Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 4.15.21
By angelamontana

Posted: April 15, 2021

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

Spencer  reports,”  it was a slow  week.  We had a lot of wind.   Fishing was pretty slow. Raymond talked to someone who got into some crappie at 30 feet.  They found the few walleye to be shallow.     The water is about 40 degrees.  The docks are   in.  We had  a few campers here.

Do not forget that you need to  get a new fishing license.  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.  We are still in winter rates with first come, first serve.  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,” the marina  opened on April 1st, 2021.   Our hours are 9 to 5 on the weekdays.  The weekends we will be open 7 to 5 p.m.

People were catching fish.  Some were targeting northern pike.  They  were fishing at depths of 2 to 3  feet.  The pike are spawning in the bay right now.  One fellow was using a  Big bear devil spoon and a five  of diamond.  He also used larger minnows and frozen smelt.  He said he caught and released 30 northerns.  Others caught some crappies at 30 feet depths suspended  from the bottom at 4 to 5 feet.  A few bass and walleye were caught.  The surface water temperature is 40 degrees but that does not mean deeper it is not cooler.  People had a decent day out fishing.  Spring is here.  I have worms, minnows, bait, and tackle. I also have cold drinks and maybe some warm food as well.  “

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

 Marina number is 1-406-485-2560          

Linda  said, ” it has been a week of wind and today we are getting snow and wind.  You cannot even see  across the water.  Right now it is 30 degrees and really cold with the wind.  You can access the boat ramp.   We have had no fishermen here.  ”

We have closed the marina for the season.  There are not  any services.  For reservations for the Spring 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 ,” I am getting ready for the Tough Guy tournament this weekend.  You can  sign up at the walleye banquet at Jordan on Friday night or fill in a form online earlier.   The few fishermen I saw went out for lakers.  They did pretty  good.  They  found a few at depths of 15 to 20 feet depths.  A few guys fished from shore and got some northern pike.  The lakes are open.   The  docks and gas  dock are in.   The  Marina will be open on Saturday.  ”

 We will be  open this weekend  from 8 to 5 on weekdays and 7 to 6 on weekends.

 Lake Ridge Motel Eddie and Carrie Mindt, Haley 1-406-526-3597

Eddie  reports, “ the weather this week was horrible.  We had snow and cold.  The guys who went out went mostly to the river.  They caught  a few walleye by the bays.   Only a few smallmouth  and  pike were caught.      In boats the fishermen were  catching lake trout  at 15 to 25 depths.

I just got in lots of tackle this week. We  have  minnows and crawlers. ”

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

Our hours are   6am-7 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina  Jessica & Scott Collinsworth   1-406-565-6283  

 Scott  reports,  ” it is great news today.  The lake is completely ice free, and the marina  boat ramp is in good shape.

Walleye- Fishing for pre-spawn walleyes has been  picking up around the damn and down the dry arm.  Most guys are throwing jigs with minnows or swimbaits up shallow. This cold front will more than likely slow the bite, but temps next week look good.

Pike – Fishing has been starting to heat up for northerns.  Guys throwing jigs with minnows and plastics up shallow in the bays have been seeing some great fish.  Some guys are  also throwing spoons and crankbaits and doing well.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing has been fairly good.  Guys are trolling spoons and cranks along with a few guys pulling minnows between 25 and 75 feet of water around Bear Creek, Haxby, and York Island.“

I have the bait store fully stocked and ready for everyone.  Stop by for all your tackle or just the latest reports to get you headed in the right direction.  Have a great week everyone.  “

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

Slim says, “we are going to try opening the  marina this Saturday, 4-17-2021.   We will see how it goes. “

 Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin  reports, “ the wind blew like crazy.  We are in the midst of  snowing right now.  There is no ice,   You could  get a boat in  at Nelson.   The water is raised  but  not full yet. “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake,

Jake reports,”  The water has warmed it is 42 degrees in the bays and 40 degrees out further.  The  boat dock on the north shore is in.   Rainbow trout  fishing was hit and miss this week trolling with  small spoons.  A few walleye were caught.  Some were decent size, mostly males 12 to 16 inches.  The hens were 4 to 10 pounds.  A few nice perch were caught as well.

