406-666-2368

Venture out to Bighorn River for your very own luxury fishing vacation.

Fishing season is upon us and what better way to make lasting memories with your loved ones than hitting the water with a rod and reel for the ultimate Bighorn River Fishing Vacation.

If you’ve dreamed of Montana fly fishing for years, anticipating your reel singing the song of a running fish, you will not be disappointed with the wonder and natural beauty of the Bighorn River in Montana. The Bighorn River is considered one of the finest trout streams not just in Montana but also in the United States. Famed for its gentle, cool, clear waters and abundance of rainbow and brown trout, the river is situated on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains just north of the Wyoming-Montana state line. Unlike many rivers in Montana, the Bighorn is a high-quality fly-fishing river for the entire year, offering anglers who don’t mind the elements the opportunity to catch large fish year-round.

Nothing speaks to the soul of Montana like fly fishing. Fly fishing takes you to places that you would never normally go. As you follow the river, you see a whole new view of nature from a perspective that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Seeing the mountains rising up above you, watching an eagle soar over your head as it makes it's way downstream, and spying on a moose as it drinks from the river’s edge are more magical when seen from the middle of the river.

Stay In Style

Entering Montana more than 150 miles downstream from its origin in Wyoming, Bighorn River flows into Bighorn Lake, formed by the Yellowtail Dam, and Big Horn River Lodge happens to have the best access to the finest Bighorn River fishing spots.

Montana’s Bighorn River Lodge has drawn avid fly-fishing enthusiasts and sportsmen alike for decades. The Lodge provides the perfect combination of comfort and outdoor adventure while creating a memorable fly-fishing vacation experience for an accomplished fisher or beginners.

The Bighorn River Lodge is the only lodge situated directly on the bank of the upper Bighorn River, so you can jump out of your waders and into the inviting atmosphere of a resort that reflects the rustic elegance and hospitality of the Big Sky Country.

Whether you want to relax, perfect your fishing skills, or simply soak up the scenic beauty this area offers, the inviting lodge is the perfect place to stay. After an epic day of fishing, unwind and swap fishing stories over courses of culinary artistry, or return to your cozy cabin overlooking the Bighorn Mountains. The impeccably decorated accommodations feature sumptuous linens, spacious decks, breath-taking views, and more.

At the Bighorn River Lodge, the food is as memorable as the fishing. As your guide prepares the boat for your day on the river, sit down to enjoy a home-style breakfast of hearty fare like banana bread French toast, Montana huckleberry syrup, and apple chicken sausage. End your day with dinner at a harvest table overlooking the serene Bighorn River.

The Treasure State offers a wide variety of waters accessible to fly fishing. Within those waters there are options to choose from larger rivers best suited to fishing from a boat, smaller waters explored on foot, crystal clear spring creeks, multi-day backcountry river float trips, alpine lakes, and private access waters. The opportunities to create the perfect get-a-way are endless.

Come and plan the experience of a lifetime and the ultimate Montana fishing vacation today.

Published in Blog
Monday, 11 January 2021 10:47

Learn Fly Fish With the Best

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. 

Published in Blog
Monday, 11 January 2021 10:36

Best Place for Fly Fishing in Montana

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.

Published in Blog
Sunday, 20 October 2019 13:41

Fly Fishing School

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.  

Published in Blog
Friday, 22 March 2019 12:05

Looks like a Good Year for Bighorn River

 

After 10 years of high water and difficult conditions at times, Mother Nature looks like she is going to give us a break and return to a normal water year. According to the weather gurus, we have now entered into a La Nina year which means warmer and dryer conditions in the Northwest and wetter and cooler conditions in the Southwest. The storms pounding central and southern California and lower snow packs in the Northwest would indicate they are right.

Snow packs in the mountains on the eastern slopes are about 85% of normal rather than the 125% we saw at this time last year. Of course, we still have February and March to get through but if the current trends hold, hopefully we will not see those huge water releases from the Yellowtail Dam. Right now, the river is running crystal clear and cold at just under 3,000 cfs. and during some of the 40-50 degree days there are some nice midge hatches and fish rising to them as well as decent streamer and nymph fishing.

The key is if BOR will manage their release properly to avoid large flows and if they do and the flows stay under say 6,000-7,000 this spring, we should have a good chance for a nice BWO hatch in April-May. It just looks pretty promising right now to have a great year, so I would encourage everyone to make your plans and call Cheryl in the office at 406-666-2368 to secure some dates this year. Life is short, a and the fish are waiting.
Cheryl with a really nice rainbow caught on a #20 psuedo

See you on the river!
Rick

Published in News
Monday, 10 July 2017 19:00

Bighorn River Lodge Fishing Report

The river flow is running at 9500 with a water temp of 63 degrees at the three mile access.  Higher water temps are a result of the Bighorn Lake top water coming over the spillway at these higher lake discharges.  This higher water temperature is producing some Trico hatches in the morning as well as Black Caddis hatches in the late afternoon and evening on the upper three- mile section of the river.  Can’t remember when we have ever seen Tricos this early in the season. The Trico hatch should continue to improve as long as the water temperature stays warm.  It remains to be seen what the water temps will do once the lake discharges drop as the summer progresses.

