Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 3.31.21
By angelamontana

Posted: April 1, 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

Raymond  reports,”  it has been way too windy this past week.  The ice is gone.  The water is about 40 degrees.  I have seen 3 boats checking their boats on the water.  I don’t know if they fished.  The docks are  not in.  The water is raising .  It is up about a foot.  With all the wind we have told people to be very careful.

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.  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,” We are opening the marina April 1st, 2021.   Our hours are 9 to 5 on the weekdays.  The weekends we will be open 7 to 5 p.m. A few days ago we had ice on the south end, but I hear it is gone now.  I did see 12 boats out there while we were getting ready to open.  I have worms, minnows, bait, and tackle. I also have cold drinks and maybe some warm food as well.    Spring is here, let’s go fishing.“

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

 Marina number is 1-406-485-2560          

Linda  said, ”we had very  high winds here.  Anywhere between 40 to 70 mph.  We still  have  ice, the wind broke it open, but it forced it into the two bays, and you cannot fish or put a boat in right now. Both sides are full of unstable ice so we will have to see what happens. ”

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 wind tore up the ice . There is not a stitch of ice out there.  The lakes are open.  The Marina and motel will not be open this weekend.  We have some things to get ready.  There will be no services.  There are no docks in.   You can fish from shore or from boat.  ”

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

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

Justin  reports, “  the ice is gone.    I have heard people at duck creek in boats.  Nothing on Flat Lake yet. We had no fishermen this week.  That should change now I think.  We do have live bait now.  .”

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

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

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

 Scott  reports,  ” it is great news today.  The lake has opened up and all marina ramps and Duck Creek are open for boats to launch.  We will have a good  fishing report by next week.  Hope to see everyone at  the lake this weekend.   It sounds like it’s  going to be a busy one to start the year with the beautiful weather this 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, “the marina   has been  closed for several weeks. At this point we will be closed for a couple more weeks.  The water is very low,  so bank fishing is marginal.  I will have no bait at the marina .  So if you come you will be on your own for that.   We are making no reservations yet. “

 Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin  reports, “  you can’t get a boat in  at Nelson.  It is close to being able to do it.  The water is raising by the day.  The wind has been crazy.  You could shore fish, I think. Forchette has open water.  I was told you cannot get a boat in yet though.  The wind was bad there as well. “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake,

Jake reports,”  the sun and wind blew the ice off.  We now have open water.  There are no docks in right now.  I fished on Sunday and caught some trout.  A Rapala with a jig .  I caught one small male walleye with the same bait.  I saw 12 campers this week that stayed more than one day.   Remember it is still first come first serve.

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

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “  we have no ice. It is open water.  We have seen people fishing from shore and off the dock.  The water is down 4 feet. With the weather turning warm I am sure we will see more fishermen.

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  and Pat explain,”  the ice is gone.  We have open water.  We saw people fishing from shore and there were a few large boats on the water.  If they were fishing, we don’t know.”

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

  Terri says, “ it has been very  quiet here this week. I think the wind kept them away.  No one tried fishing that I heard about.  I did here someone caught some ling on the Yellowstone.  I have worms in.  “

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

 Rick  reports” there is still a little bit of ice covering most of the lake.  I assume it is not that safe.  You might be able to fish from the shoreline.  There has been water on the edges.

Sutherland still has ice over it, but I don’t know if it is safe or if you can fish there. “

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 river is open.  The bank is tough, but you can get a boat on.

Achley-  Achley is open. Someone got a boat out on Achley and said fishing was slow, I was told.

Spring Creek- The  fishing with spinners  is good at  Spring Creek.

We still have ice in places, but it is not safe to get on.  We have had lots of wind this week. Just have to wait and see if it changes things.   “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie says, “ the ice broke from shore.  So Broadwater bay is open now .  You can fish from shore or boat.  We have not had any fishermen coming.  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 opening April 1st.  Our hours 8 a.m.  to 6 p.m. We will be closed Sunday and Monday.  I will have worms then.  The  ice has left on  Canyon Ferry.  The wind has helped open up lots of places now.  The rivers are open. ”

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

Chris says, ” the shop is now open Tuesday to Saturday 10 to 2 p.m.  We had our  first trip down the Yellowstone on the weekend.  The water is really cold.  Nymphing was what was working.   Try a Booger on the Yellowstone and a zebra on the Stilllwater.  No dry fly fishing.  If it warms as they are saying on Friday and Saturday,  you might see some fishing  on the Stillwater.  The  CFS is only 350.  It is wade fishing.

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

The Springdale access is closed by FWP because of a fire near there.  Watch for word it has reopened.

  Starting April 1st we will be having a 40 percent off sale.  “

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “  the wind was so bad some days I had to cancel.  In fishing the Big Horn I would say the water is still really cold.   You can wade or use  a boat.  Nymphing is  what is working.   Use  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 nymph fishing  is real good right now.  Use a Gray Ray, a soft tackle, baetes or orange scuds as they are working. We are seeing lots of midges,  but  the fish are not feeding on them yet.  The water is clear.  The CFS is 2200 .   It is still very cold water as the temperature  is  41 degrees.  The fish are not taking streamers.   It is good  boat or 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.

 Yellowstone River

I hear people are fishing  on the Yellowstone around Worden.  They are catching  catfish at night using cut bait.    They could not find them during the day.  Someone else said they got  some ling at night.

Some guys are fishing on the Yellowstone  from Huntley up to the dam. The small mouth bass fishing was good .  Use a slip bobbers with minnows and a Rapella.

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

406-646-9644.

             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!”