Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 1.1.19
By angelamontana

Posted: January 1, 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

  The past weeks have been difficult for Neil and Linda as Neil had triple bypass heart surgery.  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.  Neil is mending and following doctor’s orders.  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

Raymond says, “We have seen lots of fishermen late this week.  Many of  the depths of ice are  6 inches.  At Rattlesnake point I heard some people say the ice is 9 inches.  People have used huts and ATV’s  on the ice. We even had a few  campers. People  were catching crappies, pike and mostly  perch. ”

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 this past weekend.  Our hours are 6am to noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday.   I am hearing   the ice is anywhere from  6 to 8 inches of ice. It is growing daily.  We have had about 100 people on the ice this weekend.   There were 7 to 8 campers up here this week.  I know  there was some nice fish caught. We   are  stocked with multiple size minnows.”

 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, “ It is 42 degrees and raining  today.  Fishing is a big fat zero.  We have had no   fishermen out this week.   The boat ramp is not  useable.  It has ice and snow on it.  We do not have ice.  The dredge cuts do have ice but not here.  Feel free to call for conditions.   ”

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, “ 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,” there was a skiff  of ice on Elmo but today it is wide open. The wind   and warm temps  has changed that. Even the edges are not safe right now.   Last week   they were catching the heck out of perch using worms but now you can’t even do that. “

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat

The water is  froze over  but you can see some spots of open areas. There has been a  lot of wind as well.  We have seen a few  fishermen today.  There are a couple of soft side huts on it, ” Pat tells us.

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

 Terry explains, “I have heard no word about ice on Martinsdale.  People have   headed to Sutherland  which has  good ice there. “

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

 Rich says, “  Fishing at Bair  has been excellent.  Bair has 15 inches of   ice.  People are catching their limit in 3 hours.  There have been huts on the ice.  Sutherland also has ice and there are three hard sided huts are on it.  ”

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.”

 Colby   reports:

   On the East fork there is 6 inches of ice.  People are caching small perch.

   Hanson is still fishing well they tell me.

   Achley  has ice but does not go out far.  With warm weather like 44 degrees the ice is thin.

   Crooked Creek Fishing is real good I am hearing.  Fishermen are catching some nice pike and walleye.

   On Nelson   people are saying they caught a lot of nice perch.  The perch seem to be at depths of 20 feet.  I have also had some people say fishing can also be sketchy some days.=

   On Petrolia  a group went out and said there was enough ice in some places.   You really do need to check the ice.  They found some places with 4 to 5 inches  but elsewhere was less.

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

Attison Craig, age 10 caught a nice walleye.  She says, “it was a nice big 6 pound walleye.  It gave me a pretty good fight.”

Slim reports, “  The ice is good, real good.  People are catching.  There is 10 to 11 inches in the bay.  On the river channel there is 7 to 8 inches.  Squaw Creek has 4 inches.  You do have to watch for pressure ridges.  The weakest spots are closest to shore.   They are catching norther pike, and perch.  Out at Anderson they are catching walleye.

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 no ice.  There is only 1 inch in one tiny spot.  We have had lots of wind.  It is just not good at all out there.    Feel free to call if you want to know how conditions are or check the web site.  I will post anything 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,” Nelson  has 7 to 14 inches.  The ice is holding fine. They are getting fish at all depths.     People are going on foot or with a few using 4 wheelers.

I heard that Forchette is not frozen over yet.”

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   reports, “Cooney has had 3 to 5 inches of ice.   Guys tried fishing and said the bite was sketchy for ling.

On Tongue, guys have said they only caught a few walleye on the south end .  Only an occasional pike caught.

On Deadmans people have said the ice is not good yet in some places and fishing was slow.

Crooked Creek  is good fishing with some decent ice.  They  said you still have to watch the ice in places.

On the Big Horn they are catching ling at the Afterbay right now.  “

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says,” I have heard there is no ice on Canyon Ferry.

 People have said they were heading to Georgetown which has ice.  Guys are reporting that they are catching trout and Kokanees.

Harrison has some ice but it is no longer safe they are saying. There is some open water.  That all changed because of the wind and warm temperatures.

 The rivers are hard to get on because of the weather and shelf ice.  You can also see chunks of ice floating down it.  The east Gallatin is open but you have to use a drift boat on it people tell me.  The fishing is good.  The Jefferson has a lot of ice,  It is bridged up and I have had ranchers telling me they had to move their horses because it is on the land.  I had some people who went to Forchette and turned back because there was no ice.  ”

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

People who headed out are  trying from shore but it is slow.  Watch out 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,” The browns are spawning.  I have found orange scuds are working.   Sow bugs in pink and tan are also working to catch fish.  The water is good and has cleared up.  Using streamers are fairly productive.  You find more   chasers than eaters.    ”

Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375

Word has it fishing is decent right now.  The water is clear on the lake.  Streamers are working  better than they have.

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!

Happy New Year!

 Yellowstone Park

All fishing in Yellowstone is closed until 2019.