What a nice Winter it has been so far! No cold fronts in sight for a while, so this a great window to come fish the Bighorn. The river continues to clear, both visibility and grass, each week. There’s still some grass on the Upper 3, but below that it’s VERY clean. Winter fishing on the Bighorn is no longer a secret as the river has been somewhat busy, not not as busy as you would see during the Spring or Summer.
So how’s the fishing? Depending on who you talk to, it’s pretty darn good. Browns are in full spawn but there are plenty of big bows in the system and an insane amount of little 10-12″ fish throughout the entire river. We generally advocate against targeting the spawning fish as the Bighorn is in a rebound cycle right now, but if you want to play that game, that’s your call.. Plenty of fish in the main ‘Winter’ type runs right now.
Streamer fishing is still good as long as you are targeting the big deep middle trenches and a handful of deep, slow banks. Smaller patterns (Grinch, Thin Mints, Autumn Splendors, Squirrel leeches) are the main bugs.
Nymphing is the same ol’ story – Orange Scuds, Carpet Bugs, Pink SH Sowbugs, Baetis nymphs and Red Midge Larva. These are our staple patterns throughout the winter months here on the Bighorn.
We’ll be around the shop pretty much every morning for the next couple of weeks. Shuttles daily, flies and good advice are available. We’re usually out by noon/1ish or so, but always answering calls.