Central to Eastern MT fishing report 5 11.21
By angelamontana

Posted: May 12, 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

Raymond reports,” we had  a very quiet week.  It was rainy on and off all week and it was cloudy.  It was really blah weather.  The water is 55 degrees, and it is up one foot at 34.23.   We had only a few fishermen this past week.   I heard of a few walleye and northern pike caught.  They headed towards Sand Point.  We had about 20 campers this week.  It rained on Sunday, so people left early.  Not many caught many fish.  I know they caught walleye.  I heard of a 4.63, 3.37 and  2,04 pounds.  One guy got a bullhead.  The water is 55 degrees, and the water is rising.  The river is muddy in places. “

 The fish cleaning station  will open up around May 1st.

  Tongue River Marina  1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie,

Wade said,” the marina  is now open.  The weekend hours are 7 to 6pm Saturday and 7 to 5 pm Sunday.  During the week we are  open 8 to 5 p.m.

The weather really did a number on fishing this week.  We hardly had any customers.  If the weather improves, I would drag live bait a minnow or a worm going at a half mile to three quarter miles  speed.  Have your line in 12 to 18 inches deep .  If you are looking for crappies try at 30-foot depths using plastics or live bait.  We are ready for good fishing on Memorial Day weekend and seeing lots of you here at the Marina.  ”

  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          

Monty said, ” we are now open with full services.  We are  fully functioning.

 We did  have fishermen here.   The guys headed to the Dry Arm.  People were saying they were tired of catching northern pike.  I saw one pike that was 34 inches.  Some pitched a minnow and a jig towards shore  to get some pike. The walleye were nice size.  Someone got a 33 ½  between McGuire Creek and the Marina.  They caught bass as well.  It rained and snowed  this week, but we were still busy.  Our cabins were full, and we also had 5 campers.  The water is down but I think that has helped the fishing.  We are seeing islands  we have not seen in 3 to 4 years.  We had days where the wind blew the boats off the water.

With the Marina open I have bait, crawlers, and minnows.  We also have two new pizza flavors, Hawaiian and Dave’s hot 3 meat pizza. ”

For reservations for the Spring season call Linda at 406-230-1283.To make reservations you can also call  Monty at 406-465-0241.

  Hell Creek Marina- Clint Thomas-Layne- 1-406- 557-2345 

  Clint  reported ,” the northern pike bite has been really good.  Guys are fishing shallow using spinners and spoons.  They are working well.  The walleye fishing has been  taking place heading toward Timber Creek.   The  bass bite is there as well.  Both have been a good bite.   .

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

Carrie  reports, “   The weather has finally straightened out.  People were finding walleye at the dry arm.  The walleye have been large in size.   Guys are finding lake trout all over.  They were using mostly jigs and plastics and pitching from the boat to the shore.  People fishing for lake trout have found some.  They are using cranks at 15 to 30 feet or downriggers at 40 to 60 feet and some at 100 feet.   The northern pike bite has been hot.   The northers have been taking   spinners or spoons.  They have been pitching to  shore jigging or fishing vertical.

We still have dates available in 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 nicer this week, but we have some beautiful weather headed our way this week.  It is going to be another  great weekend here at the lake.

Walleye- The dry arm post spawn bite is really getting good, and the fish seem to be hungry.  Most guys are throwing jigs with minnows or swimbaits up shallow for the best success. Have also had reports of guys pulling  crankbaits for numbers of nice fish.

Pike – Fishing has been getting really good  for northerns back  in the bays.  Guys throwing jigs with minnows and plastics up shallow  in the bays have been seeing some great fish.  Reports of  guys pulling crankbaits  around Duck Creek and Bear Creek have been seeing good numbers of fish. for numbers of nice fish.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing has been getting better every day.  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.  Guys are also starting to target the jig bite for some great catches.“

I have the bait store fully stocked and ready for everyone.  We have a lot of new baits this year.  Stop by for all your tackle or just the latest reports to get you headed in the right direction or look at taking a guided trip with us so we can put you on that fish of a lifetime. We also have a great selection of minnows and crawlers.  Have a great week everyone.  Hope to see you soon. “

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

Carrie said,  we are now open 7am to 7 pm.  The Crooked Creek Walleye Classic tournament is this weekend , May 15 and 16.  Call Tammy Pyrah 406-366-0898.

