Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 1.6.21
By angelamontana

Posted: January 6, 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 Show Crew.

(Report compiled by Carol Henckel-for more fishing report information, click here.)

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Spencer states,” there is 6 to 10 inches of ice  from the dock site to the main water. If you venture to the north-end I would be careful.  If you head to the dam be really cautious.  I heard of lots of good size perch caught.   People were also seeing some  crappies  caught. The marina opened on the weekends.  I talked one group that caught a nice pike and a few 2-pound walleyes.  There are a few hard sided shacks on the ice.  they are using side by sides and 4 wheelers.  “

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,” we had a good weekend.   People were catching lots of perch.  Mostly 9 to 10 inches in size. They caught quite a few  crappie and  some  northern pike.   People actually caught a few  walleye.  The guys are fishing 25 to 30 feet and fishing off the bottom  using minnows from the marina.  There are some pressure ridges developing toward Sand Point  so please be careful.  .  There is 8 to 9 inches from Sand’s Point to Neck Bay.  There is 6 to 10 inches at Neck Bay.  From Sand Point to Rattlesnake to Sand Point people were catching lots of perch and crappie.  They were using minnows which I have at the marina.   We will be open 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          

 (last week‘s report no answer)

Linda said, ” The bay has developed ice, but it is not safe.  It is new ice.  It only started forming for the last 4 days and the wind continues.  We have no snow.  It has been cold and windy.  We did not see anyone fishing. ”

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 

  Jim 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 docks have been pulled.    The fellows from shore caught pike from shore. The fellow in the boats said there was a northern pike bite.  They also said they got into a bass bite.  “

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, “ we have no ice. Guys are  again ice fishing at Nelson Creek and McGuire Creek . The ice is 7 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.  Another group got a lake trout , a pike and a small walleye.  The wind has been bad some days but we also have had some nice days.

 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  but not  much action for fishermen at the dam.   Around the dam area we do  not have ice. The ramps are  also ice and snow free.  We’ve seen very few fishermen on the lake this week

 walleye fishing- no reports for this week.

Northern Pike -fishing has continued to be decent 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 a little slower for the guys that have been out chasing them but that has 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.  The guys  figured out the right cadence to trigger the fish bite.

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 New Years and let us hope we all have a great 2021.   Good luck on the water and be safe.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

Slim  says, “ fishing is pretty slow right now.  We have 11   inches of ice now  in the Bay.  On the weekend it was good fishing, and they were catching walleye and northern pike and crappie. Then the storm blew in and the bite just flat turned off.  The barometer just changed. There is a huge pressure ridge in the main channel.  It is very  dangerous and has several ridges so you can’t  go out that far. Hopefully the weather will change the fishing again. “

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 right now has 5 open spots.  There is now  8 to 9  inches of ice on Nelson now.   The ice is getting less and less.  There has been  lots of wind so that can change ice conditions quickly.  Go fishing with lots of caution.   Guys are catching  some  northern pike, perch and a few walleye.  The fishermen have pulled some of their shacks  Using tip-ups is slow.

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

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Cynthia

Marina reports,” there is a foot of  ice at fireman’s Point.  The ice varies a lot in places.  We had a 4-wheeler that went through the ice close to the red Lodge campground.  People are catching all types of fish.  They say the bite is really  good.   One fisherman said he caught 5 fish in 45 minutes. The dam has 11 inches right now.  There is 4 inches of ice to the North Shore.  Watch for pressure ridges as they are starting.  The rainbow trout  are biting. We have no snow.   “

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  the lake is a third open.  There is not enough  ice, just a skim.  We had hundreds of geese on the lake yesterday.  There is no way you can fish anywhere on the lake at this time.  The wind will make  water and eliminate  what little ice there is.

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.  There is ice at the dam,  but it is really thin. If the wind keeps blowing it will be gone. We saw no one out fishing. “

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

 Terry reports, “ the  guys who went to Bair did not go back this week because it had been so slow fishing.  They returned without catching any fish. ”

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

 Judy reports, “ I  hear the fishing at   Bair this week was fair.  They caught a few  trout.  The  Bair has 12 inches.  It gets really cold at night .  It has been in the teens.  It does have  portable shacks on it.  We Sutherland  has good ice.  You had to work to catch fish this week they tell me.  Sutherland does have shacks on it.  I had some people go to a private pond.  They also found fishing slow. They said it takes forever to catch them right now. “

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 ,”  Hanson Dam has 8 to 10 inches of ice.  They are catching some trout.

Achley has no ice right now.

East Fork- The East Fork has 8 inches of ice now.   People are catching perch .  I hear not many northern pike have been caught.

Hanson Dam-  Hanson has  7 inches of ice right now.  At Hansom Dam guys are catching rainbow trout.

Spring Creek has open water so you can try fishing from shore.  ”

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon 

Sharon says, “ We now have 8 inches of ice from Confederate and Duck Creek.   There is an open pressure ridge from 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.  You have to go deep to 40 to 50 feet.  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 has ice chunks  as well as flowing water going through it.  The other rivers have ice on the edges  and also some floating  ice. I hear at Canyon Ferry  guys are catching trout on the  ice.   I also heard that some walleye have been caught with a jig and a minnow head.  They were fishing by the Silos and they caught them right at dark. He said there was 4 inches of ice.  We had lots of  winds  so things can change quickly  so please  be careful.

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

 The Big Horn  I  heard  has  decent  fishing.  Use nymphs as that is working.  There  are some nice fish being caught.

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

Fishermen  are catching some nice fish.  Use nymphs as they  are working.   The fish are deep.  Use colors  black or  white or a leach pattern.  No dries are working.  Try a thin mint or a  soft or gray Ray.   Some nice fish have been caught.

 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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