Central to eastern MT fishing report 1.13.21
By angelamontana

Posted: January 14, 2021

Winter is here 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,” we saw a lot of fishermen and several campers this weekend.   There is 8 to 10 inches of ice  from the dock site to the main water.  I was told they mostly caught perch.   They also were doing well  crappies in some places.  If you go north, there is a question about the ice thickness so use caution.  The marina is open on the weekends.  He has minnows. Some were using rubber worms “

Reservation season  has ended . It is first come first serve.  We are in winter rates. The  electrical has been turned off.  Campers point 1 to 11  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,” people were catching a decent number of crappie and perch this  weekend.   The bite was not as hot as last week but it was pretty good.  People actually caught a few  walleye.  The guys are fishing 25 to 30 feet and fishing off the bottom  using minnows and maggots from the marina.  There are some pressure ridges developing toward Sand Point  so please be careful.  We will be open  Saturday and Sunday from 6 am to noon on the  weekend.

 If  you want minnows during the week, I will come to the marina to sell them, but the order must be 6 dozen or more.  Call 406-860-2568. And speak to Wade. “

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

Linda said, ”   We have no snow.  It has been windy.  We do not have ice by us but there is some out in the bay.   Neal went out to that ice in the  bay and he found 5 inches of good hard ice.  You cannot get into it easily. With the wind they are predicting we will see what happens. There is none on the main lake. ”

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”   there is  no  ice here at this time.  There have been a few fishermen here. Some fished from shore and some from a boat.  The northern pike bite has been good.  They are cranking slow at 10 to 12 feet.   The guys caught  a few perch at 20 to 25 feet.  No word on walleye.  “

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

Ethan  reports, “ we have no ice.   Fishing here is slow.  A few walleye and northern pike have been caught. The guys are  still ice fishing at Nelson Creek and McGuire Creek . The ice is 9 to 10 inch .  They are catching walleye, pike and ling.  There have been a few boats on the water.  The guys caught a couple of lake trout at Hawksbee. Nelson Creek has  9 inches of ice and  fishing is pretty good there.  People are catching some walleye and northern pike. “

 I have  lots of bait.  I  have lots of fats,   sucker minnows  and  shiners.  Stop in  and  get some.

 We have stocked the tackle shop  and you can find many things you need there.

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  and we did see an influx of fishermen at the dam area which was great.  Around the dam we do  not have ice. as of yet.  The ramps are  also ice and snow free. It is not very often  you can launch a boats in the middle of January in Montana, so guys are taking advantage of that.

 walleye fishing- We had a few boats out this week targeting walleyes and they did fairly decent. Jigs and minnows seemed to be the best choice for hungry eyes this week.

Northern Pike -fishing has continued to be decent for Northerns.  Fish  seemed to  have moved up and have  been getting caught in 5 to 15 feet of water trolling spoons and cranks.

Small mouth- No reports this week.

Lake trout- Lake trout fishing  has been a little slower for the guys that have been out chasing them but that has been limited to only a few  guys.    The jig bite seems to still be the best this week  with guys jigging in 35 to 80 feet of water.  Sounds like guys were marking plenty of fish but they were definitely a little lethargic, but  guys  figured out the right cadence to trigger the fish.

Water temps  have been  between 37 – 39  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 week.    Good luck on the water and be safe.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

Gary   says, “ the fishing bite is pretty slow right now.  We have 11   inches of ice now  in the Bay.  They were catching walleye and northern pike with a tip up. There  are two  huge pressure ridges up the main channel.  It is very  dangerous and has several ridges so you can’t  go out that far. We have had two 4 wheels go in by Anderson.  Stay away from there.  Do not try to cross the pressure ridge. Use caution and pay attention.   Stay in the main channel or in the bay where there is a foot of ice.“

Our hours  are 7 to 7 now 7 days a week.  We are open New Year’s Day. 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, “ Nelson  has lots of  open spots.  There is now  8   inches of ice in some spots and 1 inch in others on Nelson now.   The ice is getting less and less.  Go out on the ice at your own risk.  We definitely do not recommend it.  I have never seen the number of pressure ridges on the ice right now.  There has been  lots of wind so that changes ice conditions quickly.

