Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 8.1.18
By angelamontana

Posted: August 1, 2018

Summer has arrived  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. The fire season also means we all need to be alert to are actions and conditions.    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  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.  

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

 Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt  1-406-485-2560

Wyatt   reports, “The  fishing this past  week seemed to turn off because of the storms . It might be getting ready to flip.  The water is 74 degrees in the bays,  in the past  few days  guys  are hammering the bass casting to shore.  Guys are down rigging and catching some trout and a few salmon.  They are finding them heading to San Arroyo going north.  They seem to be starting to group up.  We went out the other day at 8:30 pm and went to depths of 15 to 20 feet and caught an 18 incher. We were marking fish 40 feet down, a lot of them so they seemed to be deeper.  Things seem to be changing.”

 “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

Jessie  says,” Fishing has been really slow.  The water temperature is warm.  We have seen 70 to 80 degrees. The air temperature has definitely affected things. The water is receding slowly especially at Frog Pond and Neck Bay.  People are just not catching much that I have seen just fishing.  There has been a lot of boating going on.”

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

Stephanie reports, “ People are finding  bass casting toward shore.  They are catching some crappies  toward the docks  using poppers in silver and green. I have not heard of a walleye being caught this week.  The last one was a week ago. Fishing  seemed to pick up yesterday.”

   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

Tyler  says, “  The tournament was pretty good.  They were catching walleye, bass and northern.  Slow death with just one bead is working in blue and purple.  The tournament went well and the 1st place winners were Bob Magnuson and Tim Davis with 56.66 pounds.  Second place was Matt Cowen and his son Blake with 54.51 pounds.  Third place was Gerson Mundel and Casey Thomas  with 52.64 pounds.  With the water being warm at 75 to 80 degrees some of the time fishing is hit and miss.  Lake trout are picking up towards the dam at depths of 50 to 70 feet.  The bass are towards shore and very shallow.”

 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, “  Guys are definitely catching walleye.  They are mostly catching them on  leeches and crawlers. Some are using a mixed revel.  They are fishing the main lake towards the pines for walleye.   I have not heard of any pike being caught.  Lake trout are being caught at 90 to 115 feet.  The lake trout are good   fishing.  Salmon have been caught.  They are small,  like around 5 to 6 pounds. They are using Brad bait cup and blue Hot Collars and down riggers.” ”

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. Shauni, Cynthia

Marina   reports, “ The water is receding. People  are catching a lot of perch, rainbow trout and walleye.  They are using worms and  night crawlers.  It seems to be good fishing.  The fish cleaning station has been busy. The Marshall Cove campground is  fully  open. The   boat ramp is now open as well.  If there is one thing I want to remind people of it is to be prepared when you go to the boat ramp.  You should have everything you need in the boat already before you get there. There are so many times on the weekend when the ramp is really busy.  People are waiting their turn so we are asking guys to be prepared before they get to the ramp. Once your party is pulling out to take the trailer back the boat should move to the side so another boat can start unloading.  Just be kind to one another. “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports, “During the day we are seeing lots of paddlers and sails.  The fishermen are coming early in the morning and late in the day.  You do see them catching.  The lake is still full.  Lots of  are enjoying playing in the water in the middle of the day.     Guys  are catching trout,   perch and some bass.

On the Yellowstone because of the full pool and the changes in the river people will find the river very changed. The staff that have been doing counts and doing their nettings are finding the river has changed a lot.  What you thought you knew about areas and channels you find out is no longer true.  You find it is unrecognizable. There are also many cottonwoods in the water so you have to really watch out.  The water on the rivers right now is really only for experienced rafters.

I went to Rock Creek by Red Lodge this week and I was surprised how full it was.  It was hard to find a way to step to the water.  It was fast really too deep to wade and very brushy along the edge.  It was tough and dangerous.”

 The Indian Fort Access  at Reedpoint  will be closed the rest of the summer.  It is restricted to  walk in only.  There has been some damage to the road which has narrowed the road  and is dangerous.  That has to be repaired

The East Bridge Lockwood fishing access is closed as there is   construction going on ,” Bob explains

Grant marsh   fishing access washed out on the Big Horn so it is   walk in only. The Wildlife access  area is completely open.

Deadmans Tony Stefani

 Tony  reports.” We have had a lot of fishermen  this week.  They have had a lot of fishing but not a lot of catching.  They are getting bites.  The water is going down but very slowly.  They are looking for muskies but I haven’t heard that they have caught them. We are seeing a little more beach every day.”

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

   Terry responds, I have had people come in for worms but they are not coming back saying they caught anything,  it seems to be real slow fishing.  Wind has been a problem at Martinsdale.  They are letting water out of the basin.”

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

 Judy says, “Fishing   has been good, the typical summer fishing.  We had the Red Ants event this weekend so there were lots of people here but not a lot of them fishing.  A few told me they were catching a few fish on Bair.  They say they caught trout very early in the morning and late in the day.  People going to Martinsdale encountered lots of wind.”

Sports Center   320 West Main Street, Lewistown, MT   535-9308  Colby / John Tognetti

 John  says, “  Spring Creek is clear and  doing  well.  They are seeing a caddis hatch and some mayflies and some grasshoppers, Use the PM, the blue fox and Mepps for good results.

On Achley people are fishing  and a few muskies are catching a few big ones but only a few. Cranks are working with a Reef Runner.  They are catching most of them from boats.  They are catching rainbow trout early in the day.

