We are experiencing a warmer than normal Spring so far this month. If able to cope with some windy days here and there, the fishing has been better than average for this early in the year. We have had several guide trips out this past week and everyone is happy as can be. This is a great time to sneak away to the Bighorn before the Spring crowds get here.
Spring Baetis have already made an appearance in certain river runs. They are not everywhere, but if you are lucky enough to get into an afternoon hatch, you will witness some careless surface feeding. Midges are getting a lot of fish up as well, especially in the evenings. Overall, the fish have been SPOOKY. Low clear water means small tippet (5-6X) and stealth like approaches.
Underneath, the fish have been gorging on red and black midges and the odd scud or sowbug. Our go-to setup this past week has been 8′ to split, 2 BB’s, a small (16-18) Tan Firebead Sowbug followed by a Zebra Midge (18-20) or Red Midge larva. I found fish to really like the Copper Ribbed RS2 and our new Lucent bead cream Zebra as well. Expect more fish to be looking for Baetis nymphs as we move towards April.
Streamer fishing has been very hit and miss. Some good reports are coming from the lower river, but the upper 13 seems to be lacking in consistency of willing fish. The best patterns for us have been Black/Blue buggers, Lil Kims, Sparkle Minnow (sculpin) and Olive or Tan Circus Peanuts. A lot of our streamer fish are still coming from dredging the middle of the river flats. There are not many fish near the banks as the water temps remain cool, but with increasing flows and warming temps, they will soon be where we want them.
Speaking of increasing flows, we will see an increase to 3400 cfs today. According to the Bureau, Bighorn River flows should stick around the 3400-3800 cfs levels through the end of April, unless some dramatic snow storm dumps a pile of snow, or it rains for 2 weeks straight. The Bighorn River community agrees they should be dumping more water out of the lake to make room for incoming snowmelt, as they are managing this year as if it were a drought year, even though the lake is almost full. We’ll see what happens…
Categorised in: Fishing Reports
This post was written by Bighornangler