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 your efforts on the Medium speed water between the shoreline and the banks and never skip a center river shelf.
Fishing Conditions

Fly Fishing Bighorn River is currently Hot!

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:
Eagle Nest Lodge
Bighorn Anglers

Water flow: 9,500 cfs

Visibility: 60 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 56 Degrees F

Water condition: Clear

Best time of day to fish: 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 7/8/2019 River Data: River flow: 8500 cfs Water Temp: 56.5 F Water Clarity: Clear but a little grassy Moss and grass Factor: Not bad at all. Completely fishable to Bighorn Fishing Access SOW BUG mania. The fish are targeting big sow bugs and that's just about it. We're coming up on PMD time but the fish seem to be ignoring them and concentrating their entire effort on sow bugs. This is good and bad for fisherman on the Bighorn River. Mostly good. We're all anxious to fish PMD dry flies and catch fish on a pmd dropper in the shallow water so it's a little disappointing that the fish aren't looking for them. HOWEVER the bug selection is easy to catch multiple big beautiful Bighorn Trout on the Bighorn river. Tie on a sow bug, any sow bug. It seems that all patterns are working great! Just make it a big one. Hot Flies: Nymphs: BIG sow bugs, scuds, PMD Nymphs and worms Method: 6-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 12-18 Tan Soft Hackle Ray Charles Size 12-18 Bead Head Pink Soft Hackle Size 12-18 Carpet Sow Bug Gray and Tan Size 12-18 Eddie Vetter both tan and grey Size 16-18 Pink Soft Hackle Size 12-16 Scuds (natural, pink, orange and olive) Size 14-18 PMD Nymphs (pheasant tail, wonder nymph and traditional PMD Nymph) Fish it like a freestone. Keep the leaders shorter and the weight heavy enough to get down to the fish in a hurry. Fish outside in casting to water that's 1-2 feet deep and moving at a medium speed. The heavy seam lines don't seem to be holding as many trout as the shallower riffles are. Fish a big sow bug or two at a time if you like. The San Juan worm has been working occasionally for some of the bigger fish but the mass population of trout is targeting sow bugs. Dry Flies: Pseudo nymphs and PMD's Method: 9-foot 5x leader to the top fly. 1ft or so leader to the second fly. Size 16-18 Pseudo spinners Size 16-18 PMD Dry Flies The dry fly fishing is still slow on the Bighorn River, but it's getting better. If you look hard enough you can find pockets of trout sipping in the slow waters on the bank. Fly selections can be tricky. Make sure while your fishing to fish eating dry flies you look carefully around your legs to see if it's PMD's or pseudo spinners that the fish are targeting. Streamers: Method: 5 foot heavy leader with a loop knot to the streamer Colors: Any color nothing particular stands out. We were hoping that the shiner minnow was really going to come into play, but it seems that they aren't having as big an impact as we thought. That and the fish are so concentrated on large sow bugs that it's hard to commit to streamer fishing. That said if I were to throw a streamer on any day I would make it some sort of shiner minnow imitation. Happy Summer 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

Nymph a short leader 6 foot or less. Fish seem to be primarily targeting sow bugs so tie on one or two at a time. No pattern seems to be working better than another. Tie on any sow bug and whack em!

7-Day Forecast

Flows are expected to consistent and the water temperature the same. Fishing should remain incredible!


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