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, “ We are now open. Our hours are 7 to 9 during the week and 7 to 11 on the weekend. The docks are in. There has been a good walleye bite this week. They are using jigs at 15 to 20 feet. The jig colors that have worked have been white, pink, blue, orange and chartreuse of jigs. Right now pretty much any color I working. For lake trout people are going north and at depths of 20 to 30 feet. We did not have any ain this week
The docks are in . The water is 4 ½ feet above pool right now. We do have cabins for rent. Services are available .”
Tongue River Reservoir /Spencer
“Not much fishing going on this week. The weather in the last few days brought some snow. The water has been murky some days.. The power is on in all the campsites. We have most docks. I have seen some people fishing and heard some have caught crappies.The fish cleaning station is closed until the winter weather is done. The camp sites are still first come first serve. “
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Wade says,” We had horrible weather this week. The water is high. Water temperature is 52 degrees going north. The temperature going South is 48 degrees. People were still catching crappies. They were finding them in 10 to 30 foot of water using Lindy rigs. Some are using worms jigging. The fish are not at the shoreline yet. You can find northern pike off the bank in fact someone caught a 12 pounder with a minnow . They are also catching small and large mouth bass. The Marina is open. My hours for April are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pm. Friday and Saturday the hours will be 8 to 8 pm in April. Sunday will be 8 to 5 pm. I have minnows, leaches and crawlers. You can even pre-order. 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 explains, “ This past week fishing has not been too bad. Northern pike fishing has been real good. The lake trout are turning off. The fishermen ae catchng walleye toward Forchette. All the small docks are in. The large one needs some work before it goes in. The water level is over maintain pool right now.“ 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
Carrie says, “ The lake trout have moved deeper at 15 to 40 feet deep. There are more toward Bear Ceek going up the dry am. Boat fishing is normal right now. They are catching some walleye. Guys are finding northerns along the shore line using smelt. . Guys are going to Duck Creek . They are jigging with minnows for walleyes. Lake trout are at 20 to 40 feet . The Marina Courtesy dock is in and also the Duck Creek boat ramp. Our hours are now 7am to 7pm Sunday and Monday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday we are open 7 am to 7 pm. We have all the bait and tackle here you will need right now. ”
Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark is the new game warden at Cooney.
“ We have seen only a few people fishing. Weather has been poor all week. Fishing seems to be status quo. The docks are going in today (Tuesday) . The water level is almost full pool. It is not going over the spillway.
Just a reminder to be on the water you need a new decal validation for your boat now. It is green with a 20 on it and is good until 2020. There is no cost for it. You can get one at the Elmo office or go on line to get one, “ said Glennis .
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Ken Frazer says, “ Lots of fishermen out there this week. Some people are catching some nice size small mouth bass. Around 1 to 1 ½ pounders. Rainbow trout are also being caught. We are at around full pool. “
Winter Fish Kills noted:
Ken explains ,” staff has discovered fish kills at Lake Josephine, Broadwater Pond, Arapoish Pond. We also found a fish kill at Laurel Pond. We have stocked Broadwater and Laurel pond partially. The other ponds have bass and will be stocked later. It is too early to do that now,” Ken Frazer did say.
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Tony says, “ People are mostly catching salmon. They are catching some rainbow trout. Mostly from boats. We did put the dock in temporarily. It is not in completely. We decided to do that because we are seeing the water starting to fill up so we are doing this in preparation for that. We have had a fair number of boats. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says, “ I heard from some guys that they headed to Deadmans and fished off shore. I have heard that it is starting to fill up. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
“This week was pretty slow for fishing. No one has gone out because weather has been wet and snowy. They were catching trout. Weather really made fishing not a good idea, “ Rick says.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Staff says, “The Crooked Creek walleye tournament is this weekend .
Spring Creek is muddy so not much fishing.
At Achley try using small spinners with a slip knot and a night crawler. They are catching rainbow trout at Achley.
On the Missouri the water is muddy. Catfish fishing is just starting . “
We would like to welcome Crooked Creek Marina to our fishing report. The new owners who purchased the Marina in April are 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 will be a full service Marina with non ethonal fuel, bait, minnows, worms, leaches and fishing lures. They also have some rods and reels. They do have cabins to rent. The docks are in. They hope to be open year round for ice fishing and hunting season.
