406-666-2368

Rick Gehweiler

Rick Gehweiler

The lodge welcomed Rick and Cheryl Gehweiler to the team as general managers in the summer of 2012. Their backgrounds in property management, the hospitality industry, and guiding brought a fresh outlook to the lodge dynamics. Avid fly fishermen, they have spent much of their free time fishing the Northwest, parts of the Bahamas and the Yucatan. Rick and Cheryl have been fishing the Bighorn each summer for almost 20 years prior to their employment at the Bighorn River Lodge. Their friendly attitudes, attention to detail, and fishing expertise will ensure that every guest has the experience of a lifetime.

Saturday, 01 October 2016 19:00

Fishing Report October 3rd

                           Bighorn River Fishing Report

Current Conditions

The Bighorn is currently running at 2286 cfs and flows could increase as the lake continues to fill.  Water temp is 60 degrees at 3 mile.  The water is fairly clear but rain is forcast for Monday and Tuesday which could effect clarity.  

Nymphing is steady and strong on some days.  The fish are concentrated in deeper runs at the end of rifles and below shelves where the water is cooler and oxyagenated so a bit of weight is a good idea.  If the cfs increase and water levels rise I would expect the fish to spread out a bit more.

Dry Fly action is still happening with Trico Hatches still happening in the morning after around 9:00 for an hour or so.  However the Tricos are now really small so the fish are picky and not concentrated in the larger pods we had last month.  Still can tag a few however and the fish are bigger.

Streamer fishing has been good especially on cloudy days.  The Browns are coming into their spawning season and are getting more aggresive so this is a good time to put in on streamers.    

Good Fly Patterns

Nymphs

Size #18 in the following patterns: Pink soft hackle sow bug, Soft hackle grey ray, Soft hackle tan ray, Zebra midge, Flash back pheasant tail, Drowned trico, Doc's blond baetis if there are some pseudos around.  I like to drop any of these patterns below a #6 red or orange wire worm.  Also try a brown or two tone brown and orange chenille worm below the wire worm.  

Dry Patterns

#20 Trico Dun, #22 Trico spinner, #20 Student, #14 Mahoganey or Royal Wulf.  I like to use the latter two as a lead fly I can see.  In fact the fish will commonly take the Mahoganey.  

Streamers

White and white/grey are the good colors right now tied sparsely.  Brown and gold combos are also a good choice. Good patterns: #8 Bighorn Special, #8 Squirrel Leach, #6 Thin Mint Wolly Bugger, #4 Cream Wooly Bugger.  

River Flows:  2286

Water Temp: 60 at 3 mile access

Weathern Conditions: Days in the 60's with clouds and occasional showers.  Tuesday and Wednesday calls for rain.  

Monday, 25 July 2016 19:00

EAT, SLEEP, FISH, PART II

                                                                                   SLEEP

One of the major resons The Bighorn RIver Lodge is the best lodge on the river is the quality of its accommodations.  The main lodge has 5 well appointed rooms and we have a separate large cabin that can sleep up to 6 more guests. That gives us a capicity of 16 which is a perfect number of guest to keep the atmosphere friendly, social and not too large.

The main lodge has a spacious great room with a river rock fireplace, wet bar area, poker table and a beautiful deck that overlooks our 5 acre bass pond and the mountains beyond.  A gallery kitchen and adjoing dinning area are a focal point of the lodge.  Providing toal comfort and a feeling of "being at home" in the lodge is what we strive every day to provide for our guests.  

Four of the rooms in the lodge, two of which look out onto the bass pond, have twin beds which can be converted to a king bed should a guest request that.  The fifth room has two queen beds and a single twin as well.  The rooms are very comfortable and beautifully decorated with western art and furntiure some of which was made by the owner.  

A day at the lodge begins with breakfast usually at 7:30 after which clients will meet their guides and begin gearing up for a day on the river.  We are known for our boat lunches and those are served at mid day somewhere on the river.  About 5:00 pm guides and guest return to our private boat ramp.  We are the only lodge in the upper 13 miles of the river locted right on the river and with our own ramp.  A short walk up the driveway and everyone is back at the lodge.  No having to load up in vechiles and drive 10 miles or so to return to a lodge which all other fisherman must do.  

A shower, a change of clothes and our clients gather on the deck or in the greatroom for some refreshments followed by appetizers at 6:00 and dinner arond 7-7:30.  Perhaps a poker game after dinner or a cigar and cocktail on the deck and everyone is ready to turn in a get a wqelcome good nights sleep.  Tomorrow is another day and the fish are waiting.  Life is good. 

