Central to Eastern MT Fishing Report 6.15.21
By angelamontana

Posted: June 16, 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 at the peak level,  and it is over the spillway. The water temperature is 73 degrees at the dock. The water is a little muddy. People are catching them in 10 to 15 feet depths.  I saw some small mouth bass that were caught.  We only saw a few crappie and a couple perch. People caught some walleye. The people were saying they headed both north and south to catch fish. Reservations have started for the summer.  The fish cleaning station  is now open.“

  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,” we saw quite a few people.  Last week I thought the crappie were going to move toward shore, but they did not.  In fact people caught some that still had eggs in them.  They were finding them in 20-to-25-foot depths.   The walleye were dragging orange jigs tipped with a leach or a worm,  The bass fishing was phenomenal  this week.  You can use any presentation.  This week we had a 6pound northern pike , a 3 pound walleye and a lady caught a 7 ½ pounder.  We did have  a  17 inch 2.02pound crappie caught as well.

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, ”  we had a lot of pike fishermen here this week. The pike bite was pretty good.

The walleye were out there and people headed north of the marina for them.  People were using bottom bouncers with a worm harnesses.  We had a walleye caught Sunday night that was 31 inches.  For bass they were using vertical jigging in depths of 12 feet. The water temperature has been 60 degrees and rising during the day.

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 Spring 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 

  Layne  reported ,” The walleye bite was good this week. We had thunder and wind so it turned off for a day but now it is good again.  It is coming back today.  The water temp is 58 to 64 degrees.  The walleye are starting to be caught at Snow Creek.  They are shallow at 10 to 15 feet depths. Fishermen have been jigging but some are starting to use bottom bouncers.   The northern pike  are hitting everywhere. They are using spoons towards the bank or pulling cranks. They are finding bass by pitching toward the rock piles. “

 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, “ fishing this week has been like a roller coaster.  People have caught walleye, northerns and lake trout and doing well. They have been getting into some small bass.   With walleyes they are jigging in the shallows or using a bottom bouncer with a night crawler at 25 to 18 feet depths.  Some have tried Lindy  rigs or leaches at 15 to 18 feet.   The guys have headed toward crooked Creek and back.  Some headed north towards Sandaron  going north .  A few guys found eater size walleye with a bottom bouncer and crawler toward Flat Lake.

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 this week has been getting better.  Anglers are still having the best success throwing jigs with swimbaits up shallow  and pulling cranks on planner boards shallow for some action.  Crawlers and leeches are starting to work as well.

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 continues to be really good.   We have been vertical jigging in 75 to 85 feet of water and doing unreal.“

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,  “The guys fishing for walleye are heading to Devils Creek from Crooked Creek.  They are using worm harnesses.  It is a matter of going where the bite is and sticking with it.  We did have some cats caught at shore.  I  have not seen any pike caught.  The walleye bite is slow.  One group only came in with 6 fish. A few crappie were caught at Anderson. You never knew what would work. They were in 15-foot water to 32 feet of water.  “

Paddlefish Harvest Results   from FWP  

At days end Saturday June 12, 58 paddlefish were harvested and checked into the cleaning station at Intake.  The total season count for fish harvested and checked into the station is 656 fish for an estimated harvest of 806 fish for the entire yellow tag fishing area.  See the following table and charts for more details.

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, “  I heard from  people who fished Forchette and Nelson.  They all caught small  fish at both places.  People who fished  Nelson  used a crawler harness.  The water level is low.

You have to be careful at Nelson.  You need to get in at the headgates or using the gravel bar. “

Cooney Reservoir –  Jake, Melinda

Jake reports,” the water level of the reservoir is slowly starting to go down for the summer. Water temperatures have gone down this week to the low 60s. People are still catching a lot of trout all over the reservoir. Cowbells with a hammered brass Krocodile spoon did well. The walleye and perch bite picked up this week. Shore fishermen are catching them on leaches or worms.  The folks on boats were using slip bobbers with leaches or were casting soft plastics. “

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 but the farmers are really pulling water because of the heat. Elmo is down 2 and a half feet right now.  With it being so hot we have seen lots of people with canoes, sailboats, and boards. Lots of swimmers as well.  The people fishing are coming real early in the morning and late in the evening. Lots of worms and bobbers being used.

The Two Bridges is now open to floating.  You can float past it, but you cannot use the road as there is construction equipment there and some work being done 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,”  the campsites are open after as the  road work is done.  People were fishing.  We heard of trout, carp and suckers being caught.  They fished from shore and boat.  The water level is down.   Just a reminder, we do not have change for large bills for your camp fee.  Please come prepared.

We were Broadview Pond very early in the morning had people fishing.  Lots of rigs out there.  So someone is catching.”

