Spring is here and that means sudden changes in weather and water. 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
Linda reports,” Fishing was pretty good for several days. We had rain every day with wind but the guys still caught some fish. Early in the week someone caught a nice walleye and a northern. The water temperature was 54 degrees on Thursday and the next day it had dropped to 42 degrees. We had one group of fishermen who just came in and they a caught a northern pike, a bass, 2 16 inch walleye at a depth of 15 to 22 feet and one perch. We had heavy dew this morning so it is getting cold at night, It is 48 degrees right now outside. The road is passable. “
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond reports, “ The water is spilling over the spillway. The CFS is 3428 right now.. All the docks are now in. There is water turned on at PeeWee north. The bathrooms are working and the trash cans are out. I heard of a few people catching fish despite the rain. They said they caught a few crappie, bass and a couple northern pike. The water is starting to muddy up.
The reservation system is now in effect . We are part of a new pilot program that allows you to make a reservation one day ahead. We are hoping that this brings in people who have been unable to use the campground on short notice. Other spots like Campers Point, Sandpoint, Peewee, Rattlesnake, Peewee North, and River view below the dam are open to first come, first serve. They have no electrical. The docks are in.
Remember to check your regulations for the information for this region about what minnows you may use on Tongue. “ .
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg /Warden Jordan Staley
Stephanie reports , “ I has been really rainy. Some fishermen caught a few bass from shore using a white tail. Some guys caught crappie on a purple tiger flicker shade trolling slow. The reservoir is full and the water temperature last I heard was 50 degrees. The water is murky and 52 degrees. Docks are in now. We have lots of minnows and rock chubs. “
Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne 1-406- 557-2345
Clint says, ” The walleye fishing has been good for walleye toward Timber Creek when the wind is not blowing. The northern pike are biting a little better toward Shallow Creek at 8 to 10 feet. We need better weather. If it is sunny they are shallow but on cloudy days they are at 10 to 12 feet. All docks are in. ”
Marina is open 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm.
Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt 1-406-526-3597
Justin reports, “ Guys are pitching jigs for walleye and are finding them heading toward Duck Creek and Flat Lake. It has been pretty good as it is starting to pick up. The water temperature is 44 degrees right now. The lake trout are doing fairly well. They are at depths of 18 to 60 feet. Pitching spoons. The main lake is clear. The bay has had wind and rain so that has stirred it up so it is not clear.”
We have meal worms, wax worms and maggots. We also have smelt herring and large sucker minnows. Our hours are 7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.
Fort Peck Marina Jessica & Scott Collinsworth 1-406-565-6283
Thursday, Friday and Monday 9am to noon/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 9pm
(last weeks report-unable to contact)
Scott reports, “ Scott says, “Lake trout fishing is sporadic. They are at 20 to 70 feet. The main lake is 47 degrees and the bays seem to be a touch under 50 degrees. Walleye fishing has a sporadic bite as well. It is starting to increase. Try a swim bait with a minnow and a jig produce best. People are catching pike from shore. Swim bait and minnows are working best. They also are doing well with crank baits. We should have leeches by the end of the week. We also have crawlers and minnows. “
We have opened the bait and tackle store on Thursday thru Monday and we have everything you need for chasing fish on Fort Peck. We also have campsites available with power for anyone that wants to bring your camper to the lake. The spots are on concrete and right on the lake shore. You can access the lake right from your camper. “
Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia
Cynthia says,” We have not seen any fishermen for at least the last 4 days. So fishing has been not been happening. It has been raining every day. The docks are in.
The fish cleaning station is shut down due to a water line break by the pump station. It may be repaired by Thursday, Drinking water is available on the west side of the campground.
Your dogs are welcome at Cooney but please do not forget your leash.”
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
“Not many people out on Elmo right now with all the rain. There are not many guys out, about 10 each day but despite the weather they seem to be catching. When they were out there the week before the guys were spin casting with bait ,” Bob reports.
Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat
Pat says,” There have been no fishermen out at Deadman’s this week because of the rain. We did have some campers here but they did not venture out. ”
Deadmans/Martinsdale Cozy Corner bar Lavina 406-636-2261
Terry explains, “I talked to some customers but they did not go fishing with all of the rain this week . So, no report this week. ”
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy says,” no one went out this week. It was cold with lots of wind and really miserable. No one wanted to go fishing this week. There is snow in the mountains and more predicted.”
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
John reports , “ The weather sure was a factor this week. If you wanted to try fishing with the weather I would head to Achley because of the gravel road. Fishing has been good for trout from shore this week. A few muskies have been caught.
Spring Creek- It has had clear water . That may change with the rain. It was cold enough that people did not see any hatches. So I would recommend spin casting with spinners.
Missouri- The Missouri is muddy . Only a few sauger caught. I hear the cats and paddlefish have been good fishing.
Crooked Creek- Crooked Creek was slow fishing last week guys who went told me. Not a lot of people caught fish. The weather made it real tough.
East Fork-On the East Fork I heard of someone catching 3 to 5 pound perch and some pike.”
We do have smelt, worms, meal worms, maggots and wax worms. We have live minnows. “
Crooked Creek Marina Winnett, Montana James (Slim) and Abbie Craig, Carri Craig 406-429-2999
Carri says, The pike bite was good this week from shore for pike. Guys caught some nice size ones. One was 41 inches and 16 ½ inches. On the lake they are pretty much catching everything. Some walleye, crappie, drum, northern pike and bass. The water is muddy but not as much farther down. Most people were using jigs and only a few tried bottom bouncers. The weather was beautiful despite the wind bursts.”
