Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 4.8.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: April 9, 2020

Spring  is still here. The unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures, ice conditions, wind  and  water mean everyone needs to be vigilant when being outside.   Outdoor enthusiasts including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Storms like snow and dangerous fire 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 compilation by Carol Henckel)

 Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt 1-406-230-1283  for Linda 

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

  Linda  reports, “  The ice is hanging on. You still cannot get on.  The bay is open.

Monty  explains, ”I just spoke to the Army Corp and they said I can open up when I can. They feel our location with the peninsula makes social distancing very possible.  We will limit the number of people into the Marina for the 6-foot social distancing mandated and hope everyone will use common sense at that  time.  We are concerned about this problem but want people to be able to relax and fish.  We are not ready to open so we will let people know when we are. We are excited  and looking forward to seeing our customers.

If you wish to make reservations for the 2020 summer, please call Monty at 406-465-0241.  If you wish information for winter ice fishing call me, Linda, at the Marina at 1-406-485-2560.  I check my messages fairly often and will return your call.  You can also call me on my cell phone as well 406-230-1283 to get information.   The marina is closed for the season until we post it. “

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

 Spencer reports,” Raymond checked the surface temperature of the water is 42 degrees.  The water is open, but you can see some chunks of ice  floating.  We have seen a few boats out there and  have heard a few walleye and bass were caught. At this time there is no public access to  the FWP department building.  We are open for day use only right now.  The water level has definitely gone up. The playground is closed.  Our docks are not in.

We are telling people who call to make sure and check the county rules as well as the state government mandates. Please make the best decisions and do the social distancing that we need.  Highway 212 does have check points and we want to make sure you know that.  We ask you to do the right thing for this time.

  The power and water are turned off. That means the dump station and fish cleaning station are off.  Camping spots 1 to 11 have power but no water.

 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, Fletcher /Warden Jordan Staley

Wade explained, “ We are working on getting the Marina ready to open just have not decided when yet.  We want to do it safely.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone again. We have open water. You can launch a boat from the ramps.  I have been told some walleye, crappie and bass have been caught.   There is only day use right now in the campground.  There are a couple of boats out there right now.

   We are still closed at this time. ”

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

  Clint reports, ” The Marina is closed right now.  The water still has some  ice chunks.  We have had only a few  boats out there. A couple guys fished from the bank  and caught some northern pike.  The fishermen were mostly locals.

The Tough Guy Tournament has been canceled.

Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt, Haley 1-406-526-3597

Haley reports, “ we still have ice. There are  chunks in the middle of the lake.  You can’t use a boat yet. The shoreline is starting to open up. From the shore the guys are using cranks catching northern pike, walleye and a few catfish.   Some  guys with a boat are going down the river by the spillway at the dam.  They have caught some walleye, pike and lake trout.  The Corp shut down the campground.  We have RV space available.”

 We are open.  We can cover all your needs.   Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina  Jessica & Scott Collinsworth   1-406-565-6283   

Open  Monday to Friday  11am to 9am/ Saturday and Sunday 8 am breakfast and open to 10pm  Tackle Store is open 7 am to 9pm daily

 Scott  reports “ we cannot launch out of the Marina yet, but it is getting close.  Guys are fishing out of Nelson Creek, but fishing hasn’t been too great.  Some guys have been fishing off the bank  catching some pike and a few walleyes where the ice has receded.  The river has been getting hit pretty hard, but fishing hasn’t been the best yet.  Hoping with  some warm temps the ice leaves and the fishing picks up.  Stay healthy and safe.“

Stop in the bait store or give us a call 406-526-3442  for the most up to date reports and to let us help point you in the right direction for a great trip.  We have all the tackle and live bait to make your trip a successful one. “

 Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson. Shauni, Cynthia, Jake

Jake reports,” It is open  only for day use here,  no camping.  The ramp is open,  but Cooney is not boatable right now.  It is 75 per cent froze over. The ice is changing  all the time.  Saturday you could get on but only for 100 feet.  Today you can’t get out at all because the wind has moved the ice.  People from shore have caught some nice rainbow trout with worms and bobbers when it is open.  Some are fishing from the bottom. Please remember to keep the distance of 6 feet from each other no matter where you are.”

  The water has been turned off now.   The electricity is also off except at Marshall Cove and Red Lodge campgrounds.  The docks are pulled. Remember, your dogs are welcome but don’t forget your leash. Please make sure your vehicle is being driven on the road.

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says,” Elmo has open water.   Many  families   have been  coming to fish probably to get a break.  Wherever you are at Elmo you cannot be in larger groups than ten.  You can no longer fish from the pier because of the restrictions. The picnic areas should not be used as they are closed.

The Fishing Access Sites are open.  There is no over night camping right now.

