Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 6.27.18
By angelamontana

Posted: June 27, 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, Monty LeTexier  1-406-485-2560

Monty  reports, “ There was some great fishing this week.  Ryan,  fished this week .  He was cranking and caught northern pike, walleye and bass.  All of them seem to be shallow.  They were fishing on the windward side of the water.   No particular color was working better. People were catching walleyes on a bottom bouncer with a minnow or a crawler. The guys are saying they are finding the walleye and bass at depths of 20 feet or less.  The water is really high and after the rain a bit cloudy. The road is decent and passable. “

“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

Raymond   reports,”  It is high and the temperature is 67 to 68 degrees.  .  We have not seen any flooding. I am hearing fishing is poor but trying to improve. I talked to a few guys who caught some walleyes and pike.  One guy did very well fishing right at his campsite.  He was using live bait and caught lots of crappies.  Many wee little ones but he had a great time catching.  He also caught a few bass.   On the water  guys are jigging for crappies.  The walleye people say are shallow 5 to 6 feet down.  The weather has been great this week.  It was in the 80’s   and sunny. We have seen no flooding here. ”


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

Wade says, “  The  walleye bite has been clearly decent.  They seem to be getting   them on bottom bouncers or jigging with a worm or worm harness.  The water temperature this weekend changed from 74 degrees to 54 degrees for a time.  The crappie bite seems to be not as on as usual.  They are finding   them at 15 to 30 depths. They have been suspended.  It did rain a little every day but there also was a lot of sun.  All the campsites are open 100 percent.   The water is getting clearer and the run off is slowly coming in.    The   inspection station   is up and checking.    ”

The   Marina is now open every day.  Our  hours 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

Lane  says, “ Walleye  fishing was  a little tough  this week probably because it was cold. They are heading both east in the middle and west.  With two big rain storms and lots of wind fishing does change often.  People are jigging with a minnow.  A few were using a bottom bouncer with a night crawler or leach.   The bass are being caught while fishing for walleye  at 10 feet depths close to shore. The walleye are in 15 feet depths.  The northern pike are doing well.   It is extremely high water but the campgrounds are okay. “

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


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

Carrie   says, “ The walleye  seem to be picking up slightly.  The bite is with night crawlers.  We have had a lot of storms bumping around.   Fishing   for lake trout is still awesome. They are marking them at 60 to 80.   Guys are catching pike in the main lake using cranks. It is doing   well.    ”

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.

The Marshall Cove campground   is still   flooded. Now the boat ramp is closed.

The water has damaged the road so it will have to be graded so it will be a while until it will be open.      You can walk in to fish from shore.  At Fisherman Point Campground S2 is closed because of flooding. Campsite 1, 3 and 4 are still open.  We have not seen any one out.    “


Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

“The lake is really full.  Fishing seems to going well.  Even with the rain there are quite a few people out there.   Guys  are catching fish. Perch and some bass   have been caught.

Lake Josephine-.  There was a big winter kill there.  It seems to have hit the small pan fish hard.  We are hearing now that people are catching   smallmouth bass  when casting farther out.

There is still walk in only to some fishing access sites in this region right now because of flooding.

Holgren Ranch access up from Columbus has opened up to driving.

Duck Creek is now open.

Sportsman Park or Buffalo Mirage has been repaired and is open now.

There are some places  still remaining walk in only.  Check the FWP  site for changes.

The Indian fort Access  at Reedpoint  will be closed the rest of the summer including at the boat float.  There has been some damage to the road which has narrowed and is dangerous.  That has to be repaired ,” Bob explains


Deadmans Tony Stefani

Pat   says “fishermen have been catching salmon and trout this week. They were not big.  One fellow caught a Muskie but had to throw it back because it was too small. We have 9 camp sites that are flooded.  Right now with the high water there is only 1 foot of beach.  The roads are dry and the water is clear.  They did plant small trout this week.  “


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

Terry explains,” I have heard fishing has been   determined because they are at full pool.  It has been pretty tough   because of the wind and rain. The guys are going out but I am not hearing of any catching.  I can say there is some fishing action on Broadwater Pond.  They seem to be on the south west corner of the pond. Just head over the bridge to the south end.  “


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

Judy says, “Fishing at Bair and Martinsdale I have heard has been slow in the morning.  Guys had good luck   very late in the afternoon just at dark. They did fairly good on trout then. We did not hear anybody go fish Sutherlan.  It was definitely high water last week.  ”


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

Colby says, “.Ackley was fishing okay this week.  Guys are catching tiger muskies.  The water is clearing.

Canyon Ferry was tough fishing for the tournament.  We got lots of little one 12 to 13 inchers.  Not ones that worked for weights at the event.

On   Spring Creek   the water   is pretty off color.  You are going to have to use bait because of it.  Guys are finding nymphing working.  Use a prince or a pheasant tail. There is not much top water action.

At Hell Creek   I heard it was slower this week.   There was weather this week. The bugs are bad bring bug spray.

The dam at Fort Peck is working well.  People are catching.