Please remember according to the regulations the Willow Creek arm is always a NO wake zone. “

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “ the guys put in some cutthroat brood stock recently.  We have seen lots of  people fishing from shore and off the dock.  They are catching some fish.  The guys talked about putting some rainbows in this week. “

On May 15 to the 22nd there will be boat testing at Lake Elmo put on by the Coast Guard. ”

Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Tony explains,”   we have open water.  We saw a couple guys out  and they seemed to be testing their boats.   They did not seem to be fishing.  We had wind some days this week.”

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

  Terri says, “ I talked to fishermen who headed to Martinsdale and they got blown off.  They tried Deadmans  and the weather chased them away there also.   People said they saw some cars at  Broadview Pond so fishing must have started there.  I do have worms in now.  “

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

 Judy  reports” Bair lake is open water now.  I heard no one went fishing it was just too cold.

Sutherland still has ice.  There are a few places where it  is pulled away from the shore and some people fished from those spots.  The ice  is not  safe.“

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 ,” we had snow for two to three days.  The temperature was cold .

 Missouri river is open.  I  heard of sauger and walleye being caught.   People are using  small minnows and night crawlers.

Achley-  Some trout  were caught on Achley. Muskie fishing was very  slow.

Spring Creek- Spinners  like a Panther Martins have been working.    The blue fox  is also working. “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie says, “ things were slow this week.  The weather was not good for fishing.  I heard from somebody who fished from shore and they caught a carp and a trout.   It was overcast, cold and windy.  We even saw white caps.  Broadwater bay is open.  You can fish from shore or boat.  The water is shallow. “

We have a new shipment of Rich’s Tackle for the season.

Feel free to call for information or stop in at the shop.

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

 Rich says,”   We are open.  Our hours 8 a.m.  to 6 p.m. We will be closed Sunday and Monday.  I have worms.

The people I talked to complained it was too cold to fish somedays this week.  Someone  fished from shore at Crooked Creek early last week and said they could not  get deep enough to catch fish.

At canyon Ferry guys found it way too windy and cold so fishing was out.

The Madison is open.  It was too cold to fish most of the week.  I only sold 50 worms.  That says it all. ”

 Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine

Jasmine says, ” the shop is now open Tuesday to Saturday 10 to 2 p.m.  Starting April 1st we are having a 40 percent off sale.    We will be closing after this month.

The  Yellowstone was poor fishing this week.  The water is clear.  Guys just could not figure out why it was not good fishing.

 The Stillwater was good fishing this week.   People caught some good size rainbow trout and nice brown trout.  They used girdle bugs and stone fly patterns .  Most people are nymphing.  No one are seeing hatches.  The Stillwater is up this week.  Last week the Stillwater was at 400 CFS.  The lower Stillwater is floatable.

People should  know that you cannot float past  Two Bridge, as they are starting on the bridge.

The Springdale access is now open FWP after the  fire near there. “

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ I  fished the Big Horn.  It slowed some from last week.  The water level was raised a little.   You can wade or use  a boat.  Nymphing is  still working.  Any  colors of sow bugs are good. Try blue wing olives.  The fish are just starting to  take  a few dries. ”

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

Hale said, “  fishing is pretty  good.   Nymph fishing  is what the guys are using  right now.  Try a BP-3 as it is definitely working.  You can also try  a Gray Ray, a soft tackle, or orange scuds.  The CFS is  now up to 2500 .  The  water is 41 degrees. The water is clear.  We are seeing a few midges and baetes.  The fish are not taking streamers.

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.

 Yellowstone River

Some guys are fishing on the Yellowstone  from Huntley up to the dam. The weather slowed fishing some.  The slip bobbers with minnows and a Rapella have worked.

 Madison River Outfitters- West Yellowstone – Tom Forsberg.  Open 730am-9pm  


             Time   for  an Upper Madison River access check-in!  We’ll  run through the Madison access points from the West Yellowstone to the Palisades.

 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!”