Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 5.20.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: May 21, 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 compiled by Carol Henckel)

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

 Marina number is 1-406-485-2560

  Linda  reports, “ Fishing was good this past week. Someone caught a nice pike.  It was 45 inches and caught it jigging with a minnow. People caught a few lake trout.  They caught some nice walleye in the 24 to 36-inch size.  I heard some people were bottom bouncing as well.  The lake trout are being caught at 60 feet heading south.  It is 70 degrees today, so the water has to be warming up.  We did have some wind this week.   Stop in the Marina and we will give you what fishing tips we have heard. All our services are fully functioning. The electricity and water are on now.  “

Monty  explains, ”We will limit the number of people into the Marina for the 6-foot social distance mandate and hope everyone will use common sense while recreating.  We want people to be able to relax and fish. We are looking forward to seeing our customers.

To make reservations for the 2020 summer, please call Monty at 406-465-0241. “


Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

 Raymond reports,”  We were busy this weekend. We had 40  vehicles  here right now and it is Tuesday. We are hearing from fishermen and they were catching a  bass, some walleyes, a few crappies, some cats  and northern pike.  The water is rising.  It is 4 feet off of peak of high water.  It is at 34.26. Many are using minnows.  Everything is working. The fish cleaning station is up and running. The restrooms are open, the docks are in and the water is on. We just ask the people to follow the distancing directions given by the Governor.   ”

 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

Fletcher  explained, “ Our week was busy with lots of people.  The northern pike are coming in now.  We had a lot of shore fishermen here.  You can catch walleye and pike from shore people are saying.  People are using minnows and minnows.  Many are using worm harnesses. The  dock and boat slips are in.  Our hours are Monday to Thursday 8-5, Friday Saturday 6 to 9 and Sunday 7 to 5. ”


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

  Clint reports, ” Guys are catching walleye heading to the narrows towards  Timber Creek.  The northern pike are being found in Hell Creek and Snow Creek.  Some people are getting some off the bank.  They are using cranks and jigs.  People are doing really well for bass.  They are finding them  at the Narrows and Duck Creek.  Guys are finding small mouth bass in 10 to 14 feet depths.  You can find them right now pretty much anywhere.  The water temperature is 58 degrees at the Narrow and Timber Creek.  In  Hell Creek in the main channel the water temperature is 53 degrees.   For walleye they are using a jig and a minnow.  You can catch northern pike  anywhere under the sun.  Boy Scout Point for bank fishing  is now open.

In coming here we just ask that you follow the Governor’s  orders on distancing.  Come on up and fish.”

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

Eddie  reports, “ we had some wind this week but there were times when fishing was good.  People were having good results  for northern pike, smallmouth bass, walleye, and lake trout. A few northern pike have been found down to 30 feet. The lake trout are being found at 7 to 50 feet depths.  Spoons are working for them.  Some people are trolling with deep diver cranks.  The average size of lake trout is 8 to 12 pounds.  They are finding the lakers towards Hakesbee, Bear Creek and the face of the dam.  Northerns, bass and walleye are towards the Pines, all around the Nelson and McGuire Creek.

We do have Jumbo sucker, shiners, fatheads’ minnows, smelt and herring  We also have RV spaces available. ”

Our hours are   7am-6 pm Monday through Sunday.

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

 Scott  reports “ the bar and restaurant hours are  as follows: open 7 days a week. Monday to  Thursday 11am to 9 pm, Friday 11am to 10 pm.  Saturday and Sunday 8am to 10 pm.

Please be aware we are practicing social distancing.  That means only 6 people at a table and your table must be 6 feet from another table.  There is no standing or sitting at the bar.

The tackle store is open 7 days a week as well.  Monday through Thursday 7 to 9, Friday through Sunday 6 to 10.

Walleye fishing- Fishing has been great this week.  Our best bite has been between 2 ft and 15 feet of water. We have been doing  best on jigs and  minnows or swimbaits.  The fish seem to be holding on main lake points as of now.

Northern Pike – fishing has been really heating up this week with the warmer temps.  Pike have been in the back of the bays along weed edges and rocky points with guys pitching jigs, cranks and spoons up shallow for best result.

Lake trout- Fishing has been steady with guys finding fish up shallow to really deep.  Some great fish have been coming out of 4 to 15 feet of water pitching swimbaits or trolling cranks.  Some guys are still getting decent limits of fish in 80-100 feet of water with guys trolling spoons and cranks behind flashers.  Gold, silver, brown and blue have been the best colors.

Have a great week everyone.  I hope to see you at the lake. “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, ” This week the water clarity has really cleared up, but we are not expecting it to last long with this weeks projected runoff. Surface temperatures range from 53 to 57 degrees across the reservoir. With the warming water the walleye bite is really improving. Target the warmer water along the weed edges or in the bays, a couple degrees will make all the difference. Walleye are starting to target leeches and worms. This week, soft plastics seemed to do the best with purple or green being the popular color. The perch colored rip n glide worked for some groups. The perch are hitting on Rapalas. Anglers are catching trout from shore using worms

Cynthia reports,”  the water has gone a little.  There are 2 sites that are semi flooded in Marsha Cove so there is no camping in those two. The other sites in Marshal Cove are open. We are asking people to follow pack in, pack out garbage. We have less garbage receptacles.”

  Remember your dogs are welcome but, do not forget your leash. Please make sure your vehicle is being driven on the road.

*Last week there was a typing error in another report by me. Let me assure everyone that I and that party know there are perch in Cooney and no pike.  I apologize for any confusion I caused with my mistake.

