Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 4.3.17
By angelamontana

Posted: April 5, 2017

Spring is   here and with it comes sudden changes in weather and  high  water.  Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention with   these changes.   Flooding can  happen   quickly so fishermen or women need to   keep in touch with the weather service.  Some water depths are at June levels already so everyone should stay alert.    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 including snow   can   come on in fierce strength very fast. 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

Bill reports, “It is official there is no ice.   We are working on getting the docks ready.  I have heard no word on any walleye spawns.  There have been no boats getting on the water.  No one has been up here   to fish.     The marina is closed.  We will   still have cabins for rent.  So some services will be available if one of us   is around.”


Tongue River Reservoir /Spencer

Spencer says, “ It has been cold and windy this week. We had snow last night and some this morning but it did not stick.   I talked to a couple of guys who did real well on walleye.  They are the always early   experienced   fishermen who show up right after the ice comes off . They headed towards    Peewee south and campers point.    The power is on in all the campsites. We have no docks in yet. The fish cleaning station is still closed. The camp sites are still first come first serve. “


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

Wade says,” Last Thursday and Friday we had some fishermen who went out had go luck catching walleye.  In fact all three fishermen got their limit.  They were using a fathead minnow with ½ ounce jig at 20 to 40 foot depths.  The week of fishing has had storms come in and out  so the fishing changed from day to day.  Saturday was a real nice day and there were quite a few fishermen out.  They were catching also from shore.  They were catching a few   with   rapalas .  The   Marina is ready and  open.  My hours for April are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pmFriday and Saturday the hours will be 8 to 8 pm in April.  Sunday will be 8 to 5 pm.  There are no docks in yet but boats are getting on.    I will   have minnows on  April 1st.       The marina is   set up to   do   SP passes.  Fishing licenses and OHV permits now.”


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

Clint   says, “The ice is off.  People are  bringing  their  boat up and are doing fairly  well on lake trout.  They are finding them at 14 to 20 feet depths going east.  Surprisingly guys are finding cranks are doing better to catch them.  We are starting to see a few northerns but definitely lakers.  The water temperature is 38 degrees. “     We are open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm now.  ­­­­­­­

The park manager for Hell Creek State Park is Marina Matheson.


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

Eddie says,   “guys arepicking up lake trout, walleyes and  northerns.  They are heading toward Duck Creek, Bear Creek and Hacksbee to catch them. They are finding them at 15 to 35 feet for all of the species.  The lake trout seem to be at 16 foot depths.  The Marina Courtesy dock is in and also the Duck Creek boat ramp.   Those are the only ones right now.  We have all the bait and tackle here you will need right now.  ”


Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark is the new   game warden at Cooney.

“ They are catching a few walleye from boats and the rainbows are definitely biting.  Someone caught a 3 ½ pounder from shore going shallow with a worm. The walleyes were keepers to eat not many big ones.   Cooney   has been busy, I counted  24 boat trailers on Sunday.  It is almost at full pool which I am being told that this is one of the earliest   time for that  . It does mean there is much less shore to fish from  , “ said Mark.


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Ken says, “The  water  is at full pool.  I see one  fishermen out at Elmo fishing off the pier right now.   I have seen that   they are catching trout.  I saw someone using worms and a spinner.  Someone caught  a 1 ½ pound small mouth bass.  Right now there is a nice ripple on the water from the wind. “


Winter Fish Kills noted:

Bob explains ,”  staff has discovered fish kills at Lake Josephine, Broadwateer Pond, Arapooish Pond.  Also a backwater  slough on the Yellowstone at Gritty Stone.  We also found a fish kill at Laurel Pond but have not evaluated the total number there yet.  We will be stocking where we can later.” Ken Frazzer did say. “ Big Timber was able to bring a few fish down and stock a little this week.  They will do more later  as was previously scheduled in preparation for possible winter kills. “


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Pat   says, “ Fishermen  were catching  fish from shore, all  salmon. Mostly small ones.   There are   boats on the water, many checking their boat out.    ”


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

Terry says, “No one has even come in and buy bit this week.  We did have wind this week.  Deadmans, Martinsdale and Bair I have been told are pretty low.  Drivng by the Musselshell it is running real low”.


*** We would like to welcome the Checkerboard Inn to the fishing report.  The owners   Rick and Judy Geordge will provide information on Bair Lake and Sutherland when they hear information.