On Petrolia people have been catching small mouth bass and walleye.  Some nice perch also were caught as well.  “


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

Carrie says,” The water is really high.  At Squaw Creek they are catching walleye and some big crappies.  Lots of northern pike are being caught.  Really we have seen quite a few   perch, bass, catfish and some large drum being caught.  The water is high.  Pretty much all fish found at 5 to 20 feet.   Bottom bouncers seem to work best.  A few are jigging.  The color gold is really working.  The colors are green, orange and blue that seem to work. We have definitely been dealing with some weather. The high water has brought out some snakes although mostly bulls you just have to on the alert.  The flooding has brought out the mosquitos but the usual repellents are not working as well.  We found that splashing on Listerine is working well as a repellent.  We did have a storm bump around last night.  The debris   is less now in the water.”


Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon   reports,” The Canyon Ferry the tournament was this past weekend.  The first place team was Jake Updike and Mike Harvey won with 33.66 pounds.  They were from Townsend.  The 2nd place team was Kit and Trevor Johnson.  They are from Helena and had 31.56 pounds.

Fishing has been pretty good.  The water is very high.  Fishermen are having to go to deeper depths.   I have been sending people to the South end.   They have been catching walleye at the mouth.  The

Water is colored.  The river is real strong right now.  You have to watch for debris. The Flamingo is now open.

The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.


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

Saddie   says,” Fishing at   Nelson   is about the same.  They are getting lots of little ones.  You are working to get them.  The lakes are full.  It is pretty clear.  Try crank baits.  This week it did pick up some and people were using bottom bouncers and jigs to catch fish.    The bugs are bad   so bring big spay. “

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

Matt said,” I fished the Canyon Ferry Tournament.  It was tough fishing.  We caught a lot of little fish.  We caught some nice perch.

At Hell Creek they are telling us that fishing was hit and miss. The fronts and storms are part of that.  Some guys did   well at the dam.  We did well at the dam last week that is for sure.

On Tongue the guys are saying they are catching a few here and there. They are catching more small mouth and largemouth bass.

The   Yellowstone it is blown out.  The water is still real muddy. .

Tongue- The water is muddy so it is slower fishing.    People caught some crappies and bass.

Cooney-At Cooney we  were catching eater size walleye using cranks.  The water is high.”


Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “At Canyon Ferry the tournament was somewhat of a challenge fishing I heard.  I did get the winning teams report.  The first place team was Jake Updike and Mike Harvey won with 33.66 pounds.  They were from Townsend.  The 2nd place team was Kit and Trevor Johnson.  They are from Helena and had 31.56 pounds.  The 3rd place team winner was Steve Kincaid and Justin Baumgarten with 29.94 pounds.   I do know it poured one of the days and the wind picked up so some had to get off the water for safety.

The rivers are kind of going down.  It is still muddy.

I have not heard anything about the  Forchette  road since our trip out.  So I do not know if it dried out or if it is open. ”


Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken

Jasmine says, “ The Yellowstone is really, really muddy yet.  It is also up some as well. Indian Fort is muddy and closed because of flooding.

The  Stillwater is clearer but still muddy although it is up some. It is fishable finally.   People are catching lots of fish.  You can float from Cliff Swallows to Jeffery’s landing.  The road is closed above Cliff Swallows for the summer.   You have to go around   through Nye.  On the Stillwater it looks like the next  hatch will be Yellow Sallys.  Dries are mostly what is being used.  They are finding that the Purple Haze and PMDs are working.  Some are using a few nymphs with rubber legs. Be careful fishing along the river watch your footing.  Of course fishing right now is mostly walking.

We are   open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 to 5 pm.”


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

The Missouri river is still up  this week. It was at  1,500 cfs.   The water is coming out from Prickly Pear.  The dam is blown out.  It is  a tough fish this  week  on the Missouri.  The best water is 3 miles up so all the boats are pushed together.  It is still  muddy from 3 mile down.   You have to really be careful.   There is debris as well.  Not a good time to fish here. You really have to know what you are doing.   The  water temperature is coming up, “ Beau explains.


Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Don   Reports,”  the water is way up but the fishing is pretty good.  The cfs is  1,400 now.  The water is    mossy. The treatment to use is the Teton Rig.  Use a 12 pound test and a ½ inch and a couple sinkers.  A San Juan worm is also working.  There is black caddis but the fish are just not feeding partly because of the high water.  For nymphing you can try a Gray Ray or a scud.  Wade fishing is really not an option right now.   ”

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, “Madison River

Caddis fishing in the upper river has been very productive along the banks.  Salmon flies are hatching and bringing fish to the surface around the Varney Bridge area.  Flows are still high in the Madison after recent rains, check the flows before heading out.

Yellowstone National Park

Caddis and Pale morning dun mayflies are hatching most mornings on the Firehole and Madison Rivers. Fishing the emergers early and then adult dry flies through the middle of day have been productive.

Don’t forget your bear spray and rubber soled boots.


(feature photo via Global Writes)