Bighorn River Flyfishing: Hoppers & Caddis

Bighorn River Flyfishing: Hoppers & Caddis

August 11, 2010 9:28 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Bighorn River rainbow trout.

Bighorn Trout Shop employee, Janet Dill, with 24

It looks like the water may be bumped down one more time this summer. Inflows in the lake have fallen, so we expect river flows to be dropped to 2,500 cfs soon. Fishing has been fair on nymphs. Fish have moved into the fast water and are eating caddis pupa, sowbugs, and Baetis (Pseudo) nymphs. The olive Flash-back Pheasant Tail nymph has been a top producer (fish are eating it for a caddis pupa), but Soft-hackle Sowbugs and Skinny Bills are also working. The Skinny Bill is a light colored Baetis pattern and can be very effective when the mayflies are emerging.

The black caddis are still coming off on the upper four to five miles of river. Mid-afternoon brings good pupa fishing, and egg laying flights occur in the evening. Size #18 CDC Black Caddis and #20 Hemingway Caddis work well. Also, drop a pupa pattern about 20” below a dry to fool the picky fish.

Nice fish are being taken on hoppers, but we haven’t experienced a hopper frenzy like last year. This is probably because the Crow Tribe sprayed for hoppers earlier in the season, and this knocked insect numbers down. However, we seem to be seeing a new generation of hoppers now, and there are a lot of them. We may yet enjoy some great surface action.
Weed growth is becoming a factor and we expect the nymph fishing to become slow in the coming weeks. Anglers will have to concentrate on the riffle water. We’re hoping the hoppers and possibly the tricos will help things out. If not, expect to work hard for every fish. Presentation is extremely important.

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This post was written by Bighornangler

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