Spring 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 can come on in fierce strength very fast. The strength and depth of ice is changing very quickly so use caution. 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
Monty reports, “ Fishing has been outstanding. The trout bite has been a little slower. Guys were going 20 feet down and using a Rapalas and using jigging going deeper at times. For walleye and northerns they are going in depths of 5 to 20 feet. They are in the shallows and guys are fishing for walleye and finding pike. I am hearing they seem to be going deeper in the last day. The bass are really, really biting. I talked to some guys who were fly fishing and they were having a blast because they were catching so fast they couldn’t give up. The water looks good and is high. We had quite a few people here this week. “
“Our hours are Sunday to Thursday 7 am to 9 pm. Friday to Sunday 7 am to 11pm. We are willing to open early or later than these hours depending on the need. We are excited to get people fishing and hear their fishing stories , Monty says.”
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Spencer reports,” It was a quiet weekend. It rained quite a bit last week and on the weekend. It has been hit and miss fishing but it may be picking up a little. People say they are catching small crappies. The fish cleaning station and the dump site are up and running. The boat inspection stations are up and running.”
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Stephanie says, “ The walleye bite is picking up. Some are using bottom bouncers and minnows. I
I have only talked to a few that got their limit. People are catching crappie on tails with a jig. The bass and northern pike are still in the shallows right now. The water level is coming up and 54 degrees surface wise. The inspection station is up and checking. We now have leeches ”
The Marina is now open every day. Our are 8 to 5 Monday to Thursday and Friday and Saturday 7 to 9. On Sunday we will be open from 7 to 5 pm.
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345
Kayla says, “ Guys are getting lake trout heading east. They are pulling cranks at depths of 20 to 25 feet. I hear they are catching a lot. . People are starting to catch male northern pike at 10 to 15 feet depths also using cranks. They are finding them close to the bank heading toward Snow Creek. Guys are finding walleye going west of Timber Creek in the points and the bays. Try using jigs and minnows at 10 to 15 feet. We have some days with wind and rain. The water is coming up. “
The Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Eddie says, “ fishing has been hit and miss this week. They are finding the lake trout at depths of 20 to 40 feet. It has been decent fishing for northern pike and lake trout. The pike are in the shallows by the bank. People are using cranks and bottom bouncers and I have talked to a few guys are even trying down riggers occasionally The walleye are done spawning. They have been using a minnow and a jig at depths of 8 to 20 feet. They are mostly pitching jigs to shore. We are not seeing any debris . We have suckers, fatheads, smelt, herring and night crawlers. ”
We do have minnows, suckers, fatheads, Smelt, night crawlers, 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, “ We had a quiet week here this past week. The boat docks and buoys are in . People are catching walleye jigging . It seems that they are fishing along shore. There are also trout being caught. There are boats also out fishing . “
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
People say,” People are catching . There are lots of guys out there. The weather is great for fishing since the rain stopped.
The boat ramp and parking lot at the west end of Lake Elmo State Park in Billings Heights will be unavailable for part of
Wednesday, May 23, because of a kids’ fishing event.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will block off the parking lot and boat ramp early that morning. Barriers will come down and the ramp will reopen by 2 p.m. During the morning and early afternoon hours, the ramp will remain unavailable for launching or retrieving boats from Lake Elmo.”
Deadmans Tony Stefani
Tony says,” We had only a few fishermen up here this week. With the rain people chose not to come. We only talked to some guys who only caught suckers. A few carp were also gotten. The water is up about 8 to 9 feet in the last week. The ramp and dock is in. The shore is so muddy you would have a hard time fishing from shore right now. It may get better now that the rain has stopped. The road is good. “
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-22
Terry says,” Guys who bought worms headed to Martinsdale and they said they had wind and rain. They said the shore line was real muddy. The rivers are sure high.”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says, “It was definitely high water this week. The water is running over the dam. Fishing in Bair and Sutherlin has only been fair. The lake is clear. They were using streamers. Check the water as it is definitely high and muddy and in some places really roaring. ”
Charlie says, “We are in the process of closing our shop so we are transferring our report to the Sports Center. We want to thank all of our customers for their support.”
