Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 5.18.21
By angelamontana

Posted: May 20, 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

Raymond reports,”  I heard of some walleye and northern pike caught.  They headed towards South to get them.  They were using minnows.  The water is 62 degrees.  The water has gone up 6 inches. Most of the water is clear.  The green  algae  is just starting.  It has not moved very far.  We were moderately busy this past weekend.  Reservations start on Friday.   The summer rates are in affect starting Friday as well. The fish cleaning station  is now open as of today. “

  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.

I got to go fishing this week.  I caught a 7 ½ pound and a 12 ½ pound walleye. The weather was good.  I fished at depths of 12 feet and dragged a jig and a minnow.  The fish were not aggressive.  If you have a good rod and pay attention to the slightest jerk.  When you feel it lift up lightly as they do not take the bait strong.  I caught a few northern pike as have others.  Someone caught a nice 30-inch pike on Friday.  No one caught any crappie that I talked to.  We did not have a lot of people this week.  If you come and fish, come into the marina and say hi.

  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.

 Fishing was outstanding this week for northern pike and walleye.  We saw a 33-inch walleye caught around  Rock Creek and  McGuire  Creek.  They were jigging at 20 feet.  The northern pike are a nuisance if you are fishing for walleye as you cannot keep them off of the line.  The bass are aggressive right now  as well.   The fish are deeper at about 20 feet.  The surface water at the Dry Arm.  They are catching from the Marina down.  One lady went fishing and literally put the line in and got an instant bite.  She then put the line in again and caught another fish.  He name was Tanya Oderman and she caught on a jig and worm a 30 incher and a 28incher.  Soda Maher from  Glendive also caught a big one 33 inches.  We have some cabins available on the weekend and more available during the week.

The Marina has bait, crawlers, and minnows.  We also have two new pizza flavors, Hawaiian and Dave’s hot 3 meat pizza for people to try. ”

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

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

  Clint  reported ,” the northern pike  and bass bite has been really good.  Guys are fishing shallow using spoons and bait towards Snow Creek. For walleye they are jigging.   The walleye fishing has been  taking place heading  west toward Timber Creek. The water at Hell Creek is 52 to 53 degrees. midday .

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, “ people were finding walleye at the Dry Arm.  Guys are catching walleye, northern pike, and bass.  The bass have been a mixed in size.  Many were good eater size. The walleye have been nice size.   The fish have  been shallow  or at 15 to 20 feet from the boat.  They have been using jigs, plastics, and minnows.  Fishing has slowed up by the marina and Duck Creek has also been slow,  Guys have been marking fish but cannot get them to bite.  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  were jigging towards York Island on the humps.

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,  ”

Walleye- The bite has been hit and miss this week for walleyes. The dry arm post spawn bite is really getting good, and the fish seem to be hungry.  Most guys are still throwing jigs with minnows or swimbaits up shallow for the best success. We have been pulling cranks in 12 to 15 feet of water and getting some nice fish as well.

Pike – Fishing has been really good  for northerns.  Guys throwing jigs with minnows and plastics up shallow  in the bays has been seeing some great fish.  We have been seeing some really good catches of northerns pulling crankbaits in 12 feet of water.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing has been seeing some great fish.    Guys are trolling spoons and cranks in 35 to 85 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.

The  Crooked Creek tournament was this past weekend. We had 68 teams.  The first day we had Jake Monroe and Jeff Ingram from Helena bringing in 53.24 pounds.  Their catch on Sunday added to the day  with a   grand total  win at the tournament  of 60.76 pounds  of walleye.   The second-place winners were Kyle Bolt and Matt Heinert with 49.86 pounds.  The northern pike bite on the lake is crazy.  They are heading to the dam.  Try bottom bouncers and jigs in 18 to 32 feet depths.  The darker color bait is working.  I know of only a few crappie caught.  I heard of only a few caught using bottom bouncers. I think they are just starting.   People are also catching some catfish.   The water is at the same depths.   You can  now launch big and small  boats but still be very  careful going across the bay. “

Paddlefish Harvest Results      

Here is the report from FWP on paddlefish as of Wednesday.  This is  the paddlefish harvest summary after two harvest days on the Yellowstone River.  Fishing at Intake should improve by Friday or Saturday considering a river flow of approximately 20,000 cfs usually attracts fish to Intake.

Saturday May 15, 2021  the number of paddlefish caught was 38 from the stream. Zero from the intake. Processed at the  Intake 31 males and 7 females .  Totals of 38.

Sunday and Monday  there were zero caught and reported at intake.

Tuesday, there were 15 caught in the stream and 4 reported with a total of 19.  The fish checked at Intake  were 11 males  and 4 females . Total of 15

 Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin  reports, “  No one talked about going to Nelson.  I did hear it was lower.  The are pulling water out.  The few people tried jigging and bottom bouncers .  Guys say the bite is slow. “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,” Waters have warmed into the low 50s. Trout fishing remains good from

 shore and on a boat. Use power bait from the shore .    People tried  cowbells from the boat  and that produced a lot of fish this week. A few perch were caught using worms this week.  Walleye fishing is slow. They are starting to target leaches with the warming water temperatures. ” .

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

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “ I just saw the report about visitation to FWP access sites and it is up 80 % which is higher than last year already.  it has been so nice and warm this week and people have taken advantage of it.   There are lots of people catching fish.  They put water into the lake, so it is now full.   The announcement  of May 1st of “catch and keep” as many fish as you catch on Lake Elmo there has brought  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  22nd  there will be boat testing at Lake Elmo put on by the Coast Guard. “

Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,”  people went out in boats but I never heard  if  they  caught something.  The weather was good.  The wind did not help people getting on the water.   The Breezy campsite and Willow are closed until June 7th, 2021 because of road work.”

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

  A source says, “ people have been fishing  at Broadview pond.   They say they are catching some nice fish.   “

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

 Judy reports” we have gotten any fishing reports this week.  It has been cold and nasty this week.  It rained a lot, so no one wanted to go out.  The weather was definitely not nice so of people did not go out.“

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.

 Colby  reports ,”

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.  I know of one caught that was 22 pounds.

 Missouri- heard from  people who went paddle fishing on the Missouri.  Only a few were caught. One was caught  that weighed 104 pounds. The Missouri is up.

Crooked Creek- I was up there .  The winner of the tournament had one day with high weight and the second with a small amount of weight.   The water is low, but guys could get out. The bite was hit and miss.  They were vertical jigging and even with that the bite varied.

Spring Creek- Spring Creek was  pretty dirty  but it has cleared some.  I think throwing a nymph would probably catch something.

Nelson-  My dad fished Nelson this week and they got 4 pike and 2 walleye.  Someone else     caught lots of walleye.

Hanson Dam- I know of people who got their limit of trout several days at Hanson Dam.“

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie says, “ the fishing has been awesome this week for trout.  They are finding them at 3 feet depths.  The trout are small to 9 inches.  People are trolling  south.    The shore fishing this week was not good.   They are catching  trout  jigging a worm or a leach.   The water is low.  We have seen pontoon boats get on but did have a huge boat who went down and turned around and left because it was too low for them.”

  •  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, leaches, and  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”  I heard Canyon Ferry is pretty good fishing.  Mostly trout caught. The Jefferson, Madison is slowing coming  up and  starting to be muddy.

On the Missouri some people caught trout at the Headwaters and towards Totson.  They also were catching lots of cats.  I have heard not many paddlefish have been caught.  ”

 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  4050  to 9470 earlier in the week.  Now it has changed today from 8990 to 1300 in Livingston.  People are catching  fish on the Stillwater.  Of course it helps to be experienced,  On the Yellowstone try a big prince  size 6 t0 8.  Blue is working.  I would also try something that  sparkles and moves through the water.   People have been seeing some hatches.  If the water gets muddy, try the San Quan worm.  I have not heard anything on the Boulder this week.

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ I  fished  the Missouri all week.  The fishing was  good.  The Missouri is really low.  I fished from the dam to Cascade.   There were some baetes and caddis .  We caught fish.  Today we got off early because of the wind.  You look around  and you see the land is bone dry.   So please be very careful as you recreate.”

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

Stephanie said, “we have had a lot of people this week.   We are  seeing some dry fly action.  CFS is  now at 2500 as of today and  clear.   Nymph fishing  has been really good this week.  Use a baetes and midge pattern.  The BP3 is working to catch fish.  Try some quills, a wonder nymph. A red zebra and a midge larva.  We are starting to see heads and they are rising here and there.  So dries should start soon.  Streamers did not work much this week I hear.  Try them on a rainy . cloudy day which we may have later in the week. 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

 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

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