Forrester's Fly Bench Fishing Report: May 4, 2017

Forrester’s Fly Bench

Fishing Report 5/4/2017

Thanks for visiting the Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort’s weekly fishing report. This is the most up-to-date information on where trout are hiding and what they are eating on the Bighorn River in Fort Smith, Montana. 

River Data:

River flow: 13,000 cfs

Water Temp: 47.8 F

Mountain Snow pack: 165% of average and rising

Hot Flies:

Nymphs: Sow bugs, worms, baetis nymphs

Method:  8 foot 3x or stronger leader to one 3o split shot and a bb.  1ft or so to the first fly.  1ft or so to the second fly.

Size 14-18 Grey Ray Charles

Size 14-18 Pink Soft Hackle both with or without a pink bead.

Size 4-6 Steel worm.  Red, orange, purple (Works best below the bighorn club)

Size 8-10 Chenille Worm

Size 16-18 Baetis nymphs.  Wonder nymph, black baetis, juju baetis

Size anything white streamers dead drifted.

The water temperature is warming up and the fish are becoming extremely active. They are still hiding in the usual deep water spots and on the banks, but you can catch them in faster moving water. The Rainbows are starting to make their way up onto the spawning beds and of course the Browns will move in behind them. Good sportsmanship dictates that you don’t wade fish on the spawning beds as you risk walking all over the eggs and ruining good spawning river bottom. However, it’s irrelevant to tell you this because the water is moving too fast and deep over the spawning beds for a person to get there anyway. Just keep it in mind for when the water comes down. Fish are becoming a bit more sluggish eating baetis as the free floating worms and sow bug numbers are so high. DON'T FORGET to bring your white streamer patterns! The fish are slowing a little on the shiner minnows on the upper three but the dead drifted whit streamer still works. 

Dry Flies: Blue Wing Olive Mayflies and midges

Method:  9 foot 5x leader to the top fly.  1ft or so leader to the second fly.

Size 16-18 Cripple Thor

Size 16-18 Snowshoe Baetis

Size 16-18 CDC Student

Size 16-18 Midge clusters

Size 16-18 Baetis spinners

Fish are still eating dries in the high flows but it’s a little tougher to find them.  If the hatch is good you will find large pods of them tucked up against the banks in the back eddies.  Don’t ignore the river flowing out of the river banks and through trees.  These are great places for trout to hold up and sip BWO’s.  Don’t let the high water scare you away from the greatest trout stream in America, simply think outside of the usual Bighorn River box. This river is still full of feasting trout. 

Streamers:  Little shiner minnows

Method:  4-6 foot ox or stronger leader to a single small white streamer.

Small White Shiner imitations

ON FIRE!!!! They are releasing water over the spillway and thousands of shiners are getting flushed into the river system. The first 2-3 miles below the dam has been incredible. The traditional style of casting to the soft pockets on the banks with a deadrift or very slow strip is the most effective method for enticing trout to attack your streamer.

Happy Fishing from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort