*Important Bighorn River News*

*Important Bighorn River News*

May 10, 2011 8:10 pm Published by 5 Comments

River Today Below Soap Creek Photo DP

This came in from Doug Haacke and the Friends of the Bighorn River today.  It is mind blowing news and I will let Doug tell you the rest.  On the fishing front we have had huge rains the past two days there is even dirty water in the upper 3,  mountain pocket just below the colorado club is puking mud and soap creek is pouring in mud as well. While conditions were not ideal plenty of fish were caught. I expect for the water levels to increase soon as well.  On to the news, if anyone has any questions don’t hesitate to email us thanks.


WARNING: I strongly suggest you sit down before you read the following update. This came from the Park Service late this afternoon:


National Park Service Parking Lots Construction Work at Afterbay Dam and 3-Mile River Launches

Bighorn Canyon National recreation Area is contracting to rehabilitate the river access parking sites at the Afterbay Dam North River access, and the 3-Mile River Ranch Access. Work is scheduled to begin at Afterbay during the week of May 16 and is tentatively scheduled to be completed by June 25, 2011.  Construction will then move to 3 Mile with an estimated completion date of July 23, 2011. During construction the parking lot and launch ramp WILL BE CLOSED to vehicle parking and boat launching/retrieving.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The project when completed will significantly improve these facilities. We have been assured by the contractor that they will do everything possible to expedite construction.

For question or additional information, please contact the National Park Service at: 406-666-2412.


Once again, the pattern of disregard that we’ve come to expect from the Park Service continues. The Park Service had mentioned that this construction might occur this year, but did not make any details public nor ask for comment and most importantly did not care to mention that closures would occur. This utter disregard of the river economy and its thousands upon thousands of visitors is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. Imagine the outcry if our friends in Lovell were to be told that Horsehoe Bend was to be closed for six weeks during their prime recreation season!!

At this point, there is a consensus developing among the folks that live and work on the river that, should this work have to commence on May 16, that work begin on the 3-Mile project, and then move to Afterbay. This would allow fishing the upper three while the lower river is blown out, among several other reasons. Jerry Case, the superintendent of BCNRA, is checking with the contractor to see if this switch would be possible. Nevertheless, this is choosing the lesser of two evils.

We will continue to explore other options, and would appreciate any feedback you might offer. Additional updates will come as this issue unfolds. In the meantime, call the Park Service and let them know how you feel at (406) 666-2412.


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This post was written by Bighornangler


  • Dry Fly Guy says:

    Is there something wrong with the ramps/parking lots that are there now? As I recall, the last time I was there they were some of the nicest facilities I’ve seen.

    • mtangler says:

      correct the accesses as they sit now are very adequate. The fly fishing community and now the U.S. senators from Montana are all trying to stop the work from being done at this time.

  • Dry Fly Guy says:

    And folks wonder why we are $14T in debt… Addicted to spending money on stuff we don’t need.

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