Bighorn River

Legendary Waters - The Horn

Flowing out of Yellowtail dam, Bighorn River might be the finest tailwater fishery in the United States.   I like to describe the Bighorn as a giant spring creek.   Most people comment on the amazing water clarity, as well as the abundant aquatic vegetation.  Its gentle current, and gravel bottom create a very wader friendly river.   Like a spring creek, Bighorn River dry fly fishing can be spotty, and extremely technical.  The nymphing, however, is consistent and can net many big fish if done correctly.  It can both spoil the beginner, and challenge the proficient angler.

Please Note: Because the Bighorn is completely surrounded by the Crow Indian Reservation (which is designated a "dry" reservation), alcoholic beverages can not be purchased in
Ft. Smith.  As stream access law of Montana dictates, the high water mark on each bank of the river is the boundary of public land, and the river can only be accessed at public access sites, this is not any different than rivers off found off of the reservation.  The Afterbay and 3 Mile accesses are subject to a National Park Service Userfee when parking.  Your guide will have the proper parking passes, but if you choose to drive in on your own, these parking passes cost $5/day or $30/year and can be purchased at the National Park Service office clearly visible on your left on the way to the Afterbay, or automated machine at the same location for non-business hours.