Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 12.9.20
By angelamontana

Posted: December 10, 2020

Autumn  is almost over and that can bring unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures,  wind  and  water which means  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.

 (compiled by Carol Henckel)

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond  states,” We have 5 to 6 inches of ice  at the boat ramp right now.  I was kind of surprised with the warm weather we have had but it has been very cold with the temperature dropping at  night.  I do not know how far  south it goes out.  I did see fellows out there fishing and talked to one guy who had caught some crappie and perch on worms.  I did hear a week ago that some people were catching some pike below the dam.  I don’t  know if there is ice there or open water.  “

Reservation season  has ended . It is first come first serve.  The winter rates have  started. The  electrical has been turned off.  Campers point 1 to 11 will still have electricity year around. The fish cleaning station is now closed. We only had one camper.

  Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg

Wade said,” I have been told that there is 4 to 5 inches of ice.  Not much word if they are catching but I did get phone calls for minnows.  I have minnows scheduled to arrive December 26th, 2020 so I think we will possibly open Sunday December 27th, 2020 weather permitting, and the ice stays safe.“

The Marina is  officially closed for the season.  We hope to be open  for  ice fishing.

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

Linda said” we had a little bit of ice in front of our house, but the wind blew that out.  There is no ice north of the bay.  My friend Becky and I threw a line in the water from shore and did not get anything.  We have had a couple of 50-degree temperatures. ”

We have closed the marina for the season, but fishing can still happen if the wind quits blowing. We just won’t  have any services.  For reservations for the ice fishing season call Linda at 406-230-1283.

To make reservations for next year , please call Monty at 406-465-0241.

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

  Clint reports”   we saw no fishermen this week.  We had days of 50 mph winds so getting out to fish would have been tough.   We have no  ice at this time.  The weather has been warm. The bass and northern pike can be caught.  The docks have been pulled. The water is cold.  Things are starting to wind down and we are waiting for ice. “

We have changed our hours at the marina.  At this time we are taking time off in December so you may not find someone there.  Normally we are open from 7 to 5 on weekdays and 7 to 6 on weekends.

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

Eddie  reports, “ I had a few guys fishing  this week.   They did fine for lake trout.   The bite has slowed down. Jigging worked for them, but  others got nothing trolling.  They did not catch any walleye or pike.

I still have  sucker minnows. I have  shiners and nightcrawlers.  ”

 We have stocked the tackle shop  and you can find many things you need there.     We have super  Jumbo suckers, shiners, fatheads’ minnows, smelt and herring.  We still have a few  dates open for guiding.

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

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

 Scott  reports “ the weather has been really nice, this week  but we definitely had an increase of fishermen.  The ramps are ice and snow free.

 walleye fishing- no reports for this week.

Northern Pike -fishing has continued to be good  for Northerns.  Fish have been getting caught in 10 to 20 feet of water trolling spoons and cranks.

Small mouth- No reports this week.

Lake trout- Lake trout fishing  has been really good for the guys that have been out chasing them.   The jig bite seemed to take back over this week with guys jigging in 25 to 55 feet of water.  Sounds like guys were seeing plenty of fish but they were definitely a little lethargic , but guys figured out the right cadence to trigger the bite.

Salmon-over for the season.

Water temps  have been  between 42- 44  degrees. “

Stop in the tackle store for up to date info on fishing along with all the gear you will need to catch any species of fish in Fort Peck Lake.  We are here to help put  you  guys  on  fish.

Hope everyone has a  great weekend. Good luck on the water and be safe.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

Slim says, “ we have 5 inched of ice today.   It has been getting pretty warm today and the forecast is for it to get warmer, so I am hoping it sticks around.  A couple of people went out as well as me and caught only little ones.  We caught lots of small perch and crappie.  We saw verry few northern pike.  If we lose  1 inch of ice it could be pretty scary.  They say 60 degrees are coming.   So the ice may not be ready with the warm weather coming. “

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/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin  reports, “ there is 8 to 10 inches of ice right now on Nelson. Some people put their portable shacks on.  The fishing has been good spearing.  They have caught some walleye and northern pike.  A few used tip-ups with worms.  Someone caught a 23-pound northern pike, this week.  It is good clear ice. ”

If you go to  Nelson, you cannot  enter through the  Headgates.  The concrete is crumbling.  You need to use the State Park way in.  “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports,” there is still ice at the Willow Creek arm  or sometimes called Fisherman’s point.  It has 3 to 7 inches there.  Only saw a few guys fishing.  They should be  catching  trout.  You can no longer get a boat on anywhere.  There is still some small open water.  The rest of the ice is not enough to get on yet.

