The sun is shining and the trout are smiling while catching a few bugs in their teeth for the Salmonidae family photo. Or your family photo. :)
River flow: 6000 cfs
Water Temp: 36 F
Bighorn Basin Snow Pack: 115% and holding steady.
Finally the real spring weather has moved in. Afternoon temperatures have been in the mid to high 50’s, the water is crystal clear and the trout are eating like they should be.
Nymphs: Sow Bugs, BWO Nymphs and midges
Method: 7.5 foot 4x or stronger leader to one BB and a B split shot. 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 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
In the mornings fish the deep water spots and play around with your weight. The dense cold water can be play tricks on your drift when your targeting trout in deeper water. As the afternoon sun heats up the shallow water the midges and the baetis nymphs start hatching. At around 1:00pm the fish start moving into the shallows to eat the nymphs and catch some afternoon sun. This fish can be a bit tougher to catch on a nymph but a good ole’ dry dropper rig will do the trick just fine. My favorite dropper would be a size 18 bead head zebra midge or size 18 pheasant tail.
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
With the warmer weather the baetis are showing up more and more each day. Fish are still very concentrated subsurface in the mornings but it seems the entire fishing scheme changes in the afternoon. The majority of the feeding trout are moving to shallow water to eat the emerging midges and baetis nymphs. Look for them on the slower seam lines and in the 1-2 foot slower moving riffles.
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
Fish are in the riffles and shallow water in the afternoon. Because the water is so cold, trout have been sunning themselves in slow shallow back eddies and still water spots you wouldn’t expect to find trout. It’s definitely worth throwing a bright colored streamer into these spots to see if you can invoke a response from these trout. If anything it’s fun to watch your streamer cruise through the pod of trout.
Happy Early Spring Fishing from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort!