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Tuesday, 19 April 2016 00:00

Bighorn River Spring

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The Bighorn River considered by many to be the best trout river in the country and home to a prolific population of beautiful Rainbow and Brown trout is also home to an abundance of spectacular bird and waterfowl residents.  Elegant tuxedo-clad Canadian geese, grey coated doves, velour draped pheasant, green headed mallards, white helmeted bald eagles, huge purple cloaked Blue Heron and my favorite the majestic Sand Hill crane are just some of the entourage that provide some spectacular sights and sounds for the soul.

Spring time heralds the height of activity as each specie reenacts it annual mating and birth cycle.  Each morning mother nature presents her symphony as the participants proclaim their place in the dance of rebirth.  As the eastern skies lighten a few members of the symphony begin to tune up.  First perhaps the soft flute coo of a dove, then maybe a crackle from a pheasant, and soon for sure the Canadian geese begin to stir up what only can be described as the bicycle horn section.  As the first pink and orange rays of the rising sun peak over the eastern hills mother nature taps her conductor’s wand and the symphony begins with earnest rising in tempo and enthusiasm setting the perfect pitch for the day.

As the day moves forward the continuing intermittent music is accompanied by the sights of our four sets of resident pairs of nesting geese coming and going as they leave to feed in nearby fields and return to our five-acre bass pond filling the air with their calls and wheeling in for a close formation landing like a pair of top gun F-18s as the glide in, flaps down for a perfect water landing.  Just off to the right a giant blue heron glides by its huge wing span needing no more than an occasional effort to propel its aerodynamic form effortlessly thought the air on its way to the river bank where it will stand like a statue in the shallows awaiting its unsuspecting breakfast.  Then off in the distance you can hear the deep throated castoneted cackle of the elusive Sand Hills and then there they come, easily eight feet in length with gigantic wing spans, majestic elongated necks and beaks with long trialing spindled legs exchanging their calls and gliding off to who know where. Magnificent.

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The Bighorn River is a wealth of wildlife and we can visit more about that next time, but it’s a beautiful day and there are fly rods to set up, dry fly and nymph patterns to consider, fish to be caught and I’m burning daylight.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:00

Opening Day at the Bighorn River Lodge

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It has been a very mild winter in Montana this year and as a result there have been some excellent opportunities to get in some early and very productive trips down the Bighorn River. Can you believe days of 60-70 degrees in January and February!!  The warm weather and higher than usual winter water temperatures have the native Rainbows and Browns active and hungry. Nymphing has been exceptional at times with some midge dry fly action occasionally available on the warmer days. While the lodge was closed as usual during the winter, our guides reported some great fish days during these frequent warm windows of opportunity.  Usually we do not open until April 1st, but since we had some requests in March we did get the operation up and running early this season.

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Meet John and Allison from Austin, Texas who just had to give it a try in mid- March.  Relatively new to fly fishing, you can tell by the smiles on their faces that their experience was more than they had hoped for.  The weather cooperated and our guide Adam Berg got them into some nice rainbows and as you can see.

If you are not already on the books call Cheryl to see what dates may still be available.  406-666-2368 or email us.  It is going to be a great year.  See you on the Bighorn!!

Monday, 18 January 2016 00:00

Spring 2016 at the Bighorn River Lodge

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2016 looks to be another great year for fly fishing on the Bighorn River.  The Bureau of Reclamation has already increased the river flows which is rare for this time of year and this hopeful sign can only be good for the river and the health of those beautiful Rainbows and Browns.

Last year’s BWO hatch stretched from late April through May and into early June. The dry fly fishing was outstanding.  We are hopeful that we will see these conditions again this Spring. 

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The Bighorn River Alliance, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting and working to preserve and protect the health of the river, has a new full time executive director. Anne Marie Emery was previously director on the Henry’s Fork and we are very lucky to have someone with her expertise, experience and credentials working for us to help ensure the health and quality of the Bighorn.  Her work with the Bureau of Reclamation will be of critical value in managing water flows and fish habitat.

We are also very happy to announce that Shawn Smith our fabulous Chef from two years ago will be returning after a one-year hiatus in Salt Lake City armed with new ideas, menu items and who know what but we are sure it will be outstanding. Welcome back Shawn!!

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Sunday, 29 November 2015 09:30

Fishing On the Bighorn River in the Fall

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Okay you are going to love this one. So we have a wonderful client, Howard Hargrove, who has been coming to the Bighorn River Lodge for around 20 years every fall to fish regardless of the weather. He is after big browns ready for the spawn. So this year he brought his son Grant who had never been to the Bighorn. Having just graduated from college this was a present from his father. So here is the deal. Last week, his first trip on the first day, and this was the first fish of the day. 

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A monster 26” brown. Not bad for a rookie. I told him he might as well pack his bag and go home now cause it’s not gonna get any better than that. You can imagine the heat he had to take over the next three days. Congratulations Grant!

As a reminder the fall fly fishing can be spectacular. I went out last week when the high was 50 and believe it or not there was a BWO hatch. Spotty on the dry flies but we had a great day nymphing with a #18 grey RS2. Just a beautiful day and virtually no one on the river. Keep October and November on your list of OFF SEASON RATE possibilities. We are talking big healthy fish. See you on the river!!!

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