The Bugs are Here!

The Bugs are Here!

April 18, 2015 6:54 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Things are good on the Horn’.  With flows stable at 2240 CFS, the river is low and clear.  A few things have changed in the past week since flows have dropped. We have a bit more moss in the river than normal for this time of year, but it’s not that kind of bad moss that sticks to your line, and so far poses no issues.  Also, our spring crowd has shown up and some days are busier than others, but the entire river continues to fish great, so don’t get confined to just one stretch of water.

There are some healthy, great looking fish in the river right now


Dry fly fishing is phenomenal right now.  Thick hatches of midges in the mornings have brought a lot of fish to the surface, but these fish are not pushovers, especially on the clear days.  Switching your tippet over to 6x is not a bad idea in flatter and shallower water.  Our best patterns include Smokejumpers, Transitional midges and Skittering midges. You will encounter fish feeding on pupa just under the surface, these fish are tough.  We recommend dropping a small Glass bead Zebra or Black Beauty behind your favorite Hi Vis pattern to fool these sub surface trout.

The Spring Baetis continue to show everyday no matter rain or shine.  Count on seeing your first push of bugs around 1:00 in the afternoon or so. The fish have been less fussy on these, compared to earlier day midging fish.  Our best bugs are Dill’s Duns, Snowshoe Duns, CDC BWO Emergers and Sipper Emergers.  Look for fish up in the evenings on BWO spinners as well.  A Paraspinner is hard to beat for these fish you encounter.

A ‘mixed bag’ of spring nymphs


Count on spending more time out of the boat when nymphing.  The water is still pretty chilly and since the drop in flows, our Bighorn trout have moved back in more of the ‘guts’ of the runs.  This results in boat fishing being a lot tougher than previous weeks. Still very doable and good in your major runs, but the ‘in-between spots’ do not appear to be as productive.  Make sure your top bug in the tandem nymph setup is some sort of sowbug imitation – Soft Hackle Ray Charles – Tan, Grey- 14,16 or Firebead Softhackle Sowbug (Tan, Grey 14-18) followed by a Red midge Larvae, Rootbeer Midge, Glass bead Zebra or Lucent Bead Zebra in the morning hours, and then switch to a Wondernymph (18-20), Olive PT, Killer Mayfly or Copper Ribbed RS2 as your back bug in the afternoons.

Count on flows to stay stable for the near future and get down to the Bighorn to enjoy some great weather and great fishing!

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This post was written by Bighornangler

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