When you come to Crooked Creek, I suggest you bring minnows if you have them. I do have some bait but not a lot, so I suggest people bring minnows.
The campground and marina are 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
Sharon says,” Fishing has been not too bad. The water temperature is around 58 degrees. The lake is launchable and the docks are in. The water is higher than last year. The water is slightly muddy. You should keep your eyes out for a few floating Christmas trees. They are finding walleye at Pond 1 or going north. Nice trout are being caught towards White Earth. ”
The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.
The Flamingo is closed.
West Side Sports Jim Mayer 1-406-654-1611
Jim reports,” Nelson isn’t great fishing. It was rainy all week. Only a few fish caught It definitely was not a runaway. The road will be muddy. ”
I do have larger minnows for sale right now.
Shop hours are 8 to 6 Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.
Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt
Jayce reports, “ The rain definitely has changed conditions.
Cooney-I hear some people are getting a few walleye at Cooney. Guys have said they caught a walleye jigging with a leach. We now got leaches in.
Tongue-People have said the water temperature has gotten colder. Fishermen say the bites were much less this week.
Yellowstone- People are catching some cats on the Lower Yellowstone. Not a lot of them but it is just starting.
The Paddlefish fishing at Intake on the Yellowstone is starting. It is not hot and heavy but they are catching a few. The Missouri paddlefish are also just starting. There is just not much catching yet. “
Rich’s Tackle Richard 406-285-4540
The rivers are way up and are more real muddy. The Yellowstone is high and really moving. It is getting muddier with the rain we have had.
At Canyon Ferry I heard someone caught a nice 18 inch walleye on a worm despite the rain. The water is up quite a lot.
I had a couple of guys who went to Nelson. They went in with a camper pickup and said it was a tough go because of the rain. They drove through huge ruts and figure it will be a challenge getting out “
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
Chris states,” The Stillwater River when it was cooler this week dropped. With all this rain that will really change I am sure.
Yellowstone- The Yellowstone is muddy and with all this rain it is going to be even more. The Yellowstone is going to really shoot up and that will mean it will be moving fast. That will change this a lot. I don’t think it will be fishable for quite a while. “
Montana Adventures and Angling in Fort Smith Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau reports,” fishing on the Missouri River this week was fantastic! Nymphing is pretty good using a brown drake. You can also use a San Quan worm or a sow bug. They are working well. After noon around a 1 pm there is a gray brown hatch. Try a size #12 Parachute Adams which imitates a march brown. See some of them at between 1 and 2 pm.
The Deer born is coming out and is pretty clear right now. It is great fishing.
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375
“Stephanie says, “ The water CFS is 3500. Baetes are coming on and guys are seeing lots of midges. We are seeing midges in the late afternoon. We also are seeing some baetes in the evening. People are catching fish but they have to work harder for them. The water is coming up. The water is clearer and you can see the bottom up above and then clouds up at Soap Creek. The water is 39 degrees today (Tuesday). Use midge patterns. Try orange scuds and Gray Rays. It is not easy fishing you really have to put on your “A” game. “
Our hours are 8 am to 12 every day.
Riverside Anglers in West Yellowstone : Alice Owsley, fishing guide and outfitter 406-640-1698.
We would like to thank Alice for her time and effort to provide us with a timely and complete fishing report. Remember even though she no longer will be doing the report she is a very qualified fishing guide should you need one.
Madison River Outfitters– West Yellowstone – Tom
Fishes Madison River , Hebgen and Yellowstone National Park waters
Tom reports, “
Upper Madison: After getting a teaser of some nice spring weather last week, we are back to the reality of what May weather in Montana can be. The last few days have been cold, rainy and snowy with the forecast for the upcoming week calling for more of the same. That being said, this weather should put off the impending runoff for the foreseeable future and the fishing has been really good. Nymphing with Sili Legs, worms and smaller dips, Frenchies and Red Neck flies continues to be most effective. We are still having our best success fishing in soft pockets along the banks, rock slicks, and any slower drop-offs/depth changes you can find. As for dry fly fishing, be on the lookout for baetis coming off this week as this weather should be ideal for them. Fishing a dry dropper rig with a chubby and a Sili Legs dropper has also been fun, if not the most effective way of going about catching fish.
Flies: #8-10 Sili-legs, #12-14 Biot Golden Stone, San Juan Worm, #16 Frenchie, #16 Red Neck, #16-18 Black Lightning Bug, #16 Guide Dip/$3 Dip, #16-18 DOA Baetis Cripple, #16-18 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #12-14 Royal Chubby, #12-14 Peacock Chubby
Hebgen: We continue to have some great fishing in the mornings and even sometimes creeping into the early afternoon hours when the wind stays down. There has been a good amount of fish feeding on midges on the surface on calm days, but they have been pretty sporadic with a lot of one-and-done risers. Fishing chironomid nymphs a few feet under an indicator will be your best bet.
Gallatin: Runoff has started on the Gallatin and the river is definitely up, but the weather this week should stall out any further rise in water levels. Nymphing will be about your only option right now. Use larger stonefly nymphs, worms and heavier czech-style patterns and try to find some slow, soft pockets along the banks. *Park stretch remains closed until this coming Saturday.*
The Yellowstone National Park fishing season opens May 25, this Saturday !