Fort Smith
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Current Bighorn River conditions and Fishing Report

Current Bighorn river conditions as of August 13,2021. Flows remain stable at 1750 CFS with a water temp of 52 degrees. We are blessed to have such cool water temps as with diminished releases the water becomes refrigerated in our 400 foot deep reservoir. This though has delayed our usual hatches but we are seeing some very good PMD hatches and even a few Trico’s. Below are the productive fly patterns our guides have been using. Thanks for looking and hope you are able to get out this weekend and do some fishing, Duane

Current Bighorn River conditions as of July 15, 2021

Current flows on the Bighorn are constant at between 1750 and 1800 cfs. Water temps are in the mid to upper 40’s. With the low flows the water is being refrigerated in our 400 foot reservoir so hatches are being delayed because of the low temps. The good news is we are beginning to see some hopper action in earnest. Crustaceans patterns are still producing but we are having to put up a lot of line cleaning due to the mossy conditions. Tight lines!

Bighorn River Conditions and Fishing Report June 3. 2021

Bighorn River Conditions as of June 3, 2021. Current flows are stable at 2000 CFS. Was raised from 1800 CFS on June 1st. Water temps are in the upper 40’s. Conditions are prime with water clarity a good 6-8 feet and minimal floating grass. Very good nymph fishing still with midge pupae patterns trailed behind attractor Sowbug patterns. Try Beadhead midge pupae in Rootbeer, Red or Black, sizes 18-20. Best sowbug patterns have been Orange Beadhead Soft Hackle Ray Charles in colors of Pink or Tan, sizes 14-16. Very little top water activity and the same goes for streamers. Bottom bouncing is where it is at. Tight Lines Anglers!

Bighorn River conditions as of May 19, 2021

Bighorn River flows are currently at 2500 CFS, with a water temp of 45 degrees. Water clarity is excellent with 8-10 feet visibility. Very little grass accumulation and literally no floating grass. Dry fly fishing has been challenging with the wind but get out of the wind and there are hatches happening. Best producing nymph patterns have been Black Quill nymphs, Olive or regular Pheasanttail patterns all in sizes 16-18. Midge Pupae in Red or Black sizes 18-20. All these can be trailed behind an attention getter such as Orange Beadhead Ray Charles in colors of Pink or Tan, sizes 14-16. If you happen upon any dry fly actions (Baetis) use the emerging patterns such as Downey’s Baetis Wonder Nymph or Olive Smokejumpers in sizes 18-20. Just grease your favorite floatant on the tippet up to the flies eye and fish it in the surface film. Use a Parachute Adams size 14-16 in front of the emerger as your strike indicator. Tight Lines!!

Bighorn River Conditions as of May 8, 2021

Current flows are approximately 3000 CFS with a water temp of mid 40’s. Water clarity is 4-6 feet with a small amount of cloudy run off coming from recent moisture. Weather conditions call for just a slight chance of rain this week which should lead to better water clarity. The fishing report is much the same as last week with Blue Winged Olives and Midges being the main hatches. Best patterns have been either Pheasanttail or Olive Pheasanttail nymphs (sizes 16-18) trailed behind a Pink or Tan Beadhead Soft Hackled Sowbug (sizes 14-16). Also working have been Beadhead Midge Pupae in Red or Black (sizes 18-20) trailed behind the same Sowbug patterns as above. Not too much for dry fly fishing as we have had to contend with a fair amount of wind lately, typical spring weather patterns. Tight Lines.

Bighorn River conditions as of April 22,2021

Bighorn River conditions on April 22,2021. Current flows are at 3000 CFS with a water temp of 43 degrees. Visibility is very good, 6-8 feet, until Soap Creek dumps in a few miles above Bighorn Access. From there on you will want to stay river left. Getting some decent Blue Winged Olive hatches but the trout still have not keyed in on the adults. Best patterns have been Pheasant Tail nymphs in natural or olive, sizes 16-18, trailed behind the usual Orange Beadhead Soft Hackle Sowbug in size 14. Also decent success with Midge Pupae in sizes 18-20, Red or Black, trailed behind Sowbugs as well.

Bighorn River conditions as of March 30,2021

Bighorn River Conditions as of March 30,2021. Current flows are at 2200 CFS, visibility is 6-8 feet, with Soap creek currently running clear. Water temps are just a bit over 40 degrees, so the trout are somewhat lethargic. So the take is slight. Midge Pupae are the main menu right now with patterns of Glass Bead Midge Pupae (Zebra Midges) in sizes 18-20, in red, black and rootbeer. Trail this behind a large Sowbug or Scud pattern, sizes 12-14, colors Bighorn Orange or Bighorn Pink. In the sowbugs use them in the Firebead Soft Hackle pattern. Streamer fishing will improve in a few more weeks once the Rainbows begin to spawn and starting making their territory. Tight Lines!

Bighorn River Conditions as of March 23,2021

Bighorn River conditions as of March 23,2021. Current flows are at 2200 cfs and water temps are in the lower 40’s. Fishing has been good, with mostly nymphs producing the bulk of the bite. Midges are active so we have been trailing Glass Bead Midge Larvae colors red, black and rootbeer size 18-20 behind an attractor. As for the attractor use Bighorn scuds in larger sizes 12-14 colors Bighorn Orange, Bighorn Pink. Also Soft Hackle Beadhead Sowbugs in the same sizes and colors. Hasn’t been much top water action as the midges that are hatching have been getting blown off the water with every slightest breeze. We should have a warmup by this weekend, so enjoy!

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