From the center of the boat fishing report
From a guides perspective
Guide says: “Back, stop, pause, forward and let the line loose in your left hand half way through your forward cast”
Client Response: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah”
Guide Response: “…………….”
Simply put I can only think of two fishing guides on the Bighorn River that genuinely enjoy the sound of their own voice. The rest of us are actually telling a client things to help them learn how to have an enjoyable day. We love what we do and we’re going to try everything in our power to get clients into fish. Blowing off a guides advice puts us in a shut down mode. Basically we say “why try if they aren’t going to listen.” Then nobody has a good day.
Moral of the story; despite how aggressive or annoying we may come across, were doing and saying the things we do to make clients better anglers and it’s extremely important to stay patient and listen and I guarantee everyone will be satisfied with the result. After all a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.
River flow: 14,100 cfs
Water Temp: 52.9 F
Mountain Snow pack: 184% of average and falling
Inflow to Bighorn Lake: 14,200 cfs
Nymphs: Sow bugs, Worms, Scuds
Method: 9 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
Size 8-10 Chenille Worm. Red, tan, purple, brown and two tone
Size 12-18 Dark orange scud
The water temperature is moving up quickly with the warmer days and the fish have been moving into the center of the river in fast water spots. This presents two problems. One it’s hard to get a good drift to them. 2 your float goes quickly boat fishing that water. If your fishing the steel worm as your first fly fish a 3o and a bb split shot for weight. If your not fishing the steel worm you have to up the weight to 2 3o split shot.
Dry Flies: Some Blue Wing Olive Mayflies
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
There are still a few BWO dry flies around but with the higher water temperature and high water they aren’t as prolific as they have been. However an interesting point to mention from past experience is that when the water temperature starts to warm quickly PMD’S and Yellow Sally’s can be found in places. I haven’t seen any yet but I’m certainly keeping my eyes open on the lower river.
Streamers: Little shiner minnows
Method: 4-6 foot 2x or stronger leader to a single small white streamer.
Small White Shiner imitations
Fish are primarily concerned with massive amounts of large sow bugs, worms and scuds floating down the river, but the shiner minnows are still around and the live ones have made their way into soft water spots along at least the first 13 miles. On the right streamer days a shiner minnow streamer is still working pretty good.
Thanks for reading and until next time enjoy our wild Bighorn!
Nick Chiasson reporting for Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort