June fishing on the Bighorn has produced some excellent results like this beautiful rainbow caught by Dell Despain one of the guides here at the lodge. The Baetus hatch is pretty much gone so most of the focus has been on nymphing. Wonder nymphs, zebra midges, brassies, grey rays and some red San Juan worms have all been working. The choice will vary depending on the time of day and location on the river. If it works, stay with it until it doesn't and try something else. The rainbows are approaching the end of their spawning season and the fish in general seem to be moving around to new locations, so it requires a little hunting at times to find them. We have had a lot of rain in the last week or two and ther river flow increased from 1850 up to 2250 for a day or two. A good 3500 cfs flush would clean up some of the moss in the river and really help the habitat so I am hoping the new rains will entice the decison makers to do that. The weather today is in the high 70's and clear and it should be another spectacular day on the river. We still have some excellent bargains on packages until the end of the month so call Cheryl at the lodge and take advantage of these great rates. See you on the river!
Summer is right around the corner for us here on the Bighorn and to us chefs that means we're getting ready to sample natures bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fortunately for us and with the help of the entire staff at the lodge, we've got our own seeds germinating in the greenhouse and we're starting to see lots of progress! Rick has been hard at work creating planter boxes and a large area on the grounds so that we can be somewhat self sufficient and provide our guest with fresh produce that's as local and organic as it gets...from a plot a few hundred yards from the front door of the lodge! We've planted all our own herbs, tomatoes, carrots, squash, pumpkin, eggplant, and much more. Thank you to everyone for all the help getting this dream going and to mypatriotsupply.com for setting us up with heirloom, non gmo seeds! We'll keep you posted on our gardens progress!
This spring on the Bighorn River we have seen some incredible dry fly fishing. Starting out in the morning fish are active eating midges on the surface. The guides at the Bighorn River Lodge have been doing well on smoke jumper midges, sipper midges, and small Adams. As the river warms up the Blue wing olives start to hatch, and by mid afternoon the river has a blanket of Blue wing olive duns. With the large trout population this year you can stay in one spot for several hours catching fish on the surface. Size 16 and 18 Snowshoe Baetis, CDC BWO, RS2's have all been working great. The Bighorn River lodge has a new selection of great flies tied by the guides. This selection of flies have been the guides go to flies for years. Take time to come in to the Bighorn River Lodge fly shop when you arrive for your trip and check out the new flies, the are durable and tied here in Montana. The Bighorn River is fishing great right now and the weather has been just perfect. If you haven't been down fishing the Bighorn yet this year, you need to come down and check out the great dry fly fishing the river has to offer.
Some warmer weather days in March has produced some excellent opportunities to knock off the winter rust and go fishing. The fish have begun to move out of their deep winter holding areas into shallower water below some riffles and into some flats. A strong midge hatch over the last 2 weeks have contributed to a change in feeding frequency and allowed for some pretty productive nymphying. While successful patterns change with the day and time of day, I have had pretty good success with #18 grey rays and a #18 or #20 skinny nelson dropper. Any good small black midge dropper will do well right now. Small pt's are also worth a try. The dry fly action is pretty challenging with the fish a bit spooky and selective on the midge pattern. Samll BWO patterns with a midge emerger dropper is worth a try. The snow pack is strong and with a full reservoir the water conditons for the river look good for this year. The fishing is goo right now and will only get better. This beauty was caught last Wednesday by a friend, and as you can see the rainbows, which are entering their spawning season are big, strong and full of color. Check in with Cheryl at the lodge for Spring specials. I am going out tomorrow and will report back.