Sports Center 320 West Main Street, Lewistown, MT 535-9308 Colby / John Tognetti
“Ackley has been fishing well for trout. The water is clear. They are filling it. The fish are just starting to bite so they are catching some rainbow trout
On the Missouri it is really high. They are predicting it will go to 2500. It is muddy. The high water is making it good for paddlefish. They are catching cats because it is muddy. Walleye and sauger are fishing slow.
On Crooked Creek the walleye fishing is turning on. The northern pike bite is strong. People are running east to Lost Creek and Ghost Cooney.
The little creeks are high and muddy.
On Spring Creek the water is clearing up and is improving. The San Juan worm is working well. People have seen some hatches on sunny days. Try some mayfly and caddis patterns. “, John says.
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig 406-429-2999
Abby says, “The walleye are really turning on. Use blue, green silver jigging. They are at 10 to 18 feet. They have already spawned out. They are catching northern pike from shore and from boat. One fellow said he caught 8 different species in one day. There is some floating debris in the water. It is starting to clear and much clearer towards Ghost Cooley. The water temperature is 63 degrees. It is 83 degrees today and really nice weather. ”
The marina is open.”
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon reports,” The water is up and boats are getting on the water. Fishing is moderately well. They are catching lots of trout and some walleye. Smallmouth bass seem to be biting off and on. The water is 61 degrees. Watch for floating items in the water. Some can be quite large. Shore fishing is good and they are catching walleye and perch. “
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,” The weather has been nice here. At Nelson people are catching some walleye. The bite is not fast and furious. They are catching walleye using cranks and minnows.
At Forchette they are catching walleye and northern pike using worms. The walleye and pike are being caught in 15 feet of water in the shallows. “
Stop by the store. We do have minnows here if you need them.
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday”
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce said,” On the lower Yellowstone going from Billings the guys are getting some cats. The catfish tournament found lots of cats being caught but they were smaller males. The water is muddy.
Tongue- Fishing people say has been decent. Some say they caught a ton of crappies.
Cooney-I have been told that a few walleye with jigs from the boat.
At Intake the guys are saying they are catching only a couple of paddlefish right now.
Crooked Creek- I have been told they are catching some nice fish on big smelt and suckers. One group caught 8 pike over 10 pounds. ”
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
Rich says, “Canyon Ferry water is finally up. I think it is up about 3 feet. Your boat can be put in the water. I hear they are catching trout and walleye. Be kind of careful as there is some debris.
The rivers are really muddy and a little lower right now. But with the high temperatures it probably will rise again.
On Holter the walleye, trout and perch fishing is good. They are jigging for them. “
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken
Chris says, “ The word of the week is mud and more mud.
The Stillwater is up. The upper Stillwater is clearish above the Johnson Bridge. You can fish that. Guys are using girdle bugs. You can drop one with a Batman or Pheasant tail. Try the Grinch for streamer fishing. The lower Stillwater is not fishable.
The Yellowstone is totally unfishable. Hit the lakes and ponds right now. “
You can book your trips now.
We are open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 to 5 pm,” Chris says.
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau says, “I fished the Big Horn this week. It was good. The water temperature is coming up. There is a nice caddis hatch . Lots of fish were rising this week for them. The water is clear. The access areas are good. I tried pink sow bugs , black midges and blue wing olive and baetis patterns. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
Rich reports,” The fishing is real good. The cfs is still at 7, 500 now. The water is about 44 degrees and clear. The water is pretty clear. For dries try midges and smoke jumpers. There is a good baetis hatch. Try a parachute Adams. You can try a Just buster , a cripple Thor or a student baetis. Any nymph is good to try. Use a two tone scud, carpet sow bugs , the San Juan, gray rays, zebra midges or JuJu baetis. Streamers have been really good. Use a white streamer in a size 10 or 12. Right now the boat fishing is better than wading. ”
Our summer hours are 8 am to 5 every day.
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698
Alice reports, “The water is high and off color in the upper Madison. A few adult March Brown and blue winged olive mayflies have been seen on the water. Most of the fish this week were caught on nymphs. Fish are eating medium sized dark stonefly nymphs when they can see them and smaller, flashy beadhead pheasant tail nymphs. Make sure to check current conditions before you head out, flows on the Upper Madison will change drastically in the next couple weeks. There are still a few rainbows on their redds, best to leave them alone. “
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is closed for the season until May 26th.