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.
(compiled by Carol Henckel)
Tongue River Reservoir Raymond /Spencer/ Greg
Raymond reports,” it was a busy weekend. The ice is gone. The water is about 46 degrees. The docks are in. The water only rose a few inches this week. We had campers here as well as boats on the water. Someone said that they caught northern pike at Neck Bay. He said they are spawning. The water is semi clear. So it is now official Spring is 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, ” the ice is gone as of a day ago (Monday). You cannot launch a boat yet. We have had no fishermen here. The winds have been crazy the last four days. We have had temperatures in the 40’s. Today it is a surprising 53 degrees even with the wind. ”
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 few fishermen I saw went out for lakers. They headed east. They found a few at depths of 15 to 20 feet depths. The lakes are open. The little docks and gas dock are in. You can fish from shore or from boat. We are working on getting things fixed up. 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, “ we have had nice weather this week. We have had 6 to 7 fishermen this week. Fishing just started Wednesday last week. They caught some pike and walleye at Duck Creek. The water is 36 to 38 degrees. They found the lake trout at Bear. At Flat lake from shore they caught a few pike and walleye. In boats the fishermen were jigging with a minnow and caught walleye and pike. I went out today for a couple of hours to Duck Creek and got a 26 ½ inch walleye.
We have lots of 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.
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 as well. Bruce Normandy caught a 44-inch 25 pound northern over the weekend. She was a beauty.
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, “the marina is still closed for several weeks.(as of 4-7-2021). The water is very , very low, so bank fishing is marginal. I 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 get a boat in at Nelson. The water is raised but not full yet. I have heard nothing about how the fishing is.“
Cooney Reservoir – Jake,
Jake reports,” the boat dock on the north shore is in. The water is open. Rainbow trout fishing was good trolling with spoons and Rapala. They have caught trout from shore as well. Some browns are showing up. The walleye have started spawning. We saw a lot of campers and people this week. 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 , “ Elmo is open water. We have seen lots of people fishing from shore and off the dock. The water is down 4 feet. Lots of people enjoyed the warm weather at Elmo. I have not heard if they caught anything.
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 have open water. We saw eight campers this past week. Only a few were fishing. They did not do very good we heard. I know of a carp being caught. They have let more water in from the spillway. We saw people fishing from shore and there were a few large boats on the water. ”
Cozy Corner bar Deadmans/Martinsdale Lavina 406-636-2261 Terry
Terri says, “ I heard of a couple fishermen going up by Two Dot to fish. They got a couple of nice fish. I talked to a couple of guys who went to Deadmans and fished from shore and got a couple of trout. They thought they would take their boat out, but the wind kept them from going out and shore fishing instead. So things are good, and people can finally get out because the ice is gone. I do have worms in now. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy reports” there is still ice covering most of Bair lake. It has pulled out from shore more, so fishing is not possible. I assume it is not that safe.
Sutherland still has ice over it, but it is pulled away from the shore. I don’t think it is 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 ,” the Missouri river is open. The bank is tough, but you can get a boat on. I have heard of cats and walleye being caught. People are using minnows and night crawlers.
Achley- Achley is open. Fishing was very slow for rainbow trout and muskies.
Spring Creek- People fishing with spinners like a Panther Martins. That is working at Spring Creek.
Crooked Creek- Crooked Creek is very low. “
Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie
Debbie says, “ the water is open. So Broadwater bay is open now . You can fish from shore or boat. We saw 25 people this week. I know a few trout were caught and a small walleye. The water is shallow. It was nice to see people coming into the Silos. “
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. Canyon Ferry is open. I talked to one guy who fished there. He caught a little rainbow and a walleye from his boat. He said it was slow. The water temperature was 38 degrees.
Someone told me the Madison is open. He was catching some nice browns up to 5 pounds. Most were 2 to 3 pounds. The water is up he said, and it is starting to get muddy.”
Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 ,Bill, Ken, Jasmine
Jasmine says, ” the shop is now open Tuesday to Saturday 10 to 2 p.m. The Stillwater and Yellowstone Rivers have seen fishermen this week. The Stillwater is at 400 CFS. The lower Stillwater is floatable. Those fishermen found success with blue winged olives. The water is really cold. Last week nymphing was what was working using a Booger on the Yellowstone and a zebra on the Stilllwater. They have seen some rainbow trout going up stream, so soon we should see some spawning.
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.
Starting April 1st we will be having a 40 percent off sale. We will be closing after this month. “
Montana Adventures and Angling Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612
Beau reports , “ I fished the Big Horn. You can wade or use a boat. Nymphing is what is working. Any colors of sow bugs are working . Try blue wing olives, they are working. The fish are just starting to take a few dries. ”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375 Rick/Hale/ Stephanie
Rick said, “ nymph fishing is the best fishing right now. Use a Gray Ray, a soft tackle, baetes or orange scuds as they are working. The CFS is 2200 . It is still cold water. People are floating the river and catching fish. We had some nice days this week and a few windy ones as well. 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.
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
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.
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!”
(feature photo via troutnut.com)