Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 5.5.21
By angelamontana

Posted: May 5, 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/ Greg

Raymond reports,” we had only a few fishermen this past week.  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, Greg

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 guys were targeting at 12- foot depths using a leach.  We had only 15 vehicles in the parking lot.    Mother’s  day weekend is free fishing throughout the state.   So come and have some fun fishing.”

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

Guys fishing this week  caught a few walleye, bass ,  and pike.  We did not have many fishermen here.  We had days where the wind blew the boats off the water.  ”

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-Kaylor 1-406- 557-2345 

  Clint  reported ,” this week the guys who fished for walleye headed west towards Devils Creek and Forchette.   In the bay here  the northern pike bite was on fire.

They also headed to Sutherland and Snow Creek.  The lake trout fishermen found that the laker bite slowed way down this week.  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 and  northern pike.  The pike have been more aggressive this week even from the bank.  They  found a few small mouth bass in the rock piles. 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.  We have seen some fish pre-spawn , some spawning, and some  post spawn. It was decent fishing this week.

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 a great weekend here at the lake.

Walleye- The warmer weather should help with fishing this week. The dry arm post spawn bite should be getting underway and the fish seem to be hungry. Most guys are throwing jigs with minnows or swimbaits up shallow for the best success.

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. Some guys are also throwing spoons and crankbaits and doing well.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing has been hit or miss. 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. 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.  We had a good week of fishing.  One guy caught a huge blue channel catfish that was 15 pounds from shore.  They also caught some walleye, sauger and of course northern pike from shore.  The water was up on Saturday and today it is down a little.  They can  now launch big and small  boats but be very careful going across the bay.   We are going to have The Crooked Creek Walleye Classic tournament on May 15 and 16.  Call Tammy Pyrah 406-366-0898.     Guys who went down the lake caught a 28 inches, 30 ½ inches and 33 inches walleye.  Someone caught a 44 inch and a 40-inch northern pike.  A few crappie and perch were caught  as they were biting.  Everyone was 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 heard people  headed to Nelson this week. You can get a boat in.  It has raised up a little.  No one told me they caught anything. “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake,

Jake reports,” The water has continued to rise throughout the week. Water temperatures are ranging from 45 to 51 depending on the location. The walleye and perch bite has been consistently slow. The folks that do catch walleye are only getting 1 or 2 and mostly small males. Rapalas remained the best method this week.  The trout seem to be working the shoreline looking for food. The shore fisherman did well for trout mostly using worms or casting spoons.  “

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

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “ This weekend  is Mother’s Day weekend and FWP has announced it is free fishing  Saturday and Sunday all over the state.  Due to  the announcement May 1st of “catch and keep” as many fish as you catch on Lake Elmo there were 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 also had  the new State Record caught  by Brandon Wright at Lake Elmo for largemouth bass.   It weighed 9.575 pounds and was 22 ½ inches long. It  broke the record of 8.8 pounds that stood since 2009.  People have caught quite a few fish from the dock.  Some people caught perch and cutthroats.  We are ready to put some 7 – 9-inch trout in Lake Elmo this week.  People should have fun fishing and catching .

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 had boats go out to fish.  On some days they got pushed off by wind.   Some people tried fishing from shore and caught small fish.

We found 4 cars at  Broadview Pond when we arrived to do our cleaning  and by the time,  we left 4 more cars with fishermen  going to fish. No one told us if they caught anything.”

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

  Terri says, “ I know people are starting to fish at Broadview pond.  I talked to  someone who caught small mouth bass and some small 6–7-inch rainbow trout.  I did sell  worms  this week.

We are having music this Saturday by Ed Cash from 7 to 11.  “

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

 Judy  reports” the only fishermen I talked to this week was a Grandpa and his little grandson.  The little boy was excited to catch a couple of trout on Bair.  They only were out for a couple hours so I would say that was good fishing.  I did  not have anyone else go fishing at Bair, Sutherland or Martinsdale.  It was a slow week. “

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.

 Travis reports ,”

 I heard a few people who went paddle fishing on the Missouri.  Only a few were caught.

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

Spring Creek- I heard that people have gotten some fish.  The water is clear.

Achley-  I talked to people fishing Achley for muskie.  They said it was slow fishing this week.

Petrolia-Fishing at Petrolia I was told is low.  There is no water going over the spillway yet.

Fred Robinson Bridge- People are catching  walleye and catfish.  Some gold eye have also been caught. “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie says, “ it has been awesome week of fishing.  The walleye are spawning and one fishermen said it was like a dirty porn movie. They are using worms and leaches.  Many fishermen are heading to the south end of the lake.  They are catching  trout  using a worm and a leaches.   The water is low.

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,”   On Wednesday and Thursday  I had some fishermen who headed to Canyon Ferry  and caught 50 walleye.  They caught a few 8-14 inchers and the rest of them were small.  They said that fishing just kind of  turned on those days. Someone else went from Townsend to the lake and caught  no fish.  I heard of a fisherman who caught a 60-pound paddlefish. He said he caught lots of catfish.  On the Robinson the smith fly was working really well one fisherman said.”

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

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 Yellowstone just blew up with the really warm days we had recently.  I was told the river was clearer up higher close to the Rosebud.  The Stillwater River has come up.  You can float or wade.  Streamers are working like a Grinch, thin mints,  and an olive mini dungerous.  On the Boulder several weeks ago the Copper John was really working.  On Rock Creek natural dungerous streamers really worked to catch some big browns.

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ I  fished  all week on the Big Horn. The water is mostly clear.  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

Rick said, “ today people found streamers were working because it was cloudy otherwise guys are  nymphing. That is what has really working most other days.  We have seen more baetes and today they are starting to eat a little.   Nymph fishing  means going deep.  Try an orange skud,  Gray Ray or a BP-3 as it is definitely working.  The CFS is  now up to 3400 as of today and  clear.  We are seeing dries just starting.  Try a Grifts midge, smoke jumpers, cripple Thor and  a  sipper midge. People have caught some nice browns and rainbows.  We have seen a lot of day fishers this week.

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.

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


Madison River Outfitters told me today that they will start giving me a report next week.  They said there is still snow on the ground in places.  So look for a new write up next week.  I am leaving up the old one if you need some insight in what was happening.  They say things have not changed much.

             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!”

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