Frosty mornings give way to a river of fog banks that hover above the pristine trout waters of the Bighorn. The wondrous scene of ghostly fog highlighted by the vibrant fall colors is an energizing sight to awake to at Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort. Sitting high on the bluff above the river, the Lodge and private cabins are situated perfectly to capture it all. Fall brings a fun and exciting time of Upland Bird Hunting, Waterfowl arriving and Brown Trout Spawning on the Bighorn River. The pheasants are cackling and the geese and ducks break the morning silence with their calls as they head off the river and out to the many grain and beat fields surrounding the Bighorn River. Sub-surface the Brown Trout are staging up for their once a year reproduction ritual that triggers some of the most exciting fishing in all of Montana.
Brown Trout typically spawn in late November and December on the Bighorn River. This time of year the larger males start making their way upstream to the spawning beds. A male spawning Brown Trout is gorgeous. The orange and yellow spots are more visible and their skin color turns a beautiful yellowish orange. The blue sheen on their cheeks shimmers in the daylight, a tell tale sign of a wild trout on the Bighorn River. This is the best chance for an angler to catch a giant Brown trout. The males become more aggressive on and near the spawning beds and the large females ferociously guard their beds. The streamer fishing is at it’s best, but the Browns will strike at anything threatening their precious beds. November is truly a time of champion trout on the Bighorn River.
Above the water’s surface is getting pounded by more and more waterfowl returning to the Bighorn River to wait out the harsh cold freeze of the North. The Bighorn River is a dam released river which means the average water temperature is much higher than a typical freestone river that freezes over in the winter. The water temperature rarely gets below 45 in the Waterfowl Season. Warm temperature coupled with a never ending food source of cereal grains on both benches makes for a perfect winter habitat for thousands of Mallards, Widgeon, Gadwall, Teal, Red Heads, Golden Eye, Scaup and Wood Ducks. These are the most frequent ducks we see on the Bighorn River, but other species such as Pintail, Black Ducks and Canvas Backs have been harvested over the years. Geese pour in by the thousands and can easily be called in over a decoy spread on the river or picked off in one of the hundreds of grain and sugar beat fields in the valley. Waterfowl hunting on the Bighorn River is as good as it gets anywhere in the Northwest.
In the highlands of the Bighorn River Valley the bird hunting couldn’t be better. The wet spring grew a ton of vegetation, which meant good cover and lots of food. The birds are doing well. This also means they are stronger and healthier making for some exciting upland bird hunting. Plenty of Chukar, Hunns, Pheasants and Sharp tail are being harvested in good numbers. It’s been a blast out there and we still have two months left of exciting wing shooting action.
The Bighorn River Valley has everything a fly fisherman and wing shooting enthusiast could want and Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort has the accommodations, cuisine, land and professional guides to make it all happen. A November Cast & Blast at Forrester’s Bighorn River resort is as good as it gets anywhere in the Northwest. We hope to see you this year to enjoy the excitement.