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

  Terry says, “  Some  people have been fishing  at Broadview Pond.  They are catching small mouth bass and trout.  I heard from some people who fished Achley, and it fished well. “

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

 Judy reports” we had beautiful weather this week. People headed to Bair this week.  They mostly fished from shore, but some got their limits.  People were definitely out enjoying the weather.  “

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,” There is a carp quest event this Saturday at Petrolia.  You can sign up on Saturday. people were fishing in a lot of places this week.

Fresno-  I fished the Fresno tournament.  People caught lots of fish on Saturday.  The fishing was better.  The wind actually helped us all.  On Sunday it was hot so it was good but not outstanding.  We came in 10th.

Carter’s Pond is fishing well from shore.  Many people caught rainbow trout.  I talked to someone who caught quite a few.

East Fork- The perch are really biting at the East Fork.  Fishermen are using cranks.

Petrolia-  Petrolia is fishing well. Some people have gotten their limits.  Cranks are what they are using.

Achley- At Achley  only a few muskies were caught using cut bait.  People can catch rainbows.  They did stock some recently.

 Missouri- People  are definitely catching catfish. People  said the water is high and muddy.

Spring Creek- Spring Creek is clear right now.  Both streamers and spinner bait have been working. The fishing is good right now.

Hanson Dam-I talked to guys who said fish for rainbows in the early morning and late evening.

Forchette- I heard from someone that they caught a nice size walleye at Timber Creek. “

 Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie

Debbie says, “ we had  a group  that had a carp event with a bow  this week.  They had a good time.  We had lots of recreation boaters this week.  There were some people fishing and I know they caught some  walleye and trout.  They were not sharing much  about their results. “

 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 they were catching small trout this week  at Canyon Ferry.  The rivers have dropped quite a bit and clearing some from  how high muddy. The Gallatin was the highest and looks to be clearing  and lowering the most. ”

 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 from some people who fished East and West Rosebud and did really well.    The Stillwater is looking good.  The Stillwater was 3980 and is 2650.  It has changed enough that it is stabilizing the fish.  The steady weather has helped.  The Yellowstone has also dropped from 12900 to 8540.  It is quite muddy.  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.

There are always ponds to fish.    If where you are going is really muddy, try larger flies in size 8 and 10 size.   People like the beadhead pheasant tail or a San Quan worm.  If it is really muddy, try a wooly bugger or a streamer like a Grinch.  “

 Montana Adventures and Angling  Beau McFadyean 406-855-3612

Beau reports , “ fishing at Craig on  the Missouri  at Craig 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

Rick reports , “  People are doing extremely well.  The water is clear the top 3, and the CPS is 2000.  The water temperature is 45 degrees.  The lower 3  has moss.  Streamers are not successful right now.  Nymph fishing  has been really good.  Use a baetes  nymph or a sow bug.  Dry fly fishing is tough.  The fish are just not taking the hatch.   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  



Upper Madison: Flows have bumped up a bit out of Hebgen dam, but water levels are still low for this time of year. There is still a little green tint to the water, and the fishing has been pretty good as of late. Nymphing a combo rig with a stonefly trailed by a smaller fly is still your best bet, but searching around with attractor dry flies and streamers has been picking up a few fish as well. Caddis hatches should only get better with the warm weather coming up the next couple days, so be on the lookout for rising fish.

Flies: #8-12 Sili Leg, #10-14 Biot Golden Stone, #14-16 Shop Vac, #14-16 Prince Nymph, #16 Krystal Dip, #16 Holo Point, #16 Purple Parachute, #14-16 Parawulff, #16 X Caddis, #10-14 Chubby Chernobyl, #6 Olive Sparkle Minnow, #6 Mini Sex Dungeon

Hebgen: Same story as last week for the lake, fishing has been hit or miss lately and we are still waiting on some consistent chironomid dry fly action. Until then, nymphing under an indicator or stripping leeches and buggers will be the name of the game. Switch up your retrieval speeds with the leeches, and mess around with your depth/presentation on the nymph set up until you find out what they like.

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


Still plenty of people trying to enter through the West gate, get in early (before 730) to try and avoid the morning line up. The Firehole/Madison are fishing well, but water temps are getting above 70 degrees in the afternoon, so its best to fish them early and try the Gibbon or one of the smaller creeks later on. Watch for PMD’s and Caddis, then swinging soft hackles or tossing attractor dries around should find some fish between hatches. The Gallatin in the park is still running high and cold, but could be another option for an afternoon/evening session with nymphs or a dry dropper rig.

Flies: #16 Tilt Wing PMD, #16 DOA Cripple, #16 Missing Link Caddis, #16 Parachute Adams, #14-16 Chubby Chernobyl, #14 Diving Caddis, #14 Partridge & Pheasant Tail, #16 Shop Vac, #16 Olive Hot Spot Perdigon