Spring is here 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 reality in the Spring, and it can happen quickly. Please watch where you drive as it is already really dry. 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
Raymond reports,” the bays are starting to open up. Spencer caught some bass at the bay by the marina. He used a chartreuse Mister Twister with a flashy eye jig. The ice is still out there but it is rotten. The edges have opened up. The water is 40 degrees. In some places it is more than 5 feet from shore.
Do not 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. They will open up around May 1st.
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. The ice is still out there. It is not safe. The bays are opening up so you might shore fish. I think we are looking at the second week of April to open. We still have some work to do to get the Marina ready. “
Rock Creek Marina- Monty LeTexier , Wyatt /1-406-230-1283 for Linda & Neil Marina number is 1-406-485-2560
Linda said, ”we have ice, but you can’t get on it. . Prior to the ice changing fishing was slow. The ice has pulled away from the shore. At this point ice fishing is done. We are waiting for the ice to melt. The wind is blowing like crazy today. ”
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 continues to be rotten. It has pulled away from the shore at times. You cannot ice fish anymore. You can not fish from shore or from boat. There still is too much ice. It is 22 degrees now and it is still pretty cold at night. The ice is breaking away from shore, but it is not quite ready to fish from there.”
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, “ still no ice fishing here. There is no safe ice. No fishing here right now even from shore. We are still having cold nights and a little warm during the days. Maybe in a week or so. A few people have gotten a boat in at the dredge cuts. It is time to get your boat 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, ” no ramps are open in the dam area yet. Ice is getting very close to being gone. We are anticipating launching boats next week. Pray for warm weather and a little wind and we will be fishing on open water real soon. Have a great weekend.
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. The water is low. 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, “ there is no ice fishing at Nelson. The water is raising by the day. They continue to dump water into Nelson. The ice is bad. The shoreline has pulled away quite a distance. “
Cooney Reservoir – Jake,
Jake reports,” The ice is receding, so it is not safe anymore. You cannot get a boat on. There are a couple of spots where the shore is starting to open. We have seen a bit of water on the edges but not enough oven to fish from shore. We have had a few Spring campers coming just to be outside. Remember it is still first come first serve.“
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
FWP says , “ we have no ice. It is open water. Remember that the water is down 4 feet. I see a couple of people out there. People have been coming in the morning, but the cold and wind have made them leave in a short time.
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
Tony explains,” the edges on the shoulder has started to open up some. There are places with ice that is not safe to even try to shore fish. The ice is still out in the middle. There is no way to ice fish.
Cozy Corner bar Deadmans/Martinsdale Lavina 406-636-2261 Terry
Terri says, “ I was told the Basin is still froze over with ice. The guy said there is no fishing from shore yet. I now have worms in. I have sold a few worms , but I do not know where they were headed. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Rick reports” we had people ice fishing Bair this week. Bair still has ice. There is water on the edges. They said it was good fishing. The ice is softening but there is still thick ice. If you come, bring your jumping shoes, a ladder or waders as the shore ice is pulling away. “
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 ,” the river is open north of Winifred. The bank is tough, but you can get a boat on.
Achley- Someone got a boat out on Achley and said fishing was okay.
Hanson and East Fork- I was told Hanson and East Fork still has ice.
Petrolia- Someone said Petrolia is open.
Spring Creek- The fishing at Spring Creek has been pretty good people say. It is always open water. “
Silos Canyon Ferry-Sharon
Sharon says, “ It is going to be a couple of weeks before you would be able to put a boat in. Shore is good for fishing. Someone got some trout. You can not ice fish, the ice is way to far out. I invite you to come and sit on the shoreline and enjoy just being outside.
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,” We are opening April 1st. I have worms coming soon. I talked to someone who ice fished Canyon Ferry on Sunday. He said three guys went out. He was not sure how they even got out there. He said he stepped on shore ice and it broke away immediately. I would say ice fishing is done. You can ice fish at your own risk but wear scuba gear. ”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
Jasmine says, ” the shop is now open Tuesday to Saturday 10 to 2 p.m. People are fishing the Yellowstone and the Stillwater. They are using March browns now. They are nymph fishing or using a very small dries. They are wade fishing.
I want to let people know the big equipment is at Two Bridge, so they are starting on the bridge.
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 again this week. The water is cold. You can wade or used a boat. Nymphing is working using all colors of sow bugs. I did see a blooming dull hatch. The fish are still not on the surface yet. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375 Rick/Hale/ Stephanie
Rick said, “ the water is clear. The CFS is 2200 . The water temperature is 41 degrees. Nymph fishing is what people are finding is working. Use a Gray Ray, a soft tackle, baetes or orange scuds as they are working. The water is just too cold, so the fish are not taking streamers. It is good wade fishing.
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.
Someone I talked to fished on the Yellowstone around Worden. They caught the catfish at night using cut bait. They could not find them during the day. They also caught a few ling at night.
Another group was fishing on the Yellowstone from Huntley up to the dam. The small mouth bass fishing was good using slip bobbers with minnows and a Rapella.
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.
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.
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.
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!”