We had people fishing but they were not sharing much because of the tournament.  We had  rain but people still went out.  A few mentioned it was good and caught northern pike and walleye using a jig with a minnow.   The water is at the same depths.   You can  now launch big and small  boats but be very  careful going across the bay.  Last week people  were fishing all over the map.  They used worms and minnows.“

 Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin  reports, “  I fished Forchette this week for three days with friends.  We headed towards Crooked Creek halfway between Forchette.  We pulled bottom bouncers off of the points and caught walleye.  The caught two walleye that  were 2 to 5 pounds.  We caught a couple of bass and one northern pike.  We did have some rain, but we had a great time.

 I heard people  headed to Nelson this week. You can get a boat in.  It has raised up a little.  They said fishing was pretty slow. “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,” Shore fisherman are still doing well catching trout. Worms on the bottom with a salmon egg did well in the Willow Creek arm.  The Willow Creek arm has been pretty hot.   Other groups did well on the north shore using yellow , orange, and green power bait.  They caught some nice ones with a leach offshore. The water has continued to rise at Cooney this week. Water temperatures have ranged from 51 to 52.  With the recent runoff, the west and south ends of Cooney has become off colored. Before the colder weather came in, the bite had improved.  Look for warm water  as you can  target the walleye there  Try a Rapala Shad Rap in silver and black . It worked well  this week. Slow presentations still seem to be best. No one found any  perch bite” .

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 lousy weather this week  but people still came out to fish.  I heard of people catching perch and trout.  They are not putting water into the lake yet. Due to  the announcement May 1st of “catch and keep” as many fish as you catch on Lake Elmo there have been a lot of people coming to Elmo.  The creel limit and fish-length  are off in preparation  for the draining of Elmo starting October 2021 to eradicating the invasive Asian clams found in 2019.  We are ready to put some 7 – 9-inch trout in Lake Elmo 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  

Pat explains,”   the weather was so bad this week we saw hardly anyone.  The wind did not help people get on the water.  Even the campers did not come here.”

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

  Terri says, “ people have been fishing  at Broadview pond.  One guy said he caught a nice 5-pound cutthroat trout.  He caught some rainbows, but some were small, and they threw them back.  I talked to  someone who caught some small mouth bass. They came to Broadview pond because they got blown off the Basin due to the wind.  “

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

 Rick reports” I think it has been fair fishing this week.  We got 2 to 3 inches of snow.  We also got three quarters inch of rain.  The weather was definitely not nice so of course not many went out. The weather is finally nice today (Tuesday).“

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 weather this past week was snowy, and we had lots of rain.  It is sunny today (Tuesday)   which is the first day. We do not have snow in town but outside of town we have snow on the ground.

Achley-  I talked to people who fished Achley for muskie and caught a few on the lower section.  They are using smelt and cut bait.  It is not red hot right now.  The water is cold, and you definitely have to work for them.

 Missouri- heard a few people who went paddle fishing on the Missouri.  Only a few were caught. The Missouri is at 7,000 CFS right now it was 6,000 last week.

Crooked Creek- Is  having their tournament this next weekend. The water is low.

have heard from people who fished at Crooked Creek and they caught a few early in the week.

Spring Creek- Spring Creek is off color and high right now with run off.  “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie says, “ the weather made this a quiet week for fishing.  We had days this week that had white caps on the water. We had hardly anyone fishing on the weekend.  The fishermen showed up today to fish.  They are telling me fishing is good today.  Most guys are heading to the south end.  The shore fishing this week was not good.   They are catching  trout  using a worm and a leaches.   The water is low.

  •  You need to know–There is something new at Canyon Ferry.  There is a kiosk and a $5.00 boat launch fee.  You can pay a seasonal fee of $50.00.  The camp host is down there to give you the sticker.

We have worms and leaches if you need them.  “

We have  Rich’s Tackle in the store  for the season.

 Rich’s Tackle Richard  406-285-4540 Rich

 We are open.  Our hours 8 a.m.  to 6 p.m. We will be closed Sunday and Monday.

Rich says,”   We had a lot of cold weather  and rain this week so not people came in to go fishing.  It just was too nasty.   The Jefferson, Madison are up and a little muddy.  I had one guy that headed to the Rock Creek Dry Arm ,  but I got no word on how he did.  I had no one headed to Canyon Ferry.  Not much to talk about this week.  The weather just was not nice. ”

 Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 

Chris says, ” my shop is now closed as of April 30th.  I am still guiding.

People should  know that you cannot float past  Two Bridge, as they are working on the bridge.  Most of the bridge is down now. They are moving quickly.”

East Rosebud Fly Shop- 410 East Pike, Columbus, MT-Dan McGuire 406-290-5116

Montana Outdoor Radio Show would like to welcome Dan McGuire and his shop  “East Rosebud Fly Shop “to our fishing report.  He sells fly and spin fishing gear.  He has guides available and offers  a free    flyfishing  lesson  as he says he wants to make sure you learn the technique correctly so you will enjoy fishing. Please stop in and say hello to him  in Columbus.

Dan explains,” The water on the Yellowstone and the Stillwater has drastically changed this week.  The Yellowstone River flows dropped from 8570 to 4050 in Livingston.  The Stillwater dropped from 1260 to 816. The Stillwater River yesterday was a bit cloudy ,but I suspect it will be clearer today. The Yellowstone was not clear but not that bad yesterday.

I talked to a couple who floated the Stillwater and caught some nice fish.  They pulled out at Columbus Itch-Ke-Pe Park.  The lady while waiting to load the float tube she tried fishing from the bank using a size 6-8 big Beadhead and caught some nice rainbow trout offshore which surprised us all.  People are seeing some caddis hatches.  I am telling them to try a size 14 black elk caddis fly.

On the Stillwater people are using streamers like the  Grinch, thin mints,  and an olive dungerous. If the water is dirty, try a JJ Sparkle minnow in a copper color.

On the Yellowstone I would use a Copper John, Purple Batman, and anything pink.  The tan Montana prince, a big golden stone, a psych, and princes are working.

 On the Boulder two guys said the little purple dry fly that I tie was really working well.  In fact I am tying some because they are coming back for more.

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ I  fished  the Missouri all week.  The fishing was really good and  clear.  The Missouri is really low.  I fished from the dam to Cascade.   There were mayflies and we used pheasant tails in the morning and evening.    We caught some nice rainbows and browns .  The water temperature is in the low 40’s. The floating grass is starting from 10 mile down but so far it is not bad. Above 10-mile  nymphing is the best fishing technique we found.  It is good for  BWD.  There are lots of bugs  out on the water,  but the  fish are not taking them at all.  Soap Creek seemed to be blown out. The water level is up.   You need to know where the fish are because they are spread out.  You can wade or use  a boat.  Nymphing is  working well. Any  colors of sow bugs are good. Try blue wing olives.  ”

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

Stephanie said, “The CFS is  now at 3000 as of today and  clear.  The water temperature is 41 degrees.  People  have seen more bugs, but they are not eating.   Nymph fishing  means going deep.  Try an orange or pink sow bug ,  Tan or Gray Ray or a baetes pattern as they are definitely working.  We are seeing dries just starting.  You can try a Root beer midge also.  For streamers try the old standards of thin mints or dirty hippies. People have caught some nice browns and rainbows.

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.  “

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.

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


Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report for May 11, 2021 Welcome back for the 2021 season!


Upper Madison: The weather cannot quite decide what it wants to do the past week (welcome to spring in MT) and we are still in pre-runoff conditions. Overall the fishing has been pretty consistent. Nymphing will be most productive, though with this cloudy and rainy weather we have been getting this week you can look for and expect to see some baetes in the later mornings and afternoon hours. Rubber legs or a worm with a smaller dropper has been working best for us. If things are slow on the rubber legs do not hesitate to switch it out and fish two smaller nymphs. We have also had some pretty good streamer fishing days over the last week if that’s more your speed.

Flies: #8-10 Black Sili Legs, San Juan Worm, #16 Orange Head Mary, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #14-16 Red Neck, #16 Bullet Quill, #16-18 BWO Klinkhammer, #18-20 Parachute BWO, #18-20 Low Water Baetis, #6 Mini Sex Dungeon, #8 Hot Bead Goat Leech

 Hebgen: Plenty of folks have been fishing the open water along the north shore. We have heard varying reports and fishing seems to be a bit hit or miss thus far. Stripping a leech slowly or fishing chironomid nymphs under an indicator are your two best options. Things should only pick up and get better as we continue into spring.

Flies: #14 Black/Red Nugget, #12 Opal/Red Buzzer #16 Peacock Chironomid, #16 Pheasant Tail, #8 Thin Mint, #8 Olive or Black Simi Seal Leech

  1.  Gallatin: The Gallatin below Taylor Fork is relatively high and dirty at the moment. Much like the Madison, throwing a larger rubber legs or worm with a smaller trail fly will be your best bet, but the Madison is a better option for the time being.

Flies: #8-10 Black Sili Legs, San Juan Worm, #16 Orange Head Mary, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #14-16 Red Neck, #16 Bullet Quill

(Report compiled by Carol Henckel)