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Monday, 23 January 2017 00:00

Bighorn River Lodge Cast and Blast

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Cast and Blast

Cast and Blast is a term that many people Hear  out there. What is the Cast and Blast? The cast and blast is combining a great day of wing shooting along with great trout fishing. The Bighorn river is a world class trout fishery, home to wild rainbow and brown trout. So, there is nowhere else you can find the combination of such prolific fishing and waterfowl hunting in one location. The day starts with a morning of calling in ducks and geese into your decoy spread. After a great hunt, we fish our way down the river catching fish and the day comes to and end when we hit the Bighorn River Lodge boat ramp.

Waterfowl

The waterfowl season is coming to a close for 2016-2017 and with this brings an awesome amount of duck and geese into the Bighorn River Valley. The valley is an enormous agricultural valley combined this with the fact that the Bighorn River never freezes up, is a recipe for world class waterfowl hunting.

The waterfowl season runs from early October until the middle of January. Fishing season is open year-round. Early season hunting can be a little slower due to the warmer temperatures, but this does give you more comfortable fishing conditions. The time of the season to get the best waterfowl hunting is between November and January.

Some gear you will need for the Cast and Blast:

  • Waders: breathable waders will work early season but neoprene is better for late season
  • Shot gun: 12 gauge is preferred
  • Shells: 3 inches 3 shot covers everything. I prefer Kent fast steel
  • Warm clothes: gloves, hat, insulating layers
  • Came Jacket: tan and brown colored waterfowl came
  • Fly Rod and Reel: 9ft.5wt.or 6wt.rod
  • Fishing and hunting license:


The guides at the Bighorn River Lodge will provide the rest of the gear: Decoys, calls, dogs, lunch, flies.

Duckimage003s

We see many species of ducks on the river, but what excites most hunters is the mallard. The drake mallard is easy to identify, with its large green head, he is hard to mistake for any other duck. Throughout the day, you will see large groups of mallards working back and forth between the grain fields and the river. Widgeon, and many species of diving ducks are also numerous flying around the river.  We do most of our hunting on the river hiding in pre-built blinds located up and down the river. It is hard to beat having a cup of hot coffee, sitting in the blind and watching the ducks work the decoys as the sun is coming up.

Geese

As the temperatures drop in December and into January thousands of Canadian Geese descend upon the Bighorn Valley to take advantage of the open water and plentiful food in the nearby fields.  Calling in these majestic birds is a sound that really gets the blood flowing and of course nothing beats watching the dogs brave the moving frigid waters on a retrieve of a bird that weighs as much as they do.  And they live for that moment.

image005If you are new to waterfowl hunting, wanting to learn, or have been doing it for years, treat yourself to an unbelievable experience and come hunt and fish with us at the Bighorn River Lodge. Call Cheryl at the lodge 406-666-2368 and make your reservation for nest winter. 

Promising Spring Fishing Reports Means Hungry Anglers at the Bighorn River Lodge

The days are starting to get a little longer and we are all eagerly awaiting the 2017 fishing season at the Bighorn River Lodge. I’m super excited to return for my fourth season as Executive Chef and have been working diligently over the last few months to come up with new ideas and recipes to help make this upcoming season that much more fun for all of our visiting anglers.  Restaurants and food service are notorious for having a lot of turnover, this year I'm excited to have my full staff returning! Nothing like having a strong, cohesive team to lean on!

I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all of my returning staff. Your hard work and dedication to the lodge and for making my life and position here that much better.  Your efforts and our determination to ensure that all of our guests enjoy a truly exceptional dining experience is what helps to make the entire Bighorn River Lodge experience so special. Thank you, Dave, Julia, and Brenden for all that you do and I can’t wait to get back into the kitchen with all of you.  Cheers!

Friday, 20 January 2017 00:00

Who Comes To the Bighorn River Lodge?

Written by

New inquiries often ask about the suitability of The Bighorn River Lodge experience and how it relates to their specific needs. Here’s some of the questions we are asked.

  • Is it suitable for families?
  • What if I’ve never fly fished?
  • Can I bring a non-fisherman specifically my wife?
  • Can you accommodate Corporate Groups?

 

A Fly Fishing Vacation Is Perfect For Families Of All Kinds

familiesFamilies made up of all combinations, father/son, father/daughter, grandfathers, parents and children, in-laws and so on. The Bighorn River Lodge is the perfect venue to celebrate a special birthday, graduation and other life milestones. The Bighorn River and fishing experience are enjoyed by all ages.  We are especially pleased to see that next generation of fly fisherman learning to fish and tune into nature and the magic of the legendary Bighorn River. Our guides have a wealth of knowledge about the Bighorn River, the wildlife, and entomology of the bug life and they love passing that information along to everyone who shows an interest.
 

