Early April Happenings

Early April Happenings

April 10, 2016 3:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Despite lower than average flows and a bit of residual vegetation from last fall, the Bighorn has been fishing great.  A lot of anglers and guides are making comments about the abundance of nice sized (17-20″) fish this Spring.  We are happy to see these fish in the river and even a few bigger have been reported, and confirmed.  The crowds are just starting to show up, and the weekends have been pretty busy, but weekdays remain a great option to visit the Bighorn.  

The dry fly game is happening, although our weather has been a bit shaky.  Early April is a time for high wind, so pick your days.  Calm days the fish are on midges from sun up to about noon or so.  Calm and cloudy days, you will capitalize with great Baetis hatches in the afternoons, although not full blown yet. Bugs have been throughout the system from Afterbay to Mallards.  Also, don’t forget about the evenings.  There has been some fantastic late day fishing and low angler pressure.  Look for the dry fly fishing to get better and better in the upcoming weeks.  


This guy was found up in some skinny water picking of midge clusters

Nymphing has been great throughout the entire system.  Right out of the gate in the AM the fish are eating.   The fish are found up in some of the faster shelves still, especially in the afternoons when the bugs get going.  The ‘moss’ has been somewhat of an issue from about Greycliffs down, so just keep your bugs clean and you will be in business.

For the streamer guys, it has been pretty hit and miss, but it usually is this time of year.  I wouldn’t expect to have any ‘epic’ days until May, or when the water temps come up a few degrees.


Dries: Quigley’s cluster, Transitional Midge, Smokejumper, Dill’s Dun, Student Emerger, Sipper Emerger, HiVis Paraspinner, CDC Sparkle Duns.  All these guys in 18-20, no 22’s yet, but soon the fish will become educated!

Nymphs: Glass Bead Zebra (black, red 18-20), KF Flasher, SH Ray Charles (tan, grey 16-20), LBF’s, Killer Bugs, Bighorn Dip (Black, Red), Tung Teasers (black 18-20).

Streamers: Black, Olive, White, Yellow, Big, Small, it changes every day…

It’s hard to say exactly what our upcoming water releases look like, but with higher than past year’s snow pack, the lake elevation high, it looks like we will receive some more water in the river in the not too distant future.

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This post was written by Bighornangler

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