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 were full and had a busy weekend. Some guys did good fishing. No one is talking about what they are doing because of the Rock Creek tournament next weekend. As of today we had 94 teams. If you are interested call Steve Harada or check the Walleyes Unlimited site. We did have wind pretty much everyday this week. Actually for the last 10 days. In the past weeks the guys were pitching cranks close in the bay. The walleye were at 15 to 25 feet depths, Fishermen are catching smallmouth bass and doing well. Some guys are casting with a spoon and a worm or a minnow
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
“ We had a good week this past week. The weekend was busy the crappie seem to be going in and out according to the weather that day. We did not see the spawn this weekend but I think maybe by the weekend. It seems to be close. People are saying that worms are doing well. I used my usual mister twister jigging and caught a walleye. We were almost full . There were lots of people here. The cleaning station is open . The water is over the spillway now. “
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie /Warden Jordan Staley
Greg says,” Fishing has been exceptional this past weekend . Nothing is spawning yet. The water is at full pool but it seems to have leveled out. Walleye fishing was unreal . Crappie fishing is good. Guys are catching bass on cranks. Fish seems to be at 10 to 30 feet. The walleye seem to be suspended off the bottom. There is also some good shore fishing as well. The walleye are at 10 to 15 feet. They are taking live bait or plastics. “
Don’t forget the new invasive species stamp you have to pick up to go along with your already purchased fishing license. We have them here. My hours for May are Monday through Thursday 8 to 6 pm. Friday 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
Tyler says, “ Fishing is starting to pick up this week. They are catching walleye, northern pike and a few bass. The northern pike fishing has been in the bushes . Using mostly a minnow with a jig. Walleye are at 10 to 20 feet depths. They seem to b liking purple and silver. Walleye are being found at Timber Creek and at LJ marker . The water level is going up. ”
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, “It was an awesome week. We were really busy. We had 5 days of wind. Lots of people tried catching fish at the base of the dam . They were catching some nice walleye with a spoons and a minnow. There have been some nice pike caught towards the Shaft house.
People are also fishing under the bridge from shore at Park Grove. The walleye fishing has picked up. Try jigging with a minnow.”
We have a full line of bait, crawlers and minnows. Our hours are now 7am to 7pm Sunday and Monday to Thursday. Friday
and Saturday we are open 7 am to 7 pm. ”
Cooney Reservoir -Glennis, Mark is the game warden at Cooney.
“Fishing was status quo. I talked to two guys who got their limit on rainbow trout. I have been seeing people definitely catching walleye , not their limit, usually 2 or 3. Usually they were worms or leeches. I would say about every fourth fisherman had caught their limit. The water level is almost full pool. What that means is you have to have a lot of patience. Those with the most patience catch the most fish. The docks are in. We have had to move the docks on a daily basis. The pool is filling up fast. People were swimming but I was surprised as the water is really cold. At Cottonwood there are a few sites that are closed because of flooding. At this point that is the only place.
If you already bought your fishing license you need to return to purchase the invasive species stamp before you fish. You also 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.
Another 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
Bob says, “ people are out there fishing every day, sometimes lining the shore. I have not seen them catching but they must be catching some as they are not leaving. I know they did some stocking so there are fish to catch. Elmo is at full pool. “
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Pat says, “ We saw a lot of one day fishermen who returned a day or two later. So not ass many stayed and camped. People seemed to be catching salmon in the early evening. The water is coming up. We keep having to move the dock. There is not much beach about 2 feet. So shore fishing is happening but I don’t know for how long”
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, “The lakes are full. What I am hearing is that it is fishing better fom shore they say.
I have heard that fishing is better from shore at Martinsdale. No one I talked caught in a boat. They are catching but say it is fair catching. 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
“ People who fished went to Bair . They said that fishing was good from shore or boat. The fish wer biting on red garlic marshmallows and worms. They were catching rainbows.
Some said Martinsdale was too windy to use a boat to fish “, Judy says.
Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194
Charlie says, “Spring Creek is still off color. We are thinking that it may be clear by the weekend.
Achley is producing.. It really is in good shape. Fishing doing pretty well. People are looking for muskeyes.
