River flow: 7600 cfs
Water Temp: 45 F
Bighorn Basin Snow Pack: 99% and rapidly declining.
The weather and the water is finally warming up! Aside from the usual spring cold weather storm, summer is on its way. However a thing to note about the spring storms is that they bring cold cloudy weather that gets the blue wing olives moving around. The dry fly fishing can be good if your in the right spot at the right time!
Nymphs: Sow Bugs, BWO Nymphs, midges seunken streamer minnows
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 10-12 White shiner minnow
Size 12-16 Natural Scud
Size 16-20 Midge
Size 6-10 Chenille Worm
Size 2-4 Red, Orange or Purple Steel Worm
OK so here’s the skinny. The dead drifted shiner minnow is back and the fish are eating it under the indicator, but everybody and their brother knows it. So to be effective with it you have to fish it right. Throw a twitch in at as your fishing it under the indicator and fish the thing! I know this sounds silly, but when you get to a good streamer bank fish your indicator rig like you would a streamer. It saves time on the re-rig and then you can turn around and fish it as nymph rig when you get to a nymph run. They are eating midges and baetis nymphs under a bobber but it’s hard to find the right pattern so shuffle around in your box for a good second fly. As usual they are still eating sow bugs and scuds that are an unusually large size so forget about the tiny stuff and fish a big one!
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
It’s that time of the season when the weather means everything in the dry fly world. If it’s cold, rainy and blowing there are blue wing on the surface. With the high water it makes it hard to find them, but they are out there so keep your eyes peeled! Picking the right patterns for BWO’s is a little less stringent this year as most people are whacking them on the sunken streamer and not paying attention to the good dry fly spots. BUT they are eating dry flies in lots of places out there!
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 shiner minnow is in full effect on the Bighorn River and even on darker days the white shiner minnow interpretation is getting them really well. The BOR is still letting water over the top of the dam from the Bighorn Reservoir and the shiners are stumbling through the spillway making easy meals for the trout on the Bighorn River. If it’s cloudy tie on a emerald shiner imitation and get em!
Happy Spring Fishing from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort!