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.
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!