According to Craig, “fishing has been good, it has been a good bite. This weekend is the Crooked Creek walleye fishing tournament. If you would like information call 406-429-2999and ask for Kenny Nagel.
The northern pike have been biting off the bank. They are using minnows and smelt on them. The walleye bite is picking up. The bite seems to be coming on. Try using a jig and a minnow. White jigs seem to have some success. Worms are just starting to work. Abby will be at the marina during the week and I ( Craig) will work the weekends. “
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“ Fishing has been pretty good if you can get out east the walleye have been shallow. Try using bottom bouncers and cranks. . You can catch some trout going toward the west. I heard of one nice northern pike being caught. I do still have leeches, “ Sharon 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,” I headed to Nelson this week . Nelson Lake is almost full. You can use the ramp. Fishing was slow for many. They are catching some walleye, northern pike, and bass. Fishermen are jigging with minnows. Really guy are pretty much using anything. At Forchette guys say they are catching some small walleye 10 or 11 of them on the points. They are also catching some big northern pik with cranks. “
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce
Tanner says ,” There were not a lot of people talking about fishing success this week.
On the Tongue I hear fishing is picking up because the water temperature is up. I hear they are catching bass and pike.
On Fort Peck people say fishing has picked up.”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ This week has been rainy, cold, snowing and sleeting this week. Canyon Ferry is fishing good. they are catching walleyes and trout. Someone I talked to me about catching 5 walleye. Nothing big enough to keep.
On other waters I have not heard much on fishing . They are up a little. Really right now they are about average at this time of year. On Crooked Creek I heard from one person who wa catching northern pike and someone caught a nice 14 pound walleye. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Bill says, “ We have had some windy weather this week . Fishing on the Stillwater this week has been good. People ae nymphing on the stillwatr. We are seeing a caddis hatch and some March browns. The flow is up to 550. The Yellowstone River is muddy. We are seeing an afternoon hatch. Try a caddis fly type. Boat fishing was good and steady on Friday and Saturday. You can wade at this time. Guys are catching using the Grinch and black wooly buggers with a bead head.“
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 has been good on the Big Horn. The water is diverting emerald shiners , bit fish into the afterbay this week. They are coming in the river. Try nymphing. You can still catch fish using sow bugs. Try a streamer or an emerald shiner pattern. It does change from day to day. Streamers are definitely harder to do fishing. The water is off color. The flow is up again. Try the San Juan worms. The water temp is definitely warmer than normal. Due to the high water it means there is not much wadding. Access getting on and off is tricky so really pay attention. Make sure you check for conditions as they could change pretty quickly.”
Steven Caldwell guide, “ Fishing has been spotty in general since they have been raising the flows over the past few days.
I would say nymphing has been good to great, It is the same affair as last week. Try a big Amex or your favorite scud pattern trailed by a sow bug or a green machine, I would even try a worm every now and again.
With dries I can say they are there if you look hard. Look for cloudy days. I’m not saying there are pods but they are there if you look hard. Midge clusters or Adams wel l presented will make it happen.
For streamers – throw till your arm falls off and have fun.”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Steephanie says, “It is raining in sheets right this minute (Tuesday). Just what we need , more water! Fishing is still doing well. The only thing I know is when you put it in the water you better put the first time. The water is 13,000 cfs . It is up again. We are seeing a caddis hatch starting. It is definitely a fast float. You definitely have to stay alert. For streamers try dirty hippies and thin mints. Otherwise try zebra midges and tongue teasers. You can try students size 22 and TS baetes as well . Use caution wading. Emerald shiners are coming through. At this point call the shop to learn about renting boats out. Call us we will give you current daily information which is important. ”
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,” The Madison is not showing signs of runoff as it has been snowing up high, not raining. You can still fish with midges. When the sun warms the air and water a little then there are blue winged olives hatching and the fish will rise to eat them. Take the bugs to them iIf there are no surface bugs to interest the fish . You can use your tried and true nymphs, they will work no matter the water color.
Watch for spawning fish and leave them alone! ”
Yellowstone National Park
Alice explains, “Fishing in the park is still closed for the season until Memorial Day weekend.”