If you haven't ever been to the Bighorn River Lodge you are missing a fantastic experience.  Check out our Trip Advisor reviews and think about making plans to come for a visit.  You won't regret it.  Call Cheryl in the office at 406-666-2368 and make some plans.  

See you on the river! Rick

Thursday, 21 July 2016 19:00

EAT. SLEEP, FISH Part 1

EAT

We are extremely excited to have Shawn Smith our Chef back for a third year.  Shawn worked here at the Bighorn River Lodge for two years, took a sabatical for one year in Salt Lake, and has returned with a new and spectacular assemblage of dishes that are receiving rave review from our clients.  We are consistantly told that the dishes Shawn prepares are as good or better than the best restaurants in cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and San Diego just to name a few. So I want to feature Shawn and some of his creations because the food experience here at the lodge is a major contributor to the overall experience that our clients are so complimentary about.  Just look at some Trip Advisor comments and you will see what I mean.  

figs

Here is a beautiful pickled nectarine and fig salad with charred raddishes and a whipped ricotta dressing.  The nectarines are pickled in a beer vinegar and the raddishes come from our own garden,  YUM

lamb chop1

Look at this presentation of a roasted rack of lamb, with a romesco sauce and pickled Zursun beans.  The lamb chop is pan roasted and butter basted and the beans, which are heirloom Christamas limas from Zursun beans in Idaho, have been marinated in sherry vinegar, olive oil and herbs.  Both of these courses are Shawn's own creations and I am constatly amazed at what he always suprises us with.  He just has a huge talent for creating something new and mouthwatering all the time.  

 

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

 

Monday, 20 June 2016 19:00

Early Summer Fishing Report

Well the summer fishing is red hot right now.  River flows have dropped from 7,000 cfs in early June down to 4,000 cfs currently.  This lower flow opens up more wade spots and tends to push the fish into more concentrated areas.  With the hot weather they are congregating in deeper clear runs and shallower fast moving riffles.  Nothing like tagging a 19¨rainblow in a fast riffle.  Get your had out of the way of the reel on that first run!!  The go to set up is still a number 4 red wire worm and and 16 soft hackle pink sow bug or grey ray.  The river is crystal clear and the earlier flush has resulted in a good scouring of the bottom setting the stage for what we hope is a good PMD, caddis and yellow sally hatch as the summer continues.  We still have some availablity in July and August so give Cheryl a call and make your plans to fish the best trout river in the US and enjoy some of the finest cusine this side of the Mississipp1...no kidding.                                                                                                                                                                                          See you on the river !    Rick

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 19:00

Worm Bite is On !!

The Spring run off from snow melt and Spring rains have required the Bureau of Reclemation to increase river flows which is usual for this time of year for the Bighorn River.  This year the Bureau has been much more accomodatiing in how they manage the incremental increases.  We are now running at 7,000 cfs which may seem like a lot, but it is a healthy flush for the river to remove the grasses and clean out the gravel which will create good conditioins for bug hatches throughout the summer.  Additionally the inceased flows have kick loose a lot of worms and sowbugs into the water and the fish bite right now is fantastic.  According to our guides it is the best of the year so far and we have already had some awesome fishing. A #6 red wire worm with a #16 soft hackle sow bug or grey ray has been very effective on both the Rainbows and Browns. These conditions should hold through June.  We have a few opeining in June if you can get away.  See you on the river!

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

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 19:00

Bighorn River Dry Fly Action is ON!

April has brought cooler weather with overcast skies and perfect conditions for both midge and BWO hatches.  Early morning midge hatches have the Brown and Rainbow trout looking up and the best patterns have been smoke jumpers, sipper midges and midge clusters.  As the waters warms up in the afternoon (It needs to reach about 42 degrees) the Baetis hatch has been very good at times with a variety of adult BWO patterns being effective as well as Baetis smoke sumpers and emerger patterns trailed behind a larger flag fly like a Mahogany. Recent rains have contributed to increased snow pack in the mountains and the lake level continues to rise giving us the good water levels we will need this summer.  Nymphing has been steady and pretty productive with pink firebead soft hackle sowbugs, orange scuds, trailed by zebra midges, and baetis nymphs working very well.  Current river conditions and good lake levels portend an excellent season for the Bighorn River and the lodge.  Call Cheryl at the lodge 406-666-2368 and LETS GO FISHING!  Rick

Monday, 18 April 2016 19:00

Bighorn River Spring

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.

Monday, 11 April 2016 19:00

Opening Day at the Bighorn River Lodge

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.

opening day 001opening day 002

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!!

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