Eastern Montana Fishing Report 5.3.17
By angelamontana

Posted: May 3, 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, “ 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 pmFriday 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 ThursdayFriday 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 . “


Crooked Creek

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.”

New Podcast!