At Forchette there is no ice.  I am told you are not able to put a boat in.“

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Cynthia

Jake reports,” we just got off the ice after fishing.  Ice is variable in depth but safe.   There  is a foot plus of  ice.    There are more 4-wheeler  and side-by-sides on the ice now.  People are catching all types of fish.  The trout bite has slowed a little.   On The dam has 11 inches right now.  I heard a couple of ling were caught during the day.  People are using maggots, assorted cut bait with a glow worm and jig heads.  Watch for pressure ridges as they are starting.  We have no snow.   “

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  the lake is  half to two thirds  open.  There is not enough  ice, just a skim.  We had hundreds of geese on the lake every day.  You cannot fish anywhere on the lake at this time.  The wind will make  water and eliminate  what little ice there is.  Remember we did lower the water three feet, so I doubt many fish are in the little open water by the pier right now.

The decision has been made on Lake Elmo and it is a go now.  The plan is to drain the lake in September of 2021.  ”

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

Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,”  There is no ice here where we are.  There is ice at the dam.  We saw two people at the shore.”

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

 Terry reports, “ the  guys who went to Martinsdale put out 10 tip ups and never got a bite.  They said the ice was 8 inches thick, but they did have to use a plank at shore because of the water there.    They returned without catching any fish.

Another group of 5 guys headed to Deadmans and they also came home empty handed. ”

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

 Judy reports, “ people  fished  at   Bair this weekend  they said it was pretty  good.  They came back happy.  They did not get their limit, but they did not care.  The  Bair has 12 inches.  We Sutherland  has good ice.  You had to work to catch fish this week they tell me.  Sutherland does have shacks on it.  I talked to someone who went to Newland and they caught one trout and two 2 -pound ling.   We did get 2 inches  of snow.  That helped because before that the ice was really slick. The snow made it much easier to walk which was nice people said. “

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 ,”  Our  Central Montana Perch Derby is this weekend Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 2pm  You can sign up at 7am on Saturday or at the shop.  It is $60. For a 2-man team with a big pot as well.  There will be a social Saturday night.

Hanson Dam has 8 to 9  inches of ice.  They are catching  little trout.

East Fork- The East Fork has 8 inches of ice now.   People  say they are catching some decent size perch .  I also heard  of a few northern pike being caught.

Achley- I hear there might be questionable ice at Achley right now.

Spring Creek has open water so you can try fishing from shore.   I hear it is good fishing from shore.

Forchette- I have heard of no ice there.

Crooked Creek- My friends got some northern pike  in the bay.  Be really careful in the channel.  The ice is questionable around the pressure ridges.”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon says, “ we have had 25 mph winds some days. Pond 4 has 9 to 10  inches of ice.  Across from  Confederate to Duck Creek there is 7 to 8 inches of ice.   There is an open pressure ridge from  Duck Creek to Hole in the Wall. It is going straight across.  People have been on Pond #4 and fishing has been good there.  Trout and ling have been caught.  Not many perch caught.  People are  going  deep to 40 to 50 feet for fish.  They are catching trout at 6 to 8 feet depths. People are using side by sides but becareful.  It requires watchfulness.

  I have maggots, mealworms and crawlers which have been working.  Try using bobbers, and floating jigs.  “

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,”  the Jefferson continues to have  ice chunks.  The other rivers have ice on the edges  and also some floating  ice. I hear at Canyon Ferry  guys are catching  some nice trout on the  ice  but not many walleye have been caught .

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  has  some open water with the warmer temperatures but ice on the edge which can make it dangerous.

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.    It was good   fishing.  They fished from the After Bay to the Big Horn Access.   The water was clear. He used mainly sow bugs.  He said he caught mostly browns.   There  were some nice fish caught. “

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

Rick said, “  we have had lots of wind.  It is already starting today.   Fishermen  are catching some nice fish.  The water is 45 degrees, so the fish are laying on the bottom and more lethargic.  The reds are done. We have had a few possible midge sightings.  The CFS is 2000 to 2100.  Use nymphs as they  are working.    Use colors  black or  white or a leach pattern.  No dries are working.  Try a thin mint or a  soft or gray Ray.

 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  in case you need a reference for what was working at that time.


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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