Bighorn River, Montana Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
Fly Fishing Map of Bighorn River, MT
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Bighorn River, Montana Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions
My tips of the week
Trout have started moving out of the deep holes and into the riffles. Fish light weight to the tail ends of the heavy riffles.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing Bighorn River is currently Good

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:
Eagle Nest Lodge
Bighorn Anglers

Water flow: 3500

Visibility: 60 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 39 Degrees F

Water condition: Clear

Best time of day to fish: Mid Afternoon

Best stretch: The first 13 miles below the dam.

Best access point: Afterbay, 3 mile, Bighorn, Mallards fishing access's 2nd - Bighorn to Mallards Take-out good Steamer fishing. After Bay to Bighorn has a little good spots for Dry Fly. 1st Forrester's To Bighorn 2nd - Bighorn to Mallards Mallards to Two Leggins Bighorn to Two Leggings

Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:

Forrester's Fly Bench Fishing Report 5/17/2019 River Data: River flow: 3500 cfs Water Temp: 40 F Water Clarity: Incredibly clear and perfect The water is warming up and the midges and BWO's are on the move. Trout are moving into the riffles to feast on them in huge numbers. Stomach samples have revealed bellies packed full of midges, sow bugs and Baeits nymphs. Rainbows are moving up on the spawning beds and with the projected low river flows they are expected to have an extremely successful spawn. We are starting to see fish in the shallower water and more and more fish are eating dry flies. It's personal preference what to fish, but we are encouraging folks to stay off the Rainbow spawning beds. Lets give these fish a chance to have a great low water spawn for the first time in years. Hot Flies: Nymphs: Sow bugs, baetis nymphs, midges and BIG scuds. Method: 7.5-foot 3x or stronger leader to 2 bb's or a 3o size chunk of tungsten putty. 1ft or so to the first fly and1ft or so to the second fly on your 4x tippet. Fish deep and slow. Size 14-18 Tan Soft Hackle Ray Charles Size 14-18 Gray Soft Hackle Ray Charles Size 14-18 Carpet Sow Bug Gray and Tan Size 18-22 Black Baetis Nymph Size 16-20 Wonder Nymph (olive and black) Size 18-22 Midges (olive, red, black, grey, tan and rusty) In the past few days it seems the fish have become much more active. Fish are moving from the deep water to the riffles to eat emerging midges and beatis. Shorten up the leader 7feet or less depending on the water your fishing. A common all around leader is a 6 footer and you can throw it anywhere, but just remember to change the weight around based on the water you are fishing. If it looks like there should be a trout in it there is. Dry Flies: Spring Baetis (Blue Wing Olives) Midges Method: 9-foot 5x leader to the top fly. 1ft or so leader to the second fly. Size 16-18 Baetis Duns and Spinners (smoke jumper, cripple thor) Size 18-20 Midge Patterns More and more trout have moved into dry fly water. Concentrate your eyes on seam lines and flat water that forms below large riffles. Streamers: Colors: Olive, Black, And White The big ole' trout are back on the Bighorn River and there have been dozens of hogs caught on streamers this year. We don't have the shiner minnow due to lower flows. This is a good thing for the health and sustainability of the river. We'll miss the shiner minnow, but we're excited about the new dam management to bring back the old Bighorn River. Happy Spring fishing from Forrester's Bighorn River Resort!

Fish species: Wild Rainbow & Brown Trout

Fishing season: Year Round (Prime: April 1 - November 31)

Nearest airport: Billings Logan International Airport (BIL)

Bighorn River Description

The most easterly of Montana's fine rivers, the Blue Ribbon waters of the Bighorn, is also the finest in terms of numbers of fish. With nearly 5500 fish per mile at an average of 17 inches, it is no surprise the river is known for its fantastic fishing. The section of the Bighorn in south eastern Montana is actually the last section of the river. Beginning when it flows out of the Wind River drainage out ...

Techniques & Tips

Nymphing the deep end of the riffles and ledges with a 6 foot leader and medium weight. Fish a sow bug and quill nymph.

7-Day Forecast

The water is warming up so we expect the bite to get better and better. Fish have really turned it on in the last week or so.


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