, ,

Last April Weekend Bighorn River Update

Photo: John Sindland

Flows came up a bit the past couple days and we’re now at 3500 cfs.  As expected, water temps dipped a bit more but the fish continue to look up.  It’s getting busier out there and the traffic is spread out.  It’s still fishing a little spotty overall, but it’s good once you find them.

Look to later afternoons for the best emergences of Baetis.  There are a pile of Midges around as well, but the fish seem to be ignoring them, until about the last hour of light.  Overall, the temps need to jump a bit before we see significant #’s of fish up on the surface.  The BWO’s have been pretty large in size (16-18) but the fish seem to prefer the smaller sized patterns.  Smokejumpers, Students, CDC Sparkle Duns and various CDC/emerger patterns have been doing the job.

Subsurface, the fish are starting to move around a bit, especially in the afternoons.  Sowbugs still dominate, but make sure you have some sort of Baetis nymph off the back as well.  Cotton Candy, Jellybeans, Carpet Bugs, Firebead Ray Charles, Pink Bead Carpet Bugs are all good Sowbug choices right now.  Run your rigs deep (8-9′) to the shot and a fair amount of weight, especially out of the boat.  Wade fishing has been a bit better below 3 Mile.

Our river flows are still looking good for the future.  The snowpack is dropping weekly and there is plenty of storage in the big lake.