The Bighorn is coming into fine spring form the last couple of weeks and is improving each day with more consistent insect hatches. Currently the river has been holding stable at 2500 CFS and water temperatures have been right at 39-40 degrees. Water clarity is fairly clear for the first 6- 7 miles down stream from the dam. It will clear more when the rain subsides opening up the top twenty miles for good fishing. Quite normal for this time of year and a great flow for spring fishing. Blue wing olive may flies (baetis) and midges have been hatching regularly after lunch. Some days the hatches are more prolific and other days a bit less mainly due to the weather and air temperature. Either way, we are still finding adult insects every day on the upper 13 miles of river. Great for the die-hard dry fly fisherman up for the challenge of hooking into a nice fish on the surface. Use baetis in midge patterns in sizes 18-22.
Nymph fishing has been very good over the last week using baetis nymphs, midge larvae and sow bug patterns. Keep your patterns in size 18-20 tied off to 4X or 5X fluorocarbon tippet. Fish the deeper water with a 9 foot leader under an indicator and focus on the slower deeper water until the insect activity picks up then key in on the tail-outs of riffles and the seams between faster water and eddys. Both wade fishing and boat fishing have been very good lately. For dry fly fishing it's best to get out of the boat when you find a pod of rising fish.
Weather this week is in the 40's and 50's with rain/snow mix. Great weather to bring out insect hatches and get the fish looking up for an easy meal. Dress warm, stay dry and catch some fish!
April, May and June is spawning time for the Rainbow trout on the Bighorn. Keep in mind that these fish can be vulnerable when they are on the shallow spawning beds also known as redds. For the future of our quality of fishing on the Bighorn please do not target these fish or disrupt their spawning activities.
Feel free to email Matt Granberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the lodge at 406-666-9198 for any fishing condition details.