Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 5.2.16
By angelamontana

Posted: May 5, 2016

The spring weather means you should stay aware. The weather and water levels can be very unpredictable.  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 and precipitation can change quickly. 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-Bill 1-406-485-2560

“We finally had good weather.   It was beautiful. Fishing has been good this week.  There were lots of guys here this week, some are still here.  The guys here nearly caught their limit. They are also catching some pike and bass.  For walleye they were mostly jigging, a few using bottom bouncers.  The colors seem to be pink and purple. Their using beadheads with a minnow.  It has really picked up. The water temp here is 52 to 54.  We also heard the water temperature at Nelson is 58 degrees,“ Linda said.  The marina is open. The cabins and campground are open.


Tongue River Reservoir /Bob

Bob says, “The lake is coming up. It is up probably 3 feet. The water is moving into the slews. It is somewhat muddy. We had to readjust the docks.  The water is still on the cold side. As of today (Tuesday) at sand point it is muddy 2/3rd of the way down from the dam. All the amenities will be ready in the campground by the weekend. The water is on.  The cleaning station will be ready by the weekend. ”


Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Straley

“The crappie bite is on. Guys are getting their limits vertical jigging.  They seem to be anywhere from 10 to 30 feet.   They are not at the shore yet.  The bass are on fire.  Use crank baits and a live minnow.  The walleye are illusive. The water temp on Saturday was between 58 to 62 degrees. We are open 7 days a week.  My hours will be Sunday to Thursday 8 am to 6 pm and Friday and Saturday 7 am to 9pm.  I have minnows, leaches and worms on hand. Remember as of April 1st no shiner minnows are allowed on Tongue,” Wade said.


Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345  Marina Matheson-Park Office  Hell Creek-Fort Peck Reservoir

Bob says,” fishing is picking up. When fishing for walleye they are finding them on the other side of Snow Creek. My son was out and limited out 2 days in a row out there in a really short time. He was jigging. Try green and white jigs. Guys are catching northerns and some bass. Still a few King salmon being caught. Some size one was 15 pounds.

The new park manager for Hell Creek State Park will be Marina Matheson. “


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

Lake Ridge is under new management.  Please welcome new owners Eddie and Carrie Mindt.  I would like to thank Gene for all of his support and help with the fishing report.  Good luck in your life adventures ahead as you leave the state and head to be with family.

Eddie says,” Lake trout fishing has been real good this week.  They are finding them at 10 to 45 feet. Some are catching a few salmon towars Hacksbee.  Size is about 5 to 15 pounds.  Walleye has been slow.  The water temperature is going up.  It is 46 degrees at Duck Creek. The guys are trying a lindy rig with a plain hook. Jig colors are white and chartreuse.   They seem to be getting into a spawning mode.  I did hear the walleye are picking up a little at Dry Creek.  The Duck Creek area has was good for walleye the week before.”


Lake Elmo Billings FWP-Bob Gibson

“The sunny weather has made fishing good. The dock has had shoulder to shoulder fishermen. They have been catching. Most people fishing are using a lures or worms, “Bob said.


Cooney Reservoir  Glenis

Glenis says, “The water level is up.  The waater temperature has warme up.” They are catching some walleye from boats now. For shore fishing try for rainbow trout.

The new Park Ranger is, Skylar Mitchell a transfer from Dillon


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony says,”The water has been murky.  Te level has risen.  Fishing still seems to be slow.  The guys were here netting today.  I saw they caught lots of little trout, small suckers and some small salmon in the nets.” Campers remember it is now a pay site.


Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22

“Some guys are catching at Martinsdale and Sutherland.  They were catching rainbows. Try using powerbait and marshmallows with worms. At  Crooked Creek by Winnett people were only catching pike,” staff said.


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie says, “Paddlefish fishing is picking. The flows are getting murked up. Spring Creek is fishing good. Try tube jigs and spinner baits for walleye going deep. It is a little murky. Achley fishing is decent right now. The local bass ponds are also picking up. I also heard that the Dry Arm has a decent bite.”


Crooked Creek-Grant

I was told they have caught pike at Crooked Creek. Please Call for information on if it is open. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“Canyon Ferry fishing is good. They are catching small walleye in shallow water by the ponds. They are catching walleye at Hole In the Wall in 40 feet depths.  The trout fishing is still good and you can find them all over. The water is coming up,” Sharon said.

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


West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611

Mindy says, “Nelson is still fishing slow. The water level is rising.  They are catching walleye males in shallow water. Some pike caught.“

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday. Stop in any time.


Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen

McCahen says,” fishing has picked up pretty much everywhere.

Fort Peck has gotten better. They are finding walleye at the dry arm I have been told. Some real big ones were caught.  The lake trout have slowed.

Bass fishing on the Tongue river has been good. I hear they are also getting crappies.

Catfish fishing has been good on the Yellowstone.

The Big Horn was good fishing this week a few have told me.

At Cooney the walleye fishing has picked up.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ Fishing was pretty good this week. I had one fellow who came in from Canyon Ferry who had caught 3 nice walleye. Two were 28 inchers and one was bigger he said.  He said he had been fishing there for 4 years and I finally caught walleye.

They say Holter is picking up.

Lake Helena is fishing well.

The rivers are still very high and muddy.

Flicker Shads have really been working.  I have been selling a lot of them.”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

“On the Stillwater is better. It is starting to change with the warm weather. Some caddis have showe up. The ditmo is still a factor. We are seeing more March brown action but there are more caddis right now.

The Yellowstone river cleared on Saturday. We are starting to see some BWO action, “ Chris says.


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

“The dry fly fishing is seeing midge action from 1 pm to 3 pm. In the last few days it has been better fishing in the cloudy afternoon.   The baetes bite has been intermittent. Nymph fishing from the boat has been good. The floating grass is still a big issue on the Big Horn below 3 mile, so unless your site fishing or doingsomething like that. It’s really hard to fish out of the boat. The weather has been nice.. Use heavier line and shorter leaders. The fish are the real concern right now.  A lot of rainbows are responding so I think  that the a big thing  is to steer clear of the funding beds.  ,” Darryl says.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

“The cfs is 2600  today and will raise to 2750 and the water temperature is still 40 degrees.  It is clear above 3 mile. There is some runoff.  Fishing has been good. There is moss below 3 mil.  We are not seeing any caddis yet. The midge hatch continues to happen all day if it is cloudy.   When trying streamers use deep buggers and zonkers.  Nymphs are doing really well.  Try the Gray Rays 16-18, pinkies and orange tackle, juju baetis 18, Smoke jumpers 20, zebra midges 18’s, red midges and San Juan worms. Use small baetis in size 20 to 22, students, and parachute Adams.” Stephanie said.

Our shop hours are 7 am to 7 pm now Monday to Sunday.


Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698

Alice explains, “It is pre run off time so you can see lots of bugs. We are seeing midday caddis on the lower part of the Bear Trap. Above Ennis we are seeing more BWO or March browns. If the fish can see them they will be rising out of the water.   Hebegan flow has change.  The cfs is down to 850. As of April 1st snow pack was at 100 % and now it is 82%.It should be great fishing until the water goes up and gets muddy. The creek is starting to muddy.   Try nymphing early in the day and late evening.  They have been hatching on the lower Madison below Ennis. Fly suggestions would be a Nyman’s baetis cripple size 18. For Nymphing use size 10-12 brown and black stonefly nymphs. Depending on the time of day and bug activity try 16-20 midges or similar sized Pheasant Tail nymphs. For rising fish, try the size 16-20 Griffith’s gnat and size 16 parachute Adams.  Use streamers in olive or black sculpin patterns. Yellowstone National Park fishing opens the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.”