Bighorn River High Water Fishing Report

Bighorn River High Water Fishing Report

April 24, 2014 3:10 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Water Flow: 7,500 CFS

Water Temp: 40 – 42 degrees

Current Conditions:  Despite the high water the fishing is excellent.  With the excellent fishing the river has been busy.  Nymphing far and away has been the most productive, with dedicated dry fly anglers finding fish up on the surface in the early afternoon into the evenings.  The Bighorn right now is a gentle giant – don’t underestimate the power of the river at this time. The current is strong to say the least.  Anglers should focus their efforts on inside bends of runs, slow spots around the islands and pockets of slow water around structure. If you find slow water off the main current it will be stacked with fish.  The trout are very concentrated.  At this flow there are fewer large productive runs and riffles, but there is actually more small productive areas. If you want more detail on that give us a call at the shop.

The video below shows what I mean. You have a downed log creating slower water along the bank. The fish are heavily concentrated in this area. Notice where the strike indicator is when the angler sets the hook. It is VERY close to the shore and away from the heavy flow just a few feet further out. This is the kind of water you can expect to be productive. 

Hatches: Midges and Blue Winged Olives.  The Midge emergence has been the best from Afterbay down to Bighorn, where as the Blue Winged Olive emergence has been productive from Three Mile Access down to Mallards’s. We are a few weeks behind on water temp’s in my opinion, so expect the intensity of the insect hatches to increase as water temp’s move into the mid to upper 40’s.

Best Fly Patterns: Firebead Ray Charles, Killerbugs, San Juan Worms, Soft Hackle Ray Charles in pink and grey size 14 and 16, zebra midges in red and black, copper ribbed rs2’s, quill nymphs and wondernymphs.


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This post was written by Bighornangler

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