Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 9.19.18
By angelamontana

Posted: September 20, 2018

Summer is slowly winding down  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 be 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

Monty   says, “ The fish are coming up.  People are finding more fish in the weeds.   People have been getting some   bass.  Some   nice size  ones.   Guys are finding   walleye near  McGuire Creek  in the weeds at 20 to 25 feet.  They are mostly eater size this week.  Lake Trout are at 120 feet with a downrigger at 92 to 95 feet toward the dam. ”

 “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   says,” Fishing has  been  picking up.   The water elevation   is 3421  and the water is 69 degrees.  Frog Pond is  empty.  There is no boat access there.   People are catching  quite a few crappies, some  bass and  only a few walleye.  Some people said they caught   crappie using cranks. Bass fishing  has been pretty good.  Guys caught  very few walleye. “    .

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

Wade   says, I think   fishing is better   right now than it has been this summer.   Some people are pulling cranks at 2 mph in a depth of 15 to 20 feet .  .  People were   using  bottom bouncers .Someone  caught a  catfish on a frog.  Our   hours have changed.  We are now closed   Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We are open  8 to 6 on Thursday,  Friday is 8 to 9 , Saturday 7 to 9. and Sunday we are  open   from 7 to 5 pm.

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

Staff says,” It is tough fishing right now.  They have caught some small mouth and trout.“

 We have more hunters than fisherman this week.  The water looks good but not many fishing right now.  There is a bass tournament   this weekend. 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, “  It has been pretty slow fishing.  This week it has been windy,  We had hardly  any fisherman  on Saturday with the weather.   The  salmon  are deep  70 to 100 foot depth.  They are finding them in front of the dam.  Lake trout  can be caught   pulling spoons at 90 to 125 feet of water.  Use a jig or troll with a downrigger.  Walleye fishing is slow.  Use a Rapala  jig rap or a shiver minnow and go deep 30 plus deep.  If you want to catch walleye and bass right  now you have to work more for them.”

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

James   reports, “  Fishing was excellent this week.  They were biting really good.  People  are catching trout, walleye and perch

Marina explains, “. The   algae on the water seems to be less with the cooler weather. The campground  is now first come first serve now as the reservation system is done taking them for the season. The Marshall Cove campground and boat dock is closed until October 1st.  We are trimming trees and cleaning up the area. “

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says,” A few people are  fishing  from a boat. Things are pretty quiet during the day because of kids being in school. The lake level is the same. People are catching perch and  rainbow trout.”

 Yellowstone County still has fire restrictions which will affect all fishing access sites. If you have a question call FWP for information, Please be careful.

 The Indian Fort Access at Reed point 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

Deadmans Tony Stefani

 Pat reports, “People were fishing out of boats more than from shore.  The ones we talked to were complaining all they were catching was carp.  They said they knew people who were doing better at Sutherland.    The water is going down.”

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

   Terry says “I had people tell me they went fishing at Martinsdale.  They caught rainbow trout  in the 3 to 5 pounds range. They were fishing from shore and boat.   The guys went 3 to 4 times this week.  They were using cowbells and worms, ”

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

 Rick says, “This week we heard from  several  people who fished at  Bair and Martinsdale.   They were catching  fish using a variety of power bait and worms.  Fishing at Sutherland  was only fair they said.   With hunting season starting we are   seeing not as many people are fishing .  ”

Sports Center 120 2nd Ave South  Lewistown, MT   535-9308  Colby / John Tognetti

 Colby says, “We are all moved in. find the  store at 120 2nd Ave. South in Lewistown.  The building is the old Don’s Sporting   Goods building. A   bigger store with lots more product.  Our hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4pm  on Sunday.”

 John reports, “ The Missouri is fishing well .  They are catching walleye and sauger. They are using cranks and jigs to catch them.

 On Spring Creek try using hoppers.  There are caddis showing up in the evening.   It   is good  fishing .  Use small   flies and spinners ..  Try a   Panther Martin,   the blue fox or  the caddis fly.

 Achley : On Achley trout fishing is not good. People are catching muskie fishing .  It has been hit and  miss.  They are using  a big 6 inch deep diving  crank  for   Muskies.  The Muskie are at 12 to 15 feet depths.

At Hansen Dam you can catch trout in the morning and then it slows down.”

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

Carri   explains,” We have had rain and weather this week so fishing is slow.  People were limiting out through Saturday when fishing.  On Sunday it just flat stopped.  The fish quit biting.  Now people have  caught some crappies, bass,  cats, pike and  drum.  The walleye bite is definitely slow.

 They are using a bottom bouncer pulling a plug jig and getting catfish.  The water temperature is 67 degrees.  The water is going down. ”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

  Sharon   reports,” The weather has been cooler.  Fishing  is good,  I would say. Perch  fishing is decent.  I have only heard  of a couple of walleye being caught.  At White Earth they are catching northern pike.    The algae is not as bad.  It is improving a with the cooler weather.“

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

The Flamingo has closed for the season.

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

Jim  reports, ”Fishing  at  Nelson is good.  They are using jig wraps  bottom bouncing on the island areas.    Walleye fishing has been  good.  Walleye  are at depths of 17 to 22 foot depths.  The perch caught have been 10 to 12 inchers   and are biting very good.

I hear at Forchette they are fishing with minnows or cranks and doing good. People are catching walleye in the 5 to 8 pound range”.

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, “  I have not heard a lot of fishing news with hunting season going on.

 I hear the   Yellowstone by Hysham  is  good for bass, catfish  and sauger.  They are using  a jig and a minnow   in the holes.

On  Yellowtail  guys are catching bass when you go closer to Wyoming. I hear it is getting better.  They are catching an occasional walleye.   The south end is dirty.  Things seem to  be ramping up.

We just got in a lot of minnows today if you need them.”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” the rivers have come up.  Right now there is not much irrigation going on.  It is mossy in places.  People are telling me they are catching trout.  Spin casting is not good because of the mossy areas.  Use  a bobber and a worm.  Fly fishermen   are using grasshopper imitations.

I hear people are doing pretty good at Canyon Ferry for walleye.  The algae  is not as bad.  It definitely is not as bad as it usually has been in past years.”

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

Jasmine  says , “The Yellowstone  is fishing better.   Try using a Purple Haze or size12 hoppers .   The weather is going to cool  use a nymph with legs then.  Try a Prince or a Hairs ear.  Look for caddis.   Someone said  they have seen some mayflies.   Flies and hoppers in peach and tan are  working  now.  The water clarity is 4 to 6 feet deep.  The Indian Fort is still closed.

 The Stillwater is very  low and  it is too low to float.  It is good to wade and walk.  Try dries as they are working.  Use hoppers in size 12 and 14.  Try using a Jack Cabe, , PMX, and  flies in  yellow, orange and olive. Try a Royal Wuff.  Streamers are not working right now.

The browns are not heading up the Stillwater yet.  ”

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

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

*No new Report this week

Beau says,” The  Big Horn is not good fishing.   I headed to the Yellowstone this week to fish.  Fishing the Yellowstone is much better. It is clear and clean.  Fish with grasshopper patterns that is what is working.  I found the color  pink is working well.   “

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Stephanie  says,” One of the guide just came in from fishing all day and he said  the thought it had improved a little  today.   Nymphing is going better. Try a thin mint it has worked on some days.   There are some tricots but not for long around 10 am.  Try black bunny leaches in a 10 and 14   The cs is 3,000 and it is 96 percent full. ”

Our summer hours  are   8 am to 5 every day.

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


Overnight lows are below freezing, cooling off the water quite a bit. Once the sun warms up the water, caddis and blue winged olive mayflies are present. Terrestrial fishing has been great on the warm, windy afternoons.

Yellowstone Park

Higher elevation streams are fishing late in the day with mayflies and terrestrials. Bears are on the move, don’t forget your bear spray. Lower elevation streams are cooling off and fishing has been good most of the day. Caddis and some blue winged olive mayflies on the cloudy days. Remember no felt boots in Yellowstone National Park.

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