River flow: 3000 cfs
Water Temp: 53 F
Water Clarity: Little Cloudy
Moss and grass Factor: Grass is breaking up and clearing out of the upper thirteen miles, but it’s still a little bit of an issue further downstream.
Fall Dry fly fishing is here and it seems that the fish are on the chow! The water clarity is good and air temperatures have kicked the fall baetis into overdrive! Fish are boiling on fall Blue wing olives. When the bug activity gets them moving on the surface it makes them work twice as hard subsurface and the nymphing has been incredible.
Nymphs: Big Orange Scud, Sow Bugs, Baetis Nymphs
Method: 8-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.
Size 12-18 Baetis Nymphs
Size 12-18 Bead Head Pink Soft Hackle
Size 12-18 Carpet Sow Bug Gray and Tan
Size 12-18 Eddie Vetter both tan and grey
Size 16-18 Pink Soft Hackle
Size 12-16 Scuds (natural, pink, orange and olive)
Size 18-22 Pheasant tail
The fish have moved into the water that blue wing olive mayflies emerge in. Fish the riffles with a shorter leader and a little bit lighter weight. If that doesn’t work adjust your strategy to fish the deeper water below the shelf by running a little heavier and longer. Make sure your mends are perfect and using a baetis pattern that incorporates lots of movement. For example; wonder nymphs and darker, small soft hackles.
Dry Flies: Blue Wing olives and BIG ones
Method: 9-foot 5x leader to the top fly. 1ft or so leader to the second fly.
Size 16-18 Pseudo spinners
Size 16-18 Blue wing olive’s (cripple thor, adams, sparkle dun and smoke jumpers.
The fish are chowing dry flies on the Bighorn River in the afternoons. It starts anywhere between 1:00 and 2:00pm and can last as long as 4 hours but as few as a half hour. Make sure to be looking to the heavy seem lines and slower water below riffles for fish eating blue wing olive’s in the afternoon.
Method: 5 foot heavy leader with a loop knot to the streamer
Colors: Black and Olive
Brown trout are getting into spawn mode. Many of the males are already putting on the tuxedo for the big dance. The hook jaw is a little more pronounced and the brilliant orange and vibrant brown colors are starting to show on the trout. Pound the banks and tail outs for aggressive pre-spawn brown’s.
The birds are here, but the cold weather isn’t consistent enough to keep the many reservoirs and ponds in the hills frozen. If the weather stays well below freezing for more than a few days the ducks and geese will start using the river more. Our numbers incredible yet but this early season cold weather could be setting us up for an incredible waterfowl season!
Happy Fall fishing and bird hunting from Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort!