We have experienced some great weather here on the Bighorn this past week with temperatures reaching into the high 30’s and low 40’s. We have to admit it has been rather difficult staying off of the water when dealing with this type of weather. We are expected to receive some snow early this week, and then a climb in temperature as the week progresses. The river flows remain relatively consistent here on the Bighorn, as flows are now at 2,490 cfs according to the USGS current conditions. This past week we experienced great dry fly action as midges and baetis were coming off the water in surprising numbers. Midges are still overshadowing the baetis, but there are plenty of baetis on the water to keep fish interested. Hatches have been coming off the water around mid day, and continuing slightly into the evening.
Nymphing has been decent, and is very effective in likely spots where you know trout will be holding. Keep in mind that trout this time of year are concentrated in slow deep pools, and in slack water along the edges of a run. Having plenty of weight is necessary in order to get your flies down quickly to where the fish are holding. We have fished a variety of patterns, as grey, pink, and tan sowbugs are rather effective trailed by a small midge and baetis patterns. As for you steamer junkies we have good news, streamers are fishing great! We walked in at 3 mile access the other day and were getting grabs on every other cast. We fished a variety of colors as the day progressed and had great success with white trailed behind a black, olive and yellow. We switched up our retrieve speed throughout the day and noticed that slow long retrieves were very successful.
Nymphs- Soubugs such as the Firebead Rays in pink and grey (14-16), Soft Hackle Rays in pink, tan, grey (14-16), Killer Bugs, Zebra midges, quill nymphs, Red Midge larva as well as various other shades of tan, brown, olive, etc
Dries- : Griffiths Gnats or anything that represents a cluster, Smoke Jumper Midges, CDC Transitional Midge. Pay attention for a few baetis lingering around. Such patters as the Sipper Emerger, Student, CDC and regular Sparkle Duns will work great in sizes 18-22. Fishing two dries such as a midge behind a baetis can be rather effective as well.
Streamers- Sparkle minnows, Krystal buggers in olive and black, Small zonkers in natural and white, Small JJ’s, anything in the area of a size 6 with white or yellow/olive or yellow/brown combo.
No matter where you go this holiday we ask that you travel safe and have a great Christmas!
Categorised in: Fishing Reports
This post was written by Bighornangler