Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 5.16.16
By angelamontana

Posted: May 19, 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

“Things have been busy this week. Fishing has been good. We have seen walleye, pike, bass and trout caught.  Minnows are working for walleyes.  Cranks are working for bass.  Monty LaFexier from Boulder caught a 43.5 inch, 21.3 pound northern pike and a 18 ½ bass on a crank.  He caught the pike from the dock. Chartreuse seems to be a good color right now. Austyn Mindt from Sydney caught a 30 inch walleye the other day.Fish are beng caught.  They are finding the bass going North towards Sandorroyo Bay. The water temperature is about 54 degrees they tell me.   I also heard they are catching at Nelson.  Smallmouth are heading to the points and are at depths of 8 to 15 feet,“ Linda said.  The marina, cabins and campground are open.


Tongue River Reservoir /Bob

Staff says,” the crappie bite is doing well. Only a few walleye were caught that we saw, they seem to be hit and miss. We only saw a couple smallmouth caught. The weather was good this week.”


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

“I have seen fishermen bring in their limit on crappies.  The crappies have been at 17 to 22 feet but they are not to the shore line yet.  They are catching them with worm Harness’. A few are vertical jigging with a minnow and worm.  The water temperature was 62 earlier in the week and now is down to 52 degrees. They are finding the poke at 17 to 22 feet. The water is close to full capacity and is try using a bottom bouncer and a jig.  Colors that seem to work are pink, red and chartreuse. over the spillway.  People who are targeting walleye are catching a few.   We are open 7 days a week.  My hours will be Sunday to Thursday 8 am to 6 pm and Fridayand 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

Cody says,” fishing has not been too bad. It is starting to pick up.    The northern pike are being caught shallow in Hell Creek Bay at 6 to 20 feet.  We have only seen a few smallmouth.  Walleye are being caught west of Timber Creek. Some other fishermen are finding walleye at Sutherland as well. They are using white or chartreuse colors and are jigging with a minnow.  Water temperatures have been 50 to 52 degrees. The road in is good with just a little washburn. We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now.”

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


Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 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,” Fishing has been good.  We have seen more and more walleyes this week. Guys are heading to the Dry Arm and the Duck Creek going west. We are seeing people coming in with their limits.  One guy had a 30 inch walleye. Jigs and Lindy rigs with a plain hook are working as well as a bead jig with a worm or minnow. Lake trout and salmon are going good. The lake trout at Hacksbee they are deep diving and on the face of the dam they are shallow.  They are catching northern pike a lot off shore right now.  Early in the week worms were working and later after Wednesday   leaches were working.”


Lake Elmo Billings FWP-Bob Gibson

“Fishing has been good this week. Fishermen have been catching. Most people fishing are using lures or worms. The osprey have been fun to watch as they catch fish, “Bob said.


Cooney Reservoir  Glenis

They were catching some walleye this week.   The water has warmed up which has helped. The boats are catching now. Trout seem to be off shore.

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


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Staff says,” boat fishing has been slow. They were catching a few small trout. Rain had been spotty this week but we definitely had some wind so getting out on the water was not always easy. Not many boats here this week. Water level is up.” Campers remember it is now a pay site.


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

“I am hearing fishing is good at Martinsdale and Sutherland. Try using marshmallows with worms from shore. They are catching 2 to 3 pound trout.   Deadman’s doesn’t seem to be ready yet,” staff said.


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale says, “On the Missouri from the PN to the lake catfishing has started to pick up. Paddlefish fish are being caught at Slippery Ann and Too Calf. Spring Creek is off color right now. Nymphing is the best possibility.  The ponds and lakes are just starting to pick up. ”


Crooked Creek-Grant

Fishing  for pike has picked up Crooked Creek. Please Call for information on if it is open. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“Fishing has been good on the east side. Mostly going shallow. Try for perch at 40 feet depths. The water is going up about 6 inches a day.Bottom bouncers are doing well. Try a flicker shad with a crank. The rainbow fishing is good,” Sharon said.

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


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

Jim says, “Nelson has been good fishing. The walleye have been at 12 to 24 feet down. A few pike have been caught on cranks. The fishing should improve as the water warms up more.“

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


Billings-Scheels Dan , McCahen

Dan says,” At Cooney the walleye fishing is good.  Try going 15 to 25 feet with a jig in a chartreuse   color.

On the Yellowstone we are in the spring rise.  The bass and sauger have slowed.  The catfish are biting with live bait at Huntley to Pompeii.

Crappie fishing on the Tongue river was real good this week going 15 to 25 feet.

The Big Horn was flushing out this week.

At Cooney the walleye fishing is producing but it is not crazy. For walleye try power bait.

At Crooked Creek by Winnett you can get pike from shore.

Hell Creek bass have picked up.  Walleye also have jigging. Everything is picking up.

The paddlefish I hear has picked up at Glendive.

Hauser, Holter and Canyon Ferry walleye are just starting.

At Petrolia they are catching a few walleye.  They are saying nothing great.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ Canyon Ferry has been very good this week.   I have heard some nice walleye were caught on Saturday and Sunday. Flicker Shads have been working. The rivers are muddy. Few fish being caught.”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

“ The Yellowstone is dirty and high.  On the Stillwater the water is up. About all that can be fished right now might be the tributaries.  Try the river buggers and the San Juan worm.  In the weather systems that have gone through they have brought snow.  That snow will continue to put color in the water. So fishing is going to be a challenge as it usually is at this time each year.  We are going to have to wait to see what happens, “Chris says.


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

“The flows on the Big Horn have jumped again and I could tell they were going up this morning.  It was 4000 cfs. The mornings this week have now become awesome. Try sow bugs and gray rays as they were working.  There was 1 hour where it was slow and then the baetes kicked in.    It was a good hatch. It meant dry flies were working. For nymphing try pheasant tails and pink or gray sow bugs are working. It is still grassy but it is starting to clear some on the Big Horn.  Nexxt week I move to the Missouri for the spring, summer fishing,” Beau says.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

“The cfs is 4000 this morning (Monday) and this afternoon it will bump up to 4500. The water temperature is still warming.  The fishing was good. We were seeing a little midge action.  The higher water means it is clearing a bit more from moss below 3 mile.  Try baetes patterns.  Try the Gray Rays 16-18, pinkies and orange tackle, juju baetes 18, Smoke jumpers 20, zebra midges 18’s, red midges and San Juan worms. Try small baetes in size 20 to 22, students, CDC, smoke jumpers, Crippled Thor and parachute Adams. The grass seems to be improving with the higher water and water temperatures of 41 to 42 degrees,” Rick 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, “There are very few bugs around right now with weather changes. Only a few blue winged olive mayflies. The creek is starting to muddy. In the cloudy skies try BWO and March browns. It is mostly nymphing right now. Try nymphing early in the day and late evening. Hebegan flow has changed.    Yellowstone National Park fishing opens the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.”

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