Mid Spring Bighorn River Report

We’re just about there folks.  Increasing numbers of Baetis are abound and a few more fish are looking up.  Water temps are still cooler than normal for this time of year, but the fish are ready to transition into Spring mode.  Any day now!

John Sindland taking advantage of some great wade fishing water

On another positive note, we are still on track for a NORMAL WATER YEAR!  There is plenty of storage in the lake and upper drainage snowpacks are still at normal levels, not the 130-140% we saw last year.  As long as we don’t get crushed with late Spring rain, everything is looking perfect.

Water clarity is now good throughout the whole system, even on the lower-lower river.  Fish numbers are still in question and don’t seem to be what they have been in the past, but it’s good to have some solitude if you wish to venture down there.

Big brown on a tiny midge. Photo: John Sindland

Fly pattern wise, everything is still pretty much the same.  Sowbugs, Midge Larva and Baetis nymphs are the go to for catching fish out there.  A wide variety of patterns are working well, but the main key is to keep your Sowbug patterns small (16-18) and obviously standard 18-20 for Midge and Baetis nymphs.  The fish are super concentrated still, so stick with a spot if you find a couple.  There’s usually more!

Streamer fishing is still spotty.  We just need that water temp to come up a few degrees!  Stick to smaller leech and bugger patterns if you choose to go this route.