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

On Bair Lake the  ice  is almost gone.  It should be totally gone in a couple of days.  Fishing is excellent.  They are catching rainbow trout from shore .  Worms, marshmallows and corn are working for bait.

“On Sutherland   there is still quite a bit of ice.  It is open around the edges, “Judy says.

“Shore fishing has been good.  They are catching some rainbows now from shore.  You can throw a rod out there 12 to 15 feet, “ Rick says.



Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie   says, “  We have 4 inches on the ground as of last night and this morning.  The waters around here are definitely muddy.

The ice is off the Missouri river.  You cannot launch at Kips landing yet.  You can launch at Judith landing, though.  “


Crooked Creek-Grant

Crooked Creek is  open  water someone reported.

Please Call for information. The number is 1-406-429-2999.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“Fishing has been pretty good this week with trout.  The water temperature some days have been warm.  Some walleye have been caught in the 14 to 16 inches.  They are also catching trout from shore as well. Guys are heading toward Pond 1 and 2.    They have set up an inspection station at the landing.  Every boat will be inspected   when they come out of the water.  The live well needs to be empty of water.  The plug needs to be removed   and the live well needs to be   wiped down.   We do have plenty of bait here. They are now setting up a water cleaning station up from the ramp.  “   Sharon   says.   The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.


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

Jim says, “Everything is open right now.  No one has told me they fished on Nelson  this week. There is no ice on the lake.    Remember that at Nelson they have started filling   so the lake is rising. It is going up 2 ½ feet a week. “

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce

Jayce    says ,”

On the Yellowstone going east   they are still catching cats.

On the Tongue I am hearing some walleye are being caught.

Guys are saying on the Yellowtail the bite is tough.  The water is real cold which is slowing things down.

On Fort Peck the lake trout are now being caught.  Boats are having n problems getting on.

At Yellowtail   guys are having success with  a jig and a minnow.

As far as Cooney   guys are catching trout.  They are biting.  Guys have been surprised to find bottom bouncers going shallow for walleye ”.


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “

At Canyon  Ferry  people are  now walleyes.  One group that came in caught 43 walleyes.  They were mostly 17 inches.  They did catch a 29 incher.  They caught  8 walleye between the size of 15 to 17 inches.  They had headed toward the ponds.  The rest of the fish were thrown back.

The Gallatin is up and muddy.  The Madison is not as muddy. The Jefferson is also muddy.  The Mssouri as of today was a little clearer.

I also heard that guys are catching a few salmon on Deadmans.  ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Bill says,   “On the Stillwater it is time to try midges and blue wing teals .   It is should be good  on  dries. A float is possible on the lower part.

Both the Yellowstone and Stillwater have opened up.   The Yellowstone still has some color.

Nymph fishing  has been  decent.  It still has to warm up  for the march browns now.“

You can book trips now for later, just call the shop.  We are now in Spring   hours. We are closed   Monday and open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 to 5pm   and  open 9 to 1 pm on Sunday.


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

Beau says, ” Fishing  was really  good when I fished it this week.  The flow is up 9000.   That means there is not much wadding. Try    the San Juan worms.   The fish are hungry and eating.  There are a lot of midges.  Not much action on the surface.  Make sure you check for conditions as they could change pretty quickly.”


Steven Caldwell   guide   * Unable to contact. No new report this week.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Rick   says,” Fishing is very good in fact I would say excellent.     The water has stayed  at  9,000   cfs .  The water temperature at the Afterbay   40 degrees.  It is  a fast boat float.  Use caution wading. Access is limited.     There is  midge action and a few baetes  .  Dry fly action comes about 11 to 3 pm. At this point  call the shop to learn about  renting boats out.  Call us  we will give you current daily information.    ”

Our normal hours are we are closed Sunday and Monday. We   are open   9 am to 2 pm now Tuesday to Saturday.


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


Alice says,” Really, most conditions are the   same as last week. Try nymphing with smaller nymphs like caddis and blue winged olives below a stonefly is the best option most days.  The right weather allows the mayflies and midges to hatch and fish are looking up to eat them. Stream action depends on the color of the water, which only changes below some of the smaller creeks after a warm, sunny day.

Rainbows are still spawning so stay off the redds!.. ”


Yellowstone National Park

Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is still closed for the season.”