Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 5.22.17
By angelamontana

Posted: May 24, 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 by Carol Henckel)

Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560

Bill   reports, “  Fishing is picking  up.  It was spotty during the week.  Saturday fishing was good.   The guys were pitching  cranks  close in the bay.  The water temperature was 60 degrees.  The walleye are starting to bite but it is a hard catch.  The walleye   they did find were at 15 to 25 feet depths.  A few they have found   even deeper depending on the day.  Some guys are using   minnows and cranks and others are using a bobber and a worm.  Fishermen are catching   smallmouth bass and doing well.  The trout are being found at depths of 30 to 35 feet depths.

We are open 7 to 9 during the week and 7 to 11 on the weekend. We do have cabins for rent.  Services   are available .”


Tongue River Reservoir /Spencer

“ The electrical hookups are now working.  The cleaning station is open now.  A busy weekend on the water with boats. .  More  crappies are being caught.  The bite on Saturday was good. Other days  the fishing was  up and down with the  muddy water in place.  The   water is over the spillway now.  “


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

Wade says,” People are catching fish.    The water is at full  capacity pool but it seems to have leveled out.  Walleye fishing   has been hit or miss.  The walleye are at 10 to 15 feet.  They are taking live bait or plastics.  I have been selling a lot of leeches which they seem to be tipping their line with them.   The south is  more muddy . With that,  guys are finding a darker jig  is working because of the muddy water in places.  Don’t forget the new invasive species stamp you have to pick up to go along with your already purchased fishing license.  I have them here. “   My hours for May are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pmFriday and Saturday the hours will be 8 to 8 pm in May.  Sunday will be 8 to 5 pm.  I   have minnows, leaches and crawlers.  You can even pre-order them.   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  personnel

Staff   says,   “  Fishing has been  pretty good this week. The  northern pike fishing has been  good finding them at 10 to 15 feet  of  water. Using mostly a minnow with a jig..   Walleye are   being found at  Timber Creek .  Only a few being caught at Snow Creek.  The water level is going up.  Clint tells me they say it is supposed to still go up another 3 feet.  ”   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,   “There were not many days when you could get out on the water this week as the wind was really blowing.  So we only saw a few fishermen.  Sunday was a good fishing day and they were catching some nice walleye with a spinner and a minnow.  They are saying  some wind again this week like Thursday and Friday.  If you could get out there you could get walleye.    The lake trout had definitely  picked up fishing wise.  The  lake trout are  at a depth of 10 to 40 feet. . The wind has been the big issue.

We have a full line of bait, crawlers and minnows.    Our hours are now 7am to 7pm Sunday and Monday to ThursdayFriday and Saturday we are open 7 am to 7 pm.   ”


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

“The water level   is   at full pool.   The docks are in.  They are catching quite a few of trout right now amd a few brownies.  The  walleyes caught  I saw were in the 2 to 3 ½ pound range.    They are   fishing close to shore.  People  are using leeches, worms and power bait.  They are jigging .

  You    need  a new decal validation  for your boat  now.  We have found people are bringing  boats to the water that they are trying out because they might buy the boat.   That boat must have a new decal and it is the owners responsibility to put it on before the boat can be on the water or transferred  in ownership.  It is green with a 20 on it   and is good  to 2020. There is no cost for it.   You can get one at the Elmo office or go on line to get one, Just a reminder, we are still finding parents who are forgetting all children 12 and under must be in a life jacket or floating device   all the time  on the water.  “   Mark said  .


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Staff says, “ guys are out fishing if they could get past the wind..    People   are catching  some nice   bass.  Around 1 to 1 ½ pounders.  Rainbows  are  being caught.  Elmo is  at full pool.  “


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Tony   says,  “  Fishing was slow this week.  There were just  few  bites.  They shut down the flow so there is not as much water. I think that will help start the fishing to get better.

The   fees at  Deadmans   have gone up.  Campers  with a fishing license will find the fee will be $12./ with no fishing license $18./ senior Citizens and Disabled with a fishing license will be $6. And without a license it is $12.  It should start any day now when the envelopes arrive. ”


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

Terry says, “I have heard that fishing is better from shore at Martinsdale.  There was a lot of wind off and on.    The ponds are full.  The guys are saying they are catching some nice trout and browns.  The fish seem to be coming closer to shore.  Guys seem to think fishing has been getting better. ”


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

“With lots of wind   people had trouble  getting  out.  The   fishing was only fair this week at Bair.  We did not hear of much success “, Judy says.


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie   says, “Spring Creek is off color.  About all that is working is nymphing.  Do it early and  slow.

Achley is producing from shore and boat.  It is getting better.  It really is in good shape. Fishing is okay it just needs to warm up.

On the Missouri River people are starting to catch   catfish .  Guys are using cutbait and crawlers.  Of course  the water is high but they are catching some good cat.   The paddlefish are being caught  on Rock Creek to Fred Roberson’s bridge.

