Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 11.25.20
By angelamontana

Posted: November 26, 2020


Autumn  is almost over and that can bring unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures,  wind  and  water which means  everyone needs to be vigilant when being outside.   Outdoor enthusiasts, including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes.   Surprise storms of 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  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.  

***  Montana Outdoor Radio Show wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving.  Please stay safe.

Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer states,” It  has been pretty dead around here this week.  It has been pretty cold at night.

We have open water but also have a skiff of ice in spots.  They are unsafe for recreation use.  The water temperature is 32 degrees where the ice is and 33 degrees with open water.  LOL how is that for exact.   Barely any shore fisherman and no boats out this week.  Our weekend campers were hunters. “

Reservation season  has ended . It is first come first serve.  The winter rates have  started. The  electrical has been turned off.  Campers point 1 to 11 will still have electricity year around. The fish cleaning station is now closed. We only had one camper.

Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg

Wade said,” I have heard no news about fishing. I would bet  if you try to  fish, you can catch a few bass. “

The Marina is  officially closed for the season.  We hope to be open  for  ice fishing.

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

Linda and Neil say,” we now have a little bit of ice back in the bay.  It is not safe ; it is paper thin.  The snow is melted.  A few hunters have been here this week. You can still get a boat on the water, but no one went out to fish.”

We have closed the marina for the season, but fishing can still happen if the wind quits blowing. We just won’t  have any services.  For reservations for the ice fishing season call Linda at 406-230-1283.

To make reservations for next year , please call Monty at 406-465-0241.

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

Clint reports” Although we saw hunters this week you can still fish if you want to. The bass and northern pike can be caught.  The docks have been pulled. The water temperature is cold.  Things are starting to wind down and waiting for ice.   “

We have changed our hours at the marina.  We are open from 7 to 5 on weekdays and 7 to 6 on weekends.

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

Eddie  reports, “ a few people are still catching lake trout.  They did get a lot of them. They are at depths of around 40 feet. Try spoons  to get them.  Some guys were casting off rocks  using a KO wobbler spoon.  That fellow caught three of them.  The water temperature is around  49 degrees. The salmon bite is over.

I still have  sucker minnows;   in fact, I just sold some today.  Those guys were heading toward Wolf  Point to fish. I also have  shiners and nightcrawlers.  ”

We have stocked the tackle shop  and you can find many things you need there.     We have super  Jumbo suckers, shiners, fatheads’ minnows, smelt and herring.  We still have a few  dates open for guiding.

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

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

Scott reports “ the weather has been really nice, this week but we haven’t seen many fishermen. Boat ramps are ice and snow free.

walleye fishing- Fishing has been decent for the few guys chasing walleyes. Fish were in 8 to 15 feet of water.

Northern Pike -Fishing has been picking up for northerns. Fish have been getting caught in 10-20 feet of water trolling spoons and cranks.

Small mouth- No reports this week.

Lake trout- Lake trout fishing has been really good for the guys that have been out chasing them. The fish are hitting spoons and cranks in 10 to 40 feet of water.

Salmon-We have not seen many fish cruising the shorelines this week.

Water temps have been between 45- 46 degrees. “

Stop in the tackle store for up to date info on fishing along with all the gear you will need to catch any species of fish in Fort Peck Lake. We are here to help put you guys on fish. We are open 7 days a week as well. Monday through Thursday 7 to 9, Friday through Sunday 6 to 10.

Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and a great weekend. Good luck on the water and be safe.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

James(Slim), Carri Craig, Rick, Gary   406-429-2999 

Slim  says, “  we have a half inch of ice all over.    It is way to thin to fish on it.  You can not put a line in, so fishing is not possible. The water level is way down. The Army Corp wants to lower it  4 feet more which will cause lots of problems.  We have seen * hunters. “

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/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin  reports, “ I know that Nelson  has ice on it.  It did not have any open water.  The ice is definitely not safe.  It is way too thin.

If you go to  Nelson, you cannot  enter through the  Headgates.  The concrete is crumbling.  You need to use the State Park way in.  “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports,”  there is an ice buildup at the Willow Creek arm .  So the Red Lodge ramp is not useable.  The  north shore ramp can still  be used at this time.  People were shore fishing, and they were catching trout.  They were using worms, power bait and marshmallows.  Trout are nice size like 12 to 19 inches.  The boat docks have  been pulled. With the cooler  water temperatures the perch bite has stopped. Walleye has been slow.”

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

Bob says , “   a few people  were fishing Elmo  shore.    We have no ice. The wind broke up what little we had. The lake is down 2 feet now.

