Fishing Reports

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Bighorn River - May 3rd, 2010
  • Recorded:
  • 0 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Just a quick note to let folks know that the flow is going up to 2,500 cfs tomorrow (Tuesday, 5/3/10), and will also be increased on Wednesday (5/4/10).  These flows are thought to be sustainable throughout the runoff season, and are a response to recent precipitation above Boysen Reservoir (WY).  I'm willing to bet that the flows end up going higher, but it all depends on how fast that snow pack comes off.  We'll see.
Bighorn River - May 1st, 2010
  • Recorded:
  • Windy and Rain
  • 45 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Water temp is slowly climbing.  Bugs (midges and baetis in the afternoons) are still coming off in good numbers, but the weather's been brutal (windy every day, and very little sunshine).

With the rains, Mountain pocket has created some water clarity issues below the club on the right side, and Soap Creek is blown out.  I'd expect it to be for at least the next week, as we're expecting  more rain.

Nymphing is improving, although we're still battling the spring moss.  I've seen Rainbows showing some color, and you're able to find bigger fish right now.  Also encouraging is that you're finding fish in a little more variety of water when they climb up into some of the shallow faster stuff during the heat of the day.  The flow is 2,250 cfs, and if the snow pack continues to increase with these Spring storms, we may actually look at the possibility of some higher water.

Fish are getting a little wiser when dry fly fishing, but still attainable for the above average angler.
Bighorn River - April 20th, 2010
  • Recorded:
  • Sunny
  • 60 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
The weather's been gorgeous.  I had the privilege of taking Jim and Corey Trewhella fishing yesterday.  For those who don't know Jim, he's the guy that's overcome so much in his life, that it'd leave you in awe.  Corey, and the rest of Jim's family deserve a lot of credit, too.

The river's mossy, and nymphing is cleanest on the upper Bighorn, so we stayed on the upper 3 miles.  Water temps around 40, and some baetis are coming off in the afternoon.  There are enough midges throughout the day, that you could easily stay dry fly fishing for the entire day (assuming the wind doesn't blow).   The river traffic is surprisingly high with pontoon boats, and rentals, but guide traffic seems to be down.

Anyway, we were nymphing a big midge pupae, and a little one for most of the day, but did get action on an olive wonder nymph, and a black quill in the afternoon.  Numbers of fish were good, but mostly caught smaller ones (perferct for Jim, as he'd rather not lose any).

I wanted to say a special thanks to Robert over at RO Driftboats for designing a handicapped accessible boat that provided anchor points on the floor for strapping down Jim's wheel chair.  Robert built this boat for Bighorn River Lodge, and they graciously let me borrow it for the day.  Thanks guys! 

Check out Jim's first fish in the "Client Photos" section of the photo gallery.

Bighorn River - March 1st, 2010
  • Recorded:
  • 40 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
Yesterday was a long awaited day of fishing for me.  The river traffic was relatively low.  I floated the 3 mile-Bighorn stretch of the Bighorn River, and saw 5-7 other boats.  The water temp is cold, in the upper 30's.  I saw the expected bug life, midges (occassionally in clusters), and a handful of baetis duns in the afternoon.  I pumped some fish to find worms, sowbugs, and hundreds of tiny cream midges. 
The nymphing I would decribe as O.K.  We were able to catch some fish everywhere we tried, and on a wide variety of nymph patterns, but had to work fairly hard for them.  I streamer fished my behind off to move just a few fish.  The best part of the day for me was the midge fishing in the morning.  I was able to get on a pod of eager fish, while throwing a simple midge single dry fly with a tuft of CDC pointing upwards (what's called the "Smokejumper").  It's easy to see, and seamed to be all I needed to catch the risers I could approach.
We had a good time, and enjoyed some sunshine and a nice variety of successful fishing.
The river's low.  The flow is listed at 2,000 cfs, but looks even lower as the river bottom is so clean (no moss displacement).

Please note that the warm weather had caused some low level runoff, and muddy water existed below Mountain Pocket (below the Denver Club's cabin), and Soap Creek.  It looked like you'd want to avoid fishing the right side of the river all together downstream of Soap Creek.

Bighorn River - January 8th, 2010
  • Recorded:
  • Frigid
  • 20 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
O.K., I'll admit it.  I haven't been out fishing myself, so this is a second handed report.  The river's looking clean, and very user friendly.  The Brown's spawn is coming to an end, and fish seem to be more into eating midges than scuds.  The water's cold enough so that you'll want to be out primarily in the middle of the day for the best fishing, then you're gonna get cold fast.  They're still chasing the streamer, so that can be a nice diversion in between nymphing the holes.

I'll give a first handed report as soon as I finish hunting geese, and replenishing my supply of tying feathers.
Bighorn River - December 1st, 2009
  • Recorded:
  • Windy
  • 45 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good

The river fished well at times, but not as predictable as it can be for this time of year.  I continue to pump worms, midges, and baetis out of the fish, but seem to see very limited rising due to the windy conditions.  I'm seeing plenty of clean gravel, and most fish are sticking to the areas surrounding the spawning activity, but I'm not catching as many fish on scuds and soft hackles as you'd expect. 

Streamer fishing was not as good as it has been, but still getting good action.

I'd rate the boat traffic as a 3