Fly Shop

Bighorn River Fly Fishing

The Bighorn River is a tailwater fishery that consists of near perfect trout habitat.  Optimal water conditions created by Yellowtail dam and Bighorn Lake provide anglers with exceptional angling opportunity throughout the year. These cold, clear nutrient rich flows being released from the bottom of the dam produce a thriving biomass of insects and crustaceans that allow Rainbow and Brown trout to grow to above average size, while being found in an incredible abundance.  This unique trout habitat provides anglers with an exceptional mix of dry fly, nymph and streamer fishing, nearly year round.

Bighorn River At-A-Glance

One of the most consistent and easiest to fish rivers in the world; the Bighorn River is a large tailwater river displaying unique spring creek characteristics that produces incredible numbers of fish per mile.

Season – Open year round – Peak fishing occurs between March and October, which coincides with the rivers abundant hatches

Trout – 70% Brown Trout and 30% Rainbow Trout with trout averaging 15” – 17”. With fish upwards of 24″. 

Access/Stretches – Afterbay, 3 Mile and Bighorn Access sites provide excellent access for both wade and float anglers.  

Best Hatches – Midges, Blue Winged Olives, Black Caddis and Tricos

Equipment – 8’6” 4 weight for match the hatch dry fly fishing. 9’6” 6 weight or 10’ 4 weight for nymph fishing. 9’ 6 weight for streamers and hopper fishing. Anglers should carry tippet and leader material in sizes 3X – 6X for nymph and streamer fishing.

Closest Airport – Billings International Airport

For an in depth look at the Fly Fishing the Bighorn River, view our Slideshow – HERE!!!!!!!

Bighorn Angler Fly Shop

Located in the heart of Fort Smith, Montana, the Bighorn Angler is a fully stocked year round fly shop, offering the traveling angler everything they need to maximize their trip to the Bighorn River.  Customer service and expert information are the cornerstone of our business.  From fly pattern selection, fishing techniques or river information our friendly and courteous staff is here to ensure you have the best fishing trip possible. Hours: Open daily 7 am – 7 pm

BIGHORN RIVER VEHICLE SHUTTLES

We offer a fast and reliable shuttle service for your vehicle while you float the river. Afterbay – 3 Mile Access…………………………………………………$20.00 Afterbay or 3 Mile Access to Bighorn Access……………………..$25.00 Bighorn to Mallards Access……………………………………………$40.00 Mallard’s – Two Leggins…………………………………………………….$50.00

FORT SMITH AREA INFORMATION

DINING IN FORT SMITH

The Bighorn Angler serves breakfast and dinner daily by reservation only for our guests. Tricos is a full service restaurant offering all the basics in american cuisine. The Yellowtail Market is also next to our fly shop.  They have a very basic assortment of boxed, canned and frozen food.

WINE, BEER, ETC……

The Bighorn River flows through the Crow Indian Reservation, where the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.  Alcoholic beverages should be purchased in Hardin or Billings prior to your arrival.

SHUTTLE SERVICE TO FORT SMITH

If you do not want to rent a car, Big Sky Shuttle Service provides a shuttle between Billings and Fort Smith.  This a popular option since there is really no need for a car in Fort Smith. Prices for this service is $2/per mile and $5 per person. Figure about 90 miles each way. 406.254.2900