Don't Be Afraid Of Fly Fishing If You Are Just A Beginner

beginnersThe river lends itself to all skill levels from never fly fished ever to expert angler. At least half of our visitors each year have either never fly fished or have done it just a few times. Our guides are experts at working with and teaching the beginner fly fisherman.  And we offer a full array of rental gear to make it very easy for everyone. You must start somewhere, and The Bighorn River hosts over 6,000 Brown and Rainbow Trout per mile so the catching can be excellent.

Fly Fishing Is an Ideal Experience For a Group Of Friends

Each year we see groups of “old friends” return to the Bighorn River Lodge to fish the Bighorn River together, and to catch up on their friendships.  Some have been returning for years usually at the same time of year. The groups range from 2 anglers to 16, our maximum, and they never seem to tire of those big Brown and Rainbow Trout.

Wives Don't Have To Be Bighorn Anglers

Wives are welcome! We have a special non-sporting rate for wives. They can just relax at the Lodge or head to Sheridan, Wyoming for the day at one of the museums.  We suggest the Brinton Museum which houses 19th, 20th and 21st century Western and American Indian art in a beautiful setting. The Bighorn Battlefield is another must see venue if you are interested in the history of the West.

Corporate Groups Find The Bighorn River Lodge Especially Rewarding

The Bighorn River Lodge is a huge favorite of many small Corporate Groups who come every year to reward their sales reps for their hard work, and clients for their patronage. We can accommodate up to 16 and are able provide a small conference room for their use.

Single Anglers Are Always Welcome On The Bighorn River

We often have single anglers come to the Bighorn River Lodge. We do charge a single supplement fee but there’s nothing like having a boat and a guide all to yourself. It’s one of the ultimate experiences in fly fishing. Sometimes it hard to contain yourself.
 
single anglerWe take a special interest in each guest and group. We’ll do everything we can to make sure your experience is a memorable one at The Bighorn River Lodge. Come see us and fish the Legendary Bighorn River in Montana. Call Cheryl in the office at 406-666-2368.

The Bighorn River Lodge is excited by the aspect of an excellent water year and another year of great fishing.  Here are some of the factors that we will be monitoring.

Snow Pack, Temperatures and Water Flow Point To Plentiful Spring and Summer Fishing

Snow Pack:  Early snows this year have helped bring the average snowpack levels back to a normal trend for the Bighorn Basin after a few years of lower than normal levels.  Current snowpack is at 108% of normal and given the standard trend for more snow in February and March we should be in great shape for the year.

Temperatures:  A return to normal freezing temperatures this winter is a good sign for the river for a couple of reasons.

  • Consistent colder temperatures mean the snowpack stays around longer.
  • Should this trend continue it will also be interesting to see what effect it will have on algae and grass growth in the river.  Hopefully this will reduce the prolific growth we saw in mid and late summer in 2016.

Water Flows:  Currently the river is running at 2626 CFS.  The Bureau of Reclamation which controls flows has set this as the winter flow level. However, the Bighorn River Alliance will be monitoring the situation and hopefully working with BOR to suggest adjustment to water releases as the situation dictates. The factors that affect these releases are.

  • Snow pack levels. While it looks like we are in for a good year based on current levels, we must stay vigilant of spring conditions which effect snow melt rates and therefore river flows.
  • Winter temperatures.  The colder it stays the longer the snow pack remains and conversely warmer mid-winter temps can deplete the snow pack too early resulting in early higher level releases from the lake. 
  • Spring precipitation.  Again, too warm of a spring and too much precipitation can push the BOR to order higher than welcome flows.

bighorn river snowpack 17The key is to work with the BOR who traditionally want to store as much water as possible in the lake to cover their needs. If storage capacity in the lake is near maximum and we are looking at a large snowpack then hopefully we can persuade them to modify their approach, raise winter flow rates to avoid large releases in late spring and early summer.  These large releases can negatively affect dry fly hatches in the Spring and Rainbow spawning in the summer months. But bottom line is it looks REALLY GOOD for 2017.

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"Thanks for your unparalleled hospitality. Patient guides, exceptional food, it was the experience of a lifetime."

~ John Bullwinkel

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