Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 5.16.18
By angelamontana

Posted: May 16, 2018

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.   ”

 Don’s Lewistown-Dale/Charlie

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

Madison River

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.

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