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 !!