Cast and Blast
Cast and Blast is a term that many people Hear out there. What is the Cast and Blast? The cast and blast is combining a great day of wing shooting along with great trout fishing. The Bighorn river is a world class trout fishery, home to wild rainbow and brown trout. So, there is nowhere else you can find the combination of such prolific fishing and waterfowl hunting in one location. The day starts with a morning of calling in ducks and geese into your decoy spread. After a great hunt, we fish our way down the river catching fish and the day comes to and end when we hit the Bighorn River Lodge boat ramp.
The waterfowl season is coming to a close for 2016-2017 and with this brings an awesome amount of duck and geese into the Bighorn River Valley. The valley is an enormous agricultural valley combined this with the fact that the Bighorn River never freezes up, is a recipe for world class waterfowl hunting.
The waterfowl season runs from early October until the middle of January. Fishing season is open year-round. Early season hunting can be a little slower due to the warmer temperatures, but this does give you more comfortable fishing conditions. The time of the season to get the best waterfowl hunting is between November and January.
Some gear you will need for the Cast and Blast:
- Waders: breathable waders will work early season but neoprene is better for late season
- Shot gun: 12 gauge is preferred
- Shells: 3 inches 3 shot covers everything. I prefer Kent fast steel
- Warm clothes: gloves, hat, insulating layers
- Came Jacket: tan and brown colored waterfowl came
- Fly Rod and Reel: 9ft.5wt.or 6wt.rod
- Fishing and hunting license:
The guides at the Bighorn River Lodge will provide the rest of the gear: Decoys, calls, dogs, lunch, flies.
We see many species of ducks on the river, but what excites most hunters is the mallard. The drake mallard is easy to identify, with its large green head, he is hard to mistake for any other duck. Throughout the day, you will see large groups of mallards working back and forth between the grain fields and the river. Widgeon, and many species of diving ducks are also numerous flying around the river. We do most of our hunting on the river hiding in pre-built blinds located up and down the river. It is hard to beat having a cup of hot coffee, sitting in the blind and watching the ducks work the decoys as the sun is coming up.
As the temperatures drop in December and into January thousands of Canadian Geese descend upon the Bighorn Valley to take advantage of the open water and plentiful food in the nearby fields. Calling in these majestic birds is a sound that really gets the blood flowing and of course nothing beats watching the dogs brave the moving frigid waters on a retrieve of a bird that weighs as much as they do. And they live for that moment.
If you are new to waterfowl hunting, wanting to learn, or have been doing it for years, treat yourself to an unbelievable experience and come hunt and fish with us at the Bighorn River Lodge. Call Cheryl at the lodge 406-666-2368 and make your reservation for nest winter.
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.
It has been a very mild winter down on the Bighorn River. Warm over night temps and calm days that have reaching into the 50's have start 2013 off with some excellent fishing. Fish have been eating nymphs well. I have doing well with a black wonder nymphs size 16 & 18. Also tan and pink soft hackle in the same sizes have been catching fish. The other day one of Lodges guides, Matt Ernst and I, floated from 3 mile down to the Lodge and had very impressive streamer fishing. Our best streamer was the Bighorn special, but Berg's blue legs and a Red Spruce fly worked very affectively as well. Here is a picture of the Bighorn Special. It is a easy fly to tie and works on many other rivers as well. Don't let the winter keep you inside. The fishing is great and you will have the whole river to yourself this time of year.