Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 3.17.21
By angelamontana

Posted: March 17, 2021

Spring arrives this weekend and that can bring unusual weather and sudden changes in weather temperatures, wind and flooding which means everyone needs to be vigilant when being outside. Outdoor enthusiasts, including fishermen need to pay attention to these changes. We live in Montana where snow can still be a possibility so please stay alert to forecasts. The possibility of fire is still a possibility we are being told and it can happen quickly, Fishermen or fisherwomen need to keep in touch with the weather service. Let others know where you are for safety as you recreate. Enjoy yourself but remember alcohol alters your judgment. So, use it sparingly while enjoying the outdoors. 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,” the fishermen are not here. No one has come as the ice is rotten. The edges have opened up. In some places it is more than 5 feet from shore. It is definitely not safe. The bays are opening up. We had several above freezing days. The river is open about a mile. The water level has raised.

Don’t forget that you have to get a new fishing license after March 1st. We suggest you get it on-line, so you don’t have to wait in long lines because of social distancing. ”

Campers point 1 to 11 have electricity year around. The fish cleaning station is still closed.

Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie, Greg

Wade said,” We have closed the marina until the regular season starts and the ice is gone. We want to thank everyone for their support. We really appreciated your business.

The warmer weather has broken open the edges and conditions have changed rapidly. No one can ice fish. Even the ladder boys are unable to get on. We just have to wait for the ice to melt and warm temperatures will help that. “

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

Linda said, ”our fishermen canceled this week because of the ice changes. The ice is honey combed. Prior to the ice changing, fishing was slow. The ice is pulling away from the shore. At this point ice fishing is done. Now we wait for the ice to melt. ”

We have closed the marina for the season. 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 reported ,” the ice is spongy and rotten. It has pulled away from the shore. You cannot ice fish anymore. I figure, give the weather three weeks and things will be very different. At this point you cannot throw a pole in and even shore fish either.

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, “ no you cannot ice fish here. There is no safe ice. At this point there is no fishing here right now even from shore. It is time to get your boat out and get it ready for when the ice is gone.”

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 ice is unsafe, and we currently don’t have any open water. We are hoping we have open water shortly.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.”

Bait store has all the gear you need for chasing fish on Fort Peck. We have a complete line up of tackle for all your needs here. Hope to see everyone soon.

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana

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

Slim says, “ we closed the marina until April as the ice is no longer good. We are making no reservations until April. “

Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David 654-1712

Open 7:30 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday/ 11am to 3 pm Sunday

Kolin reports, “ they are dumping water into Nelson now. The ice is punky and there is no ice fishing. The shoreline has pulled away quite a distance.

I had someone check Forchette and ,ice did not look good at all. It is time to be working on getting your boat ready for fishing in a couple of weeks. “

Cooney Reservoir – Jake,

Jake reports,” I fished earlier in the week , but I brought my ladder and ended up with many guys using it. The edges have opened up. Now the ice is no longer safe. It is honeycombing. The boat season is not here yet but get your boat ready.“

Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

FWP says , “ we have no ice. It is open water. I see a couple of people out there.

A reminder that March 1st is the time to get your new fishing license for the year. We are encouraging people to get it on-line as we are anticipating long lines with social distancing. So avoid the long wait and get yours on-line. ”

Deadmans Tony and Pat Stefani

Pat explains,” the edges on the shoulder have opened up. The ice is spongy and there is no way to ice fish. ”

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

Terri says, “ the word is the ice is bad pretty much everywhere. Get your gear together. “

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

Judy reports, “ Bair still has ice. We did have people fishing on Sunday. They said it was fair fishing. If you come, bring a board as the shore ice is pulling away. I don’t know how long it will last. “

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 ,” The only place you can fish is Spring Creek which is always open water. East Fork still had ice on the weekend, but the edges were getting really soft. I do not think it has good ice now. . “

Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon

Sharon says, “ If you were to ice fish here it is walk on only. The ice has started to pull away from shore. We have not had very many people fishing. As of today (Tuesday) we have 10 to 12 inches of ice. The people who fished caught perch but not huge ones. The trout bite is slowing down they say. It is definitely walk on only now. Outside of the bay the pressure ridge is opening up.

I just got in a whole new shipment of Rich’s Tackle for the season. We are ready for the Spring fishing season. “

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 rivers are open. Again with this warm weather.

I have not heard of anyone finding good ice to fish. The warm weather is changing things. Canyon Ferry’s ice is pulling away from shore I was told. I don’t recommend anyone trust the ice now with the warm temperatures. ”

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, ” the shop is now open Tuesday to Saturday 10 to 2 p.m. I fished the Yellowstone and caught a 17-inch rainbow trout. I was wading. People on the Stillwater who are fishing are seeing small midges. Starting April 1st we will be having a 40 percent off sale. “

Montana Adventures and Angling Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ I fished the Big Horn this week. The water was clear, cold , and low. I waded and also used the boat. I was nymphing using all colors of sow bugs. I also used a black midge dry fly. It worked if you could find the fish.”

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

Hale said, “ the water is low. The CFS is 2200 right now. The water is clear. The water temperature is 40 to 42 degrees. Nymph fishing is fair to good right now. People are using sow bugs and scuds. You can try a midge pupa as well. Streamer fishing is really slow. The water is just too cold, so the fish are not taking them as well. The water is very wadable.

We are getting lots of calls for bookings. Make your call now if you want to book a guide or lodging as we are filling lots of spaces. It is the time to do it. “

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


M A R C H   H A S   B R O U G H T   E X C E L L E N T   W E A T H E R   T O   S O U T H W E S T   M O N T A N A , T I M E   F O R   A N   U P P E R-U P P E R M A D I S O N    R I V E R    A C C E S S   C H E C K-I N ! W E ‘ L L  RUN  T H R O U G H  T H E   M A D I S O N ‘ S   A C C E S S   P O I N T S   F R O M   W E S T   Y E L L O W S T O N E   D O W N   T H R O U G H   P A L I S A D E S .

Madison above Hebgen –

Keep in mind the YNP portion of the Madison will remain closed until Memorial weekend in May. Once you are downstream of the YNP boundary, your easiest access will be the 191 bridge just outside of West. The warmer temps last week melted out enough room to (safely) park on the side of the highway. Between the Lakes Parking spaces have been plowed at the entrance of the Ghost Village Road and Cabin Creek campground. As of now it looks like it will be a while until you can drive all the way down to the outhouse, but we will see what the weather does.

Raynolds Bridge-

Looking good! Boat ramp is still snowed in, but you can drive into the parking lot no problem. The parking lot on the South side of the bridge is in good shape as well. Keep in mind there is still no fishing from a boat below Quake to Lyon’s, the new rules are not in effect yet. $3 Bridge While the road down the bridge is still technically closed until April 15, the road has enough snow that you would not be able to drive down anyhow at this time. The lot off the highway is plowed and in good-enough shape for a few vehicles.

Pine Butte/West Fork Pine –

Butte’s boat ramp is still snowed in, but you could slide your boat in with the help of your fishing partner. The park area near the ramp has room for a couple cars. The West Fork bridge is plowed, and you can probably drive about 90% of the way to the outhouse turnaround. Be ready for this road to get a little greasy if the weather stays warm.

Lyon Bridge –

Still primarily used as a snowmobile parking lot this time of year, but as of now its half plowed. You could slide your boat-in if you really wanted to.

Windy Point-

As of 3/7 there is a nasty enough windriff that no one’s driven through down to the bottom level in a while. Skip Windy or have a friend with a truck and tow strap with you just in case.

Palisades –

The drifts coming down off the highway are pretty much gone and the ramp is almost 100% clear. The remaining snow is no problem though, nothing you would get stuck in.

Don’t forget to buy your 2021 MT Fishing licenses!”

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