Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 6.23.21
By angelamontana

Posted: June 24, 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.    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 clearing with less mud.  The water temperature is 72 degrees at the dock.  We saw bass caught.  We also saw a few walleye.  People are catching them in 5 to 20 feet depths.  The people were saying they headed both north and south to catch fish.  Someone said he found bass  in a group of dead trees by camp 1 north.  Fishing was decent.

Reservations have started for the summer.  The fish cleaning station  is now open. Fires are only allowed in fire rings. “

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

The marina  is 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.

Wade reports,”  the crappie did not  move toward shore, as I thought they would.  Crappie fishing is really slow.   I did see a nice northern pike that was 44 ½ inches and 18 pounds.  He was using worms and leaches.   For walleye they were dragging orange jigs tipped with a leach or a worm,  The bass fishing is still phenomenal  this week.  You can use any presentation.  The bigger ones were at the shore.  Further out they found them at 10 to 15 feet.  The walleye is a slow bite.  They are going to 12 to 15 feet with bottom bouncers, jigs with the live worm and bait.

We will have  the homemade  Indian Taco  for you to eat on the patio this weekend again. “

  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, ”  fishing has picked up.  Fishermen are using bottom bouncers with leaches trolling.    One really nice walleye was caught right across from the marina.  The walleye are slow and spotty in 15 to 25 feet.  Worms are working for all species right now.  Some bottom bouncers were used. The bass bite is slow.  The pike was found at 20 feet and seems to be a good bite.

We  do have some cabins available for 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 summer season.  To make reservations you can  call  Monty at 406-465-0241 or  call Linda at 406-230-1283. We are now open with full services.  We are  fully functioning.

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

  Clint  reported ,”  we had lots of people this week.  They have been fishing between Snow Creek and Crooked Creek Bay.  Some headed to the pines, F marker and Hell Creek.  They are catching bass, northern pike and walleye.  The walleye are at 10 to 20 feet.  The pike are being caught cranking  at 10 to 12 feet.  The smaller are at shore.  The bigger ones are being caught in  deeper water fishing in 15 to 20 feet.  They are heading east to the narrows west.  Fishing is good.  We just sent a truck with fish to the taxidermy. “

 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

Wendy  reports, “ we are finding less vegetation in the water right now.  So they have no where to hide.  For northern pike  jig to shore.  Start at 15 to 20 feet and they are scattered.   Fish are moving so you have to do the “big search” to find them.  People are catching lots of lake trout.  Look for them at 80 to 100 feet with a spoon.  The color white is working.  The water temperature is 60 to 63 degrees.  You just have to look  shallow and deep because they have been moving looking for vegetation.  The water has dropped some.

We still have dates available 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  sucker minnows and crawlers as well as a mix of leaches. ”

Our hours are   6am-7 pm Monday through Sunday.

Fort Peck Marina  Jessica & Scott Collinsworth   1-406-565-6283  

 Scott  reports,  ”

Walleye- The  bite is starting to get better.  Anglers are showing the best success  throwing jigs with swimbaits up shallow  and using bottom bouncers and crawlers. Some anglers are pulling cranks on planner boards shallow for some good action.  Focus on 10 to 20 feet of water.

Pike – They are still up shallow and are hungry.  We have been catching them pitching jigs and cranks at the bank for the best success.

Lake Trout-Laker fishing has been really tough this week. .   We have been vertical jigging in 75 to 85 feet of water and marking tons of fish but  getting them to bite has been tough.  Guys trolling flashers on downriggers have been doing better.  “

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, crawlers. and leaches  Have a great week everyone.  Hope to see you soon. “

Crooked Creek Marina, Winnett, Montana 

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

We are open 7am to 7 pm.

Gary said,  “ Crappie fishing is really good.  Use a white jig.  The walleye fishing bite is steady.  The guy’s fishing for walleye are heading up Lost Creek and Ghost Coulley.   Only a few pike were caught.    They are using worm harnesses for walleye.  Use pink or purple colors at 15 feet.    Some are pitching shallow jigging in 15 feet pitching there and back.  The lake is maintaining the same level.  “

Paddlefish Harvest Final Results   from FWP  

 Paddlefish Harvest Update after Friday June 18

A few anglers and some persistent fish are hanging around Intake.  Five fish were harvested on Saturday, four from Intake and one from Sidney.  This results in a season total of 683 fish processed at the Intake station thus far and an overall harvest estimate of 837 fish for the entire yellow tag area.