I heard that Spring  Meadow had ice and people were ice skating there.  I also heard they had some ice in Glasgow.  Just remember most ice is not safe yet.  I did see that someone’s dog went through the thin ice and his owner tried to save him and also went in. Be careful people.

The FWP  office is open.  We ask  people to   please use distancing as  you  recreate.”

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,”  we did have  wind this week .  We have ice just starting on the edges.  No one fished this week here that we saw. We saw a few hunters here.

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

Terry reports, “  the only talk on fishing was that there is open water in a lot of places. If there was wind, then the little ice left.  Saw hunters who tried their luck.  ”

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

Rick  reports, “  The Checkerboard Inn is open now.  We did hear Bair and Sutherland  has a thin layer of ice on the whole lake.  It is not safe to be on.  Nights have been  in the teens here. ”

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 ,”  It has been slow, really slow here for fishing.  Only one  place  you could fish right now and that is Spring Creek.

Spring Creek- You can fly fish or  spin fish.   Fishermen can fish that body of water.  They are catching some trout.

Missouri- On the Missouri you need more visibility in the water.  It is definitely clouding up.

Everything else as far as fishing water is skimmed up with the start of ice.  No ice is ready to walk on.  Nothing is safe. “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon says, “ you can fish at Canyon Ferry.  We are  not seeing many  people  fishing.  Some shore fishing going on.  The trout fishing has been good  from there. We have had hunters using boats so you can get on the water.   The docks are in and the ramp is clear so you can still  launch.   We do not have any ice at this time.  “

Sharon says feel free to call for information or stop in at the shop.   Call 266-3100. I am here all the time so I  will give you any  information I know.  The Marina is open. Hours are 7 am to 7 pm.  The Pelican is now closed for the season

Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

Rich says,”  No  fishing news from me this week. I know  the  Madison and Jefferson rivers are open  but have a little ice on the edges.   I heard the Upper Gallatin was full of ice and caused some concerns.  The lower Gallatin has ice on the edges only and is open.  Our temperature was warm last night so do not know how long the ice will last.

Canyon Ferry is open, and you can get a boat in.

We have decided to close the shop for the season from October 15th to April 1st, 2021.  ”

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

Jasmine says, “ there are still people fishing the Stillwater at Columbus.   Nymphs are what they are  using .   Streamers are not working.

The  Yellowstone has lost their small chunks of ice they had last week.

Twin Bridges access is still closed.

We have closed our shop for the season until Spring. ”

Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports,” one of my guides fished the Big Horn. He said it is still off color.  It was somewhat tough fishing nymphs.  Streamer success was marginal.  He did catch fish.   There is still  grass breaking up.“

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

Rick  explained,” my last fishing trip I used streamers  and  they worked really good.    It was a good day of fishing.  Make sure to use a sink tip and go deep. I used the thin mint.   Dries were not working at all.  There is grass along the edge, but I think it is clearing a little more.   The CFS is 2100 . The water

People are still  calling wanting to know if the fall baetes are here. We still see NO fall baetes.“

The river is open throughout and all fishing access’ sites on the big Horn are open.  We would love to have you come to fish.   “

Our lodge is open so you can stay with us.  We would love to have you  go fishing here and we are making sure to follow the procedures to keep people safe.   Our shuttle service is available. Call and talk to the shop to get  information you need.“

Open  8 am to 12 every day.

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

This is our final report for the year.  Nothing will change too much over the next few weeks as far as the fishing goes, so whether you like to nymph, swing or throw streamers get out there and get after it and let us know what you are catching. We will try to send  out reports when we can through the winter and let everyone know how the fishing is.  Thanks for a great season and for reading along. Have a great winter  and we will see you in the spring!

This is the last report -West Yellowstone Area Fishing Report 10/26/20


Upper Madison: Nymphing continues to be your best tactic for catching fish throughout the day. Rubber legs and a smaller attractor or baetes nymph will be successful and a zonker/sculpin dead-drifted under an indicator has had its moments this past week as well. We have been seeing some baetes coming off the past few days and should only see more this coming week with the forecast calling for rain and snow most days.

Flies: #16-18 Krystal Dip, #14-16 Green Machine, #14-18 Red Neck, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #14 HoloPoint, #16-18 Shop Vac, #16-18 Olive S.H. Hare’s Ear, #16 Shop Vac, #12 Black Sili Legs, #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Yellowstone National Park

Fishing in Yellowstone is officially closed for the season.  It usually opens  Memorial Day weekend the next year.