The river is cooling down and the water is clearing up! The fall fishing on the Bighorn River has been fantastic! The cooler temperatures have started to push waterfowl our way and the upland bird hunting has been incredible!
River flow: 5,000 cfs
Water Temp: 54 F
Mountain Snow pack: On the rise but sticking there.
Lake Inflow: 5,400 cfs
Lake Level: 98.8% full.
Nymphs: Sow Bugs and Scuds
Method: 7.5 foot 4x or stronger leader to one 3o split shot. 1ft or so to the first fly and1ft or so to the second fly.
Size 14-18 Grey Ray Charles
Size 14-18 Tan Ray Charles
Size 12-16 Orange Scud
Size 12-16 Natural Scud
River temperatures are finally cooled down, putting the trout on the bite. Some trout can still be found in the riffles, but the deep pools below the potential brown trout spawning beds are full of trout. The higher flows this fall have changed the game a bit as far as where trout are hiding, but it’s also cleaned out the grass. The Bighorn is the cleanest it’s been for fall fishing in a long time. Concentrate your efforts in the slow inside seems and ledges that drop off to deep holes.
Dry Flies: Maybe midges and BWO’s
Method: 9 foot 5x leader to the top fly. 1ft or so leader to the second fly.
Size 18-20 Midges
Size 18-20 Blue Wing Olives
There haven’t been many fish eating on the surfaces, but it’s that time of year for Blue Wing Olives. Keep your eyes peeled for fish eating dries in slow seem lines and against heavy banks where the water piles up.
Streamers: Anything to attract aggressive Brown Trout.
Method: 4-6 foot 0x or stronger leader to your first fly and 1-2 feet to your bottom fly.
Colors: White, olive, black, brown, red and yellow
The Brown trout are staging to spawn in the deep holes below spawning beds. These are often the same spots the Rainbow Trout spawn. They will also be more aggressive eating streamers on the banks. Work it hard making sure to combine a twitch with your strip. Really sell it to the fish and I’m sure you will have a positive result. Remember if you hit the spawn right it doesn’t matter if it’s an overcast day or not. They’ll eat it!
Waterfowl Hunting Report:
The last few cold weather snaps have started moving the Waterfowl into the Bighorn River valley. A large portion of these ducks and geese are taking refuge in the many cattle reservoirs surrounding the Bighorn River. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t using the river for water. So do some homework on the Bighorn River and figure out where they want to be. An interesting point to note is that the water is high and expected to be for quite some time still. The ducks and geese will not use the traditional main channel spots, but rather spread to the numerous side channels that have plenty of good “ducky” water.
The weather is forecast-ed to start getting a lot colder very fast so be ready! The incredible duck hunting on the Bighorn River is just around the corner. Make sure to give Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort a phone call for some great late fall pricing on a waterfowl cast and blast adventure.
Upland Bird Hunting Report:
Pheasants had an ok hatch this year and are giving our hunters plenty of opportunities on the hunting properties. Hunn Partridge and Chukar did incredible and it’s not uncommon for clients to shoot limits. The Sharp Tail grouse population seems to be pretty good. We aren’t seeing as many as we have in the past, but they are still there. Sharp Tail tend to be a bit more migratory than the other birds and as the season progresses they will start moving to their breeding grounds on the hunting properties.
Happy Hunting and Fishing from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort!