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
Concentrate on the gravel bars and ledges but don't quit the drift until it's well through the bottom of the deep hole.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing Bighorn River is currently Good

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:
Eagle Nest Lodge
Bighorn Anglers

Water flow: 2800

Visibility: 24 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 50 Degrees F

Water condition: Stained

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 and Waterfowl Watch Fishing Report 11/8/2018. River Data: River flow: 2800 cfs Water Temp: 50 F Winter has made its way to the Bighorn River and on its cold shoulders are thousands of ducks and geese. The cooler water temperatures and shorter days have kicked the brown trout spawn into full swing and the Blue Wing Olive hatch is going strong on cloudy days. It couldn't be better for the Fins and Feathers kind of outdoorsmen on the Bighorn River. Hot Flies: Nymphs: Sow bugs, baetis nymphs, mini leeches and scuds. Method: 4-7 foot 3x or stronger leader to one BB. 1ft or so to the first fly and1ft or so to the second fly on your tippet. Size 16-18 Tan Soft Hackle Ray Charles Size 16-18 Gray Soft Hackle Ray Charles Size 16-18 Carpet Sow Bug Gray and Tan Size 14-18 Olive and Orange scuds Size 18-22 Black Baetis Nymph Size 16-20 Wonder Nymph (olive and black) Size 14-16 Miniature leech pattern Size 6-16 San Juan worm The nymphing seems to get better everyday. Brown trout are spawning hard and aggressively protecting the spawning beds. Anything big and ugly through the spawning beds seems to get a good response. Don't ignore the deep pockets below the spawning beds. It's our theory that the bigger trout hide in these holes and only move onto the spawning beds at night. They seldom eat during the day, but we know they're in there. Dry Flies: Fall Baetis Period Method: 9-foot 5x leader to the top fly. 1ft or so leader to the second fly. Size 14-18 Baetis Duns and Spinners (smoke jumper, cripple thor) The Blue Wing Olive fishing is incredible right now. The clearer sunny days are good, but the cloudy snowy days are epic. The Blue Wing Olives this year are a little larger than usual. We are seeing size 14's on a regular basis and on the rare occasion even some that are as large as size 12's. This is great news for indicator fly choice. All you have to do is run the same type just a little larger and the fish will eat both of them! Streamers: Colors: Try them all, but every color should catch fish if you fish the right spots. The Brown trout are in full spawn on the Bighorn River. They are spawning in the usual spots; gravel bars and sandy banks but Brown Trout are also partial to smaller spawning beds tucked up along deep banks so don't ignore the traditional streamer spots and hit the pockets on the banks. Waterfowl Report The first big cold front came in yesterday and with it the ducks and geese. This is about the time of year we get the first big push of young birds to the Bighorn River. This first flight is a fun one, because most of the time these birds haven't been hunted very hard. This makes them easy to decoy and call. We still haven't seen the big push of Artic Circle ducks or the big Northern Mallards. Those ducks don't usually make their way to the Bighorn River until after Thanksgiving, but once they get here they never leave. With bigger groups of ducks around set a bigger decoy spread and definitely use a spinner. The Decoy Spread: 12 mallards 4-6 Green Wing Teal 6 Widgeon The Calls: Call aggressively in the early season especially for the first few days the new ducks are here. The longer the first round of ducks is here the more selective they get on calls. Ducks we're seeing: Ring Necks Scaup Green Wing Teal Gadwall Widgeon Pintail Wood Ducks Coots Mergansers Mallards Happy Late Fall Fishing and hunting 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

Dry fly fishing in the afternoons and streamer fishing the heavy banks and gravel bar ledges.

7-Day Forecast

Colder temperatures are only making the fishing better. It's supposed to warm up a little in the next couple days, but not enough to make a difference. The fishing should be good in the next week.

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