Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 11.18.20
By angelamontana

Posted: November 19, 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.

(report compiled by Carol Henckel)

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer states,” We had a few people out.  Barely any shore fisherman and no boats out this week.  Tongue has a skiff of ice.  It freezes at night and thaws during the day.  With the warmer days it should be totally gone.  The water is really low.  If you do go out, you have to look out for objects in the water.  At this point we have only had day people. The  water temperature was 42 degrees last week. “

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

The weather has been kind. It is warming up,  We had a day in the 60’s.  The wind has been blowing. We have  temperatures that are warming .  If you try to  fish, you can catch a few bass people have said.

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 have a little ice.  It is paper thin.  The snow is melted.  We have muddy in many places. Go slow if you are coming in.  You can still get a boat on the water.”

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” Not any fishermen  here, all hunters.  The docks have been pulled. Weather wise today is beautiful.  The snow has melted so we do have mud.  The road is good to come in.   Last week someone  got a scattering of bass fishing.  The water temperature is cold.  “

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, “ the  guys had an  okay  day  catching lake trout.  We caught some when we went out. Try spoons  at  35 to 40 -foot depths.   A few pike  were caught on cranks but only an occasional walleye. There were a couple of guys  who fished from the dam shore off the rocks and caught a few lake trout I heard. The water temperature was 49 degrees. I think the salmon bite is done.  The meat is pretty soft now and no one is seeing any activities.

I have  sucker minnows, shiners and nightcrawlers  so stop in for them. ”

 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, but we haven’t seen many fishermen.  Boat ramps are ice and snow free.

 walleye fishing- A few fisherman targeted walleye last week before the storm hit and did really well.  Fish were in 8 to 15 feet of water.

Northern Pike -no reports this week.

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 great weekend. Good luck on the water and be safe.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

Rick says, “   ice is starting to form.  It is no way it is ready.  Gary and other people  fished from shore.  They caught a few northern pike.  Some sauger were caught on minnows.  With the thin ice the wind did push it to shore at times so your line would get caught.  So fishing is  iffy at times. The water temperature is 39 degrees.  We have had lots of 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, “  we have  6 inches of snow. It has been really cold.  We have had gale force winds a lot this week.  I just went by Nelson and it has ice on it.  I do not see any open water.  The ice is definitely not safe.  There is no snow on the ice.

The water is very  low at Nelson. You cannot  use the Headgates.  The concrete is crumbling.  You need to use the State Park way in.   The water is too low to put a boat  in.”

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports,”  there is ice on the edges. The ramps are good to go and use.  Most people were shore fishing, and they were catching trout.  They were using worms, power bait or marshmallows.  They water temperature  is in the high to mid – 40’s.  Trout were 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.

I was on the Yellowstone by Huntley and the ice pieces have cleared up.  There was a massive temperature drop.   Fishing was poor for us. “

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Mike says , “   a few people fishing Elmo  from the shore or the pier.    The lake is down 2 feet now.  There is a little skiff of ice,  but warm weather has changed that. The cold temperature had slowed down the catching of fish.

Deadmans-Deadmans is open.  I have had a few people ask about fishing there, but they did not get back to me of how they did.  Our netting a couple of weeks ago showed us things looked good.  The fish looked healthy were nice size.  The salmon and trout were doing okay.

Yellowstone.  The other day the Yellowstone  had times  of ice pieces on it and then later the ice had gone down.    They were doing okay on trout if they braved the river.

 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 did get a few hunters here.   The  fishermen are few in number. “

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

 Terry reports, “  the river at Roundup is clear. There has been wind part of this week. It had a little ice  on the edges, but the warm weather melted it.

Still had some guys go to the  Musselshell one day.  One a couple  small mouth bass were caught.  Mostly small ones.”

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

 Rick  reports, “  The Checkerboard Inn is open now.  We are seeing hunters now.  The weather has improved.  Bair has a thin layer of ice on the whole lake.  It is not safe to be on as it is too thin.  It has been in the teens at night up 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 ,”   We still have a lot of  of snow.  It has been cold here as well.

Spring Creek- The only place I know people are  talking about fishing is Spring Creek.   Both fly fishers and spin fishermen are using that body of water.  They are catching some fish.

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, “ we have  not seeing many  people here fishing.  Some people have been fishing from shore.  The trout fishing seemed to be decent from there. I  have not heard of any walleye being caught. We have had lots of wind this week.   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,”  I have not talked to anyone who went fishing.  We have had really gusty winds every day. I know  the  Madison and Gallatin rivers are open . I The Jefferson has ice forming along the edges. t really has been too cold to fish. but now they say it is going to warm up in the next few days.   Canyon Ferry has had lots of wind this week.

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.  People have been heading to   near Columbus. They are using  mostly nymphs .  The Sulphurdun  fly hatch was not seen this week at all.   Streamers are not working at all.

Earlier the  Yellowstone had small chunks of ice, but the weather is warming up, so they are melting.

 Twin Bridges access is still closed.  Our hours are now 10 to 2 pm.

People are saying the Big Horn has been okay  fishing, but people say you work for them.  It is still  grassy.”

Need a guide? We are still  taking people out.  Call us to make an appointment for  guiding.

  Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

 Beau reports,” the Missouri  River  was  tough fishing,  and the water is murky.

The weather has prevented me from fishing the Big Horn lately.  It has been cold.   Last time I was on the nymphing was tough.   There is still  grass breaking up.“

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

Rick  explained,” I fished the water on Tuesday.  It was a good day of fishing.  Streamers were doing really well.  Make sure to use a sink tip and go deep. I used a thin mint, a leech pattern and an orange scud.  No dries were working.  There is grass along the edge, but you can work around it.  You can nymph in the middle away from the grass.  Try a gray Ray or an orange scud.  The CFS is 2100 and I think it will remain that way for a while. The water is clearing. People are calling looking to know if the fall baetes is here.  There is NO fall baetes this year so far.  “

 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

Madison/Firehole: This weather we have had for the past week seems to have helped push a few more fish upriver and get the fish that are currently in the river a little more active. This week should be more of the same with rain and snow in the forecast. Look for baetis on the Firehole and swing soft hackles anytime else.

Flies: #8-12 Partridge & Peacock, #8-12 Partridge & Orange, #6 Sparkle Minnow, #8 Simi Seal Leech, #8-12 Black Sili Legs, #14-16 Red Neck, #14 Holo Point, #12 Tan Elk Hair Caddis, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun

Slough/Soda Butte/Lamar: There is still some good dry fly fishing and solitude to be had in the NE corner this time of year. Afternoon baetes will provide most of your action up there, and when they are not, you can always try dry dropper or small streamers as well.

Flies: #18-20 D.O.A. Baetis, #18-20 Baetis Sparkle Dun, #14 Holo Point, #12 Spanish Bullet