Another great spring week on the Bighorn! Weather has warmed up back to the 70's and 80's for this week making for great time on the river and to enjoy the beauty of the valley. Everything is blooming and greening up. Wild flowers abound and the Morrell mushroom hunters are scouring the river banks and islands for their trophies. Lots to do as we are in full swing on the river.
Now for the good stuff- bugs, bugs and lots more bugs!! Dry fly fishing improves each day with a strong Blue wing olive hatch starting mid morning and lasting well into the afternoon. Fish are looking up and are hungry. A well presented pattern in size 18-20 should reward you with plenty of nice fish! Nymphing is also going strong still throughout the upper 13 miles of river below the dam. Same as before, try sow bug patterns, baetis and midge patterns which will be the staple for the next month or so. Fish them long and light with a 9 foot leader, a "B" or "BB" splitshot tied down to 4X fluorocarbon tippet to the first fly. Fish the seams, tail-outs and off the back of shelves for active feeding fish.
River conditions are looking good for the upcoming week. The flows are at 2510 CFS and we are expecting a small increase of 150 CFS mid week. No issues there, just giving the fish more habitat. Water temps increasing to 40 degrees a spurring the insect activity and getting the fish on the move. Not hard to find pods of feeding fish throughout the river. Water clarity is around 48 inches which is very clear. There has been periodic floating moss throughout the river but with some patience can be easily managed. Check your flies often, keep them clean and you'll catch fish.
Please remember that the rainbow trout are coming into their spawning season. Please do not target the vulnerable spawning trout! Leave them alone so they can do their part in keeping the Bighorn a world class fishery.
Feel free to contact me with any further questions about the fishing conditions, interests in booking a trip or just talk fishing! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting the lodge at 406-620-2149. See you on the water!