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Bighorn River conditions as of May 8, 2017

Current flows are 13045 CFS, water temp 46.6 degrees. Snowpack levels in the Bighorn and Wind River drainages are still at 145-190% above normal. The trout remain stacked up in any space there is slack water. Back channels, along the bank and any inside corners. The biggest change from last week has been the shiner minnow impact. 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 2, 2017

Shortly after I took this video the BOR again raised the flows another 500cfs. So current flows are 13045 CFS, water temp 46.6 degrees. Snowpack levels in the Bighorn and Wind River drainages are still at 145-190% above normal. With the high temps forecast for this weekend we should see runoff increase dramatically into the reservoirs. Hopefully they have been lowered sufficiently to keep the impact to a minimum. The trout remain stacked up in any space there is slack water. Back channels, along the bank and any inside corners. The biggest change from last week has been the shiner minnow impact. 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 April 22nd, 2017

Current flows are 11448 CFS, water temp 44.6 degrees. Snowpack levels in the Bighorn and Wind River drainages remains at 145-190% above normal. The flows were bumped again by another 1000cfs last week. The BOR has been working with the Bighorn River Alliance to evacuate much needed storage space in Yellowtail Reservoir.

The trout are stacked up in any space there is slack water. Back channels, along the bank and any inside corners. Fishing has been excellent-nymphing only. Best success has been using Ultrachenille 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 April 4,2017

Current flows are 8886 CFS, water temp 38.4 degrees. Snowpack levels in the Bighorn and Wind River drainages remains at 145-190% above normal. The BOR has been working with the Bighorn River Alliance to evacuate much needed storage space in Yellowtail Reservoir. Hopefully they will be able to maintain flows below the 10,000 CFS mark. The trout are stacked up in any space there is slack water. Back channels, along the bank and any inside corners. Fishing has been excellent-nymphing only. Best success has been using Ultrachenille 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!

Current flows 8486 CFS. Water temp 37.4. Water flows were increased another 500 CFS yesterday and we probably haven’t seen the last of them. Snow pack in the Bighorn Basin is 133%, Wind River Basin 195%. We are 20.8 feet from full pool and dropping. As usual with high flows the fish are feeding heavily on crustaceans and aquatic worms. Favorite patterns have been using Firebead Sparkle worms in colors Red or Wine size 10 trailed with a Firebead Ray Charles in Pink or Gray sizes 14,16. Also try trailing a Bighorn Scud color Fl Orange sizes 14,16. I imagine Bighorn Streamers are still working as well but had no reports on them lately.

 

Fishing Report and Bighorn River Conditions on March 8, 2017

Current Flows 6957 cfs with raises to 8000 cfs within the next few days. Water temps 37.1 degrees. Snow pack levels continued at Wind River drainage 199% and Bighorn Basin 145%. Bureau of Reclamation trying to keep the flows to a minimum of 8000 cfs throughout the spring and into early summer. Fishing success has been very good with crustaceans and aquatic worms flowing freely with these increased flows. Best choices have been still using Fl Red or Fl Orange SanJuan worms sizes 6-8 trailed by a Firebead Soft Hackle Ray Charles in colors of pink, tan or gray in sizes 14-16. I would think that Orange Bighorn Scuds, same sizes would be working as well. Still continued success on streamers as well. Bighorn Specials seem to pattern of choice.

Current river conditions, Bighorn River, March 1,2017

Current water flows 4979cfs, water temp 36.9 degrees. Flows were increased quite a bit this last week in order to lower Yellowtail reservoir in preparation for spring runoff. Snowpack in the Wind River drainage is 199% of normal and the Bighorn Basin is at 144%. Feet to full pool is 8.8 ft and dropping. As with increased flows watch for lots of floating crustaceans such as scuds and sowbugs along with aquatic worms. Needless to say the best patterns have been using an Ultrachenille San Juan worm, Fl Red or Fl orange in sizes 6-10 as your lead fly. Trail that with a Soft Hackle Ray Charles or Soft Hackle Firebead Sowbug, colors in tan, dun or pink in sizes 14-16. Good streamer action with Wooly Buggers in sizes 2-4, colors White, Olive or a combination of the two. Fish the slack water for best results, inside curves, behind islands and close to shore.

Bighorn River Conditions 2-16-17

Water flow is currently 3600cfs, water temps is 37.8 degrees. Water flows have been bumped up since last week as with warmer air temps comes more run off thus the reservoir is quite high for this time of the year. Snow pack is still around 135%. With warmer temps forecast for the next few days we have been seeing some fisherman with cabin fever. Maybe between 10-20 boats per day. There are some midges coming off on the upper river but I didn’t see any rising fish. Good streamer action with both Dirty Reds and Bighorn Special sizes 2-4. For nymph action what you would expect this time of year. Orange Beadhead Soft Hackle Sowbugs, mostly tan or pink in color trailed by black or red zebra midge all in sizes 16-18. Try some San Juans in sizes 8-12 colors red or worm brown as well.

River Conditions 2/2/2017

Current flows at Afterbay 2997 CFS. Water temp 38.3 F. Water conditions are very good with water clarity at 6-8 feet and no floating grass. Snow Pack is at 120-150%. Not too many fisherman lately as temps have been very cold and seem to be receiving snow every other day. So a bit hard to relate favorite patterns right now. As usual though this time of year, still plenty of crustaceans present which points to both sowbug and scud patterns. Try a pink or tan Ray Charles sizes 14-16 followed by a Orange or Olive bighorn Scud same sizes. Have had some reports of midges coming off but could see no top water action the day I was at the river. Hopefully we will get a bit of warmer weather in the not so distant future.

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