Spring Bighorn River Update

Spring Bighorn River Update

March 26, 2019 4:27 pm Published by 2 Comments

Spring conditions have settled in here on the Bighorn. Lots of people are taking advantage of the great early season Spring fishing we have. Stay away from Friday-Sunday if you don’t like people! Depending on who you talk to, the fishing is anywhere from tough to fantastic. Book a trip with us and you will have a shot at the later.

Recent snowmelt has dirtied the river up pretty good below Soap Creek and somedays, depending on the air temp, some small tribs have mud coming in above the rapids area. This has put some more pressure on the upper 3, although the first few miles below 3 has been pretty solid.

Steve with a solid upper River brown from this week

Many of you got our Spring Newsletter this past week. If you did not, we are essentially on track for a normal, lower water year, so far. Unless we get a ton of rain this spring expect flows to stay in the 3k range, with possibly a small bump in May, but nothing for sure yet.

Handful of Jellybeans

As far as fly selection is concerned, this is what our guides were getting them on this week:

NYMPHS: Jellybean Sowbug, Pete’s Carpet Bug, Raspberry Softhackle, Cotton Candy, Firebead Softhackle (tan 16-18), Softhackle Rays (tan, grey 16-18), Red/black Midge, Red Midge Larva, Black Zebras.

STREAMERS: Lil Kim Copper – 8, Pete’s Bugger, Small Krystal Buggers (black, olive), Pete’s Bugger.

DRIES: Lots of midges, not a lot of fish on them yet, BUT, we are seeing the start of our Spring Baetis. Expect this to get really good in the next couple weeks. CDC midge and BWO style patterns will do the trick when you find them.

Finally a heads up to our friends traveling from the South – I90 is seeing some crazy flooding so check the road reports before you decide to cruise up here.

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This post was written by Pete Shanafelt


  • Roland Kehr says:

    Pete, please keep up the early season weekly blog and potential travel alerts via I 90 (from the south) and I 94 (from the east). See you, Sindland and the rest of the crew in a week and a half (with homemade oatmeal cookies).

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