Forrester’s Fly Bench Fishing Report 4/22/2018

River Data:

River flow: 7500 cfs

Water Temp: 39 F

Bighorn Basin Snow Pack: 117% and slowly declining.

Spring is here at last although I feel like I’ve said that once already this spring.  The weather has been warming up and the Bighorn River Valley is exploding with budding trees and the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains are turning green. 

Hot Flies:

Nymphs: Sow Bugs, BWO Nymphs, midges and worms

Method:  9 foot 3x or stronger leader to one 3o and a BB.  1ft or so to the first fly and1ft or so to the second fly.

Size 14-18 Grey Ray Charles

Size 14-18 Cotton Candy

Size 14-18 Pink Soft Hackle

Size 16-20 Wonder Nymph

Size 16-20 wonder nymph Nymph

Size 12-16 Natural Scud

Size 16-20 Black Zebra Midge

Size 6-10 Chenille Worm

Size 2-4 Red, Orange or Purple Steel Worm

The fish are a little sluggish but the water temperature in quickly on the rise which means the big rainbows should start showing up to spawn. The deep runs below the spawning beds should be loaded with trout.  REMEMBER the Rainbows need privacy while doing there love thing just like we do so give them some peace and quiet on the spawning beds.  The fish are still primarily held up in the deep slow and medium speed water.  In the afternoons they will make there way into the shallow water to eat emerging baetis.

Dry Flies: Midges BWO’s

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

Size 18-20 Midge Patterns

Size 18-20 Griffith’s Gnat

Size 18-20 Midge Cluster

Size 18-20 Student

Size 18-20 Adams

Size 18-20 Parachute Baetis

Size 18-20 Cripple Thor

Although the high water can make dry fly fishing a bit of a challenge there is still plenty of opportunity to get out there and catch trout on the surface.  The water temperature is rapidly increasing so really start paying attention to the slow water spots on the banks and the medium speed riffles in the afternoons. 

Streamers:  Pretty good

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

In high water the soft pockets on the banks hold a ton of fish.  Be sure to stick those streamers tight to the banks and work the soft spots really well.  There should be water coming over the top of the dam which could mean that shiners are getting flushed over so be sure to try fishing lighter colored streamers high in the water column.

Happy Spring Fishing from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort!