Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 2.14.18
By angelamontana

Posted: February 14, 2018

Winter 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.  The strength and depth of ice can change very quickly please watch for any changes. 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

Linda   reports,” We had  fishermen come  in this past  week.  We have plowed the road and if the wind does not get too bad the snow   will not drift.    Some of the guys made a path.  Those guys were able to fish at or near Little Bug. They did catch pike on smelt and minnows.  Some were able to fish going  north on the west shore.   They did catch some fish .  The ice is  18 inches thick.”

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond   said,” Not many  people out fishing this week.  The few   fishermen  caught a  few crappies and perch. The roads  in the park are icy but over all good and there are no problems getting in.     Most guys were catching with minnows from the Marina.  We have 10 to 12 inches of ice.  “

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 reports,” over the weekend there wasn’t a lot of people here.  Some guys were struggling.   There was one guy who was there for 3 days and got his limit fishing in the bay all three days.  He was fun to watch.  He was having a heck of a good time.  He was fishing at 35 feet using a glow in the dark spoon and with my small fathead minnows.  He said the smaller work better.  The roads are good around here.“

 The Marina is open Friday, Sat and Sunday.  Our hours will be 6 am to noon each day.  I am getting   minnows right now.  I will have   worms. Mill worms, tackle, beer, pop and snacks.  Check out Tongue River Marina on Facebook.   This year   there will be no vending machine for minnows.

 Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345

Lane says,” it has been slow fishing this week.  I believe it is the cold.  The northern pike have picked up.  They are finding them at 10 to 15 feet depths so they are coming up.  The walleye bite is better. It seems to be more consistent.  Mostly eaters  with a few bigger.

The ice  in some   places is shallow starting at 14 feet  but going to 2 foot elsewhere.  Fishermen are  using 4 wheelers and side-by-sides.   We have several pressure ridges so check with us for details.  There are two in the bay and two out on the main.  The road  is good  Clint plows the road as needed.  It has been plowed”

 The Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.  ­­­­­­­

Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597

Taylor   says, “fishing  has slowed down some. We have  had a lot of weather fronts so that slows things down.     The lake trout had  just  started to bite.  People need to know there is 4 to 6 inches of snow on the ice.  Some had caught northern pike and walleye.  We just have not had great reports of catching. ”

We do have minnows, hooks, floaters, full suckers, wax and   meal worms and white and pink maggots here for the guys to use.  Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday. ”

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson.

Marina reports,” We had lots of drifting this week.  I have been plowing.  I have seen a few people about 4 on the ice this week.  those few people said it was slow fishing.  I have closed Cottonwood and Overlook going north is also closed.  You can fish at Red Lodge Campground, Fisherman Point and Marshal Cove or on the shore by the boat ramp.  I got help getting the deep plowing done so now I can maintain it better with my plowing.  There is  12 inches  of ice at the Red Lodge campground area.  Right now  at Fisherman Point there  is 14 inches at the shore line and 8 inches in the middle.  “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

“ Right now there are a bunch of shacks out there.  Elmo still   has good ice.  They have catching lots of   perch. They are catching mostly small ones a little above the bottom in the deeper part of the lake.  Guys have been using everything from corn to cut worms and crawlers.  The recent cold weather  has made 8 to 12 inches of ice  but you will be shoveling  snow off of it. You need to come see the snowman  someone built out in the middle.    It is walk on only of course ”, Bob says.

Deadmans Tony Stefani

 Pat said,” We have  had a couple of  ice fishermen at Deadman’s this week.  They did plow the road but with wind like today drifting becomes a problem.  So if they come watch the weather closely. “There are  shacks  on Broadview pond.  So  we think people  seem to be catching fish.”

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

 Terry says,” not many out fishing.  We  have been having  trouble just getting  around.  They were snagging   some Kokanee at 5 to 6   feet  at Deadmans . ”

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

 Rick says, “ It was  fair fishing this week .  I would say it was slower.   Everybody caught something it was a lot of time between bite.  You can get into bair just make sure to  be prepared with chains because of the patches of ice on the road.  There   is 14 to 16 inches of ice all over on Bair. Rumor has it that some were catching ling.  Getting in can be touch and go.  On Sutherland it is tougher to  get in. be prepared don’t leave home without a shovel and chains.   With  the drifting use snowmobiles to get to the ice. ”

 Don’s Lewistown-Dale 1-800-879-8194

Dale  says, “  We have lots of  snow.  At this point there are not a lot of places you can get to the ice because of snow and road conditions.   You can fish at Achley.  That is really about the only place right now.  They are catching rainbows.  Guys are using a micro jig bite.  You can also fish the East Fork and get some perch.”

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

Slim says, “ I have had to close the Marina right now.  Getting in on the road is next to impossible  because of the snow.  I have a plow  but the snow is more than it can handle.  I do  not  advise  trying to go in  the road is not passable.  There will be no  services and no one will be  there.   I had the  wounded Warriors there for 5 days  and  it all came to a head when I had no way of getting them out.  The road had drifted closed.   I ended up calling for help and thankfully  after a lot of trying they got them out.  Pay attention  to facebook for any changes.  ”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

  Sharon says,”  fishing is good  and the ice is good.   The wind has been  an issue.  Guys are catching trout and some walleye.  Today the weather is good.  All in all fishing is good.  The ice is 12 to 15 inches. There are still pressure ridges so check at the marina for details. “

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

  Jim says,”  It was 33below this morning.  It is just too cold to fish.  We decided to cancel the kids fishing day.  The kids should be having fun not fighting the cold.   So not much fishing going on. I  hear Forchette is blown in.   So do some tying  or making lures and come to the shop for supplies. “

Stop by the store.  We do have bait, minnows and crawlers here if you need them. Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday

 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Dan, Matt

Matt says,” I was at Crooked Creek when the Wounded Warriors were there  this week.  It got tougher to get out because of the weather.  I went in on a snow mobile and I would not recommend going in right now.  Slim closed the Marina.

 I have not heard anything else.  People are laying low because it was so cold and staying home. ”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “  The river is full of ice it probably will get worse with the forecast.

 I talked to some guys who said they still are doing  good on perch and  trout at Canyon Ferry.  They were catching them by the Silos.  I have talked to a few doing well on walleye.  They were going 35 feet or less in depths.

 Holter- The perch are still biting.  The ice is getting bad I am hearing.  In some places because of the warming weather it is only 8 inches they tell me.  I also heard three 4 wheelers went through the ice.   They are finding fish at 25 to 60 feet down. ”

Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977  ,Bill

 “ It is tough to access anywhere right now.  There is a lot of ice. Right now we are looking at ice building up that could lead to jams. The rivers are  not safe.  There is lots of shelf ice.  You just cannot safely get close ,” Chris says.

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

Beau says, “It is too dang cold to be out there fishing right now. I have heard  the water is much clearer.  They bumped the cfs up on the Big Horn. ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Stephanie  says,” we are just not seeing  many fishermen.  It just has been  too cold. The cfs is up to 4500.  There has just been not much for traffic out there on the water.  The tough guys who have gone out had some good luck fishing.   The wind has been blowing a lot this week. They are seeing  a baetes hatch.  Use a dry size 20.   Streamer fishing is still the way to go.  For  streamers  use dirty hippies. Try a thin mint or a vanilla wafer.”

Our winter hours are   8 am to noon all week. “

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

Madison River

 Alice says, “ A few midges  are around for the occasional fish looking up. Although most fish are eating nymphs, small olive mayfly nymphs and smallish midge patterns should  work well. If you want to throw streamers, go big and olive.  Rainbows will be spawning soon, so be on the look out for redds.”

Yellowstone National Park    

Yellowstone National Park  is closed for the season until May.