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Monday, 11 January 2021 10:47

Learn to FlyFish

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For those who don’t know where to start, our school teaches not only fly fishing for beginners but how to truly fall in love with this form of art. Fishing itself is a sport that millions of people are able to enjoy, almost anywhere a body of water is present, however, even if you know how to fish in a still lake or pond, you are not guaranteed to know how to fly fish on a moving body of water. People have practiced fly fishing for years, working to perfect their technique. Here at the Fly Fishing School at the Bighorn River Lodge, our aim is not only to teach a sport but to teach an art. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are asking yourself: How complicated can it be?

Having the right equipment and a fishing license for whichever state you reside in is one of the first things to consider before starting. As with any sport or hobby, you will find the price, quality, and a number of options for fly fishing rods, reels, lines, flies, and leaders and tippets can vary greatly. Fly fishing rods are much lighter than normal fishing rods, with the main differences between the selections being the line weight (00-14), the fly rod action (slow, medium, or fast), the length of the rod (up to 14 feet), and the rod material. All of these factors can change how you cast your line, as well as where you are able to fish. After all, fishing on a small, condensed forest stream with a 14-foot rod is unlikely to end well, either for the rod or for yourself. 

The type of fly that you use when fishing can increase, or decrease, your fortune since the ultimate goal is to trick fish into believing they are about to eat a delicious insect. Flies can be bought at the store or can be homemade, using string, feathers, fur, wax, and potentially glue. While making your own flies can be time-consuming, it can be rewarding to use your own materials to catch fish, and a handy skill to have if you find yourself short-handed. Either method of acquiring a fly will use some basic entomology, which is essentially knowing which bugs can be found on the surface of the water. Mayflies, sowbugs, and dragonflies are just a few examples of the types of bugs typically imitated by the flies you might use in fly fishing. Whether you choose to fly fish with a dry fly at the surface of the water, or nymph with a subsurface fly, you will need patience and practice. 

While the above list is not comprehensive in the least of what aspects should be considered when learning how to fly fish, finding a patient instructor that is able to teach fly fishing for beginners is invaluable. What equipment you decide upon, how heavy of a line, what bait you use, where you fish, how you cast, whether you tie the right knots, and so much more can make your experience with fly fishing worth all of the effort. Because the learning process for fly fishing can be difficult, the Bighorn River Lodge Fly Fishing School aims to provide individualized lessons that span the course of either 2 days or 3 days so that you can come away secure in your ability to fly fish. The Bighorn River is a well-known site with around 5,000-6,000 trout per mile, and the professional instructors at the Fly Fishing School can teach fly fishing for beginners of any level. Meals, rental equipment, and lodging is also provided, so you can dedicate your full attention to fly fishing. While it is true that it is impossible to learn everything within these 2-3 day sessions, you will be provided a sturdy foundation for a lifelong passion of fly fishing. 

Monday, 11 January 2021 10:36

Best Place to Flyfish

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While fly fishing is enjoyed across the nation, the state of Montana holds the perfect location to truly experience the sport, and the best fly fishing in Montana can be found at the Bighorn River Lodge. The lodge has made a name for itself as being situated along the Bighorn River, which once flowed fiercely through the state until the construction of the Yellowfield Dam near the border of Montana and Wyoming. With the building of the dam, the Bighorn reservoir was created, along with the future home to thousands of fish, turning the previously warm water river into a tailwater fishery. 

Blue ribbon, brown, and rainbow trout are especially abundant in this type of fishery, feeding well on the many insects and aquatic invertebrates, such as sowbugs and scuds. The rich nutrients of the river are contributed to by the sandstone and limestone walls surrounding the reservoir, encouraging the growth of green algae and grasses are a habitat for the aqua life of the river. The cool depths of the reservoir shelter the trout during the heat of the summer, while the dam prevents the water from freezing over in the winter. The year-round opportunity to experience the best fly fishing in Montana is one of the main attractors to the Bighorn River Lodge, which is the only lodge along the upper portion of the Bighorn River. 