We have locked the doors .  We  have a few staff  working in the building. If you need a license you can get that online only. If you need a question answered call and we will try to help you.

Remember you need a new fishing license now as of March 1st and you can do it online.  ”

 Deadmans Tony Stefani/ Pat  

Pat reports,” Deadmans is now  open water.   We have had about 10 different groups fishing this week.  Some were families but they were respectful of the rules and were spread out on the shore.  They each were in one of the coves.  We had boaters as well. I haven’t heard what they were catching but I suspect it is salmon as people are definitely coming here right now.   ”

Cozy Corner bar Deadmans/Martinsdale Lavina 406-636-2261  Terry

At this time the bar is closed . Unable to get a fishing report.

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

 Rick  reports, “ we have heard of a few fishing this week. They were going to Bair and Sutherlan.  There is open water we heard at Martinsdale. We do not know if anyone was catching. “

 Our bar is closed at this time. ”

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 , “  not a lot of fishing out there right now.

I heard there is still ice at East Fork.

Spring Creek- You can fish Spring Creek.  It has been good using a nymph or a streamer. They are catching lots of browns.

Achley- Achley is open from shore and for boat.  People tell me  they caught a few rainbow trout. I know the department just put fish in. Most people are spin fishing.

Missouri- The water temp on the Missouri was 47 degrees last Monday. We caught 6 walleyes. We caught some sauger.   The shore fishing was picking up.

Crooked Creek-I heard the water is low.  It is closed at this time.“

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

The marina is NOT  open.  We are going to continue to be closed until the pandemic is over or I am told it is safe. Slim reports, “ People  were fishing there this week and because of the small area there were way too many people there. The Corp informed me that Crooked Creek is closed as they also saw too many people there.  They let me know they closed it and have it posted as well.

 The marina will be closed so there will be no services like bait or fuel.    You will not be able to rent cabins.  I will let you know when things change, and I open.”

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon reports,” FOR THE NEXT 2 ½ WEEKS THE  COUNTY WILL BE REDOING THE PARKING LOT BY THE MAIN ROAD AND LAUNCH AREA.  You will be able to launch at the South ramp. That may only happen for a short time as they are talking about shutting the campground down because of the virus.  Call for information  at 406-266-3100.   Things may continue to change so call Sharon before you come or for camping overnight. Please remember the 6-foot distance ruling when you come.”

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

The Flamingo is closed.

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

Dan reports,  “ My shop is closed permanently .  The inventory will be sold off later.”

Billings-Scheels Jayce, Tanner, Matt 

Jayce reports he has heard and knows, “Yellowstone- People have been fishing on the Yellowstone from billings  and caught some rainbow trout and some walleye. They were using a jig.

Stillwater River- I heard fishing on the Stillwater was good. Guys were catching some  trout nymphing using Copper Johns and a prince.

People were trying to fish on the Big Horn right at the mouth of the Yellowstone.  The rest of the  Big Horn you can not get on.

Crooked Creek- I talked to some guys who said some of the ice was off, but it was floating

Rock Creek at Red Lodge-Guys fished at Rock Creek and said it was good  by Joliet and caught rainbows and browns. They were using red copper johns.  If you went below it got dirtier, higher up was clearer.

Tongue- People have fished from the bank and caught some bass.

Whatever you do protect our fishing by following the guidelines.  “

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540

Rich says, “ I have decided to close my shop for now because of the virus. So I am closed until further notice.

I did here people were catching on Canyon Ferry.

The rivers are open, and some people are fishing.  Don’t know if they have caught anything. ”

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

According to the phone message the shop is closed until April 10th because of the virus. You can email for booking trips or check on an already booked trips.

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

Beau says, “Fishing on the  Big Horn is not possible so  you can’t fish there now because of the roadblocks.

I floated the Yellowstone from Big Timber to Pelican.  It was poor in the morning but afternoon I saw BWD’s.  I used an Adams in size 14 to 16 and caught some decent fish.

On the Stillwater we waded and saw BWD as well and caught a few fish.  The water was pretty cold still.

We all know we want to get out but please take the precautions they request.  ”

 Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375   Rick/Hale/Stephanie

Rick explains,” We have been shut down.  Even the locals cannot fish.  We have been closed by the county health department, the State, the Feds and the Reservation with the tribal posts.  We are closed up from After Bay to three mile.  The campgrounds are closed as well.  If you try to come here,  there are roadblocks in several places and you will be asked to show ID and if you are not local and live there you will not be allowed through.

  Please stay safe.  Right now it is a wait and see what happens next.  “

  We are in winter  hours and are open  8 am to 12 every day.

Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg.  Open 730am-9pm  406-646-9644.

 West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 10/7/19 

No further fishing report until Spring