We did go to the Yellowstone and look at a place to fish between Billings and Pompey Pillar, but it had way too many chunks of ice in it.  There was one group that tried it,  but we did not want to be that daring. It just had  way too many chunks of ice. “

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  the east end of  Elmo had some ice.  About half to three-quarters has ice.   It is not a lot just enough for geese. With the warm weather we are supposed to have it will not be there for long.  It is too thin for anyone to use.  You cannot  fish from shore.   Last time the wind broke up what little we had. The lake is down 2 feet.”

 The FWP  office is open.  We ask  people to   please use distancing as  you  recreate.”

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,”  we have no ice.  We did have  a lot of wind this week .   It has been blowing like crazy, so fishing has been out of the question.   I did see an old gentleman out there trying to fish but he changed his spot several times.  So I do not think he got anything.  “

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

 Terry reports, “  people  have stayed away from the bar this week .  So I haven’t heard anything about fishing. ”

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

 Judy reports, “  The  Bair has 10 inches.  It has a couple of portable shacks on it now. Rick and some of his friends went out and fished. He caught a few.  One couple limited out.  We the warm weather  there is some water on the ice at times.   I have not heard anything about  Sutherland  or Newland. “

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 ,”  around here the ice is so thin I won’t even suggest going.  I want people to be safe.  I heard there is ice at Hanson.

Spring Creek- You can still fish Spring Creek.  Some are  fly fishing  and some  spin fishing. ”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon says, “ We have 3 to 4 inches of ice at this time, but it is not consistent.  It is not safe.   With the warm weather we are supposed to get it will probably be less in the next days.   You can fish  from shore in places at White Earth at Canyon Ferry. The trout fishing has been good.  They are nice size.  Use worms, bobbers, and floating jigs.   The  ramp is clear so it can be used.    “

Sharon says feel free to call for information or stop in at the shop.   Call 266-3100. I am here all the time so I  will give you any  information I know.  The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.  The Pelican is now closed for the season

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

 Rich says,”  all I can say is the rivers have ice along the edges.   The Jefferson river does have a few ice  chunks floating in it. That may change with the warmer  temperatures.

Canyon Ferry has some very thin ice I heard.

We have decided to close the shop for the season from October 15th to April 1st, 2021.  ”

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

 If you try  fishing the Stillwater at Columbus, try  nymphs .  People are finding they are working.  They say  streamers are not working.

 Twin Bridges access is still closed.

We have closed our shop for the season until Spring. ”

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

 The Big Horn. Has had some nice days for fishing.  It is less off color and down some.  It is tough fishing nymphs.  Streamers are working.  People are catching some decent fish.

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

Rick  explained,”  we have wind today but the last couple of days have been beautiful.  Yesterday was really nice.  A couple of people said fishing was good.  They were catching some nice fish.  Streamers are working.   Try something  in black and  white or a leach pattern.  Dries are not working.  Use a sink tip and go deep. The thin mint is the fly of choice right now.   The CFS is down to  2000  and 49 degrees.   It is a good flow for fishing.  The fish are going deeper.

 The river is open throughout and all fishing access’ sites on the big Horn are open.  We would love to have you come to fish.   “

Our lodge is open so you can stay with us.  We would love to have you  go fishing here and we are making sure to follow the procedures to keep people safe.   Our shuttle service is available. Call and talk to the shop to get  information you need.“

Open  8 am to 12 every day.

 Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg.  Open 730am-9pm  


This is our final report for the year. On October 23,2020.  Nothing will change too much over the next few weeks as far as the fishing goes, so whether you like to nymph, swing or throw streamers get out there and get after it and let us know what you are catching. We will try to send  out reports when we can through the winter and let everyone know how the fishing is.  Thanks for a great season and for reading along. Have a great winter  and we will see you in the spring!

This is the last report -West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 10/26/20 


Upper Madison: Nymphing continues to be your best tactic for catching fish throughout the day. Rubber legs and a smaller attractor or baetes nymph will be successful and a zonker/sculpin dead-drifted under an indicator has had its moments this past week as well. We have been seeing some baetes coming off the past few days and should only see more this coming week with the forecast calling for rain and snow most days.

Flies: #16-18 Krystal Dip, #14-16 Green Machine, #14-18 Red Neck, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #14 HoloPoint, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Olive S.H. Hare’s Ear, #16 Shop Vac, #12 Black Sili Legs, #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Yellowstone National Park

  Fishing in Yellowstone is officially closed for the season.  It usually opens  Memorial Day weekend the next year.