Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 6.10.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: June 11, 2020

Spring  is almost over. The unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures,  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)


 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

 Raymond reports,”  We had wind and some weather this week.  People were catching  mostly bass.  They were catching  a few  walleyes,  and northern pike are starting to bite.  I heard of a few crappies being caught.  The water is going over the spillway and is clear.  The water temperature is around  70 degrees.   The fish cleaning station is up and running. The restrooms are open.   Our office will be open as of this Wednesday. The phase II  which is in effect means people still have to social distance .  ”

 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

Wade  reports, “ the bass bite has been good.  They were going for live bait with a plastic.  The walleye bite has been decent.  The  guys have been  pitching jigs using a worm or minnow  going with a really slow retrieve.  There were a few crappie caught.  It is not on fire.  It seems to be just starting. They were finding them jigging at 35 feet suspended off the bottom.  Minnows and leaches were working.   The water temp is getting a  little warmer and the water level is full.  We still have very blue water which is nice. “

  Our hours are Monday to Thursday 8-5, Friday Saturday 6 to 9 and Sunday 7 to 5.

Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt /1-406-230-1283  for Linda & Neil     Marina number is 1-406-485-2560

  Monty   reports, “the Rock Creek Tournament was this past weekend.  The wind forced us to have a one-day tournament on Sunday.  The winning team was Jay Erickson and Garrett Long of Wolf Point with a total for walleye of 36.96 pounds.    The fishermen were complaining they could not keep the northern pike off the line. They got one about every 7 casts.   They were finding  walleye at 2 to 13 feet. That seems to be where all the fish were.  The water is coming up, but we still do have a beach.  The water is not clear.

   Stop in the Marina and we can give you what we know about fishing. All our services are fully functioning.  We do ask people to  limit the number of people in the Marina for social distancing. “

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

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

  Layne reports, ” the walleye  fishing this week was pretty  good.  Guys were catching the  walleye going west from Hell Creek  to  Snow Creek in 10 to 20  feet of water.  People were catching the bass when fishing  for walleye.  Last week they were jigging but a few were being caught  bottom bouncing with  luck.  The northern pike  fishing has been really good. You seem to be able to find them just about anywhere at rocky points. Go to depths of 10 to 15 feet   towards shore and use a crank or a spoon.   We did have  some wind some days this week.  “

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

Eddie  reports, “ we did have windy weather through this past week.  We had times of high winds, about 5 days.  So fishing was good depending on the weather.  The lake trout fishing  good.  You can still find them in depths of 60 to 80 feet depths. People are  using spoons  and jigging.  Some were pitching for walleye using a jig and a minnow or a plastic at depths at 10 to 25 feet depths.  The northern pike are at the same depths as the walleye.  Guys are Fish for them off the points using  spoons or  cranks.  The smallmouth bass bite is picking up.  Even the Rock Creek tournament had to be shortened because of wind by a day.

I have bait,  lots of Jumbo suckers, shiners, fatheads’ minnows, smelt and herring.  I have it all.   We also have a few RV spaces. ”

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

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

 Scott  reports “ walleye fishing- Fishing down the dry arm has been a little spotty from day to day.  Fish have moved to a little deeper water than last week as we are catching  them primarily from 13 to 19 feet of water. Guys are pulling spinners and crawlers and leeches and also cranking.  Fishing to the west has been getting more consistent with some good fish being caught.  Main lake points and secondary points in 3-15 feet of water have been the most consistent.

Northern Pike – fishing has been incredible for smaller pike in the 3 to 8-pound range.  Seems like just about anything you throw at them they are willing to eat.

Small mouth- Fishing  rock piles in the backs of the bays has been producing some great smallies.  Throw cranks and swimbaits.

Water temps  are still between 58 to 61 degrees.

Hope to see everyone at the lake this weekend. “

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.

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

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana James(Slim),

Carri Craig   406-429-2999 

Carri says,” We had a week with some wind and rain.  People said fishing was good on the lake this week.  The water has risen. They found walleye  bottom bouncers or pulling jigs in the 10 to 15 feet depths worked. You really could catch anything  at that depth.   It is weird but the fishing off- shore is not good at all  and I cannot say why.  We had fishermen in a group that fished off- shore and boom, boom, boom caught pike one day and then nothing after that.  They are catching a pike or two from the boat so maybe they are starting to head into shore. They are not going far out, maybe 5 to 10 miles from us for the perch and crappie.    If they want the  big walleye,  they are heading to Forchette.  The fish are liking purple, pink and green colors.  If you fish here, you will catch a smorgasbord  of fish right now. ”

Our hours  are 7 to 7 now 7 days a week.  I am so looking forward to seeing everyone.  Please just remember social distancing.

Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ Dave  654-1712

Open 7:30 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday/ 11am to 3 pm Sunday

**The Montana Outdoor Radio Show and I would like to welcome Hardware Hanks  and Kolin to our fishing report.  They will fill a need for information about Nelson Reservoir and Forchette fishing.

Kolin reports,” I heard Nelson Reservoir had a lot of wind.  The fishing  has been slow this week.  Fishermen are using slow death with a crawler harness. You have to go deep like 15 to 25 feet down. Is still 62 degrees I heard so it has not warmed up.  The windy conditions seem to keep the water colder.

In the middle of the week I got one report that said Forchette was only producing small eater size walleye for them. They were going shallow and jigging.“

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports, ”  The water has warmed up to the upper 60s. The clarity has stayed good even with the recent rain. People are getting into walleye and perch all over the reservoir. Fishing along the weed edges has been productive on the north shore. They are biting on A lot of different baits. From shore leaches have been doing well. With the fish spread out, bottom bouncer with floating jigs or worm harnesses have been popular. Time of day seems to have the biggest effect on the bite. Trout fishing has slowed a bit with only little fish being caught.

We did not have a lot of people on the weekend.  I don’t know if the weather scared people off or what.  Maybe they were at the  events in Billings.  It was quieter. The water is now over the spillway. “

Please people, pack in, pack out your garbage. We have less garbage receptacles. The tonnage of garbage has really increased according to the records kept. When you come to the park you want to see a clean environment so please pack your garbage out.  Remember your dogs are welcome but, do not forget your leash.

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob reports, “the flooding situations is still causing problems at some fishing access points.  Here is the press release on those closures. High water from spring runoff has flooded parts of at least 10 fishing access sites in south central Montana, prompting Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to restrict traffic in them to walk-in only. The FWP properties along the Yellowstone River west of Billings that are closed to all, but walk-in traffic includes Grey Bear west of Big Timber, Bratten and Indian Fort west of Reed Point, Buffalo Mirage at Park City and Duck Creek southwest of Billings. On the lower Stillwater River, access roads to the White Bird and Swinging Bridge fishing access sites are covered with water and people may enter the properties only on foot. Along the Yellowstone River east of Billings, the Gritty Stone, Voyagers Rest and Bundy Bridge fishing access sites are under water and closed to all but walk-in traffic. The Captain Clark Fishing Access at Pompey’s Pillar is closed.

There has been lots of people at  Elmo  this week. There have been kayaks, bird watchers,  fishermen.  People are catching fish with a crawler on the bottom. The river is  up, and the lake is full. People are out on the pier.  Our office is now open.  We will continue to do distancing with our visitors as mandated.”

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat reports,” the water has definitely come up.  It rained part of the weekend and the other day it was really windy.  So not a lot of fishing activity going on.   We do want to remind people that the site is for everyone to use and destroying property is against the law. Please be respectful so everyone can use the area.”

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

Terry reports, “ I talked to some  guys  who fished Martinsdale and Bair.  They bought worms. Some said they did pretty good.  People were using worms and split shot and catching.

 The fishing at  Broadview Pond must continue to be  good. Lots of action with people catching. ”

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

 Judy   reports, “ lots of rain and cold  this week so  fishing at Bair was poor we heard from shore.  The only ones catching  fish were in a boat. Fishermen were catching trout.  We did not hear anything on Sutherlan.

People talking about fishing at Martinsdale said they caught only a few fish. They said there was a lot of wind. ”

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 , “  Achley- Achley  is having their tiger muskeye  tournament this next weekend. You can register for the event on Saturday from 8 to 10 am at Achley.  The water is at full pool.  Fishermen are reporting they are catching a few tiger muskeyes.

Spring Creek is clearing. People are seeing stone flies and caddis coming off the water. They are doing well with flies.

 East fork-  At East Fork fishermen are catching perch.  They are mostly catching night crawlers.“

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon reports,” trout fishing has been awesome.  Trout fishing has still been good  heading north  to mid lake.  It has been excellent if you head to Pond 1 or to the center of the lake, definitely to the center for good fishing.  The walleye fishing has been here or there. Watch  for debris at the mouth of the river.  The water temperature is 67 to 68 degrees. Stop in at the shop or call 266-3100 and I will give you any  information you need.

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

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, “ It has been really cold and windy this week.  I did not hear of very many guys going fishing.  The rivers are very high and muddy.

  I  heard  Canyon Ferry was pretty slow fishing.  I was told they are struggling to find walleye.

The rivers are really high and  really muddy. ”

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

Chris says, “our shop is open.  We will offer curb side pickup if you need it.  Both the Stillwater and Yellowstone are  high and   blown out.  There are a lot of  problems getting access because of the flooding at some of the fishing access sites.  Some rafters are floating  but fishing is just not possible. If you try fishing the edges use something dark like a rubber leg. Try the small tributaries or ponds or little lakes to fish.  We are taking appointments for  guiding now. “

Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports,”  I am still fishing  the Missouri.  The water is clear now.   It has been a  good  bite.   The PMD are hatching.  You can still come on some baetes. Last week I was  nymphing with a pheasant tail , sow bugs and San Juan worms.  The water is open from Holter to Cascade.“


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

Rick explains,” The After Bay is open and all access points are open. We will have our official opening on June 15th for out of state friends.  We want to have everything ready to comply with the rules and work  with the reservation decisions. Call and talk to the shops to get the information.

The fishing is good. The CFS is 2256 right now.  Wade fishing is really good now.  You can fish anywhere you want it is good everywhere.  The water is very clear.  The reds are out there so please be careful where you walk. The dry fly fishing is still getting better and better especially on cloudy days.   All camping has opened up.   Many days we see midge and baetes hatches. Olka Bay is open. Fishermen are trying a zebra, a BP3,  or a Ju Ju baetes.  You can also use a soft gray Ray or a pink bead soft tackle pattern in a size #18. Try a streamer. Some people have had luck with them.  A sink tip, a thin mint, a dirty hippie, or a wooly bugger should also work.  Some nice rainbows and browns are being caught.

Our lodge is open so you can stay with us. We are doing the safeguards that we are being asked to do. Come and go fishing.   Our shuttle service is available. We are not allowed to shuttle out of state visitors. The Crow tribe continues to have things locked down until May 15th.  We are not sure what will happen after that. They are turning around non-resident visitors.  They continue to have checkpoints. “

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  6-9-2020

Tom reports,” there is still good fishing even with the high water.  Here is the report for Montana.”

Upper Madison: Between spring runoff and the water being let out of the dam over the past week or so, flows on the Madison remain quite high and the water is off color to varying degrees everywhere below Cabin Creek. This doesn’t mean there isn’t good fishing to be had! When the water is like this, you can bet that the majority of fish are tucked into the bank looking for any soft water available to them. Larger nymphs like sill-legs and worms with a smaller hot-spot dropper fished tight to the bank can be very effective during these conditions. Another good option is throwing a streamer directly upstream and stripping it back downstream tight to the bank. This is also a super fun method because the takes are very visual as you watch a fish shoot out from under the bank for your streamer.

Flies: #8-10 Sili-legs, #12-14 Biot Golden Stone, San Juan Worm, #12 Tactical Tung. Pink Hot Spot Jig, #14-16 Frenchie, #14-16 Red Neck, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #16 Iron Lotus, #6 Mini Sex Dungeon, #6 Mini Bangtail, #2 Meat Whistle

Hebgen: Hebgen has not been too consistent as of late, especially if you are looking for rising fish. However, we have been able to pick up at least a few nice fish every time we’ve been out either by stripping leeches or by floating chironomid nymphs under indicators.

Flies: #12 O.S. Opal/Red Buzzer, #14 Black/Red Nugget, #6 Olive Hot Bead Leech, #8 Canadian Goat Leech

Gallatin: The Gallatin remains in pretty heavy spring runoff stage. Much like the Madison, nymphs and streamers tight to the bank will be your best bet.

Yellowstone National Park

Firehole: The Firehole is currently providing the best water clarity and dry fly fishing in the area. With the weather the last few days, we have been seeing good hatches of baetes and PMDs during the late afternoon hours. As the weather heats back up over the coming days, look for White Miller Caddis to make an appearance as well. As usual, swinging a soft hackle is almost always a surefire way to catch fish on the Firehole before, during and after any hatches you run into.

Flies: #18 BWO Sparkle Dun, #16-18 BWO Klinkhammer, #16 Parachute PMD, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 PMD Cripple, #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis, #14 Tan/Olive Diving Caddis, #12 Partridge & Green, #12 Partridge & Peacock, #14 Partridge & PT

Madison: The Madison is high, and visibility isn’t great, however the fishing has been since the park opened a little over a week ago. We have been seeing good numbers of natural salmonflies and the fish have been keyed in on them. Smaller patterns (#8-12) have been working better than larger patterns most days. With the water high and dirty, our most consistent fishing has been pretty much within a foot of the bank.

Flies: #10 Hot Cake Salmonlfly, #8-12 Razorback Salmonfly, #8 Supafly Salmonfly