Mid June Bighorn River Update

The Army Corps of Engineers has given the all clear to bump the flows up after tampering them down the last couple weeks to help with catastrophic flooding in the Midwest.  Flows went up 500 cfs yesterday to 6500 and they are going up another 1000 today. The runoff inflows to the lake have stabilized at 5500 and while we don’t know exactly how high the flows will get in our neck of the woods, our guess is not much higher than 7500 unless we experience significant amounts of rain over the next few weeks.  Water temps increased from 43 to 48 degrees yesterday with the release, which should only help to get the fish moving around and improve fishing overall.

The fish haven’t seemed to care about the ups and downs of flows.  Our guides have experienced really good fishing of late with higher catch rates of healthy fish.  The bump in flows will likely push some moss downriver starting at Soap Creek but we haven’t had any reports of moss being a problem impacting the fishing.  The upper stretches remain clear.

Here’s the lowdown on the fishing:

Nymphing: Excellent.  Carpet bugs, tan & pink sow bugs continue to work well, throw a baetis nymph or midge on in the shelf-type water especially in the afternoons.

Dries: Solid on the right days.  We are at the tail end of our Spring Baetis hatch but it continues to impress this year and there are fish up on ‘em with overcast conditions.  Cripple thor, dills, smokejumpers, or your favorite baetis or midge pattern will get it done with a drag free cast.

Streamers: Will only get better as the temps go up.  With the bump in water will we see our much anticipated shiner hatch?  Maybe? Probably? There are a lot of them above the dam and they are starting to push through.  Higher water temps could get the fish moving on them. Float something small and white with a twitch and find out. We will keep you posted

On another note, Summer fishing is really shaping up for us and we are excited about what lays just around the corner with PMDs & caddis in July turning to terrestrials and our epic Tricos in August & September.  Now’s the time to secure your spot, give us a call at the shop and we can help arrange your trip!

Today is the Carp Tournament up at Bighorn Lake, good luck to you all!  A BIG thank you to the Bighorn River Alliance for all the hard work they’ve put in to put the Bighorn River back on track with a relentless focus to protect our fish and fishery.  Come join us tonight for a good time with good people and a good cause!