The Bighorn is looking great these days since the opening of the upper access points last week. We’re still surprised by the lack of people taking advantage of the prime spring conditions the river is offering. This past weekend there were a handful of folks out, but not like you’d think. With the coming week of rainy weather, we expect it to be even quieter around here, but if you like some of the best dry fly fishing of the year, I would get here now!
I fished a couple days recently and am reminded of the past. River flows are down at 3700 CFS, which we haven’t seen in years and the water is gin clear with minimal vegetation. The Baetis hatches this past week were awesome and provided plenty of shots at rising fish. The best window seems to be about 1-3 PM, with some opportunities in the evening as well. Some days the fish are picky, some days not so much. Any CDC style patterns like Cripple Thors, CDC Sparkle Dun, Smokejumpers, and Pat’s Cripple have been doing the job.
Nymphing has been good overall, but somedays they’re eating good in the mornings, somedays better in the afternoons. PINK is still the color for your lead bug. Cotton Candies, Jellybean Sowbugs and Pregnant scuds have been top producers. In the afternoons, with the abundance of Baetis, definitely have LBF’s, Quills, Wondernymphs and really any other dark Baetis nymphs as a trailer.
The streamer bite is decent, not great yet. We’re still waiting for the water temps to come up for that.
We’re seeing a lot of rainbows start to get on their redds, so please be mindful of these fish and leave them be. We don’t have 1000’s of these guys in the river like years past, so their success depends on the Bighorn’s future.
For our out-of-State friends, the 14 day quarantine is still in effect and we don’t have an answer as to when this will lift. It’s all up to the Governor at this point. If COVID cases keep dropping like they are, we should be heading in the right direction!