Bighorn River February Fishing Update

Bighorn River February Fishing Update

February 7, 2012 7:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts
bighorn river midge fishing

Rainbow caught last week on a size 22 transitional midge

I have had a few people lately asking about the snowpack levels across Montana and how it is going to affect the fishing this season.  While it doesn’t feel like it, the Snotel Graphs continue to show snowpack throughout the state as right around average.  If the snow continues to fall at this slowly but surely rate we will in my prediction have an excellent year of fishing on the Bighorn.  Flows will stay more consistent throughout the year and we shouldn’t see the huge jumps in flows towards the end of May and throughout June.  This should make the dry fly fishing to be especially good. The baetis hatch should last a few weeks longer and the pmd and yellow sally hatch should come off when the water level is more conducive to wade fishing.

At this point this is all speculation….. While the snowpack appears to be at average a good 2 foot dump of snow would do wonders for snowpack across the state, which I hope we get sometime in February or March.  In my opinion, the only thing that could possibly screw up fishing on the Bighorn this year would be getting a large amount of rain again in May as melting snow is already filling the lake.  Record rainfall is unlikely two years in a row, but who knows.  At this point lets hope for more snow throughout the winter keeping snowpack between 95% – 120% of average and a spring that doesn’t bring heavy rain showers and we will have excellent fishing on the Bighorn River.

Current Fishing Report:  With the overall mild winter we are having the Bighorn has been fishing excellent with both nymphs and streamers.  You can find occasional fish rising to midges throughout the river.  Pink and grey sowbugs along with assorted colors of midge larva have been effective.  Streamers in white and olive have also been good.

Below is the snow water equivalent percent of average graph posted today from Snotel. This graph is updated daily and is broken up by basin.

Basin Snow Water Equivalent Percent of Average
KOOTENAI RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 96% 96%
FLATHEAD RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 85% 85%
UPPER CLARK FORK RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 90% 90%
BITTERROOT RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 96% 96%
LOWER CLARK FORK RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 94% 94%
JEFFERSON RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 80% 80%
MADISON RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 76% 76%
GALLATIN RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 70% 70%
MISSOURI HEADWATERS Percentage Bar 78% 78%
HEADWATERS MISSOURI MAINSTEM Percentage Bar 107% 107%
SMITH, JUDITH, AND MUSSELSHELL RIVER BASINS Percentage Bar 91% 91%
SUN, TETON AND MARIAS RIVER BASINS Percentage Bar 105% 105%
MISSOURI MAINSTEM RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 98% 98%
ST MARY AND MILK RIVER BASINS Percentage Bar 87% 87%
UPPER YELLOWSTONE RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 87% 87%
WIND RIVER BASIN (WYOMING) Percentage Bar 89% 89%
SHOSHONE RIVER BASIN (WYOMING) Percentage Bar 92% 92%
BIGHORN RIVER BASIN (WYOMING) Percentage Bar 97% 97%
TONGUE RIVER BASIN (WYOMING) Percentage Bar 122% 122%
POWDER RIVER BASIN (WYOMING) Percentage Bar 106% 106%
LOWER YELLOWSTONE RIVER BASIN Percentage Bar 98% 98%

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This post was written by Bighornangler

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