Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 11.15.17
By angelamontana

Posted: November 16, 2017

Fall is  here  and with it comes sudden changes in weather and  changes in  water  conditions.  Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Storms  can   happen    quickly so fishermen or fisherwomen need to   keep in touch with the weather service.     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, fire 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.  

(Compiled by Carol Henckel)

Rock Creek Marina-Bill 1-406-485-2560

Linda   reports, “We have had no fishermen here we have water and I see no ice forming.  Actually  this week  there was only a little wind .  It  has been warming up.  The snow has melted.  The temperature the last couple of days was 52 and 50 degrees.”

We do have some clothing, oil and some tackle for sale  but bring your own bait if you are coming.  The docks   have been   pulled.  We will have some fuel if you can find someone to help you with it.  There will be people here when ice fishing starts.


Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond said,” We  had a few  fishermen in boats  this week.  The docks  are pulled.  There is some ice starting on the south end.  It is very thin.  We have had some 50 degree days but it is always below freezing overnight.  We just have to wait and see   what the weather does this next week. “

Some of the campgrounds have been shut down of  electricity.  Campers point north  has electricity.  That is the camp site closest to the marina.  The cleaning station is closed.  The water is turned off. There is no water at the  dump site and  in the campgrounds. The   boat inspection site  is closed.


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

Wade says,  ”The Marina is closed right now.  As soon as there is safe  ice we will be open  weekends but not yet. There is   no ice yet here. This year  there will be no vending machine for minnows.  When we do open we will sell them.  Then you can see our happy faces again.  If   you do come right now  bring your own worms as there will not be any here right now with the marina being closed.  There will be no fuel available. “


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

The water temperature is 42 degrees right now. Only a few northern pike caught.  It is pretty good for lakers.  We are pulling docks today.  I left the field dock in. ”

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 has warmed up nicely.  We have had  45 degree temperatures this week.  There are fishermen  catching  lake trout. The lake trout are staying shallow.  They are the smaller ones though.  It has been foggy some days but if you can go toward Duck Creek you might catch a few walleye.”

Our hours are  6am-8pm Monday through Saturday6 am to 7 pm on Sunday. ”


Cooney Reservoir – Mark is the   game warden at Cooney.

Aaron reports, “There is a skim of ice up to Fisherman’s Point. It does go down to the inlet side. It is less than an inch.  I did talk to a fisherman that caught a nice 4 pound trout but he fished a while for that. He said the bite is really slow. We have no snow right now.”


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports,”There is a skim of ice on Elmo.  The skim is firm enough it is holding some geese on it.  No one is   fishing right now. “


Deadmans  Tony Stefani

Pat says, “We only had one fisherman visitor this week.  No one has caught anything that we know of.  There is no ice and there is snow on the road that is melting making some mud. ”


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

Terry says,”No one has said they went fishing.  No one is even trying to go out fishing.  They are waiting for ice. ”


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

Judy says, “There is a skim of ice just starting on Bair. No one is fishing just checking on ice.  The guys are getting ready for ice fishing.”


Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Charlie said, “Everywhere around here has a skim of ice on it.  Not enough to fish on yet. Right now about the only place to fish is at Spring Creek.  It is nice and clear.  Try a red steel or different bead heads.  They are working.”


Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana   James  (Slim) and Abbie Craig  406-429-2999

James   says, “We have seen no fishermen this week.  The bay is half froze as far as you can see.  Right now it is pretty thin. I did pull the docks. The temperature today is 50 degrees.   I won’t have minnows here this winter.  We have seen a lot of hunters right now. “


The Marina’s hours are Monday to Sunday  7 am to 7pm

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. We hope to be open year round.


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

“Sharon says,” In the last week and a half we have had two boats out on the water.  They have caught miscellaneous trout. It has been warm and windy. No ice anywhere. We did pull the docks.  Right now we are between seasons. “

The   inspection station at the landing has closed.

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm. We still are making and selling sandwiches at the Marina.


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

Don says,” I hear on Nelson on the south end the ice is 3 to 4 inches.  You can walk on it and some are.   I am not that daring but some are. Some have said the main lake is also freezing.   It has been windy.  We do have minnows here if guys need them. “

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


Billings-Scheels John Cooper, Dan, Matt

Jayce says,” Some people have said they caught a few nice trout on Cooney this week.  The guys were using fake minnows.

Big Horn:  One fellow was catching some trout but they had to work at it.   Some other guys were at the After Bay using cranks.  They caught some nice brown trout.

Yellowstone: I heard the week before that they   were catching sauger using minnows on the Yellowstone.  They are using cranks and jigging. I have not heard anything this week.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “I have talked to guys that were heading to Canyon Ferry.  Never head how they did though.  Most guys are just getting their gear ready for ice fishing.   ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

Chris reports,“  It  has been really  cold.  There is slush on the Yellowstone right now.  With the wind and the cold not many people are going out.  You can fish but watch the weather conditions for fishing from  shore.  If you do brave the weather try streamers.”


Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau says,” There was a good blue wing hatch this week.  The dry flies have worked best this week for my guy.  The grass in the water is pretty much gone.  You can catch some fish.  ”


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Collette said,” The water is at 4500 CSF so it is down a little.  The water clarity has been good.  It is not clear.   Streamers are working. Use the darker colors like dark gray and dark brown.  Wooly buggers, dirty hippies and thin mints are working some.

Right now the float is better than wading.  The grass is mostly gone.  It is definitely water for the skilled fisherman.”

We are open   8 am to noon now all week.


Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698

Madison River

Alice says,” On the Madison below Quake Lake the warmer weather conditions have made more bug activity.  You can see hatches of midges and blue winged olives. Before and after the hatch use your stonefly patterns and smaller nymphs. Watch the weather to know when to use streamers. They work on bad weather days.  Leave any brown trout in spawning behavior alone, please.

Yellowstone National Park    

Yellowstone National Park  is closed for the season.

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