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Fishing is just a mirror of last week even though river conditions have changed. Due to the flooding along the Yellowstone River flows on the Bighorn were decreased to 6000 cfs last week. Water temps remain at 43 degrees. Water clarity is at least 6-8 feet to Soap Creek and then muddies up after that. Stay river left after Soap Creek and you will continue to have good fishing down to Bighorn Access. After Bighorn Access clarity gets much worse. Streamer fishing has been exceptionally good as small emerald shiners are being washed over the spillway from the reservoir. Best streamer patterns have been White/Pearl Zonkers, Sherick’s Hatchery Smolt, and Foxy Fry (all in size 6). We are still seeing good Baetis hatches on cloudy days with some midges present. For the best opportunities look for areas of slower water. For the midge hatch use a Hi-Vis Griffith’s Gnat (14-16) trailed with a gray, black or red Smokejumper (16-18). For Baetis use a Blue Winged Olive Parachute trailed by a Black Baetis Emerger (16-18). Subsurface use an orange or red Wire Worm (4-6) trailed by a beadhead black or red Midge Larvae (both in 16-18).

Bighorn River — Flows were increased a bit last week to 7984 CFS. Water temps warming up a bit as well to 43 degrees. Water clarity at least 6-8 feet down to Bighorn Access. A few of our guides have been fishing all the way down to Mallards Landing. Streamer fishing has been exceptionally good as small emerald shiners are being washed over the spillway from the reservoir and are dazed as they are washed into the river. Best streamer patterns have been White/Pearl Zonkers, Sherick’s Hatchery Smolt, and Foxy Fry (all in size 6). We are still seeing good Baetis hatches on cloudy days with some midges present. For the best opportunities look for areas of slower water. For the midge hatch use a Hi-Vis Griffith’s Gnat (14-16) trailed with a gray, black or red Smokejumper (16-18). For Baetis use a Blue Winged Olive Parachute trailed by a Black Baetis Emerger (16-18). Subsurface use an orange or red Wire Worm (4-6) trailed by a beadhead black or red Midge Larvae (both in 16-18). — Bighorn Fly and Tackle Shop, Fort Smith. 

Bighorn River conditions and Fishing report

Water conditions continue to greatly improve as Soap Creek has cleared up immensely. Visibility is 6-8 feet even after Soap Creek dumps in. Flows are still stable at 7,500 cfs with a water temp warming up to 41 degrees as of Monday. Streamer fishing has been exceptionally good as small Emerald Shiners are being washed over the spillway from the reservoir and are dazed as they are washed into the river. Best streamer patterns have been White/Pearl Zonkers, White Floating Gurglers, and Hot Spot White Buggers all in sizes 6. We are still seeing good Baetis hatches on cloudy days with some midges present. For best opportunities look for areas of slower water, like back channels, inside corners and the ends of islands. For the midge hatch use a Griffith’s Gnat (14-16) trailed with a gray or black Smokejumper (16-18). For Baetis, use a Blue Winged Olive Parachute trailed by a Black Baetis Emerger (16-18). Subsurface use an orange or red Wire Worm (4-6) trailed by a beadhead black or red Midge Larvae (both in 16-18).

Bighorn River conditions and fishing report as of April 30, 2018

Not much change from last week other than the uptick of streamer fishing. Current flows remain steady at 7,500 cfs with a water temp of 36 degrees. Soap Creek is still kicking in quite a bit of dirty water and will probably remain the same for a few weeks as the low land snow melts. Then we also had the addition of close to an inch of rain early this week. So stay river left after it dumps in just a couple of miles above Bighorn Access. Dry fly fishing is very good even with the higher than normal flows. Lots of midges and Baetis are present so look for areas of slower water, as in back channels, inside corners and ends of islands. For best results use a Griffith’s Gnat or Cluster Midge (14-16) trailed with a Gray, Black or Red  Smokejumper (16-18). Subsurface use a Red or Orange Wire Worm (4-6) trailed by a  Beadhead  Midge Larvae in Red, Black or Rootbeer (16-18). Good streamer fishing has been reported with white being the hot color. Best pattern White Zonkers, sizes 4-6

Bighorn river conditions and fishing report as of April 16, 2018

Current flows remain steady at 7,500 cfs with a water temp of 36 degrees. Soap Creek is still kicking in quite a bit of dirty water and will probably remain the same for a few weeks as the low land snow melts. So stay river left after it dumps in just a couple of miles above Bighorn Access. Dry fly fishing is very good even with the higher than normal flows. Lots of midges are present so look for areas of slower water, as in back channels, inside corners and ends of islands. For best results use a Griffith’s Gnat (14-16) trailed with a Gray or Black Smokejumper (16-18). Subsurface use Dark Orange Bighorn Scuds trailed by a Beadhead Black Midge Larvae (both in 16-18).

Bighorn River Conditions and Fishing report as of April 6, 2018. Bighorn Fly and Tackle Shop

Current flows are at 7500 cfs with a water temp of 36 degrees. Soap creek is kicking in quite a bit of dirty water so stay river left after it dumps in just a couple of miles above Bighorn Access. Dry fly fishing is very good even with the higher than normal flows. Lots of midges are present so look for areas of slower water, as in back channels, inside corners and ends of islands. For best results use a Griffith’s Gnat size 14-16 trailed with a Gray or Black Smokejumper sizes 16-18. Subsurface use Dark Orange Bighorn Scuds trailed by a Beadhead Black Midge Larvae both in sizes 16-18.

Bighorn River conditions and Fishing report for March 29th, 2018

Current flows are at 6500 cfs but expected to increase to 7000 cfs next week. Water temp is 36 degrees. Soap creek is kicking in quite a bit of dirty water so stay river left after it dumps in just a couple of miles above Bighorn Access. Dry fly fishing is very good even with the higher than normal flows. Lots of midges are present so look for areas of slower water, as in back channels, inside corners and ends of islands. For best results use a Griffith’s Gnat size 14-16 trailed with a Gray or Black Smokejumper sizes 16-18. Subsurface use Dark Orange Bighorn Scuds trailed by a Beadhead Black Midge Larvae both in sizes 16-18.

 

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.

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Bighorn Fly & Tackle

BIGHORN FLY & TACKLE SHOP

Duane Schreiner
Ft Smith, Montana 59035

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61 First Street East
Ft. Smith, MT 59035

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