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Dry Fly

  • For Tricos I would recommend a set-up using a #14 Mahogany as a lead fly (Almost a third of the fish are actually taking the Mahogany!) and a trail fly in #20 Trico spinner.
  • For Caddis a number #18 CDC or Elk Hair Black Caddis or/and a #18 Hemingway Caddis.

The high water flows this year should have scoured out the river bottom setting up great conditions for PMD and Yellow Sally hatches. We are beginning to see some already but the fish are keyed in on Tricos and Black Caddis at the moment.  Stay tuned.

Nymping

Nymphing has been fair lately using the following patterns:

  • #16, #18 SH Grey Ray
  • #14, #12 Orange Scud
  • #18 Black Caddis Pupa
  • #16, #18 Olive Flashback Pheasant Tail
  • #18 Black Tung Teaser
  • #18 Quill Nymph
  • #4 San Juan Red Wire or two-tone Wine Chanile Worm.

Streamers

With so much water coming over the dam spillway a large number of shiners are washing over from the lake into the water.  The fish have been going crazy gorging on this bait food.  So, top drifting of twitching a white clouser-like pattern just under the surface along the banks has been extremely effective and the takes can be explosive.  Try these patterns:

  • #6 Emerald Shiner
  • #4, #6 White or Cream Wolly Bugger
  • #6 Thin Mint Wolly Bugger
  • #8 Squirrel Leach
  • #4 Grey Zonker
Published in Fishing Report
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 19:00

Dry Fly Action Picking Up

The Bighorn River is in full summer swing and the dry fly action is heating up.  Anglers are finding decent hatches of PMD spinners in the morning, Yellow Sallies mid day and Black Caddis from about noon to dark.  There are even some Tricos showing up in the early hours.  Check out this phots of Gary with a beautiful 20" brown caught on a size 20 rusty spinner. Shawn McClure, his guide, put him on this bad boy and Gary made a perfect cast in some tough wind conditions.  Atta baby Gary!  This is a great time to visit us if you love fishing with dries.

The nymph program still remains strong.  The old reliable Wire Worm with a Soft Hackle Pink Sow Bug is still hard to beat, but Bighorn anglers are also doing well with Quill Nymphs, Caddis Pupa patterns, Split Case PMDs, Wonder Nymphs and olive Pheasant Tails.

If  you want to try something different, a Hopper witn a Black Ant dropper is always a hoot fished to the bank.  Those big splashy takes are always my favorite.  Any angler no matter what your skill level will have a good time right now at the Bighorn River Lodge so see if you can find a few days and start packing!  Remember EAT, SLEEP, FISH.

See you on the River!

Rick

 

Published in News
Sunday, 01 May 2016 19:00

Excellent Blue Winged Olive Hatch

The cooler, overcast and rainy weather in the last few weeks have produced some excellent BWO hatches and created some outstanding opportunities for great dry fly action here on the Bighorn River.  The hatch has begun around noon and lasted until around 3:00.  The game plan has been to get in and nymph down river to a typically good dry fly spot and wait for the hatch to come on.  It will generally start with a few rises and increase as the hatch accelearates.  After about thirty minutes the riffles and seams will be alive with heads.  If you are adept at presenting the fly, in it has not been uncommon to have a 20 fish day.  Even some of our novice guests under the excellent instruction of our guides are doing very very well.  The hatch should last as long as the weather does. The typical set up has been to use a lead fly with a larger profile like a smoke jumber, CDC BWO cripple, or enven a Mahogany and trail that with the go to fly which has been a #18 Student or a variety of BWO emerger pattern.  Even with the oncoming warmer weather, any return to cooler, cloudy weather will bring the hatch back.

In the meantime the nymphing remains steady using pink soft hackle sow bugs, pink scuds, or a grey ray charles with a trailing zebra midge or Bighorn Baetis nymph. The snow pack is at 90%, and the lake is at traditional levels with inflows matching outflows from the Bighorn Lake of around 2,600cfs which portends for a good water year and good water conditions for this season.  Nothing like fishing the Bighorn which boasts 5,000-6,000 Rainbow and Brown trout per mile.  Get your gear and come on up.  See you on the river !!

IMG 2033

Published in News
Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:28

Spring Fishing

The Spring fishing on the Bighorn has been just excellent even with the higher water flows currently running at around 7500cfs.  Record breaking snow pack and a wet Spring has resulted in the higher flows from the Bighorn Lake. These higher flows have been great for the river, scouring out and rejuvinating the river bottom and creating excellent conditions for the hatches to follow.  While the wade fishing spots are a bit more restrictive the boat fishing has been very good.  Even with the water temp at around 39 degrees,  nymphing with #18 red  midge larve patterns under a #6 orange or red wire worm has been very productive.  Smaller Zebra midges,soft hackel grey rays and fire bead soft hackled sow bugs are also working well.  As the water temps warm up moving in to May the fish will continue to be even more active. Some drye fly action is available now as the midge and baetes hatches are coming on. All indications are that May should be a spectacular dry fly month.  If you are thinkng of making a trip to take advantage of these excellent conditions, we recommend that you call Cheryl at the lodge and book now as reservations are already filling up.
See you on the river!

 

Published in News
Sunday, 19 May 2013 19:00

Planting a seed...

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!

Published in Kitchen & Cuisine
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