406-666-2368

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
Sunday, 17 January 2016 18:00

Spring 2016 at the Bighorn River Lodge

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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Published in News
Friday, 05 April 2013 11:24

Spring Fishing

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.

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