Canyon Ferry Walleye Festival

Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 4.21.21
By angelamontana

Posted: April 22, 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.

 Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg

Raymond  reports,”  the  week was cold, and we had some days with snow.   We  had few come out to fish and they were not catching much.   Last week they found got crappie at 30 feet and a few walleye shallow but not much catching this week.     The water temperature is 42 degrees. degrees. The water is not rising, it is down about an inch.  The docks are in. ”

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.

This week we got a foot of snow.  The weather was miserable and cold.  We only saw a few people fishing.  It was ugly fishing weather.  I saw only 5 boats during the weekend.  People pretty much went out and came out after a short time.

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, ” we had lots  of wind.  It just snowed all last night.  It was 30 degrees several nights.  Obviously, it was too dang cold to fish this week. We saw no fishermen this week.”

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 ,” The Tough Guy Tournament was this past weekend.  We had 53 teams and beautiful weather with a temperature of 60 degrees and absolutely no wind.  The First-place winners were Casey Thomas from Jordan and Jason Mundel of Fort Peck.  Their weight was 37.59 pounds.

The second-place team winners were Justin Mindt and Casey Watson with 37.28 pounds.  The difference between the first-place team and second place was really close.  Third place  winners were Cole Frenzel and Grant Miller with 33.7 pounds.

We had some fishermen who fished from bank for northern pike.  That bite is not on fire.  A few walleye were caught in the bay.  That bite has been slow there.  People headed about 20 miles out going east and found some walleye starting spawning.  They headed to Duck Creek , the Dry and west to Forchette.  Guys found the lake trout shallow at 20 feet.  Not a lot of fishermen as the weather turned cold and snow the next day after the tournament. The  docks and  the gas  dock are  in.    ”

 We are open  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, “ I fished the Tough Guy Tournament.  It was a great day weather wise.  We used a jig and a minnow   or a plastic and a jig for walleye.  We found the walleye from 2 feet to 25 feet.  People were doing the same thing  for northern pike.  The northern pike bite has started to pick up.  People fishing for lake trout were cranking and were using cranks.  The water  is a foot below full pool right now.   The weather was not as nice later in the week.

We still have dates available in late April and May if you want to fish with a guide.  Just give us a call. We would love to help you. I just got in lots of tackle this week. We  have  minnows and crawlers. ”

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

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

 Scott  reports,  ” weather has been cold and wintery this week.  This cold has dropped the water temp back to around 38 degrees.

Walleye- The cold front has slowed the fishing  pre-spawn walleyes  up around the dam and down the dry arm.  Most guys are throwing jigs with minnows or swimbaits up shallow.

Pike – Fishing has been getting better  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, “extremely low water.  Fishing off of the bank is slow due to only 1.9 feet of water in the bay.  They were catching catfish and northerns using dead bait.  They can launch boats but be very careful going across the bay.  Almost all of the fish came from Anderson point where it is a lot deeper.   “ 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, “ there have been  boats  on  Nelson so you can get on.  I have talked  to people all week, but no one could give me a fishing report.  I know it has raised a little.  We had the weather everyone else had with cold and snow, so it was not nice for going on. “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake,

Jake reports,”  If you are fishing for walleye you are going to find the walleye bite is slow.  Try dead sticking or jigging as it seems to be the method to use along with a slow presentation.  A few small walleyes were caught using a slip bobber and a worm this week. Be ready to use a lot of patience. I saw a few people catching some perch which was a first since winter on the ice. If you fish from shore, try a marshmallows and a worm to catch trout.  I did see someone got a 4 -pound trout.  Boaters were trolling about 2 miles per hour with Needlefish. Trout fishing is hit and miss.  The water temperature on Cooney is 40 degrees.

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

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  lots of  people are fishing from shore and off the dock.  They are catching some rainbows.  As the weather changed so did the people coming to fish. “

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  

Pat explains,”   we had five campers come this week.   We saw a couple guys out  fishing but heard of no results. and they seemed to be testing their boats.   The weather with snow and cold changed things when it came in. The lake is up some more. ”

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

  Terri says, “ I talked to fishermen who were on the Musselshell and caught some nice brown trout.   The Broadview Pond is picking up.  I sold some  worms early this week.  “

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

 Judy  reports” Bair lake is open water now.  I heard some people  fishing  but when it got  cold and nasty no one went out.  I did not hear if they got anything. “

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 did have weather so that kept people inside some this week.

 Missouri river is  clear, open, and fishable.   People are using  small minnows and night crawlers.

Achley-  I heard of two muskie caught fishing  at Achley.

Spring Creek- Spinners  are still working on Spring Creek like a Panther Martins have been working as well as the  blue fox . “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie says, “ we got in magic worms.  Going south I heard that walleye fishing is super. Some say the spawn is starting.  I am not hearing that fishing is as good going north.  They are calling me and telling me they are coming back and heading South.  Guys fishing from shore are catching trout  using a worm and a jig.  Broadwater bay is open.  The water is shallow. “

We have a 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.

It has been really cold, snowy, and real windy this week.  So fishing was hard to do at times.  We had temps of 29 degrees.  .  The Madison is open. I heard from someone who fished the Madison and he said it was pretty good.  They were using crankbaits.  I also heard they were catching  fish at the Headwaters.  Fishermen  also fished below Totson Dam.  They got a few trout and caught no walleye. ”

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

Chris 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 water temperature  dropped 12 degrees with the weather we got this week.  The flows did bump down.  Streamers have been what has been working.  The Grinch has worked well.  There is no dry fly action.   There have been no hatches at all yet.  It just has been too cold.  The  Yellowstone water is clear.  The lower Stillwater is floatable.

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

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ I  fished  four days on the Big Horn.  The best section to fish was from the After Bay to three mile.  It was tougher fishing after that.  I saw no fish on the surface.  The water level was going to be raised soon.  There was almost no dry fly hatch.  You can wade or use  a boat.  Nymphing is  working 99.9 percent.  Any  colors of sow bugs are good. Try blue wing olives.  ”

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

Rick said, “  fishing  turned around on Friday.  We saw more baetes.  Fish are just not taking dries.    Nymph fishing  is what the guys are using  right now going deep.  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 3000 as of today. The water is clear.  We are seeing a few midges and baetes.  During the snowstorm, the fish were taking streamers for a while.

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

 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!”