The western part of  Crooked Creek is  still steady  fishing,   Wind has been a factor.  They are saying we will have 50 to 90 mph winds on Wednesday.  Mostly they are using a  a jig at 20 to 30 feet  and a big gulp minnow in almost any color.  “


Crooked Creek  Welcome Crooked Creek Marina  Craig and Abby James 406-429-2999

The Marina’s hours are Monday to Thursday 7 am to 7pm and Friday to Sunday 6am to 9pm

They is  full service at the Marina with non ethonal fuel, bait, minnows, worms, leaches and fishing lures.  We  also have some rods and reels.  There  are cabins to rent.  The docks are in.  They hope to be open year round for ice fishing and hunting season.

Abby  said, “ Fishing has been steady. It has bee pretty good.   We have had wind one day. Guys are catching   pike from a boat and from shore at 10 to 20 feet. They seem to be liking worms. That fishing has been good. The crappie are moving in. Crappies seem to be good using a green  spinners.  Walleye   are at 20 to 29 feet right now.  They are staying close to shore.  The crappie are starting and are  close to shore. ”


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“ There  has been some  wind  this week.  Fishing was good.  They were catching  walleye , perch and trout.  The water is steadily coning up.  The walleye that have been caught were 3 to 8 pounds. They have been going toward pond 1 and 2.  The flamingo will be opening on Wednesday,   “  Jodie  tells us.

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


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

Jim says,” . Nelson  is really  good fishing.  They are catching   walleye, northern pike, and  small mouth bass.  Use  a worm harness’   with  a jig.  The bass   fishing is good.   Really they are biting on almost anything.

At  Forchette the fishing  can be  harder because of lots of wind.

At Crooked Creek  guys are catching some nice fish.

At Nelson the pike and small mouth bass are shallow at shore in the weed beds.  They are catching them there.   “

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce

Jayce    says ,”Cooney is doing well,  guys have said.   Some nice  walleye are  being caught.  Fish  in the evening using cranks .The water temperature is up.   Use a jerk bait.

The Yellowstone is muddy.  The  catfish fishing is starting by Hysham.  Someone caught a 12 pounder from shore with a tube jig.

At Fort  Peck  Hell Creek people say cranks are working well.  They are catching.  Forchette is still doing well. At the Dry Arm they are doing well catching pike.

On Tongue they have had some better days fishing.  Some have limited out on crappies. Small mouths have done well.

On the Big Horn you can catch trout with a minnow and imitation white minnow   .”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ I heard  there was  great fishing from the bank for walleye.  One guy caught 7 from the bank so they are going shallow. .

The rivers went down.  The Madison is fairly clear.  The Gallatin  when I looked at it I noticed you could see the bottom so it is clear.  The Jefferson is up and is real muddy.  All those things could change with the warm weather and melting. ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Bill  says,   “  The upper  Stillwater up at  Nye for the moment is fishable .  It is clear .  It is not real high. On the lower Stillwater it  is  getting muddie and not fishable.

The  Yellowstone is  high and real muddy.  It is blown out not fishable.  Not somewhere to  fish.  “

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, ” I am now  fishing  on the  Missouri.    The cfs is 1300.  It has risen once since I started.  Use spw bugs, gray Ray ‘s in natural, San Juan worms  during the day  Use a pheasant tail in th evnings.  It is real highso that makes it all boat fishing.  There is not anywhere to wade  ”


Steven Caldwell   guide,

Fishing has been better  in general since flows  have gone up .

Nymphing   has been good to great,  Try a big Amex or your favorite scud pattern trailed by a sow bug or a green machine, Ttry a worm every now and again.

With dries  if you look hard. Look for cloudy days. . Midge clusters or Adams when presented will catch something.

For streamers – throw till your arm far  and have fun.”


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Stephanie   says,   Fishing is okay.    The water  is   14,000   cfs .  Water temperature 61 degrees.  It is a fast float.   You definitely have to stay alert.   Use streamers like  dirty hippies and thin mints.  White streamers are working.   Not much dry fly fishing. at this point   call the shop to learn about   renting boats out.  Call us   we will give you current daily information which is important for safety.    ”

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,”  Flows have been seasonally appropriate and VERY high and off color as that little bit of warm weather turned on runoff. Snow in the forecast for this week so that will slow the high and dirty water. Watersheds are still over 100% so this will be the protocol for close to a month…

Blue winged olives hatched later this afternoon but all our fish were caught on nymphs.

Large stonefly nymphs, beadhead Copper John nymphs and San Juan worms are the most effective on the Madison  right now, if the blue winged olives are hatching fish will eat the nymphs when they can see them!”

Yellowstone National Park

Alice explains, “Fishing in the park opens   for the season on Memorial Day weekend.”

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