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says,” we had many people here this week. People are catching fish.  The river is  up. It is really up.  The bird watchers are out watching the herons and their nests.  People are catching fish  by using bait on the bottom.  Our office remains closed.   You can fish from the pier and use the picnic areas as the earlier  restrictions have been lifted.  Remember no groups larger than ten people are allowed.

DES wants to remind  people that no matter what you are coming to do  in Montana from another state, whether it to be to shop, to fish, visit or picnic you must quarantine for 14 days as has been directed.  They also  hope you will remember to continue to follow the distancing guidelines whether you are at Elmo or anywhere else .”

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat reports,” the water has come up.  Lots of people tried fishing here.   They were catching salmon and trout.  They say the bite  is happening.   We ask that you are  respectful of the rules the Governor has laid out.

 Broadview pond was being well used this week.  The fishing appears to be good from all of the people there.  ”

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

Terry reports, “ I have been selling lots of worms.  They tell me they are heading to  Deadmans.  No one has come back to tell me how they did .

 The fishing at  Broadview Pond is good.  Lots of  guys fishing. They caught a few cutthroat and  rainbow trout.

I had someone. who heard the bass were biting on the Musselshell, so he bought worms and was heading there.  ”

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

 Rick   reports, “ We heard fishing at Bair was fair.  They caught a few fish.  We have not heard anything on Sutherlan yet.   I heard Martinsdale is slow fishing.   All our local creeks are  up.  Both Bair and Sutherlan  are going over the spillway.  ”

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 , “ at Spring Creek it has cleared enough to fish right now.  With the rain that is supposed to come fish it now because it may change after the rain.

Achley- Achley is producing tiger muskies.  Some guys are catching some big rainbow trout.  They have caught  some nice ones .

East Fork-  People are telling us they are catching lots of perch and an occasional northern pike.

Petrolia- At Petrolia, the water is off color.

Crooked Creek- If you are willing to run the lake you will catch walleye and northern pike. For clear water you have to go as far as Forchette.  They are primarily jigging with a minnow.  A few people are starting to catch pike from shore. People told us  fishing was good at Crooked Creek. People were doing very well. They were jigging with a minnow or a plastic.

Missouri- The Missouri is producing some paddlefish. They are also catching some cats.“

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

Carri says,” The marina is open.  The new deck is completed.  We have all services.  We ask  you follow  the Governor’s distancing orders.“

Fishing out on the lake is good.  Fishermen are catching walleye, bass, and northern pike.  They are finding the fish just about anywhere right now in depths of 3 to 17 feet. People are throwing cranks toward the bank for pike.   Most people are vertical jigging  with pink and purple colors. They are using  minnows and worms. Some leaches are even working.  Those who are trying shore fishing are finding the pike are coming in towards shore.  Our hours  are 7 to 7 now 7 days a week.  I am so looking forward to seeing everyone.   “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon reports,” trout fishing has been good  heading north.  The fishing for walleye has slowed a little.  People are fishing going north to Confederate.  We are looking forward to fishing and seeing people.  The water is coming up. I think it will be decent by this weekend. Come stop in at the shop and I will give you any  information you need.

The BOR campground is open.  Please remember when at the campground to distance as you recreate. ”

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

The Flamingo is now open.  Come and enjoy the new food menu and some of the old favorites.

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

Rich says, “  Come on over to the shop I am open. I ask,  because of the virus that  you come in with a mask.  I have been hearing from a lot of people who are heading to Fort Peck.  they have been going to Crooked Creek, the dam, and the Dry Arm.  I heard from one fisherman who caught lots of  bass and a 42-inch pike at the dam.  Some people have caught some nice walleyes at the dam. The biggest walleye was 8 pounds and the average ones were 4,5,6 pounds.

The rivers are high and  muddy.  The only thing I hear people have been catching is carp and suckers.    ”

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

Chris says, “the shop is open.  The Stillwater and Yellowstone are both really blown out.   They are really high as well. It is not clear even above  Absarokee or at Livingston.  I guess I would look for small tributaries to try to fish. We are taking appointments for  guiding now. “

Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau says, “ fishing on the Missouri has been good.  The entire river is fishing well all the way to Cascade. The water is clear right now.  We are seeing BWD  in the afternoon.  I have been nymphing with a pheasant tail , sow bugs and San Juan worms.  The fish have been nice size. We are seeing lots of fishing going on.”

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

Rick explains,” the CFS is 2500 as of today (Tuesday).  We heard they were going to drop it tomorrow.  Right now it is great wading almost anywhere.  The dry fly fishing has been getting better and better.   All camping has opened up.   On cloudy days we are seeing a good baetes and midge hatch in the afternoon around 1pm to the late afternoon. We are suggesting fishermen try the BP3, a zebra or a Ju Ju baetes.  You can also use a soft gray Ray in #18 or any soft tackle pink bead pattern.  Some people have had luck on streamers going deep.  Use  a sink tip, a thin mint, a dirty hippie, or a wooly bugger.

Our lodge is open so you can stay with us. We are doing the safeguards that we are being asked to do. Please come and go fishing.  The fishing is good. We are open for fishing for Montana residents at this time  We are not allowed to shuttle out of state visitors. The Crow tribe continues to have things locked down until May 15th at this time.  They are turning around non-resident visitors.  They continue to have checkpoints.

Fishing has been really good.  People are catching some real nice rainbows and browns. The rainbows are in the red, so please be aware.    The lake is still closed.

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