River flow: 2800 cfs
Water Temp: 50 F
Winter has made its way to the Bighorn River and on its cold shoulders are thousands of ducks and geese. The cooler water temperatures and shorter days have kicked the brown trout spawn into full swing and the Blue Wing Olive hatch is going strong on cloudy days. It couldn’t be better for the Fins and Feathers kind of outdoors men on the Bighorn River.
Nymphs: Sow bugs, baetis nymphs, mini leeches and scuds.
Method: 4-7 foot 3x or stronger leader to one BB. 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 Carpet Sow Bug Gray and Tan
Size 14-18 Olive and Orange scuds
Size 18-22 Black Baetis Nymph
Size 16-20 Wonder Nymph (olive and black)
Size 14-16 Miniature leech pattern
Size 6-16 San Juan worm
The nymphing seems to get better everyday. Brown trout are spawning hard and aggressively protecting the spawning beds. Anything big and ugly through the spawning beds seems to get a good response. Don’t ignore the deep pockets below the spawning beds. It’s our theory that the bigger trout hide in these holes and only move onto the spawning beds at night. They seldom eat during the day, but we know they’re in there.
Dry Flies: Fall Baetis Period
Method: 9-foot 5x leader to the top fly. 1ft or so leader to the second fly.
Size 14-18 Baetis Duns and Spinners (smoke jumper, cripple thor)
The Blue Wing Olive fishing is incredible right now. The clearer sunny days are good, but the cloudy snowy days are epic. The Blue Wing Olives this year are a little larger than usual. We are seeing size 14’s on a regular basis and on the rare occasion even some that are as large as size 12’s. This is great news for indicator fly choice. All you have to do is run the same type just a little larger and the fish will eat both of them!
Colors: Try them all, but every color should catch fish if you fish the right spots.
The Brown trout are in full spawn on the Bighorn River. They are spawning in the usual spots; gravel bars and sandy banks but Brown Trout are also partial to smaller spawning beds tucked up along deep banks so don’t ignore the traditional streamer spots and hit the pockets on the banks.
The first big cold front came in yesterday and with it the ducks and geese. This is about the time of year we get the first big push of young birds to the Bighorn River. This first flight is a fun one, because most of the time these birds haven’t been hunted very hard. This makes them easy to decoy and call. We still haven’t seen the big push of Artic Circle ducks or the big Northern Mallards. Those ducks don’t usually make their way to the Bighorn River until after Thanksgiving, but once they get here they never leave. With bigger groups of ducks around set a bigger decoy spread and definitely use a spinner.
The Decoy Spread:
4-6 Green Wing Teal
Call aggressively in the early season especially for the first few days the new ducks are here. The longer the first round of ducks is here the more selective they get on calls.
Ducks we’re seeing:
Green Wing Teal
Happy Late Fall Fishing and hunting from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort!