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Bighorn River conditions as of 8/12,2017

Flows were dropped by another 500cfs last week and as of Monday were at 3,735 cfs. The water temp increased a bit and stands at 63.3 degrees. The reservoir is no longer into the flood pool and continues to drop. Water turbidity remains at 2-3 feet. Not much for dry fly activity other than the Trico hat   in the mornings. Trico fishing has been productive from roughly 6 a.m. till the spinner fall from about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Best patterns have been Pearl Butt Trico’s and Real Wing Spinners (sizes 18-22). Also the black Pulsating Emerger (18-20) has been working well. We have been taking some fish on Hopper patterns even though there is minimal hopper hatches. Best patterns have been Fat Frank’s (tan) and Grand Hoppers (Tan) in sizes 10-12. Nymphing has been improving. Patterns producing well have been Gray Poxyback Sowbugs (16-18) trailed with a red or black Tung Teaser (18-20). Streamer fishing remains good. White Zonkers with pearl or silver bodies, and either white or ghost Cousin It’s are the top patterns.

Bighorn River Conditions as of July 24, 2017

Bighorn River — Flows were dropped a bit last week and as of Monday were at 8,993 cfs. The water temp is still increasing as warmer water is being released through the spillway and stands at 66.4 degrees. The reservoir is 4.5 feet into the flood pool and dropping. Water turbidity is improving with clarity at 2-3 feet. We are still seeing some significant black caddis hatches on the river during the afternoons and evenings as well as a very good trico hatch during the early mornings. Dry fly fishing remains most productive. The best top water patterns include Black Hemmingway Caddis and Black Elk Hair Caddis in sizes 18-20. Trico fishing has been productive from roughly 6 a.m. till the spinner fall about 8 a.m. Best patterns have been Double Wing and Triple Wing Spinners in sizes 18-22. Nymphing has been fair, patterns producing well have been Gray Poxyback Sowbugs sizes 16-18 trailed with a red or black Tung Teaser (18-20). Streamer fishing has remained good. White Zonkers with pearl or silver bodies and either white or ghost Cousin It’s are the top patterns. — Bighorn Fly and Tackle Shop, Fort Smith. 

Bighorn River conditions and fishing report as of July 15,2017

Bighorn River — Flows still remain steady this week and as of Monday were at 9,487 cfs. The water temp is still increasing as they release warmer water through the spillway and stands at 65.4 degrees. The reservoir is 6.8 feet into the flood pool. Inflows into Yellowtail Reservoir have dropped dramatically and lake levels are finally beginning to drop. Water turbidity is improving with clarity at 2-3 feet. We are still seeing some significant black caddis hatches on the river during the afternoons and evenings as well as a very good trico hatch during the early mornings. Dry fly fishing has been most productive. The best patterns, though, have been black ant imitations. Try Mr. Bill’s Black Flying Ant or a Bloom’s Black Parachute Ant (12-14). Trico fishing has been productive from roughly 6 a.m. till the spinner fall about 8 a.m. Spinner size is 18-20. Nymphing has been fair, but streamer fishing remains solid. Patterns have changed slightly even though most are still crustacean patterns. Bighorn Scuds in either orange or pink (12-16) trailed with a beadhead Midge Larvae in red or black (16-18) have been producing. Streamer fishing has remained good. White Zonkers with pearl or silver bodies and either white or ghost Cousin It’s are the top patterns. — Bighorn Fly and Tackle Shop, Fort Smith.

Bighorn River conditions and fishing report as of 6/30/2017

Flows were increased last week by 500 cfs and as of Monday were at 9485 cfs. The water temp is still warmer than usual for this time of the year due to warmer water in the reservoir coming over the spillway and stands at 61.0 degrees. The reservoir is 1.5 feet from full pool. Water turbidity is fair with 1-2 feet of clarity, but still quite fishable. We are still seeing some significant black caddis hatches on the river as well as some tricos . Dry fly fishing has been most productive. Best patterns, though, have been black ant imitations. Try Mr. Bill’s Black Flying Ant or a Bloom’s Black Parachute Ant (12-14). Nymphing has been fair but streamer fishing remains solid. Patterns have changed slightly even though most are still crustacean patterns. Bighorn Scuds in either orange or pink (12-16) trailed with a beadhead Midge Larvae in red or black (16-18) have been producing. Streamer fishing has remained good as emerald shiner minnows are still being washed over the spillway into the river. White Zonkers with pearl or silver bodies and either white or ghost Cousin It’s are the top patterns.

Bighorn River conditions as of June 23, 2017

Flows have been stable this week and as of Monday were at 8989.7 cfs. The water temp has warmed slightly and is at 60.4 degrees. The reservoir is 6.0 feet from full pool. Water turbidity is fair with 1-2 feet of clarity, but still quite fishable. Finally some good news on dry fly fishing, we are seeing some significant black caddis hatches occurring on the river. Best patterns though have been black ant imitations. Try Mr Bill’s Black Flying Ant or a Black Hi-Vis Parachute ant in sizes 12-14. Nymphing has been fair but streamer fishing remains solid. Patterns have changed slightly even though most are still crustacean patterns. Bighorn Scuds in either orange or pink (12-16) trailed with a beadhead Midge Larvae in red or black (16-18) have been producing best. Streamer fishing has remained good as emerald shiner minnows are still being washed over the spillway into the river. White Zonkers with pearl or silver bodies and either white or ghost Cousin It’s are the top patterns.

Bighorn River conditions as of June 16, 2017

Flows were dropped dramatically last week and are currently at 9047.5 cfs. Water temp remain high for this time of the year at 59.4. Water clarity is less than last week and is about 15-18″. Soap Creek is no longer an issue but the reservoir is just quite turbid due to the influx of all the cloudy water.  Fly patterns are still the same as last week and will probably remain the same as long as the high water lasts. The trout remain stacked up in any space there is slack water. Back channels, along the bank and any inside corners. Right now a huge number of shiner minnows have been getting flushed into the river from the reservoir and the trout are feeding very heavy on them. Streamer fishing has been spectacular. White Zonkers, White Cousin It’s or any other white streamers have been working great! Nymph fishing is still excellent as well. Best success has been using Wire San Juan Worms, colors red or Fl Orange sizes 6-8 trailed by any crustacean pattern. Try a Bighorn Orange Scud, Firebead Ray Charles or Soft Hackled Sowbugs in colors of Pink or tan. Larger sizes 14-16 work the best. Be careful on the take outs and have a good trip!

Bighorn river conditions as of June 8, 2017

Flows were dropped three times last week in 500 cfs increments and are now at 12605 cfs. Perhaps we have seen peak water flows for 2017! Water temp has increased dramatically to 58.3 degrees. Water clarity is about the same as last week and is good for 3-4 feet. Soap Creek is no longer a matter but the reservoir is just quite turbid due to the influx of all the cloudy water.  Fly patterns are still the same as last week and will probably remain the same as long as the high water lasts. The trout remain stacked up in any space there is slack water. Back channels, along the bank and any inside corners. Right now a huge number of shiner minnows have been getting flushed into the river from the reservoir and the trout are feeding very heavy on them. Streamer fishing has been spectacular. White Zonkers, White Cousin It’s or any other white streamers have been working great! Nymph fishing is still excellent as well. Best success has been using Wire San Juan Worms, colors red or Fl Orange sizes 6-8 trailed by any crustacean pattern. Try a Bighorn Orange Scud, Firebead Ray Charles or Soft Hackled Sowbugs in colors of Pink or tan. Larger sizes 14-16 work the best. I would recommend that only those people with lots of rowing experience to be on the river with these huge flows. No room for mistakes. Be careful on the take outs and have a good trip!

Flows remain steady at 14,065 cfs.  Water temp has increased to 53.1 degrees. Water clarity is about the same as last week and is good for 3-4 feet.  Fly patterns are still the same as last week and will probably remain the same as long as the high water lasts. The trout remain stacked up in any space there is slack water. Back channels, along the bank and any inside corners. Right now a huge number of shiner minnows have been getting flushed into the river from the reservoir and the trout are feeding very heavy on them. Streamer fishing has been spectacular. White Zonkers, White Cousin It’s or any other white streamers have been working great! Nymph fishing is still excellent as well. Best success has been using Wire San Juan Worms, colors red or Fl Orange sizes 6-8 trailed by any crustacean pattern. Try a Bighorn Orange Scud, Firebead Ray Charles or Soft Hackled Sowbugs in colors of Pink or tan. Larger sizes 14-16 work the best. I would recommend that only those people with lots of rowing experience to be on the river with these huge flows. No room for mistakes. Be careful on the take outs and have a good trip!

Bighorn River conditions as of May 22,2017

Current flows are 14,043 cfs. An increase of 1000 cfs since last week. Water temp has increased to 52.4 degrees. Water clarity has gone down a bit and is good for 3-4 feet. Still a large amount of snow remains in our drainages, from 145 to 215% above normal. Fly patterns are still the same as last week and will probably remain the same as long as the high water lasts. The trout remain stacked up in any space there is slack water. Back channels, along the bank and any inside corners. Right now a huge number of shiner minnows have been getting flushed into the river from the reservoir and the trout are feeding very heavy on them. Streamer fishing has been spectacular. White Zonkers, White Cousin It’s or any other white streamers have been working great! Nymph fishing is still excellent as well. Best success has been using Wire San Juan Worms, colors red or Fl Orange sizes 6-8 trailed by any crustacean pattern. Try a Bighorn Orange Scud, Firebead Ray Charles or Soft Hackled Sowbugs in colors of Pink or tan. Larger sizes 14-16 work the best. I would recommend that only those people with lots of rowing experience to be on the river with these huge flows. No room for mistakes. Be careful on the take outs and have a good trip!

Bighorn River conditions as of May 16, 2017

Current flows remain steady at 13005 CFS, water temp has increased to 51.6 degrees. Water clarity has improved significantly from last week. Snowpack levels in the Bighorn and Wind River drainages remain at 145-190% above normal and we have a low weather system moving in the next couple of days that is going to drop another 18-24″ of snow. The trout remain stacked up in any space there is slack water. Back channels, along the bank and any inside corners. Right now a huge number of shiner minnows have been getting flushed into the river from the reservoir and the trout are feeding very heavy on them. Streamer fishing has been spectacular. White Zonkers, White Cousin It’s or any other white streamers have been working great! Nymph fishing is still excellent as well. Best success has been using Wire San Juan Worms, colors red or Fl Orange sizes 6-8 trailed by any crustacean pattern. Try a Bighorn Orange Scud, Firebead Ray Charles or Soft Hackled Sowbugs in colors of Pink or tan. Larger sizes 14-16 work the best. I would recommend that only those people with lots of rowing experience to be on the river with these huge flows. No room for mistakes. Be careful on the take outs and have a good trip!

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FLY SHOP

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Bighorn Fly & Tackle

BIGHORN FLY & TACKLE SHOP

Duane Schreiner
Ft Smith, Montana 59035

Physical Location:
61 First Street East
Ft. Smith, MT 59035

Toll Free (888) 665-1321
Phone
(406) 666-2253