ”

Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy reports, “ one person came in and described his fishing at Bair as poor. He and others have gotten some fish but no big amounts. Did not hear anything on Sutherlan. Both Bair and Sutherlan are going over the spillway.
People talking about fishing at Martinsdale said they caught a fish or two, but they all described the fishing as it “stinks”. They said there was a lot of wind. The lakes are clear so you can find fish there and fishing may be good.”

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 , “ Spring Creek is still clear this week. People are seeing stone flies and caddis coming off the water. People will do well with flies and a Panther Martin would work well also.
Achley- Achley is approaching full pool. Fishermen are reporting they are catching a few tiger muskies. Some guys are still catching a few.
Missouri- Fishermen are catching paddlefish on the Missouri. The Missouri is also producing some decent catfish fishing right now.
Crooked Creek- Guys are catching northern pike and walleye. You do have to run the lake to find them right now. Some are going as far as Forchette to find fish. “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon reports,” The walleye fishing is picking up. Trout fishing has still been good heading north to mid lake. It has been excellent toward Hole in the wall. Watch for debris at the south end by Pond II. The water temperature is 68 degrees. I know of a couple of perch being caught and a few northern pike, but not big, stop in at the shop or call 266-3100 and I will give you any information you need.
The BOR campground is open. Please remember when at the campground to distance as you camp. ”
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 am selling lots of bait. People are fishing.
I did hear of people heading to Canyon Ferry. They say the trout fishing has been better than the walleye fishing right now. I am told they are struggling to find the walleye.
The rivers are really high and really muddy. It is running really fast and in places it is over the banks. The Jefferson really dropped, at least a foot and it is really muddy.
I talked to someone who went to Devils Creek. He said he has never seen so many boats on it. Someone else said that both campgrounds were full at Forchette. Lots of people fishing. ”

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
Chris says, “our shop is open. We will offer curb side pickup if you need it. The Stillwater and Yellowstone are seriously blown out. You also have problems getting access because of the flooding at some of the fishing access sites. The water is really high all the up to Livingston. It is best to stay away right now. The rafters are out there but fishing is just not possible. If you decide to try fishing, I would try the small tributaries or ponds or little lakes. We are taking appointments for guiding now. “

Montana Adventures and Angling Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports,” the fishing on the Missouri has been a decent bite. The Missouri run off is starting. It is off color down to Deerborn. BWD are out in the afternoon but it is started to transition to summer bugs. You can still come on some baetes. Last week I was nymphing with a pheasant tail , sow bugs and San Juan worms. “
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375 Rick/Hale/Stephanie
Rick explains,” The lake is still shut down. The After Bay is open and all access points are open. We will have our official opening on June 15th for out of state visitors. We want to have everything ready to comply with the rules and work with the reservation decisions. Check with the shops down here. Call and talk to the shops to get the information.
The fishing is getting better and better. The CFS is 2000 as of today (Tuesday). It is great wade fishing right now. There are lots of reds right now so pay attention to where you walk. The dry fly fishing is still getting better and better especially on cloudy days. All camping has opened up. The cloudy days bring out a good baetes with midge hatch in the afternoon and then again in the late evening. Olka Bay will open up on the 3rd of June we have been told. We are suggesting fishermen try the zebra, a BP3, or a Ju Ju baetes. You can also use a soft gray Ray in #18 or a pink bead soft tackle pattern. Go deep with a streamer as some people have had luck that way. Use a sink tip, a thin mint, a dirty hippie, or a wooly bugger. Fishing has been really good. People are catching some real nice rainbows and browns.
Our lodge is open so you can stay with us. We are doing the safeguards that we are being asked to do. Come and go fishing. Our shuttle service is available. We are not allowed to shuttle out of state visitors. The Crow tribe continues to have things locked down until May 15th. They are turning around non-resident visitors. They continue to have checkpoints.
Open 8 am to 12 every day.