Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 12.16.20
By angelamontana

Posted: December 16, 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

Raymond  states,” there is 5 to 6 inches of ice  from the dock site to the main water. I do see fellows out there  in fishing shacks fishing. I have not  talked  or knocked on any shack door, so I do not know if they are catching.  The temperature has been 28 degrees at night, and it is sunny and 34right now.  We had a few people day camping and earlier when the ice was shallower, we had an ice skater which made me nervous.   “

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  that there is 6 inches of ice.  I know the kid who lives down the street has been going out often and he is getting crappies using blackies.  I have minnows scheduled to arrive December 26th, 2020.  We are scheduled to

 open Sunday December 27th, 2020 weather permitting, and the ice stays safe.“

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 said” we had a little bit of ice the last two days which was paper thin,  but the wind blew that out. So there is no ice today.  We have not seen anyone fishing or even here this week. ”

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  

*Unable to contact someone.

  Clint reports”   we saw no fishermen this week.  We had days of 50 mph winds so getting out to fish would have been tough.   We have no  ice at this time.  The weather has been warm. The bass and northern pike can be caught.  The docks have been pulled. The water is cold.  Things are starting to wind down and we are waiting for ice. “

We have changed our hours at the marina.  At this time we are taking time off in December so you may not find someone there.  Normally 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

Carrie  reports, “ the boys just headed to McGuiere Creek to fish.  There is  4 inches there.  We have no snow or ice here.  We have geese and duck hunters here right now.  People are fishing with minnows.  I know our neighbor went fishing for lakers with his boat in depths of 50 feet and caught some nice lakers.  Jigging worked for one fellow,  but  others got nothing trolling.

I still have  sucker minnows. I 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 definitely had an increase of fishermen.  The ramps are ice and snow free.

 walleye fishing- no reports for this week.

Northern Pike -fishing has continued to be good  for Northerns.  Fish have been getting caught in 10 to 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 jig bite seemed to take back over this week with guys jigging in 25 to 55 feet of water.  Sounds like guys were seeing plenty of fish but they were definitely a little lethargic , but guys figured out the right cadence to trigger the bite.

Salmon-over for the season.

Water temps  have been  between 42- 44  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.

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 

Slim says, “ we have 7 inches of ice out to Cowboy Point now.  The days have been warm, and the nights have been really cold.  We have caught  northern pike.  The walleye bite is slower but what we caught  were 16-18-inch size. The ice is a lot firmer and it is clear ice.  I have had a 4-wheeler on the ice at times. “

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, “ there is now  10 inches of ice on Nelson this week.  People  have put portable shacks on.  Guys have been spearing for pike. Only an occasional walleye has been caught.  The walleye  bite with tip-ups is slow right now.   It is good clear ice.   “

Cooney Reservoir – Marina Matheson,  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports,” the ice is about 2 -5 inches depending on the area.  People are fishing.  The trout fishing  is really good.   No one has caught perch or walleye that I have heard.  Guys are using a small jig with a worm or a crappie set up with corn or a worm to get them.“

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  we have solid ice on  Elmo now.  It is  new ice as it only came on two days ago, so it is still thin.  It has snow on it, so it is insulated at this point. At this point there is no place to fish yet.  We have 16 mph winds today, so it is not pleasant out there right now.  It is too thin for anyone to use. The lake is down 2 feet.”

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

 Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,”  we have a little ice in places which we got a couple of days ago.  We did have  a lot of wind this week . We saw no one out fishing. “

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

 Terry reports, “  the bar has been pretty quiet, so I have not heard much. I did talk to someone who went  past Sutherland and Bair and he said there are ice shacks on the ice.  So it must be  enough.”

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

 Rick reports, “  fishing is  excellent on Bair.  I was with someone who got their limit.  I was not there as long so I did not get mine, but I caught fish.  The  Bair has 10 inches.  It has a portable shacks on it now. I have not heard anything about  Sutherland  or Newland except someone said  Sutherland has shacks on it. “

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 ,” you can ice fish pretty much everywhere around here.

East Fork- the east fork has 6 inches of ice now, so people are fishing.

Casino Creek –  Casino Creek  has 6 inches of ice.  Fishermen are catching perch and suckers.

Carters Pond-  Carters Pond has six inches of ice .  guys are catching some nice rainbows.

Hanson Dam-  At Hansom Dam guys are catching perch and rainbow trout under 6 inches of ice.

Nelson- I did hear people have been ice fishing   on 8 inches of ice right now I hear.  ”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon says, “ We have 3 to 4 inches of ice  off the main channel at this time. at this time.   It is open water at white earth and goose bay.  The guys are mostly catching trout and it has been good.  People have been on Pond #4.  A few perch have been caught. They are nice size.  Use worms, bobbers, and floating jigs.   I know that Lake Helena and Housier also have ice, I hear.   “

Sharon says, I have polar picks for a very reasonable cost at the shop.  If you do not feel you need them for you as an adult, please consider them for your children.  They hang around your neck and if you should fall in  it opens up and can help you pull yourself back up on the ice. 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,”   Canyon Ferry has  ice I heard. People are ice fishing.  The fellow I talked to said the ice is on the south end and is not far out.

The rivers have  ice  chunks floating in it.

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

 Yellowstone does has chunks of ice.

 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

 The Big Horn  has days of decent  fishing.  It is less off color and down some.  Nymphs are not working but streamers are working.  People are catching some nice fish.

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

Rick  explained,”   We have no wind today. They were catching some nice fish.  Streamers are working.   Try something  in black and  white or a leach pattern.  No dries are working.  Use a sink tip and go deep. The thin mint is the fly of choice right now.   The CFS is down to  2100.  The 2 inches of snow we have today with the warmer temperature probably will be gone by the end of the day.  The browns are on the reds, so we ask you to stay off of them.  The water is clear and there are lots of fries in the water .  The water temperature is 48 degrees.

 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  


This is our final report for the year. On October 23,2020.  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.

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