River flow: 3500 cfs
Water Temp: 39 F
Water Clarity: Incredibly clear and perfect
The cold water bite is coming to an end on the Bighorn River. Guides are reporting good trout numbers in the boats and the average size of fish is creeping up. Clients are catching a 22+ inch trout almost everyday this spring. The days of the giants on the Bighorn River have returned. The average length and girth of the trout is much larger than in the past and monsters are showing up everyday.
Nymphs: Sow bugs, baetis nymphs, midges and BIG scuds.
Method: 9-foot 3x or stronger leader to 2 bb’s or a 3o size chunk of tungsten putty. 1ft or so to the first fly and1ft or so to the second fly on your 4x tippet. Fish deep and slow.
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 18-22 Zebra Midge (black, olive and red)
Size 18-22 Serendipity (black, olive and red)
Size 12-16 Scuds (natural tan, orange and pink)
The water temperatures are creeping up and the trout are slipping out of the deeper water and into the deeper riffles looking for Baetis nymphs and chowing on crustaceans. A large scud is working well on the Bighorn River. Guides have been pumping enormous scuds from trout if they can fit in the stomach pump. We all know what big shrimp grow…… BIG FISH! The days of the big ones on the Bighorn River are coming back. Concentrate your nymphing efforts at the bottom end of the riffles and don’t overlook the deeper water spots. Trout are still lurking in the deep.
Dry Flies: Spring Baetis (Blue Wing Olives) Midges
Method: 9-foot 5x leader to the top fly. 1ft or so leader to the second fly.
Size 16-18 Baetis Duns and Spinners (smoke jumper, cripple thor)
Size 18-20 Midge Patterns
Fish are moving into the riffles and the seam lines that are created below big shelves that the mayflies like to hatch in. Trout have also moved up into the deeper ends of the riffles so keep a keen eye on these spots for sneaky heads. The Mayflies hatches the most actively on the cloudy days so don’t let a little bad weather deter you from getting on the water.
Colors: Olive, Black, And White
The big ole’ trout are back on the Bighorn River and there have been dozens of hogs caught on streamers this year. We don’t have the shiner minnow due to lower flows. This is a good thing for the health and sustainability of the river. We’ll miss the shiner minnow, but we’re excited about the new dam management to bring back the old Bighorn River.
Happy Spring fishing from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort!