We’re getting into late summer mode on the Bighorn. Our big summer crowd seems to be thinning out and people are spreading out from the Afterbay all the way down to Mallards Access. Black Caddis are about all wrapped up and it was great while it lasted. Tricos dominate the mornings from about 3 Mile downstream. Hopper fishing is great some days and mediocre others. This is not the best time to get numbers of fish like the Bighorn is known for. The fishing is getting tougher, but there are some few hour windows that really can produce epic fishing.
Trico Duns are on the water by about 6:30AM, spinners by 9:00. Stick to CDC Trico Duns, CDC Paraspinners, CDC Biot Spinners and Parachute Adams to get the job done. A few lingering Black Caddis are found on the upper 3 and especially into the evening after the light settles. CDC Caddis, Bubbleback Emergers and CDC Caddis Emergers in black are our favorite bugs. We have really been digging the Dry Fly Leaders from Cutthroat Leaders. They are super supple and with all the micro currents from the weed beds, you get a much more drag-free drift.
Hopper fishing has been pretty steady, if you know where the players are. Think shallow, gravel bottoms with current and you will find fish. Pink is still a hot color so Pink Morrish (10-12) and Pink Panty Dropper Hoppers (10-12) have been a good bet. Natural patterns like the standard Parachute hopper have been great as well. The ant and beetle prospecting has been good when all else fails. Bloom’s Ants in black (12-16) and Arrick’s Para ant have been our top choices.
Nymphing has been a bit spotty, somedays are better than others. The toughest challenge remains the grass and loose vegetation in the river. Keep your bugs clean and you will stay hooked up. Double Sowbug rigs (SH Rays in Tan, Grey 16-18, Poxyback Sowbug, Natural Sowbug) seem to be money. Switch your back bug to an Olive PT or Beadhead Flashback PT in the afternoons as we are still pumping a fair amount of fish with black caddis pupa in their stomachs.
Our weather pattern is looking like a cool down coming for the rest of the week, which should help the afternoon fishing, as it has been shutting off with the streak of recent heat. Expect Trico fishing to remain great for another few weeks and the crowds to lighten up even more. Although conditions can remain tougher than usual, it is still the Bighorn and is more consistent than other fisheries in the region for this time of year.
Categorised in: Fishing Reports
This post was written by Bighornangler