Bighorn River Fly Fishing Report
Fly Fishing Report for the Bighorn River
April '18 - Conditions and fishing are about the same as they were in March. Seeing more Baetis day to day and some trout on them especially on overcast days.
March '18- Flows are at 2500 cfs and the fishing is good. Midge, sowbugs, baeits, annelids and eggs are taking fish. Starting to see some risers from day to day too. The moss isn't as bad as it was. Fish will take steamers from day to day but you have to work at it all day to get any numbers or results. slow retrieve is best and they will often follow it to within a few feet of the boat.
February '18- Well winter has been holding on this year. It has been mostly cold with very few days above 40. The fishing has not caught fire like it typically does this time of the year. It is just going to take a few warm days and it will be though. Fish are eating midge. Mostly olive and black and in the afternoon some red pupae. Seeing some sowbugs here and there too.
Jan '18- The flows are at 1250 cfs and the water clarity is very good. Midge are hatching at times and are the most prolific food source available other than some very small orange scuds. Red midge pupae in the afternoon are working as well as your typical black and olive midge patterns.
Aug '17 - The flows are down to 2200 cfs and the clarity is getting better with plenty of visibility. Trout are keying in mostly on crawdads but will take caddis pupae, annelids, damsel fly nymphs and leeches. Nymphing is still the main tactic but we are seeing a few sippers here and there on tricos and pale evening duns. They are primarily focusing on the spinners. The hatches have not been prolific yet but getting better with cooler weather. Terrestrials are spotty at best even though the banks are covered with them. If you work hoppers all day you will be rewarded with a few willing trout.
February/March '17 -
The fishing is incredible.With the warmer days come very productive days. Trout are on the feedbag again. Midge, sow bugs and annelids are the most prevalent food sources. With the warmer days there has been some run off from the banks making the river off color in places. The Bureau of Reclamation will be dropping the flows and then raising them due to some repairs that are needed. By Wednesday March 1st the flows should be up to 1100 CFS. Trout are spawning so please be aware of the redds and do not walk on them. Also remember snagging fish is against the law and targeting trout on redds is unethical.
Baetis have been coming off daily since the flush and we are starting to see more and more trout up on them. Fish are concentrating primarily on midge, baetis, sow bugs, annelids and the occasional hellgrammite. The streamer bite is inconsistent but if you stay persistent the reward is usually a better than average sized trout. Fishing is great and no matter what technique you are into there is something for everyone right now.
April '16- BWO's are coming off regularly and the trout are on them. Fish are taking nymphs as well as midge, Baetis, annelids, scuds, sow bugs being the most prolific food sources. Occasional terrestrials are getting some nice takes as well as streamers but they are not very consistent. Flows are up a little to 744 cfs.
May '16 - This month has been a bit funky with the rain and run off. The river has turned to chocolate from Buffalo Creek running red from run off and rain. The days however are getting warmer which has been good for the terrestrial fishing. BWOs are still popping along with midge. When the water clears a bit, annelids have been quite productive. Flows have increased two 2000 cfs on May 6th. Big fish water for streamers.
June '16 - Flows are up to 6000 c.f.s. . Fish are eating but you need to go down and get them. Using long heavy nymph rigs with annelids are your best bet. Sallies are coming off but not much of a factor. Trico's are popping but water is too high and fast for any top water action with any consistency. Streamers will take some fish depending on the day. The moss is becoming more and more of an issue but usually will come off your flies with a few slaps on the water.
July '16/Aug '16 - Flows are down to 1,305 cfs- Fishing is good but there is a lot of grass. Nymphing is the way to go with SJW, rubber legs, sow bugs, caddis and drowned spinners being the most productive . Leeches and crawfish patterns taking fish too. Hoppers are inconsistent but fish will take certain patterns. Sometimes on the twitch sometimes they like it dead drifted.
Sept ' 16 - September is already here and there are signs of fall coming. Fishing is good and getting better on the cooler days. Mornings are great when its hot but by midday it starts to fall off. We are starting to see some more fish up top on Trico's and there are mornings that the hatch is coming down in mats. Most of the trout are taking them subsurface still however. Annelids, sow bugs, Trico spinners, crawfish, caddis pupae and mayfly nymphs have been food of choice. Terrestrials are taking some nice fish too but not electric yet. We have been starting to see more naturals on the banks recently. Here is a nice Brown from a trip this week.