Bighorn River Facts. The “change-of-direction rip” is a favorite technique. Prime flows for the Bighorn range from 2,000 to 5,000 CFS. River flows are at 2,100 cfs. When I did this video it was at 2050 CFS. Since 1856, Bighorn River, Montana Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions. Other anglers have caught some very large, former, lake fish. During the different hatches it is not unusual to have 10-20 fish with in easily casting distances. When the water temps are optimal and the fish are grabby, floating lines are outstanding. We reached a high of 14,000 cfs back in May —we’re at 9,500 now —but we’re almost to the point where the river can finally be drawn down and life can return to normal. However, they added that those fish are starting to die off, leading to a significant decline over the next two years. A challenging aspect of Bighorn River streamer fishing is the presence of algae and aquatic grass. 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Catching Big Fish average 18 to 22"!! “But I’m not a streamer fisherman”, you might say. Bighorn River Fishing Report. Good stream access and consistent river flows make the Bighorn River one … Streamer fishing is all about efficiency. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The section of the Bighorn in south eastern Montana is actually the last section of the river. Anglers are reporting morning trico spinner falls as well. Yellowtail Dam forms the Bighorn Lake and the great tailwater fishery of the Big Horn River. First, you need to quit living in the past and buy the right fly line. Current Report. With an average of 50 degrees the aquatic bug life is truly a biologists dream. Nymphing, Pink and orange bead head sow bugs size 14, 16 and scuds is still working the best. Now, rip the fly out of the water back towards you with significant force. With Montana's stream access law, the Bighorn remains a float-fishers rivers. Water clarity is still not optimal and aquatic grass is breaking loose and drifting downstream. Whether you are a dry-fly purist that enjoys the thrill of hooking a big fish out of an active pod of feeding heads or a greenhorn that is learning the art of “setting the hook” for the first time, opportunities abound. Some of these trout are killed or injured while descending the spillway, aka “the world’s most dangerous water slide,” but some survive. Even though there are over several thousand fish per mile doesn't mean that fish are pushovers, quite the contrary as the Bighorn is still a technical river that requires some local knowledge and patience to fish successfully. Biologists cited a bright spot from the survey: Many fish counted were longer than 15 inches, likely from earlier hatches in 2014 to 2016. And you may have to fish a nymph dropper now and then. Floating or intermediate tips are perfect for this, but when water temps drop and you need to sweep the bottom, the OutBound Short I/S6 or the SA equivalent is surprisingly easy to cast for a line that gets down quickly. Current fly fishing reports and conditions for Bighorn River in Montana! I’m talking fish over five pounds. Hatches are prolific the entire year and because the Bighorn is in the southeastern corner of the state and at a lower elevation than many Montana streams it can, and does fish well, the entire year. This sudden change of direction will usually tear the algae free. This roll cast shouldn’t bring the fly completely out of the water, rather it should roll the fly over so that it is now pointed away from you. We’re not catching large numbers of fish but fish … Big Hole RiverBitterroot RiverBitterroot River, East ForkBitterroot River, West ForkBlackfoot RiverLower Clark Fork RiverClark Fork RiverMiddle Fork Flathead RiverNorth Fork Flathead RiverFlint CreekGallatin RiverGeorgetown LakeKootenai RiverMadison River, Between Quake Lake and EnnisMadison River, Below Ennis LakeMissouri, Below Holter DamRock CreekYellowstone River, Water temperature at mid-day: 46 Degrees F, Best time of day to fish: Mid Morning to late Afternoon, Best access point: Afterbay These lines have, short, aggressive 30’ heads, and you can pound the bank with a minimum of false casting. With nearly 5500 fish per mile at an average of 17 inches, it is no surprise the river is known for its fantastic fishing. I hope everybody has a wonderful Fourth of July! This will take care of some of your casting inadequacies. We just had one of our earliest and most extreme cold snaps for the late Fall season. Emerald shiners have been pulled out of the big lake via the overflow spillway, and huge numbers of these baitfish have arrived in the river, many of them dead or crippled. The fish numbers are smaller due to the water quality by tributary run off as well as irrigation returned ditches on this lower section of the river. Bank or wading anglers are limited by a few state owned accesses and gaining permission from landowners is difficult, mainly because it flows through the Crow Indian Reservation.
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