Central to Eastern MT Fishing Reports 1.9.19
By angelamontana

Posted: January 9, 2019

Winter   is here and that means sudden changes in weather and water or ice 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 and let others know where they are for safety sake when out and about.  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 with fierce strength.  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  For winter call 1-406-230-1283  for Linda 

Marina number is less reliable in winter.  1-406-485-2560

   Neil had triple bypass heart surgery recently.  He is recovering.   Due to the emergency they will not be up at Rock Creek.  Linda says that you can still make reservations for spring by calling 1-406-230-1283 and she can set you up.  She has the book with her.  At this point she has no idea when things will change. So there are no services there.  We at the Montana Outdoor Radio Show wish him well as do all of their fishing   friends.

“We have closed the Marina as of October 1st. We still have limited services.  Linda and Neal sadly will not be at Rock Creek.   Call this number 1-406-230-1283 for any questions or news.  The  Marina number  will probably not bring much result. With the other number Linda   will help you.  “Monty says.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer says, “People have been fishing   this week.  Ice  depths  are  8 to 9   inches. In front of the Marina.  People are using huts and ATV’s  on the ice. People  are catching crappies, pike and  perch.  People say they are catching more pike when I talk to them.  There are some spots that have less ice.  Be mindful of what the ice is doing.  It should be safety first, last and always.  ”

There are no reservations needed for camp sites it is now first come first take. Everything is shut down like the electricity and water.  The cleaning station has been closed.  There are sites still open at Campers Point #1 to 11 and have electric hookups on year round.   “    .

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

Wade explains, “The Marina  was open all week  because of good ice fishing. .  Our hours are 6am to noon.  We will again be open every day this next week as well.   The ice is anywhere from  9 to 11 inches.  We have had a lot of  people on the ice this week. There were crappies, perch and pike caught.  I have only heard of a few walleye caught.  They are using ATV’s or waking on the ice. ”

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

Sources say there is a very thin layer of ice out  to Boy Scout Point.   The bay is still open.

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, “ There is open water.   Fishermen going  out last week caught some lake trout and salmon.   The boat ramp is not  useable.  They were using cranks.  The dredge cuts do have ice. They are catching pike and walleye.  People are in boats on the river fishing as well.  We have meal worms, wax worms and maggots.  We also have smelt, herring and large sucker minnows.   Feel free to call for conditions.  Conditions are changing on a regular basis so feel free to call.  I have numerous sources that are reporting to me conditions on a daily basis.  Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday. ”

The Army Corp put a notice out on regulations for road use around Fort Peck.  Here it is…

Fort Peck limits rec areas access for winter

Fort Peck Project Natural Resources staff
(406) 526-3411

FORT PECK, Montana — Recreationists accessing Fort Peck Lake, Montana, and the Dredge Cuts this winter are reminded that motorized vehicle use is only permitted on public roads, numbered roads, boat ramps or designated ice access routes within U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Recreation Areas. Properly licensed or registered motorized vehicles, including snowmobiles and off-highway vehicle (OHVs), are limited to operation on these identified roads and trails. All other off-road travel is prohibited on USACE lands. This prohibition includes driving along the shoreline of Fort Peck Lake or the Dredge Cuts between the frozen lake and the high water mark except for the purpose of navigating around an ice pressure ridge or open water by the shortest route, not to exceed 1/8 mile.

Once on the ice, recreationists may travel safely at their discretion; however, the US Army Corps of Engineers does not encourage or recommend driving on the ice at any time. Thin ice or open water may exist near springs and pressure ridges and conditions change throughout the winter.

In addition to recreation area boat ramps, the following routes are designated for ice access in the Fort Peck area:  the road behind the Shaft Buildings; First Dredge access road south west of the Park Grove Bridge; Second Dredge North parking lot immediately south of the vault toilet.

Recreationist wanting to access the river or plunge pool at the base of the Fort Peck Spillway are welcome to park at the gate and walk in on Road Number 361. No vehicles are allowed beyond the fence.

For more information, call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Peck Project Natural Resources staff at (406) 526-3411.

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia  

Marina reports, “ We do  have ice at Cooney.   Willow Creek, I am told has 6 to 12 inches.  Someone there caught a 6 pound rainbow.  The North shore I am told has 4 inches of ice.  The middle area just got ice so it is not very thick.  Some say Red Lodge arm has 8 inches.”

The fish cleaning station is still open. The campground is now first come first serve now as the reservation system is done taking them for the season. The boat ramps are out.  The Marshall Cove campground is now open. The drinking water has been shut down for the winter.  Our electric is on year around.  The North shore campground is now closed.

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob reports,” the water is frozen around the edges.  There have been people on the ice and they have been doing well catching perch.  The wind   and warm temps  are constantly  changing .  Although people are catching fish on ice with the predicted warm temperature we have canceled the ice fishing Becoming a Outdoor Woman this weekend.  It is rescheduled for February 9th.   “

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

There is ice on Deadmans.  One fellow is out there right now and he  had to walk through about 10 feet of water to get to the ice to fish.  People are fishing but I question how the ice will be with these warmer temperatures.   Yesterday   a fellow came and put his hut on the ice.  I went to the post office and returned 20 minutes later and the hut was gone and so was he.  I assume he did not like the ice conditions. There  also continues to  be  wind as well., ” Pat tells us.

 Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner Bar Lavina 406-636-2261

 Terry explains, “People have said they fished  on Martinsdale.  When I talked to them in the middle of the week the ice was good and they were catching fish.  I don’t know if it has changed with the warmer weather. “

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

 Judy   reports, “  Fishing at Bair is still excellent. It has been great we are hearing.  Bair has 15 to 18  inches of   ice.  People are catching their limit.  There have been huts on the ice.

 Sutherland also has good ice. There are three hard sided huts are on it. Not as many fishermen going there but are catching.  We only know of one fisherman going there. We did hear Martinsdale has a bit of ice.  They also say there is open water there as well so I don’t know how well it is for fishing. ”

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

Our hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to 4pm on Sunday.”

 Scott   reports, “Not many people talking about fishing this week.

   Crooked Creek Fishing is real good for fishing but I heard  that the amount of ice has gone down by 2 inches.  It is 12 inches in the bay.  The walleye bite is picking up.

   On Nelson   people are saying   fishing is okay.  Some   caught a few perch.  Fishing can also be sketchy some days.  I saw a picture of someone’s very large hut that fell through the ice.  The sun heated up the tent and it melted the ice inside and it fell into the water.  The hut had been up a long time.  All I can say is you have to check on your hut for changes in the ice on a regular basis. “

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

Slim reports, “  The ice is in good shape. It I holding well.  It has still been cold here. W had a couple of days of 40 degrees but it is cold overnight.  When I got up at 5 am it was 5 degrees.    The wind has only been blowing 8 mph. There is 1 foot of ice in the bay. Certain spots on Soda Creek have 13 inches.  The main river people say is 5 to 6 inches. The ice is clear and there is no snow on it.  As of today there is no open water we can see.     People are catching walleye, northern pike and perch.  They are using live bait.  I do have some bait but not a lot so I suggest people try to bring some. .  There is 10 to 11 inches in the bay”.

Slim is at the marina full time now.  He is open 7am to 7 pm  Wednesday to Monday.  He will be closed on Tuesday.  If you have questions call Slim at 406-366-6313 and leave a message.

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Staff   says,” We have ice, 5 to 6 inches.  You can walk out 100 feet at this point.  It is not safe for 4 wheeler as the ice depths are not the same all over .  It is not good ice or bad ice just new ice.  You have to be aware of conditions.  People are catching trout and a few perch.    We are still having  some  wind.  Feel free to call if you want to know how conditions are or check the web site.  I will post things there.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the last week in January for the annual Lions perch tournament.”

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,” I was at Nelson the other day. Nelson   has 9 to 13 inches of ice. Fishing is spotty at times.  The ice is holding fine. They are catching perch and walleye are being  caught early in the morning and late in the day.

I heard that Forchette has 3 inches at the max in the bay.

I also heard there was 10 inches of clear ice at Petrolia.

I have lots of minnow for people who are headed ice fishing.  “

Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.

 Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce   reports, “I heard Cooney has had 3 to 5 inches of ice.   No one has said how they have done.

On Tongue the fishermen have said the ice was 10 inches thick.   Guys have said the fishing was good  on the south end .

Crooked Creek   is good fishing right now.  They  said you still have to watch the ice in places.

People have caught perch at Elmo.  They said the ice is 6 to 7 inches close to shore. It varies in spots so you really have to be careful.  With the warm temperatures things could change quickly.”

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” I have heard there is 4 to 5 inches of  ice on Canyon Ferry.  It is clear up to Hole In The Wall.  It has been 3 degrees at night  so ice is still developing.

The Jefferson is froze over.  The Gallatin has shelf ice which is goig to make it hard to fish on.  The Madison has a lot of chunks of ice in it.

There is ice at Ennis.

People are fishing below Houser using a jet boat.  “

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

 The shop is closed right now except by appointment.

People who headed out are  trying from shore but it is slow.  Watch out for  the ice on the edge of the water. Small streamers may work.”

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

Beau says,” I have fished the big Horn this week. The water clarity is definitely clearer.  Use orange scuds as they are working.   Sow bugs in pink and tan are also working to catch fish.  Streamers are fishing good .   ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375   

The water has definitely cleared.  Fishing is decent right now.   Streamers and nymphing are working  okay. It has been decent  fishing pretty much everyday

Our hours   are   8 am to 12 every day.

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

Fishes Madison River and Yellowstone National Park waters


Down below the surface trout are eating smaller flashy nymphs, especially midges earlier in the day. If the day warms a bit or is sunny, expect to see a few fish rising in the slower water. Large stonefly nymphs and streamers also work in the deeper water.

Stay warm!

 Yellowstone Park

All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.