Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report compiled by Carol Henckel 5.13.20
By angelamontana

Posted: May 14, 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.

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

 Marina number is 1-406-485-2560

  Linda  reports, “ we had a good week.  Fishing was good.  Fishermen were catching walleye, northern pike, bass and trout towards the dam.  They also were catching them in the bay here.  Those people that fished from shore were using jig heads and minnows and also catching. Some guys were still going toward Nelson through the Dry Arm.  There are some spots that have low water and you do have to have sonar right now.  There are definitely water hazards because the water is so low.  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, ”As we are , 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 are concerned about this problem but want people to be able to relax and fish. We are excited  and 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 are open for camping.

   The water temperature is around 60 degrees I would guess.  We were busy this weekend. We had 40  vehicles  here.  We are hearing from fishermen and they were catching a few  bass and northern pike.  There were a few carp caught.  We only heard of a few crappies being caught. We should be in full operation by Friday. That means the water, the restrooms, fish cleaning station and the dump station.  We just ask the people to follow the distancing directions given by the Governor.   ”

Highway 212 does have check points and we want to make sure you know that.

 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, “ we had more people here this week wanting to come  out to be on  the water. We had a lot of shore fishermen here.  The water today is like glass. People caught some bass.  More  northern pike were caught this week,

 but I heard of no crappie being caught.  The carp are definitely coming up.  There are plenty of carp out there right now. The fishing is spotty one day and better the next. People were jigging with a minnow shallow at 5 to 10 feet depths. People seem to be using minnows.  The water temperature is warm, like 55 to 60 degrees.  The  dock and boat slips are in.”

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

  Clint reports, ” we  are open.  It was a slow weekend for visitors.  We had some families who came  to go to Boy Scout Point for bank fishing but because of its closure they could not go.  As of Tuesday, May 12th  Boy Scout is not open, and families can come and fish there. Walleye fishing has picked up.  They have been catching.  The best bite was toward Forchette to Timber Creek.  They found big hens and females there.  They are catching northern pike from the bank or in the shallow water.  It has been good locally.  The bass bite is okay.  It is starting to pick up. People were finding that the walleye and bass bite was better the further west they went.

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, “ it was a good week for fishing.  People were having good results  for northern pike, walleye and lake trout.  They are going from Duck Creek to Nelson Creek. Jigging with a minnow was working.  If they are catching northern pike it is on spoons. Some guys are pulling cranks in the back bays.  We did have rain and wind this week which made fishing tough at times.  They did not catch as many lake trout.  They were pulling deep dive cranks or using a spoon.  They found them at 12 to 15 feet to 30 to 40 feet depths.  They have gotten limits on all species at times.

Some people who fished from the bank were catching northern pike and cats.  They caught lots and lots of cats.

We do have minnows and crawlers here. 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 “ Good news the bar and restaurant have gone to summer hours and we are open 7 days a week. Here are our summer hours. 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.  Thank you for all the support during these uncertain times.

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 cooled off a little this week  with these colder temps and storm fronts moving through. We expect the bite to get back to normal with the warmer temps coming later  this week.  Fishing has been best from a good shallow bite on jigs and minnows or plastics. Some  fish are holding on main lake points in 20 feet of water.

Northern Pike – Fishing in the back of the bays has continued to be decent along weed edges and rocky points with guys pitching jig cranks and spoons up shallow for best results.

Lake trout- Fishing has been best in 80 to 100 feet of water with guys trolling spoons and cranks behind flashers.  Gold silver 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

Jake reports, ” We saw some really nice fish coming off the water this weekend. For most groups it was hit and miss, others had limits. Water temps at Cooney over the weekend were 51 on the south and west sides and 53 on the north end. Trout and perch fishing has been okay from shore using worms. The walleye bite has improved with the warming water. The Berkley flicker shad had really good results. A lot of fish were caught on jigs this week, anything from twister tails to jig raps. I have seen some people pulling worm harnesses but haven’t heard if they had any luck. Some shore fishermen did really well using slip bobbers and leaches. I saw some really nice perch caught this week.

 Please remember to keep the distance of 6 feet from each other no matter where you are at Cooney.  Our overnight camping is open. The Marshal cove  dock is in. I am waiting for a part that I ordered in the fall and it still has not arrived so we can repair another  dock and then it can go in.  I am hoping to get them all  in by May 15th, 2020.”

  The water is turned off still.  We ran into a problem when we turned  on the water,  so we had the plumber  in to do some repairs.  We are now waiting for the lab to give us the okay to turn it on.  So we hope to have the water on by the 15th of May.  Then we can work on the cleaning station and get it set up. The electricity is on.  Remember, your dogs are welcome but, don’t 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 were catching fish.  The river is coming up.  So the bird watchers are having a great time watching the herons and their nests.  People are catching perch by fishing with  their 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.

I have been informed that at Cooney there has been a water problem of some periodic flooding at Marshal Cove campground.  We ask that you are mindful of protecting the shoreline and park away from the edge of the water.  You never know when the water will come up.

