Spring Shows up on the Bighorn River

Spring Shows up on the Bighorn River

March 29, 2018 5:02 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The Bighorn River system is full of water right now and conditions are changing.  Current flows from the Afterbay are right at 6500 CFS and expected to go to 7K at some point this next week.  Despite the higher water, the fish are happily eating right now.  

big bow kerry

Kerry and Cog with a great rainbow from the upper river

The river is fishing a bit different right now, so here are some tips for fishing the Bighorn:

  • Concentrate on slower moving parts of runs where the river is in the 4-6′ depth range.  The water is still cold and they haven’t shifted up to the shelves or many of the banks, yet.  The majority of fish are in the middle of the river or just off the transition shelf type water.
  • Fish plenty of weight on your nymph rigs.  We have been running 2 BB’s this past week on our trips
  • Make sure your rig is deep enough.  9′ from indicator to split shot is a must right now.  I know it’s a long leader, but trust us, it makes a world of difference.
  • Fly selection is not as important as drift and weight right now.  Chase the bobber when boat fishing!!

Best flies for now include: Cotton Candy, Softhackle Rays (tan, pink 14-16), Firebead Rays, Caviar scuds, Zebra midges, Little Ugly, Tungteaser and Green Weenies. 

There are a pile of midges still around, but with the increasing flows, dry fly fishing has been a bit hit and miss.  We saw some BWO’s below 3 Mile the other day, so look for those to show up in bigger #’s in a couple weeks.  

And always, be careful out there with the bigger flows.  The Bighorn boat ramp is always an issue when the river is up where it’s at now.  Watch out for fellow anglers and enjoy the Bighorn this Spring!

bry bear snag


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This post was written by Bighornangler

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