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,” we had a busy weekend for Memorial Day. We had a decent number of people. I heard of a few crappies caught. Other people caught some walleye, northern pike, and bass. The spawn has not started but it is getting close. The water is almost to the crest and the temperature is 60 degrees. Reservations have started for the summer. The fish cleaning station is now open. A few guys caught some cats below the dam.“
Tongue River Marina 1-406-757-2225 Wade, Stephanie,
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.
Wade reports,” We had people here for the Memorial weekend just not as many as other years. People caught walleye this week. They were using a jig with a worm or a minnow. They are taking both right now. I saw some nice crappies caught at 5 feet depths. They were vertical jigging. The water was 65 degrees on the surface people said. People saw the crappie swimming on the shoreline so they might be getting ready to spawn. We are started the Indian Taco eat on the patio this weekend and will continue it. “
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, ” The fishing picked up this week for pike and walleye. Guys were vertical jigging at 25 to 30 feet depths towards the Dry Arm. One day this weekend we saw lots of bass, pike and walleye coming in all day. The front is changing, and the water was 52 to 55 degrees. It was a good Memorial Day weekend . Someone caught a large northern pike at 32 feet. We had a nice walleye caught at 32 feet depths. The fishing was good but not good enough to call home about yet.
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
Clint reported ,” early in the week we had a little wind. It started at 50 mph but slowed way down. The water temperature dropped 8 to 9 degrees. The water started the week shallower and now it is up again. The guys who went out caught some bass, northern pike, and walleye. They said you could find all species of fish at depths of 12 to 14 feet depths. The water was stirred in the beginning helped later making a good walleye bite. 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. We had a decent number of people for the holiday.”
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, “ we had a busy week and with no wind! It was one of our better Memorial weekends. The water temperature was 54 degrees. Guys are catching walleye with a Lindy rigs. The walleye were being caught with a jig and a minnow at 15 to 35 feet depths. A few tried a crawler harness for walleye. I knew a few tried cranks and caught a couple pike and walleye at 30 to 35 feet. The bass have been mixed in size and found in rock pile pulling a jig and a minnow. Lake trout were caught with cranks in 30 to 35 feet or in the shallows with jigs. Downriggers are used 70 to 80 feet. The water is clearer down the Dry Arm. People were headed to Crooked Creek by the Pines for small bass. There were still some guys who came in skunked where they fished.
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 remained pretty tough with the amount of fronts we have had come through. Most guys are still throwing jigs with minnows or swimbaits up shallow with success, but fish seem to have slid a little deeper and guys are targeting them with bottom bouncers in 23-30 feet.
Pike – Fishing has really been better for guys trolling crank baits in 25 feet on main lake points.
Lake Trout-Laker fishing has really been heating up. We have been vertical jigging in 55 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.
Carrie said, “our weekend was phenomenal! We were busy and we had no wind on the 3-day weekend. . I have four fish in the freezer that were over 30 inches, one 30”, one 31, two 33 inches. I also have a northern that was 44 inches. Many other large walleye were caught. The water is clear. We saw people catch bass, lots of crappie and a few picked up a few drums. If people fished from shore, they caught catfish, walleye, and a drum. More minnows were used early in the week, but the fish were taking more worms at the end of the week. People were headed in boats to Lost Creek and Forchette bay. You can launch big and small boats.“
Paddlefish Harvest Results
At days end Sunday May 30, the season total of paddlefish checked into the Intake station was 297. This creates an overall estimated harvest of 372 fish. There were 27 fish processed fish at intake and 275 processed downstream. There were 0 processed upstream from May 15 to May 30th, 2021.
Despite decreasing flows, water turbidity from rain showers increased on Friday – Sunday. This resulted in a few fish reaching Intake over the weekend. Nine fish were harvested at Intake on Saturday (harvest day) and another two were caught on Sunday (a catch and release day). An additional three fish were harvested on Sunday by anglers mistaking the day as a harvest day.
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 some people who fished Nelson who only caught a few fish. One group caught only 5 fish. The water level is low. They were using bottom bouncers with spinners at 10 to 15 feet depths.
I heard from people who said Forchette fishing was pretty slow. If they caught something it was really little. “
Cooney Reservoir – Jake, Melinda
Jake reports,” Fishing at Cooney slowed down late last week and early this week. The water temp dropped 10 points and on one week ago Friday it was 50 degrees. It has warmed up and is 63 degrees now. Shore fisherman had success with worms and a marshmallow or power bait. Trolling cowbells with a wedding ring tipped with a worm worked for trout. The walleye bite picked up after the water got warmer. I did see a few nice perch come out of the Willow Creek bay. 1/4oz yellow jig tipped with a worm was productive for the perch. Another group did well on the North Shore with slip bobbers and leaches.”
Please remember according to the regulations the Willow Creek arm is always a NO wake zone.
Lake Elmo FWP Bob Gibson
Bob says , “ Elmo was down a little. The ditch had a leak which needed to be repaired so water went way down. It has come up some. There have been lots of people out this week, We saw canoes, sailboats and swimmers. I do not know if the fishermen were catching.
On May 26, 2021 we opened 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 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.
Boulder- I went to the lower Boulder this weekend and it was up and way to muddy to fish in it right now. “
Deadmans Tony and Pat Stefani
Pat explains,” the Breezy campsite and Willow are closed now because of road work. The crew had a problem with the equipment so it has been repaired and they can finally get started. We had campers, but they spent most of the time not catching fish anything.
Broadview pond very early in the morning had people fishing. We found 12 rigs there then. So someone is catching.”
Cozy Corner bar Deadmans/Martinsdale Lavina 406-636-2261 Terry
Terry says, “ I had people buying worms and heading to Fort Peck. I know people have been fishing at Broadview pond. They are catching small mouth bass and trout. “
Checkerboard Inn Checkerboard, MT Rick and Judy Geordge 406-572-3373
Judy reports” we had people heading to Bair both in boats and to fish from shore. One fellow came back and said he caught one nice brown. He announced there were no more fish in Bair. Several others said they had good luck from shore. “Camp cook” said to use wedding rings. He and the little boy he had with him did well fishing.“
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.
Tyler reports ,” Not many talking about their fishing this Memorial weekend.
Achley- At Achley some muskies were caught using cut bait.
Missouri- People said the water was up some at the inlet area. They said the cats and paddle fish were biting on the Missouri.
Spring Creek- Spring Creek was clear and fast flowing this week.
Dry Arm-I talked to someone who went to the Dry Arm and only caught fish.“
Silos Canyon Ferry-Debbie
Debbie says, “ the fishing was awesome this week. I know of a 25-inch and 29 -inch walleye were caught. Someone caught an almost 4 -pound perch. People are using leaches , worms, and anything yellow or green. Most of the fishermen headed south to where the Missouri comes in. The best bite time seems to be about 6 pm. The water is up about 7 feet but is very muddy. “
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 that trout fishing was good at Canyon Ferry. I drove over the Gallatin and it is muddy and moving really fast. The Jefferson, Madison is coming up and starting to be muddy.”
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,” the water on the Yellowstone has blown up. The runoff is really muddy. People floating the Yellowstone up by Buffalo Jump. You can still fish the Stillwater. Most are fishing by Clift Swallow. You may not be able to fish the Yellowstone, but you can fish the Big Horn or the West Rosebud which is not fishing to bad. There are always ponds to fish. One fellow showed me a picture of a 31-inch rainbow trout . Try a leach pattern or a fruit rollup. 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 , “ I fished the Missouri on the river before Prickly pear and muddy Dearborn. It has been really busy and really low. It has been decent fishing. . The fishing was good. The Missouri is really low. There were some baetes and caddis. Try a San Quan worm or a sow bug. The trout size was all over the map from 10 to 24 inches.”
Big Horn Trout Shop Fort Smith 666-2375 Rick/Hale/ Stephanie
Rick said, “ nymph fishing has been really good. Use a baetes and midge pattern. Dries were not working. The fish are just not on top right now. Try a Quill or a BP3 patterns. The gray ray and the orange scuds are still working. The water is clear, and the CPS is 2000. It is just right to wade or float. Fish in Our snowpack is 55% of normal. We had some bad hail this week. Lots of cars damaged and windows broke. 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
MRO Fishing report 6/1/21
Upper Madison: Not a whole lot has changed on the Madison at the moment. The water is still low with just a bit of color to it and as it warms up this coming week it will likely get even a little greener. Prospecting with a dry may bring up a few fish, but nymphing remains the name of the game down there. Sili Legs with smaller trail flies have still been our go-to combos of late.
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, #6 Mini Sex Dungeon, #8 Hot Bead Goat Leech
Hebgen: Fishing on the lake has remained spotty over the last week. The forecast for the upcoming week is looking warm and will hopefully get things kicked off in earnest. Floating chironomids under an indicator or slow stripping a leech will still be your best bet but expect to see some more midge activity in the coming week and this should only continue to improve.
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
Bugs and anglers were both prevalent in the Park for opening weekend. Caddis, baetis and PMDs all made a showing with PMDs being the hatch getting the most attention from the fish. As usual, if you find yourself fishing before, between or after the hatches, swinging soft hackles is very consistent and swinging or stripping a smaller streamer or leech pattern can produce as well. If you are looking for a chance at a larger holdover fish, throwing around a larger streamer on the Madison is a solid option for that.