Forrester’s Fly Bench Fishing Report On The Bighorn River 7/8/2018


River Data:

River flow: 8400 cfs

Water Temp: 61 F

Inflows to the lake are dropping and so are the Bighorn River outflows. The season of wade fishing is upon us. Caddis are popping in the afternoon and a strong worm and sow bug bite throughout the day.


Hot Flies:

Nymphs: Sow bugs, worms and caddis.

Method: 7 foot 3x or stronger leader to one 3o. 1ft or so to the first fly and1ft or so to the second fly on your tippet.

Size 16-18 Tan Soft Hackle Ray Charles

Size 16-18 Gray Soft Hackle Ray Charles

Size 16-18 Grey and Tan Ray Charles

Size 16-20 Caddis Emerger (Poodle sniffer, big mac, or bead head caddis)

Size 2- 4 Steel worm (Orange, Red and Purple)

Size 6-8 Chenille worm (Red, wine and brown) Two tones have been working the best.

Caddis are emerging on the upper three miles below the Afterbay dam in the afternoons so if your up there past 3:00pm be sure to tie on a caddis emerger. The worm bite is still good but getting weaker as the flows drop. We are all anxiously awaiting some sort of PMD or Yellow Sally emergence, but so far nothing in high numbers has happened yet. SO the Pheasant tail is still not in effect. Stick with the Bighorn River usual suspects and fish a worm and a sow bug.


Dry Flies: Caddis

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

Size 16-20 Black Caddis patterns. Both Black CDC and elk hair caddis patterns are working well.

Whatever material you are fishing make sure it floats well! The water is still a little high and the dry fly drift is hard to maintain right now. Fish are in the faster water so make sure you get good long dry fly drifts over the fast riffles.


Streamers: Shiner minnow and tiny hatching rainbow, sucker and white fish fry patterns.

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 Especially WHITE

The river is on it’s way down and even though it’s hot and sunny there is still an opportunity for some great streamer fishing. As the river drops the thousands of shiners minnows that have been taking refuge in the grass and flooded banks will start getting forced backed into the main river channel. Trout are not oblivious to this and will target these tasty damsels in distress as they are forced into the river current. Fish a light colored streamer through the heavy seam lines on the bank.

Happy summer Fishing from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort!