Winter has poked it's ugly little head at us again, but we will never surrender our Fly Fishing dreams!
River flow: 7500 cfs
Water Temp: 36 F
Bighorn Basin Snow Pack: 120% and after this last late season snow storm we’re not sure what it’s doing.
Remember that warm feeling of the sun shining on your hands in the middle of your back cast last week? Hold on to that memory because winter came back! Mother Nature is testing our trout fishing patience as she blew in another cold front and 10 more inches of snow in the beginning of April. The river is up and the fishing still remains good in the typical spring spots.
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 Tan Ray Charles
Size 14-18 Pink Soft Hackle
Size 16-20 Wonder Nymph
Size 16-20 JUJU Baetis Nymph
Size 12-16 Natural Scud
Size 16-20 Black Zebra Midge
Size 16-20 Red Zebra Midge
Size 18-20 Tongue Teaser Midge
Size 6-10 Chenille Worm
Size 2-4 Red, Orange or Purple Steel Worm
The fish are up to their usual high water program and sticking to the medium speed deeper water. The fishing is fast and at this flow there are few places to row around or wade fish. So get in a spot and work it hard. High water nymph fishing on the Bighorn has traditionally been phenomenal so don’t let high flows scare you away from the Bighorn. You’re still going to have an incredible day out there.
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
Dry fly fishing is usually a little tougher when the water is high, but you can still find fish feeding on the surface in the softer water along the banks. The water temperature is still a little to low for good BWO hatches but they are happening from time to time. The BWO’s are getting anxious to emerge so get out there. You might hit it perfectly.
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!