On the Missouri River people are starting to catch catfish from the PN down. . Guys are using cutbait and crawlers. They are catching some good cats.
The western part of Crooked Creek is good fishing, They are catching northerns and walleye The walleye seem to be suspended along the mudline .
I had a friend who was on Nelson. The wind came up and filled thee boat. It happened so fast they barely got to shore. Really sstay aware. Those winds can be deadly.“
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 pretty good. The wind blew some days at different times but guys were still able to get on the water at other times. Guys are catching pike from a boat and from shore at 10 to 20 feet. Worms are working well. . That fishing has been good they are catching crappies, bass, walleyes and bass. I think they are catching more walleyes. Worms are working well. Bottom bouncers and smiley faces with things in bright colors are working. Two kids 10 and 11 caught a 31 ½ inch and a 32 inch walleye yesterday. ”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
“ Fishing was slow to start but it picked up and is good. They were catching walleye , perch and trout. The walleye are every size from 15 to 20 inches mostly. A few perch are being caught and the rainbow fishing is good. The water is steadily coning up. The walleye are toward pond 1 and 2. Check out the Townsend Canyon Ferry Lake KOA site to see the 34 pound northern pike someone caught. That is just shy of the record. The flamingo Grill is open, “ 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,” . Nelson’s bite is good . They are catching walleye, northern pike, and small mouth bass. Try a worm harness’ with a jig or leech. They are pretty much biting on almost anything.
At Forchette the fishing is slow. The wind has been a factor. Fishing can change from day to day. One of my employees did really well in a spot catching lots of fish and I went the next day to the same spot and only got one smallmouth and 3 walleyes. You just never know. “
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce
Jayce says ,”At Cooney they are catching walleye from shore and doing well, I am hearing. Only a few northern pike were caught. They are doing well with leeches on the bottom.
The Yellowstone at Huntley is still high. It looked like it was down a little. Of course it is still muddy.
At Fort Peck Forchette the walleye is still doing wel.
On Tongue they say the bass are biting. Only a few northern pike being caught for people we talked to. The crappie fishing has been better
On the Big Horn you can catch trout with a minnow and imitation white minnow .
The Stillwater has been rough fishing because of the mud.
At Yellowtail some people did okay for bass. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “ Canyon Ferry fishing I hear was good this week. One fisherman said the walleye were pretty good. He caught a 13, 15 and a 14 incher. He said they were nice and fat. .Several other guys caught a 10, 17 and 21 incher.
People are saying Holter has been pretty good. fishing at night.
The rivers went down. The Madison is a little better color wise. The Gallatin when I looked at it looked pretty clear. The Jefferson is high and is real muddy. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977
Bill says, “ Chris just called and said the Stillwater is way high today. It went up a lot just over night . It is not fishable. If you could find a tributary, which is unlikely, try a March brown or yellow Sally. Rock Creek is also high.
The Yellowstone is high and real muddy. It is blown out not fishable. “
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 8,000 something. Use sow bugs, gray Ray ‘s in natural, San Juan worms during the day Use a pheasant tail in the evenings. It is high so that is all boat fishing. ”
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, Try 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 still at 14,000 cfs . Water temperature 51 degrees. You definitely have to stay alert. You end up using the same things. Use streamers like dirty hippies and thin mints. White streamers are not working as consistently. Use them more on cloudy days. Worms are working. Use a lot of lead and go deep.
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 reasons. ”
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 below Quake Lake has been fishing well mostly with nymphs, stoneflys and small mayflies, bwos. There has been a few caddis coming off in the evenings with fish rising to them in the slower water. As the weather continues to warm up more snowmelt will bring the water up and off-color in the Upper Madison.
Yellowstone national park
Alice explains, “Yellowstone National Park opened for fishing this past weekend. The Firehole is still a bit high and cold although Pale Morning Duns (mayflies) and Caddis are hatching and in the slowest water fish rise to them. As the water comes down on the Gibbon, Madison and Firehole expect to see better dry fly fishing with caddis, especially in the evenings.
Carry your bear spray!!!. ”