The Wind River that passes through Wyoming, turns into the Bighorn River, which eventually empties into the Yellowstone River. However, the location surrounding the Yellowfield dam is an attraction for people searching for prime fly fishing spots due to the abundance of river life and natural proliferation sparked by the placement of the dam at the end of Bighorn Canyon. Not far from there are the Crow Indian Reservation and the Bighorn River Lodge location, in the prime location for catching large trout, Goldeneye, and Mountain Whitefish. The river itself is broad, with plenty of room for fly fishing, and with upwards of 5,000 trout per mile, you are guaranteed to come away with the experience of a lifetime. 

While there might be several beautiful locations surrounding the Bighorn river, in order to experience the best fly fishing in Montana, the Bighorn River Lodge provides rustic lodging, personal guides to the most abundant and beautiful fly fishing locations, as well as professionally prepared, locally-produced meals. With guest accommodations of up to 14 people per group, there is no better lodge to make your fly fishing trip the perfect experience. For more information and to book your reservation at the Bighorn River Lodge, please visit www.bighornriverlodge.com.

Sunday, 20 October 2019 13:41

Fly Fishing School

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Give a person a fish, and they will eat for a day. Teach a person to fish, and they will never want to go home!

In 2019 the Bighorn River Lodge accelerated its emphasis on its Fly Fishing School with great sucess. The school became very popular with those clients who wanted to introduce a friend or a family member to the sport they loved so much.  The integral part of the sucess is that each "class" has its own guide and is limited to two people so that each client gets one on one personal instruction.  The school package is typically a 3 night 2day or 4 night 3 day package.  Check the website for pricing.

The first day the clients will meet their guide and spend the morning learning how to set up a fly rod with explinations of the componets of the fly line, leader, tippet, and knot tying. After instruction each client will practice this set up.  Next will come instructions on the art of casting a fly rod.  Then each client will practice with close supervison and help for the guide.  These guides are excellent teachers and most students pick up the skill fairly quickly.  By midday the guide will take the clients to the river to put into practice what they have learned.  There will be an explination of where fish tend to "hold" in a river and how to read the water to locate them. Next will come an explination of the entemology on the river and what flies to use to match what the fish may be eating at any particular time of year. After lunch on the river, the rest of the day will be spent fishing and working on casting and mending skills and the art of achieving a good drift.  In almost every case clients will hav netted several fish by the end of the day.  Arriving at the private lodge boat ramp, the clients will have time to change clothes, realx in the great room or the deck overlooking the bass ponds with the mountains in the the distant bathed in the afternoon sun and enjoy beverages of their choice prior to appetizers served at 6:00 and dinner at 7:00.  The next days will be spent fishing and impoving skills.  Skill sets will improve drastically each day as will the fish counts for each client. 

We have had nothing but rave reviews about the success of the school format, the teaching quality and expertise of the guides and the overall experience of progressing from a novice to a successful fisherman. Please check the website for package rates and schedule a trip to the Bighorn River and let us help you learn how to fly fish, and catch some of those big Rainbow and Brown trout the Bighorn River is famous for.  

Monday, 15 July 2019 17:58

Bighorn River fishing is red hot

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If you have been waiting for the Bighorn River to really turn on, wait no longer. Our guides are reporting 10-20 fish per angler per day consistantly and the fish are big, health and strong. A lot of fish in the 18"-20" range with some up to 22". While flows are at 9,500 cfs currently the fishing is really good. If this liitle girl (my neighbor) can catch fish ( she had 8 this day) then by golly you can. The flows are expected to drop to 7,000 soon and 5,000 perhaps by the end of the month. The water temps are in the mid 50's which have the fish really agressive and on the feed. As the flows drop, all of the water will be coming through the turbine gates which should keep the water temps down. Nymph action is best on size #14 grey or tan Ray Charles and #16 Caviar Scuds along with with PMD nymphs, Olive Flashback PTs, pink Soft Hackle Sowbugs #18 Black Tung Teasers and Caddis Pupa. The other good news is that we are seeing PMDs, Yellow Salleys and Black Caddis. Dry flying action is on the rise as some fish are taking these patterns in the back eddies and fast riffles. As the water flows drop and the temps hold steady this could produce some epic dry fly action. Hey if this liitle girl (my neighbors) can catch 8 of these beauties in one day then I would certainly think you can. Take the challange. Call Cheryl in the office at 406-666-2368. Life is short. The Bighorn is calling. The fish are waiting. Why are you?!!. See you on the river!!

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