Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 5.26.21
By angelamontana

Posted: May 26, 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,” the water is up 3 to 4 feet from the crest.   I heard of some walleye and northern pike caught.  Someone said they found smallmouth in the shallows.  They headed towards South to get them.  They were using minnows.  The water is 60 degrees.  I do see a mudline starting way out there.  Reservations start on Friday.   The summer rates went into  effect last  Friday. The fish cleaning station  is now open as of today. “

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

Stephanie and Wade reports,” 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.

We did not have a lot of people this week.  The weather was not a help.  The water came up, so they had to pull a dock as it was underwater.  The few people that  braved the weather caught a few bass toward Peewee Point and Rattlesnake.  We only heard of a couple of northern pike walleye.  No word on any crappie caught. If the weather improves as it is supposed to, I would try for walleye in the dead water using a jig.  Northern pike seems to be a surprise anywhere before the weather.    If you come and fish, come into the marina and say hi.  We are starting the Indian Taco eat on the patio Memorial Day weekend.

  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.

 The fishing really slowed this week. We had 4 days of high winds 40 to 50mph.  A few die hearts tried going out towards to the north east.  Never heard if they caught anything.  We had a couple people fishing in the bay and caught a few walleye and a pike.    Hopefully, the weather will get better for Memorial Day weekend. 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 ,” this last week we had days of bad weathers.  We had lots of high winds sometimes 50 mph.  The few who went out caught some bass, northern pike, and walleye.  They found decent walleye towards Timber Creek.  For bass they were catching them west of Timber Creek.  A few people headed to Hill Cooley  for eater size walleye.  The fishing had to be in short bursts because of the wind.  It sounds like the  Memorial Day weekend will be good so we should have good fishing.

The  docks and  the gas  dock is  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, “ the wind was blowing at 50 mph for three days and it is starting again today.  I had to cancel 3 guide trips because of it. So not a lot of fishing pressure.  Guys are catching walleye with  a Lindy rigs.  The bass have been  mixed in size and found in rock pile pulling a jig and a minnow.  Guys are finding lake trout jigging in 45 to 85 feet or pulling cranks in 15 to 35 feet.  Downriggers are used 60 to 100 feet.    Northern pike are good fishing the bays with spoons.  Hopefully, the weather will turn around so everyone can enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.

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  nights this week has been pretty tough with the amount of fronts we have had come through  and needed  rain.  Most guys are still  throwing jigs with minnows or swimbaits up shallow for the best success.  We did manage  a 32- inch walleye  last week  in 1 foot of water. We have also been pulling cranks in 12 to 15 feet of water and getting a few fish as well.

Pike – Fishing has been tougher.  Guys throwing jigs with minnows or plastics up shallow  in the bays have been seeing some action.  We have been  pulling cranks in 12 – 20 feet of water with some success.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing has been fairly consistent.    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 

Gary  said,  we are now open 7am to 7 pm.

The weather caused us to have cancellations.  We had rain and wind this week.  A few fishermen were here caught catfish and a few walleye and northern pike.  Before the weather people were headed in boats to Lost Creek and Forchette bay.   The road was muddy and is now drying up.    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.  Thirty-one fish were reported yesterday creating a season total of 202 harvested paddlefish.  This creates an estimated overall harvest of 254 fish for the entire yellow tag fishing area (Yellowstone River and Missouri River downstream of Ft Peck).  Paddlefish continue to stay downstream of Intake, through Saturday May 22 most (71.3%) were harvested at Sidney Bridge.

 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 probably because of the bad weather.  We had snow and rain and wind.  In fact it is raining right now again.  Earlier in the week I heard of crappie caught at Nelson.   People came into the store asking about fishing at Forchette.  This week you could not get to Forchette because  of the weather.  “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,” the variable weather conditions this week definitely slowed down the fishing.  There were a few fishermen that fished from shore.  They caught a few trout on power bait with a marshmallow and worm.  Water temperatures ranged from the mid-50s to the low 60s. A few perch were caught using worms. Along the rocky points fishermen were using leaches to catch the walleye. A slip bobber with a small glow hook tipped with a leach is going to be a great method to catch fish the next few weeks.  All the docks and buoys  are in the water for the summer and the fish cleaning station has been opened as well.” .

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


Jake reports”  I went to Yellowtail this week and caught crappie and bass.  The water quality is good.  The  water temperature was in the mid 60’s. The rainbow trout are targeting fries.  Try a Clovis minnow it worked well.