In general terms, the decreasing river flows that began Thursday June 10 stalled upstream fish migrations which reduced angler success rates on Saturday.  Barring a substantial rain event, the river flow forecast looks grim to stimulate another fish migration in 2021.  Angler success for the remainder of the paddlefish season (ending June 30) will likely be poor given declining river flows.

 Hardware Hanks- Kolin Mahan/ David  654-1712

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

Kolin  reports, “  the word on  Nelson is fishing is okay.  They are catching  a lot of small  walleye.   People who fished  Nelson  used a crawler harness.  The water level is low.  Be careful putting your boat in.

Forchette water has been coming up some. “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,” Cooney is now open to boats on the water for fishing and regulations.

. We’re starting to see more irrigation runoff coming in the inlets, so the water clarity isn’t great on the southwest end of the reservoir .The water temperature at Cooney was in the upper 60s. Trout fishing has slowed down a little, you can catch a few small trout by trolling spoons. The walleye bite is on soft plastics or leaches in 2 to 14 feet.  Yesterday I did well for perch vertical jigging at weed beds.  Small jigs tipped with a worm or a leach around the weed beds produced some nice perch.  “

As you camp, please remember to not leave without campfire being out.    Help the next camper in your spot and take your trash home.  We need to  preserve what we have for all of us.   Please remember according to the regulations the Willow Creek arm is always a NO wake zone.

 Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson

 Bob says , “ the ditch is now repaired  and full.  So Elmo is at a good depth.  We have seen lots of people with canoes, sailboats, and boards. Lots of swimmers are using the water during the day.  The people fishing are coming real early in the morning and late in the evening. Lots of worms and bobbers being used. They have caught mostly pan fish.

There is a Stage 1 fire restrictions in South Central Montana except Sweetgrass County.  This pertains to all fishing access sites and campsites.

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,”  all campsites are open.  We saw people fishing from shore.  They caught some trout.    There  were people fishing from  boats.  No one told us if they caught anything.   Lots of recreation boating  happening as well. The water level is down.   Just a reminder, we do not have change for large bills for your camp fee.  Please come prepared. ”

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

  Terry says, “  I had some guys come in who went to the Basin.  There were four guys, and they came here empty handed.  People have been fishing  at Broadview Pond.  They brought  me five nice trout . They  were 12 to 14 inches and about one and a half pounds.  I also talked to guys who went to Fort Peck for a day of fishing and came back skunked. “

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

 Judy reports” we had beautiful weather this week. Many people headed to Bair to fish. The fishermen did really good at Bair and many from boats got their limits.  Some fished from shore.  People were definitely out enjoying the weather even on Sunday when it rained for a while. .  “

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   reported,”

Carter’s Pond is fishing well.  Lots of people caught rainbow trout.  Mostly 12 to 16 inches.  They have been using flies and lures or worms. They are all working.

East Fork- The perch are really biting at the East Fork.  People are catching lots of fish. Fishermen are using cranks.

Petrolia-  Petrolia is fishing slow.  Cranks are what they are using  but got no bites.

 Missouri- People  are definitely catching catfish. People  said the water is high and muddy.  The bugs are out so bring your spray.

Spring Creek- Spring Creek is clear.  The fishermen are using both streamers and spinner bait  and they have been working. The fishing is good right now. “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie says, “ Fishing was awesome this week.  People talked about catching trout and walleye.  There was a 10-year boy who came into the store with a big grin.  He  caught a 24-inch trout and 14 walleye.  He was really happy.  Fishermen are heading to the South end of the lake for fish.   The water is up right now.

The Walleyes Unlimited group has their tournament this weekend.  If you want to be a part of it check the WU  website.

