Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 12.2.2020
By angelamontana

Posted: December 3, 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

Ed states,” We have 2 inches of ice and idiots on it.  It is not safe yet.  I do not know if they caught anything.  There is no ice at the dam.  It is two third froze all the way up but real thin.  The neck of the bay is frozen.“

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 had some friends who fished on the 2 inches of ice.  I  was not that brave. They said it was clear.  The guys caught one perch. “

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 in front of our house, but it was thin, and the wind blew it out.  It was not safe.  I did see a jet boat on the water  coming from Nelson and the dry arm, so some people are out.”

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” you can still fish if you want to. 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.  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, “ I had one group fishing on Sunday.  They did real well  catching lake trout.   They are at depths of 50 feet.   The water temperature is  41.8 to 43  degrees.

I had some fellows come from Malta to get some minnows and they said Nelson Reservoir had 8 inches .  The guys said that they did well spearing.  They caught some perch and walleye.

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 still.

 walleye fishing- no reports for this week.

Northern Pike -fishing has been picking up 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 fish are hitting spoons and cranks in 10 to 40 feet of water.

Salmon-No reports  this week.

Water temps  have been  between 41- 463  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 

Gary says, “  no news on fishing this week. We have a half inch of ice all over.    It rained last night.   The ice  is way too thin to fish on it.  You cannot put a line in, so fishing is not possible.  “

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 talked to the game warden  today and he said 5 to 6 inches in the bay.  Some people are spearing and getting some fish.  He said a few people put shacks on.”

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,” With the good weather,  there is still ice at the Willow Creek arm .  So the Red Lodge ramp is not useable.  The  North shore ramp can still  be used at this time.   Cooney is 20 % frozen right now.  The fishermen say they are catching a bunch of trout.  It is a solid bite.  Many are using the wedding ring trolling behind cowbells. The trout are 8 to 19 inches long. We went shore fishing on Saturday and were there for 2 hour  and caught 4 fish.   The boat docks have  been pulled. ”

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “   Elmo had some ice on it on Sunday when I was there.  It was only thin enough for the birds to use it.  O would guess it will stay depending on the weather.  You cannot  fish from shore.   Last time the wind broke up what little we had. 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 did have  wind this week .  We have ice just starting on the edges.  No one fished this week here that we saw.  “

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

 Terry reports, “  people are talking fishing  because hunting is over.  Haven’t heard that they went. ”

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

 Judy reports, “  The  Bair and Sutherland  have a thin layer of ice on the whole lake.  It is not safe to be on.  We have had some weather and wind so it may not stick around.”

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

 Travis  reports ,”  I heard there is ice on the East Fork.  I was told there was 4 inches and guys were playing hockey on it.

Spring Creek- You can still fish Spring Creek.  Some are  fly fishing  and some  spin fishing.

Achley – Achley does have open water. I just don’t know how it is fishing.”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon says, “ We have no ice at this time. You can fish at Canyon Ferry.  I know some guys are  shore fishing.  The trout fishing has been good.  They were nice size.  They are using worms, bobbers, and floating jigs.   The  ramp is clear so it can be used.  The temperature is 32 degrees today.   “

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 heard no fishing news. The Jefferson river does have ice on the edge and there are chunks floating in it. 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

 There are still people fishing the Stillwater at Columbus I have heard.   Nymphs are what they are  using .   Streamers are not working.

 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,” someone fished the Big Horn. He said it is less off color.  It is tough fishing nymphs.  Streamer are working.  People are catching fish.   There is still  grass breaking up.“

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

Rick  explained,”  fishing is still decent.  Streamers  have worked really well.    It was a good day of fishing.  Use something  with white and black.  A leach pattern is also working. Use a sink tip and go deep. The thin mint is the fly of choice right now.    Dries were not working at all.  There is grass along the edge but has cleared a little more.   The CFS is 2000 .

 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.