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Happy Solstice! – Bighorn River Fishing Report JUNE 24

Good to see some smiling clients get out on the water….FINALLY!  It’s been a busy couple weeks around here at the Angler….FINALLY!

Fishing has been consistent and mostly a nymphing game right now.  Water temps remain in the low to mid 40s with the Baetis and midges singing their swan song after a fantastic spring, surprisingly still seeing some rising pods of fish on the right overcast, cooler days.  At these flows, the Bighorn is like a big spring creek and a good presentation will be required.  For nymphing, it’s still a small bug deal with general Baetis and Midge patterns.  Below 3 Mile they’ll eat Sowbugs a lot more consistently.

Flows are around 2000 CFS and the moss is still presenting issues as it breaks up, particularly the further you go below 3 mile, but it’s starting to get clearer everyday and the first several miles aren’t too bad with and abundance of wade fishing.  Water temps are still pretty cool which is a good thing to set up our prime summer hatches by not warming up too quick.  But the weather has moved into full summer mode and with it we expect the water temps to start rising over the next few weeks and the fishing to get better and better as they do.

As the Baetis and midges gone for our Spring/early Summer we are betting the PMDs make a strong appearance starting in July and strengthen as the month progresses,  cautiously optimistic about that prospect.  As high flows coincided with their appearance over the past several years,  PMDs have been mostly a lost hatch for us.  In “normal” years past, PMDs have provided some of the best fishing of the year.  Consistent nymph fishing through the day, emergences in the late morning through the early afternoon, and ye ole rusty spinner in the evening…can’t ask for much more.  Layer on the caddis emergences that should start up mid to late July and it’s the Bighorn in full summer glory.

And don’t forget about terrestrials.   The hearsay that Bighorn hopper years come in pairs just might be true.  LOTS of small hoppers popping around.  Could it happen again?  Maybe.  Probably.  Mid July through September could be incredible.  With flows around 2,000 August might just be on fire.   It’s that giddy time of year with prime time just around the corner, and damn it we can dream.