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “ There have been  lots of people out this week catching fish.  They put water into the lake, so it is now really full to the tippy top.   Despite the weather people were out.

This Wednesday May 26, 2021 we are opening the Two Bridges to floating.  You can float past it, but you cannot use the road as there is construction equipment there and some work on it.

The announcement  as of May 1st of “catch and keep” as many fish as you can on Lake Elmo  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.  “

Deadmans Tony and Pat  Stefani  

Pat explains,”  people came and tried to fish in  boats and from shore, but the wind and weather pushed them off.  We had four campers, but they spent most of their time inside.    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

  Terry says, “  the weather stopped anyone to go out.  I did not even sell any worms.  I know people have been fishing  at Broadview pond.  They can have some shelter there.   They say they are catching some nice smallmouth and rainbows.   “

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

 Judy reports”  It has been cold , wet, windy, snowy and nasty this week.  We had no fishermen.  We had  hunters out and even they had no luck.  Mother nature has to cooperate.“

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 ,”  Not much happening this week because of the wind, rain and snow.  It was really nasty this week.

 Missouri- I heard from  people who went paddle fishing on the Missouri it was good.  They were at Slipper Ann and the Swirl

Spring Creek- Spring Creek has been murky on and off this week.

Dry Arm-I talked to someone who went to the Dry Arm and only caught 5 fish.“

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie says, “ the fishing has been great fishing this week.  Th  It was pretty cold.  We only had a handful of people  who went out to brave the cold.  The trout are small to 9 inches.  People are trolling  south.    The shore fishing this week was not good.   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, 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 was very windy and tough fishing.   The Jefferson, Madison is coming  up and  starting to be muddy.  We had very few customers.  No one wanted to be out there in the weather.”

 Stillwater Anglers-Chris 406-322-4977 

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

Two Bridges is open, and you can float past it.  You cannot use the road yet. .”

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

Dan explains,”  we had lousy weather with snow two days and rain other days at well.  The water on the Yellowstone and the Stillwater has drastically changed this week  as it is dirty.  The Yellowstone River flows dropped 78.30  from 94.70 last  week at Livingston.  At Billings, the water is 14200 so it is roaring. So the cold had an effect.    If you fish, do it higher up.  The Stillwater is at 15.40from 19.6o so it has gone down.  Just remember there are other places to get out if you want to fish.  Head for the reservoirs like the Big Horn or the East Rosebud.  The runoff does not affect them.  Try a purple haze, Royal wolf, or a Coachman there. “

 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

Staff said, “we have had a lot of people this week.   We are  seeing some dry fly action.   Nymph fishing  has been good.  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.   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.

 Make your call  if you want to book a guide or lodging  as we are filling lots of spaces.  “

  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  




Upper Madison: We are getting some much-needed precipitation this week, and while it does not make for the most pleasant fishing conditions, it was much needed for the rivers given how dry things have already been this spring so far. The cooler temps have put a pause on the runoff we started to see last week, and the water is relatively clear for the time being, though you can expect it to pick up some color again starting later in the week. We have been running into some baetes activity the last few afternoons and that should continue this week until the weather clears up. Nymphing will still be your bread and butter. Rubber legs and worms with smaller trail flies such as pheasant tails and Perigon’s have been great producers.

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 Dip, #14-16 Tan X-Caddis, #12-14 Para-wulff, #16-18 BWO Klinkhammer, #18-20 Parachute BWO, #18-20 Low Water Baetis, #6 Mini Sex Dungeon, #8 Hot Bead Goat Leech

Hebgen: The weather this past week has made getting out on the lake a little difficult. It is still a little hit or miss at this point. Stripping a leech slowly or fishing chironomid nymphs under an indicator are still your two best options. Things should only pick up and get better as we continue into the season.

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: Not much has changed here in the last week. Even with the cooler temps the Gallatin below Taylor Fork is high and dirty at the moment. This will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. Throwing a larger rubber legs or worm with a smaller trail fly will be your best bet, but the Madison is the better option for now.

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


The Park fishing opener is this Saturday. Just a heads up that Park fishing license prices have increased this season. The 3-day license is now $40, the 7-day license is now $55 and the season license is now $75. Generally you can expect to see some baetes, caddis and possibly some PMDs on the Firehole and Madison. Check back next week for an updated report after we get in there and do some fishing this weekend.