We are preselling for the tournament bait.  Worms are 100 for $22.00 .Leaches   $34,00 for 1 pound.  Call to pre order.  “

 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”  People say the water is low.  Guys are saying  they are doing well with slip bobbers.  They were at depths of 25 to 30 feet depths.  Another group got their limits going South using jigs.  They caught a 23 and  17incher back.  I also heard Fort Peck was fishing well.”

The rivers are down and really fast.   ”

 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,”  I heard fishing is picking up. The flows are stabilizing some.    The Stillwater is looking good.  The Stillwater was 1830 that is down 30 from just yesterday.   The steady weather has helped.  The Yellowstone at Livingston  has also dropped to 5770. The Yellowstone at Billings is 10700 and is fast.    The Yellowstone at Livingston is clearing.    If you are looking for flies to try a copper john in size 14 is working or try the ice cream cone for the upper stretch.  On the Stillwater nymphing is working.  Hit the fish with a pink color like a pink pheasant tail.  You also can use the standard copper John or San Quan worm.  On the Yellowstone  streamers are working like the sparkle minnow ,a sculpin or JJ. “

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ fishing at Craig on  the Missouri  the water is  very low.  I saw  some good PMD  hatches.  The heat is definitely affecting the fish.  Handle them with care. The fish are taking the bite but not taking at times.  We caught some nice rainbow trout Try a San Quan worm or a sow bug.”

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

Hale reports , “   The CFS is 1700.  The water is low and cold.  The upper 3 miles is where to target.  The lower portion has some algae . People are doing extremely well.  The water temperature is 45 to 46 degrees.  Streamers were successful on the 2 to 3 cloudy days. We are seeing a few baetes and midges.   Nymph fishing  has been really good.  Use a baetes  nymph or a sow bug.  People have caught some nice  fish 18 inches to 22 inches in size.

 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  


Madison River Outfitters Fishing Report for 6/22/2021


Upper Madison: It’s a good time of year to be on the Madison! Runoff is finishing up and the river is just about back to running clear. Flows out of Hebgen Dam have been gradually increasing the last few days, and fishing has been pretty good out there. A double nymph rig is still your best bet if you’re looking for numbers, but fishing attractor dry flies or a big chubby Chernobyl has been finding some nice fish as well. Be on the lookout for PMD’s in the earlier hours and then caddis in the afternoon/early evenings, and maybe even a few stoneflies cruising around in some lower sections of the river.

Flies: #8-12 Sili Leg, #10-14 Biot Golden Stone, #16-18 Lightning Bug, #14-16 Shop Vac, #16 Krystal Dip, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #16 X-Caddis, #16 Missing Link Caddis, #16 Purple Hazy Cripple, #8-12 Tan Chubby Chernobyl, #12 Pink/Yellow Chili Dog

Hebgen: Things on the lake have picked up a bit over the last week, and it sounds like the fishing has been getting better out there. Nymphing chironomids under an indicator has been most productive, but as always stripping leeches or buggers can be worth your time. On calm mornings look for fish rising to chironomids and maybe even a few Callibaetis.

Flies:  #12 O.S Opal Buzzer, #16 Pheasant Tail, #14 Olive/Red Nugget, #8 Olive or Black Simi Seal Leech, #8 Olive or Black Hot Bead Goat Leech, #8 Thin Mint, #6 Black/Olive Flash Bugger


Water Temps on the Firehole and Madison have been too hot for ethical fishing, time to find somewhere else to fish and come back during the fall once water temps cool back down. The Gallatin in YNP is a good option this time of year. It’s running pretty cold so waiting until the afternoon for things to get warmed up is your best strategy. Nymphing, attractor dry flies, and caddis and PMD hatches are in play here. The Gardner is another option that can be worth checking out, look for PMD’s Caddis, and a few stoneflies. A chubby Chernobyl with a heavier nymph dropper would be a solid combo over there.

Flies: #14-16 Parachute Adams, #16 Purple Hazy Cripple, #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 Front End Loader, #14-16 Royal Wulff, #12-16 Purple Chubby Chernobyl, #16 Shop Vac, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon, #16 Holo-Point

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