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Bighorn River conditions and Fishing Report as of May 8,2019

Bighorn River conditions on the upper 10 miles of the river are still excellent with visibility in the 6-8 foot range. The downturn of course comes with the flow from Soap Creek which is running very high and muddy due to rainstorms the last few days. Expect this to subside in just a few days as drier weather is forecast for this week. Flows remain in the 3500-3700 range with water temps in the upper 30’s. Fishing is picking up with an increase in water temps but dry fly action is still quite sporadic. The midge hatches are there but the trout just aren’t keyed in on them. So still mostly nymphing with the usual Orange or Red San Juans followed by a Tan or Pink Soft Hackled Ray Charles in sizes 14-16. Some success on Bighorn Orange Scuds same sizes as well as a trailer. Good Luck!

Bighorn River conditions as of April 24, 2019

River flows this week were raised from 3250 cfs to 3500 cfs in anticipation of the start of spring runoff. Water clarity is very good with most spots 6-8 feet in visibility before Soap Creek enters the river. After Soap Creek just stay river left and you will be able to fish all the way down to Bighorn Access. Water temps are still very cold with readings in the 34-36 degree area. Fishing has been fair but not great. Trout are very lethargic. Little dry fly action (Few midges and Baetis). The fish that are being caught have been on what you would expect this time of the season. Large San Juan worms (Red or Orange in sizes 8) trailed by large scuds or sowbugs. Scuds in Dark Orange or Bighorn Orange sizes 12-14 and Sowbugs in the Soft Hackle pattern, colors Pink or Tan in sizes 12-14 as well. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks both water and air temps will be increasing ushering in better fishing.

Bighorn River Conditions as of April 9,2019

Bighorn Fishing Report- Current river flow is 3250 CFS. Water temps are in between 34 and 36 degrees. The trout are still lethargic with these cold water temps but a few fish are still being taken. Have seen some midge activity but not enough to get excited about. Most actions is still subsurface with best patterns of the Bighorn Dark Orange Scud trailed behind a red or orange ultrachenille San Juan worm. Worms in sizes 8-10 and Scuds in sizes 14-16. Fish slower water to give the fish some time to come in for the take! Soap creek is kicking out a little dirt but not enough to dirty the Horn.

Current river conditions on the Bighorn River, September 19,2018

Bighorn River — Currently we are facing some of the toughest fishing conditions we have seen yet this year. The Yellowtail reservoir has turned over 4-6 weeks ahead of schedule. Typically we see these river conditions in mid to late October when more guys are thinking about hunting instead of fishing. None the less flows have remained stable again this week and were at 3,008 cfs as of Monday. Flows should remain at this level for awhile. Water clarity has not improved and has gotten worse. It is presently at 1-2 feet as there is quite a lot of algae growth in the reservoir. The water temperature has remained in the mid-60s even though the reservoir is cooling off. Fishing was slow last week with the fluctuations of weather patterns and this week looks much the same. The trico hatch has ebbed and flowed this last week, mainly due to the fluctuations of the air temperatures and weather. The hatch begins before 7 a.m. and the spinner fall happens from roughly 8 a.m. till 10 a.m. on most mornings. Morning winds have been making it nearly impossible to predict good days or bad days. Best patterns have been the Trico RS2 CDC, the Trico Perfect Spinner and the Drowned Trico (all in 20). The black caddis hatch is pretty much over with little action reported. Nymph fishing continues to be slow. The only productive nymph fishing has been on fairly large Bighorn Orange Scuds (12-14) trailed by a Psuedo nymph (22).

Bighorn river conditions and fishing report for September 9, 2018

Bighorn River — Flows have remained stable again this week and were at 3,042cfs as of Monday. Flows should remain at this level for awhile. Water clarity has not improved and is still at 2-3 feet as there is quite a lot of algae growth in the reservoir. The water temperature has remained in the mid 60s even though the reservoir is cooling off. Fishing was slow last week with the fluctuations of weather patterns and this week looks much the same. The trico hatch has ebbed and flowed this last week mainly due to the fluctuations of the air temperatures and weather. The hatch begins before 7 a.m. and the spinner fall happens from roughly 8 a.m. till 10 a.m. on most mornings. Morning winds have been making it near impossible to predict good days or bad days. Best patterns have been the Trico RS2 CDC, the Trico Perfect Spinner and the Drowned Trico, all in size 20. The Black Caddis hatch is pretty much over with little action reported. Nymph fishing continues to be slow. The only productive nymph fishing has been on fairly large Bighorn Orange Scuds (12-14) trailed by a Psuedo nymph (22).

Bighorn River Conditions as of September 2nd, 2018

Bighorn River — Flows have remained stable again this week and were at 3,018 cfs as of Monday. Flows should remain at this level for a while. Water clarity has not improved and is still at 2-3 feet as there is quite a lot of algae growth in the reservoir. The water temperature has remained in the lower 60s. Fishing was slow last week with the fluctuations of weather patterns and this week looks much the same. The Trico hatch has ebbed and flowed this last week mainly due to the fluctuations of the air temperatures and weather. The hatch begins before 7 a.m. and the spinner fall happens from roughly 8 a.m. till 10 a.m. on most mornings. Morning winds have been making it near impossible to predict good days or bad days. Best patterns have been the Trico RS2 CDC, the Trico Perfect Spinner and the Drowned Trico, all in size 20. If you are going to try for hatches late in the evening, it has been best using Black Rip Cord Caddis or Black Henryville Caddis (16-18), even though this hatch is sputtering. Nymph fishing continues to be slow. The only productive nymph fishing has been on fairly large Bighorn Orange Scuds (12-14) trailed by a Psuedo nymph (22).

Bighorn River conditions as of August 1, 2018

Flows dropped last week and currently are at 4289.2 cubic feet per second. Water clarity remains the same at 6-8 feet. The water temperature has increased and is up to 61.2 degrees, which has led to some reports of a sporadic caddis hatch. We even had a few anglers last week who caught and released a few fish on hoppers, mainly using the Miller Time Hopper (8-10). Not sure if they are striking at them out of curiosity or actually seeking them out. There is currently a good trico hatch occurring in the mornings but you have to be an early riser. The dun hatch begins before 6am and the spinner fall happens from roughly 8am till 10am on most mornings. Best patterns have been the Trico RS2 CDC and the Trico Perfect Spinner in sizes 20.  If you are going to try for hatches late evening it has been best using Black Rip Cord Caddis or Black Henryville Caddis (16-18). Nymph fishing was slow last week as the trout are keying in on the Tricos and Black
Caddis. The only nymph fishing has been on fairly large Bighorn Orange Scuds sizes 12-14

Bighorn River Conditions as of July 23rd, 2018

Flows continue to drop and as of Monday were at 5074.3 cfs. Watch for possible decreases yet this week. Word has it that flows should be around the 3000 cfs area by the end of July. Water clarity remains 6-8 feet. The water temperature has increased and is up to 61 degrees, which has led to some reports of a sporadic caddis hatch. We even had a few anglers last week who caught and released a few fish on hoppers, mainly using the Miller Time Hopper sizes 8-10. Not sure if they are striking at them out of curiosity or actually seeking them out. Dry fly fishing is still slow but once the flows decrease to below 5,000 cfs it should pick up immediately. If you are going to try for hatches late evening it has been best using Black Rip Cord Caddis or Black Henryville Caddis (16-18). Nymph fishing has still been your best bet. Hot patterns include Pete’s Carpet Bug tan, Firebead Soft Hackle Sowbug tan and Firebead Soft Hackle Ray Charles tan (all in 14-16), trailed behind either orange or red Gummi (Squirmy) San Juan Worms.

Bighorn River Conditions as of July 11th, 2018

Flows have dropped considerably since last week and are currently at 6,567 cfs. Watch for possible decreases yet this week. Water clarity remains 6-8 feet. Soap Creek should not be an issue for the remainder of the summer unless we receive some thunderstorms. The water temperature has increased and is up to 58.6 degrees. Which has led to some reports of a caddis hatch here and there though sporadic. Dry fly fishing is still slow but once the flows decrease to below 5000 cfs it should pick up immediately.  Nymph fishing has still been your best bet. Hot patterns include Pete’s Carpet Bug tan, Firebead Soft Hackle Sowbug tan and Firebead Soft Hackle Ray Charles tan (all in 14-16), trailed behind either orange or red Gummi (Squirmy) San Juan Worms.

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Bighorn Fly & Tackle

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Ft Smith, Montana 59035

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Ft. Smith, MT 59035

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