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 so there is no beach anymore. We did have  around 12 campers this week.  They were catching some salmon. They say the bite  is just starting.   We ask that you are  respectful of the rules the Governor has laid out.

We did see quite a few fishermen at Broadview pond.

We also saw that the Broadview pond had quite a few people fishing there.  The fishing appears to be good from all of the people there.  ”

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

Terry reports, “ the bar is now open. I have been selling worms, so people are fishing again.  I did hear that people have caught a few fish at Deadmans lately.  No one has come home skunked they say.

 The fishing at  Broadview Pond seems to be hot and heavy.  There are always guys fishing. They caught a few cutthroat and  rainbow trout.   ”

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

 Rick   reports, “ we are open. We have had snow, rain and cold this week. Right now we  have lots and lots of mud.

I heard  some people in boats did pretty  fair out on Bair.  They got 7 trout in 3 hours.  Someone fished from shore and did okay as well.

At  Sutherlan I have been told  the lake is full and running over.  Some were fishing from boats, but we did not hear how they did.  ”

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 , “ Even with the weather people were out fishing.

Spring Creek- Spring Creek is blown out.

Achley- Fishermen  at  Achley are catching muskies.  The fishing was good there.  There were lots  of them caught on smelt from shore.

Crooked Creek- People told us  fishing was good at Crooked Creek. People were doing very well. They were jigging with a minnow or a plastic.

Hanson Dam- On Hanson Dam the trout are biting on anything right now. People are doing well.

Missouri- Paddlefishing  has picked up on the Missouri.  The river is up.  The catfish fishing is picking up.  I think at the end of the week,  if the temperature goes up, the water will warm, and  people will  catch  some walleye as well. “

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

Carri says,” The marina is open.  We finished the remodeling inside.  The new deck is completed.  I now have all services.   I ask if you come down to fish you follow  the Governor’s distancing orders.  “

Friday, Saturday and Sunday the fishing was phenomenal towards Forchette. People were jigging.  The walleye are at 30 feet depths I hear.  The fish are eater size.  Guys were not using bottom bouncers.  All colors were working while jigging with a minnow or a crawler.  The bank fishing has been slow from the bank.  Today (Tuesday), it is raining. Fishermen are saying the northern pike bite has been lite on smelt.  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,” Today, Tuesday, the weather is rainy, so fishing is not good today.  The walleye fishing was decent  on Saturday toward Pond 1 and across the lake.  People are fishing going north to Confederate and catching walleye and trout.  Some trout fishing  was also okay towards the south and mid lake.  The water is up 8 to 9 inches now. You can always stop in at the shop and I can give you any  information you need.

Please remember when at the campground that distancing is to be followed at this time. ”

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

The Flamingo is closed.


In last week’s report for Cooney I transposed my notes incorrectly.  I reported  of pike in Cooney and attributed it to  the employee I spoke to.  He said perch and I made a mistake in my typing.  I know and so does  the employee that there are no pike in Cooney.  I am sorry for any problems this caused Scheels or the employee.  It was my error not his.  He has been a very  reliable source for information, and I thank him and Scheels for their  time and support.       Carol

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

Rich says, “  my shop is open. I ask,  because of the virus that  you come in with a mask.  Please remember to follow the  Governor’s  order with distancing and less than 10 people congregating in one place.

I have heard fishing has been fair at Canyon Ferry. People say, if you find them, you can catch them.

The rivers have gone down a little.  They are  muddier.  People have been buying leaches and crawlers so they must be catching.  The Gallatin is pretty muddy, much muddier than normal.   ”

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

Chris says, “the shop is open.  The Stillwater is off color.  It is clearer above Absarokee.  People are seeing caddis in the afternoon and evening.   There is not much dry fly fishing right now.  Use a caddis nymph right now.  The Yellowstone is really off color. We are taking appointments for  guiding now.  Remember the non-resident rule of quarantining for 14 days.

We are having classes on fly casting on Saturday. You need to call to register ahead.  It is $60.  For a class or a 150 for all of them. They are for beginning, moderate or advance fishermen. “

Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau says, “ I fished on the Missouri and have been there several days.  The entire river is fishing well all the way to Cascade. The water is clear right now.  While fly fishing I am 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 in the 16 to 22-inch size.  The ramps are in use.  There are lots of people fishing there right now.”

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

Rick explains,” Our accesses are open after 3 mile.  There are no bathroom facilities. We are not allowed to shuttle out of state visitors. The Crow tribe continues to have things locked down until May 14th at this time.  They are turning around non-resident visitors.  They continue to have checkpoints where they are checking licenses for Montana licenses. Montana state residents can use the Big Horn.

Fishing has been really good.  People are catching some real nice rainbows and browns. The rainbows are in the red, so please be aware.  Those are our babies.  The river is at 3200 CFS and is scheduled to be dropped again soon.  The lake is at its lowest,  at 36.8.  The lake is still closed.  All campgrounds at After Bay are closed.

People have seen 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.

 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

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