On Carters Pond the water is getting mossy.

On the Missouri they are finding cats.  Use night crawlers, cut bait and minnows.   People are catching wall. The mosquitos and ticks are bad  so bring your bug spray.

On Crooked Creek fishermen say using a spin rod and  are fishing well.  They are heading to Moss and Ghost Cooley.  They are using crawlers and leeches.   Try   using cranks for northern pike.   People are saying they are catching walleye.

On the Musselshell guys are catching cats heading toward Mosby.

On Petrolia we are hearing it is slow.  We went and only got little ones.“

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

Ron  says,” Fishing has been pretty good this week.   I was just out there but the wind blew me off.  They are catching  walleye,  and pike.    We  have been catching  them close to shore and in the bay.  We used every color.  We were finding them all at 7  to 37 feet and also  finding bigger ones at 37 to 40 feet depths.  It is clear to 3 feet down.

The Crooked Creek Kids Fishing   Day is this Saturday.  It   is  for 6 to 12 years.  You can sign up the day of the event or call 406-429-2999. The hours are 10am to 4 pm.

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

  Sharon   reports,”  Fishing  was about medium this week.  The walleye  seem to be small , less than 18  inchers. People are going  in all directions.  Trout fishing is good.  They are  catching  pretty much everything. The trout have been 3 to 4 pounders.  Going everywhere people are  finding fish,  in all directions.  The perch are a medium bite right now.   It has slowed down fishing the last 3 days.  ”

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

The Flamingo is now open.

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

“Fishing at   Nelson   is picking up a little.  They are at depths of 25 to 35 feet.  Use a jig with a minnow or a leech or a rap.  We tried a worm harness for walleye.  It is still weedy from shore so you have to go deep.   Bring lots of worms you will need them.  The perch bite last week was pretty good.  The bugs are bad   so bring bug spray.

 Forchette was poor fishing this week.   The bigger fish are at 40 foot depths.

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 Hell Creek tournament.  We used cranks on a lead core.   We looked for fallen timber and weeds going down 15 to 20 feet. “(As an aside I will tell you Matt and his son, Blake won 2nd place in the tournament with 54.51 pounds.)

On the Yellowstone they are catching a lot of walleye.

I hear Cooney is fishing better.  The weeds are now out there.

The time to fish the rivers is now. “

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich  says ,”  The fishing  at Peck was hit and miss when we were there last week.  Some hours they were biting and then all of a sudden they quit for a few hours and then pick up again.  We saw a great light show.

Canyon Ferry is fishing pretty good.  The green slime is starting.  People have caught some big ones.  Some were 31 inches and 28 inchers.

The rivers have cleared and some are still up.  There are fly fishermen out there but no one is telling if they are getting anything.

Word has it at Fort Peck Dam the lake trout are biting and being caught.”

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

Ken says, “Use a chubbie,  a purple Haze or Jack Cabe are definitely working. The cfs has gone down. The Stillwater is clear.

The Yellowstone is improving.  It is dropping a little.  Realize the river is different.  Many channels have been blown.  The Yellowstone is not quite there yet.   Wading is  possible in some places.  Use the Chubbie there as well. The Grinch is working. Visibility is not there yet.  Water clarity needs to improve more. You can nymph fish as well.  Try a Prince, a hairs ear, pheasant tail or the Batman. ”

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

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

Bea says,”  I fished the  Big Horn again.  Tricots are okay in the morning.  Streamers are working okay.    The cfs is around 4300.  Try black caddis patterns in the evening.  It is not  as good as the tricots.  I still  think the river is in   rough shape. You can catch fish but you have to work it.   Nymph fishing is not good right now.    The water is   coming down slowly.  The water is greenish, brownish.  Try using cray fish, sow  bugs or a size 12 pheasant tail “ Beau explains.

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Rick  reports,” The cfs is at  4300 cfs right now.  There are   more   places to wade and the islands are available.  It is easier floating. There are tricots out there in the early hours.  I have been starting to fish at 5:30 am.  Dries are better, nymphing is about normal.  The Black caddis is out in the evening.  I am  liking this water level.  Liking it 101 per cent in the lake.  It is perfect to wade anywhere.     For dry flies there is a tricot hatch in the morning and a caddis hatch in the evening.  It is also a   nymphing bite.  Try a gray or tan ray, a zebra, black pheasant tail,  olive pheasant tail , caddis or an emergent. Try  streamers like.  the  thin mint, dirty hippy, vanilla wafer or a sinking tip. The water is a little off color, like a brownish wash. You can see into it.   But the water is still good.  There is not a lot of   grass or weeds yet.”

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 big bugs are out there.  There is a good caddis   and PMD mayflies out there. Caddis and small stoneflies are hatching and fish are looking for them. There are hoppers starting.  Flows have been very stable .  It is a good summer flow. PMD spinners in the mornings are also bringing up some nice fish. Nymphing with the above mentioned flies has been great when fish are not looking up.

Yellowstone National Park

There are still hatches happening.  The water is still cold.  Recent warm weather has kept the waters of upper elevation rivers in decent shape.  It is definitely good fishing.   Come   prepared for various hatches. Look for stoneflies and mayflies on these warm afternoons. Use the terrestrial bugs, hoppers, beetles and ant patterns.   Remember to pack your bear spray and rubber soled wading boots!