We have no reason to complain about drought in the Bighorn Valley this year. Flows have increased to 14,000cfs and should remain in that range for the foreseeable future. We may have lost our hatches and some of the wade fishing, but nevertheless, fishing has been awesome. Our Bighorn River trout are gorging on worms and Sowbugs and there have been a lot of happy anglers lately.
As flows have increased, so have our tactics. Our typical high water nymph rig consists of about 9′ from indicator to weight. A couple bb’s are fine, but a 3/0 may even be a better. Start with a Wire worm on top and follow it up with a Softhackle Ray Charles (grey, pink 14-16), Firebead Sowbug (tan, grey 14-16), 2 Tone Mini worm (red/brown, wine/brown) or a Carpet Sowbug and you will be in business. Fish are lined up on the banks and anywhere there are soft pockets. Keep your bugs clean, drag free and you will be rewarded.
Streamer fishing is on fire right now. Increased water temps have got the Bighorn fish chasing big time. Fish your bugs tight to the bank and rapid fire casts. If they’re going to eat it, it’s in the first 5 feet or so of your retrieve. Top patterns include Lil’ Kims, Peanut Envys (olive, black), Circus Peanuts (tan, olive, black) and Articulated Screamers (Black/olive). A sink tip isn’t required, but a short head definitely handles a little better in the higher flows.
On a last note, you may have heard we are not putting our rental boats out. The Bighorn can be an evil creature right now and this is not the time to learn how to row. Most likely, until flows drop down in the 8,000 range, we will enforce this policy. However, we do have a handful of our top guides available who would be more than happy to show you the fruits of the Bighorn in high water!
Categorised in: Fishing Reports
This post was written by Bighornangler