Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report for the Week of 6.12.17
By angelamontana

Posted: June 15, 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, “   The Pikemasters tournament  was  this  past weekend.  We had two days of 35 mph wind.  There were 39 teams. The winning team had 89 pounds.

The wind made it  a tough bite.  There were some nice   walleye   caught this week as well.  One was 28 ¼ inches.  It was caught  with a  crank.  Some people   were using   a worm others were using a leech. Go deep, like 35 feet.  They are starting to bite.  Fishermen are also finding    smallmouth bass on the rocky points using kits jigs.   “

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 huge storm last night but the week has definitely had  some bad weather.  The crappie fishing has been good.  The walleye fishing I have been told is okay.  They are   just starting to come in.  They are moving.  The water is high and it is over the spillway.     The cleaning station has been busy. When it is cloudy the fish seem to be   moving down closer to the Marina. The   water is over the spillway now.  “


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

Wade explains,” Fishing has been excellent. On Friday I went out fishing, there were four of us. We all got our limits of walleye.  We also got  some  crappie.  They s are doing really well.  They seem to be at 5 to 20 feet depths. Many small ones we did not keep.   People are catching crappie.  The crappie   have been at 15 to 25 feet.  People are using blade runners with a crawler or leech.  One fellow complained  that he had not caught anything and he said you always give a positive report.  I told him that I say what is working, how people are getting the fish.  I did tell him that shore fishermen, of which he was one were not doing well.  They are doing better from a boat.  They are not coming close to shore.  You can catch some bass from shore using rapella or spinner bait.”

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.”


Clint Thomas- Hell Creek Marina 1-406- 557-2345  Marina Matheson-Park  personnel

Clint  tells us,   “ Fishing  has been slow.  The wind has been  bad many  days.  They have  caught walleye and pike.  The walleye are at depths of 15 to 20 feet depths.   They have been at 15 to 20 feet depths.  In the morning early people are catching   fish on jigs.  In the late day after 11 pm into the evening  bottom bouncers and cranks seem to work better.  The  northern  pike fishing has been  good.  They are   finding them at 10 to 15  feet  of  water near shore.  Bass are turning up.   Walleye are   being found towards Bone Trail..”   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 weather has been phenomenal.  It has been really  hot .  Early in the week the walleye fishing was good.  It slowed down with the heat. They are finding them at the mouth of Bear Creek to Hakesbee.  The lake trout bite has  been really good.  The  lake trout seem to be going deeper.  They are  at a depth of 40 to 80 feet. Spoons are working.  Lindy rigs are being used.  At night bottom bouncers with a spin glow or what some call a smilely blade are working.

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.

“In checking fishermen I  would say fishing has been status quo during the day.  They are catching walleye from shore.  They are jigging using glow bait.  The wind has made it rough to fish at times.  They are catching quite a few of rainbow trout  and  some browns.  They can go out for 2 to 3 hours and catch trout, “  Mark  says .


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Ken says, ”The fishing in general seems to be good.  I just watched some one catch a nice size fish.  I could not tell what kind it was but he lost it as he was bringing it in. I suspect they are catching by the number of people out there.  I saw some catching perch.  The water is plum full and clear.  There are a fair number of trout in there to catch .  “


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

I was told it has been  a quiet this week because of weather and wind.  Catching was  very little among those  who were out on the water.  The water is still up.  There is absolutely no beach right now.

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 a few people have caught fish but they are only a few here and there. I talked to someone who went to Deadmans they got there and it was just too windy to get on the water.  The fishing seems to be sporadic.  It is hit and miss they say.”


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

“It was windy for fishing this week.  People were fishing from shore.   They have said Bair was fair fishing,  At Martinsdale they have had okay results.  “  Judy says.


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie   says, “Spring Creek is high and off color.

On the Missouri River the cfs is 1400 to 1500.  People are catching   cats mostly using  crawlers.

At the western part of  Crooked Creek   fishing is better.  Northern pike fishing is outstanding.  Use a jig and a night crawler.

Achley has been great fishing.  It is very full.  It is getting better.

The local ponds are picking up as well. Fishing is  improving. “


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

Craig   said, “ A few people have caught pike off the bank.   Fishing   has been good from a boat. Lots of crappie , small mouth bass and some small  walleye were being caught.  A few walleye were caught in the 25 to 27 inch size.  The water is pretty stained.  Right now it is raining.  The wind is stirring up the color.  It is blowing  at 30 mph.   They are using bottom bouncers with worms and leeches.  Cranks people say are not working.  Off shore they are using smelt and cut bait.. ”


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

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


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“   Fishing has been  good except when the storms hit.  Most walleye have been the 16 to 18 inch size.  Surprisingly lots of big ones.  I would say the best I have seen in 10 yeas right now.  Trout fishing is its usual good.  Perch fishing has been decent.  We did have one day where the wind was listed at 84.3 gusts The water is steadily coning up.  The  fishermen  have been going toward pond 1 and 2 for walleye,   “  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.  It is halfway between the  landing and the highway.  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 fishing good.  It has been steady.  They are catching walleye, northern pike, small mouth with a bottom bouncers and worm harness’.    At  Forchette the fishing has been  slow.  There has been quite a bit   of wind.  They are catching crappie.  That seems to be the most common species.  The fish are just there.“

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan ,Jayce

Mat Cowen    says ,” Cooney is doing well.  Lots of walleye being caught.     Leeches seem to be really working.

.On Tongue they are catching quite a few bass I have heard.   Try a blackie jigging.

The rivers are way too high.  It is too dangerous to fish.

At Martinsdale people have caught some nice trout.  Spoons seem to be working well.

The big horn has been fishing well.  It has been good but high.  ”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ I just got 15 thousand worms in.  So I am ready for  fishermen.

I hear on Fort Peck at the Dry Arm  the walleye have moved out to above Rock Creek.

The rivers are real high and muddy rivers. Not really fishable in places.

I heard  the fishing at Canyon Ferry has been off and on.  I hear it will be at full pool by the weekend.

I hear at Holter  the fishing is good.  They are getting perch with  some  walleye caught as well.”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977

Chris  says,   “  The   Stillwater and Yellowstone  are not safe to fish.  They are both blown out. The water is down just a little. Sadly we lost a fisherman at Rock Creek the other day so please be careful and realize how high water is dangerous.  The water is just too fast.   I am saying it is so high I would stay away  “

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.  Fishing is good.  The river is up.  There is a PMD and caddis hatch right now.  So dry fly fishing is good.    Use sow bugs up by the dam by Holter.  The water is clear below  the Deerborn River.  It is pretty good with nice size fish being caught  ”


Steven Caldwell   guide,

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

Dry fly fishing   has been good,  Try a big Amex or your favorite scud pattern nymphing  trailed by a sow bug or a green machine,  try  a worm every now and again.

With dries try a. 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

Leah  says,   Fishing is good.    The water  is   11,000   cfs  and we  have been told it will continue to go down by the Corp. (I received a report doing this report that the cfs   will go down to 1050 at 4 pm today.)    Water temperature 60 degrees.   You definitely have to stay alert.   For nymphing try sow bug, pheasant tails size 18, red worms, gray Rays, in gray and tan and azebra.   Dries are not working.  Many fishermen   are heading to the Lake where the cicada and beetles are out so use streamers.  If it is cloudy try the dirty hippies.  Just remember   for nymphs to use a lot of weight.  Come in and we will help you.  It is more thatn you expect weight wise.  There is some moss I would call it a greenie color.

Call the shop to learn about   renting boats out.  Call us   we can  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,”   Not only did we have wind, we had snow and freezing rain. Thankfully I wasn’t on the water for that.

So the Madison out the side of the park is fishing good with nymphs when the water is dirty. Caddis and Blue winged olives have hatched on cloudy afternoons. With the cooler weather, look for the water clear over the weekend.


Yellowstone National Park

Alice explains, “Fishing in Yellowstone National Park is concentrated in the western part of the park on the Madison, Gibbon and Firehole rivers. They are coming down in flows and the  early season insects  are hatching. The Firehole is seeing two species of caddis hatching most mornings and oddly enough, pale morning duns have been hatching in the afternoons. The Gibbon also has caddis hatching most mornings. The Madison has seen caddis and pmds almost every day and sporadic salmon flies in the upper part of the river.

Carry bear spray!”

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