The Bighorn is on its way up. Current flows are around 4000 cfs, but we are getting another bump tomorrow to 4500 and more to come soon. The recent surge of water has helped the river, both good and bad. The good news is the nymphing and streamer fishing has been excellent, the vegetation or ‘moss’ is cleaning up in spots and the fish are spreading out more. As far as the bad news, dry fly fishing has suffered a bit some days and it’s not as consistent as it was, but still has its moments. Expect the dry fly window to get shorter as flows continue to rise toward the month of June.
The entire river is nymphing great right now. The moss factor is marginal, but manageable. The upper 3 has been very clean until you hit the Drum area. From there on down, practice your ‘Bighorn Slap’ and you will be hooked up throughout the day. Our fish have switched their diets mainly over to Sowbugs with the recent flush of water, although you can still get it done with some midges and Baetis nymphs in the afternoon. Firebead Rays (tan, grey 14-16), Softhackle Ray Charles (Grey, Tan 14-18), Pete’s Carpet Bug, Black Bead Zebra, Root Beer Midge, Flashback Wondernymph (18-20), Killer Mayfly (20), RS2’s and some worms here and there. Increasing your weight of your rig is the main key to success right now. 2 BB’s is a good starting point and +/- some here and there.
Good news for the streamer crowd. The increase in flows have moved fish around and out of some of the middle river ‘trenches’. In other words, streamer fishing is only going to get better. With the increase in flows, expect a temp increase by the end of the month or so that will really get the fish chasing your bugs. Black has still been the key color. Black Sparkle Minnows, Black mini T & A’s, Black Peanut Enys are the top pics. Tips are favorable, but you can get by with a floating line just fine. Look for the afternoon to evening to be your best window as water temps are at their peak.
We will keep you updated on happenings with the flows as we are getting last minute updates from the Bureau. We get about a 2-3 day lead time on water releases, so it’s pretty short notice. Despite the fear of higher water many anglers may have, the fishing actually gets quite better and there are plenty of places to wade. Crowds will lighten up after this next week, so come on out and join us!
Categorised in: Fishing Reports
This post was written by Bighornangler