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.
The Bighorn River Lodge is packed up and ready to head West. We are on our way to the annual Fly Fishing Show in Pleasenton California. This is not our first trip to California this year; a month ago we attended the Inernational Sports Expo in Sacramento. What was the biggest question on angler's minds in the Golden State? Water. Luckily, BRL had the anwser they wanted to hear.
Montana has received an incredible amount of moisture this winter. The mountains are sitting at 140% of the snow pack for 2014. This means an ample supply of cool water all summer long and into the fall. On the Bighorn River, history has proven that a good flush of water in the early summer will help flush moss and silt from the river bottom. This results in great fishing and prolific P.M.D and Yellow Sally hatches.
When we arrive in Pleasenton this coming weekend, I know water and snowpack levels are going to be on everyones mind. Some ask questions like, " Will there be enough water or too much water?" Fortunatly, even at high water levels, the Bighorn River flows clear and fishes unbelievable.
If you are in the area, come visit us that the Alameda County Fairgrounds, February 21, 22, and 23. The Bighorn River Lodge will be giving a presenation on the Bighorn River every day during the show. Come check out the river's history and see some awesome photos of the area and fish. It is going to be great!
The 2013 waterfowl season on the Bighorn River produced some of the largest concentrations of waterfowl I have ever seen along the Bighorn. The cold weather came into the valley in late November and hung around for the rest of the year. After the Yelllowstone River and all the other surrounding waterways froze up, all of the waterfowl made the Bighorn River Valley their home. Cornfields near the river would be swarmming with a tornado of ducks and geese, more then we could put a number on. We were surrounded by mallards as we laid in our blinds. The sound of their wings beating against the wind as they took off towards the sky sounded like the roar of a jet aircraft flying by. The only thing the clients could say was, "I have never seen or heard anything like this."
Bighorn River Lodge's hunting Outfitter Ryan Kitts and I spent everyday in the field or on the water, scouting, guiding or hunting on are own. Frozen jet boats, stuck pickups, and even some truck and boat batteries that just didn't want to start, did not stop us from experiencing some of the best hunts we have seen. The frustrations and our cold hands never discouraged us from providing the safest and most incredible experiences for our guests.
Here are a few photes to check out that are just a glimpse of the mind-blowing sights that everyone that went on a cast and blast with the Bighorn River Lodge and Reverse K6 got to experience.
The Bighorn River Lodge is offering a spring special for the following dates April 1-21:
4 night/ 3 Day fishing $1395
3 night/ 3day fishing $995
Day trips $395
Book now and enjoy the great spring fishing!
The winter months pose many short days and many long hours sitting at the fly tying bench. And what better way to accompany such productive endeavors than paired with a refreshing moscow mule. The stillness encompasses the surroundings of the Bighorn River Lodge this time of year, as cooler temperatures limit one's ability to venture outside compared to the warmer months. As more time is spent indoors, that time is well spent tying flies that will be used in the months to come.
If you have ever fished the Bighorn River, you know that some of the staple bugs within the trout's diet include midges-pupas, larvas and adults. All three stages provide an abundance of biomass for these trout to consume, which when imitated and tied to the end of your line, makes for a bent rod and a happy angler.
A couple of the Bighorn River Lodge guides sat down one evening and partook in the tying of these little macroinvertebrates. The copper color of the mule mugs accompanied the gold and silver colors of the fly tying vises and scissors positioned around the table. While sharing patterns and enjoying tasty mules, the guides spent a productive evening working and enjoying each other's company.
Warm weather has swept over the Bighorn River the last week and has made for some great fishing opportunities. I floated the river from Three Mile to the BIghorn River Lodge two days ago and had a great day. Nymphe fishing was good, using zebra midges, sowbugs and pink soft hackles size 16-18. I saw some BWO and Midges on the top, but did not see any fish actively feeding on them.
If you pick your days this winter, you can enjoy a great day on the river. The boat traffic is very low and the the fish have been hungry.
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.
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.
Carlo and i had a day off from the river and decided to take the Nitro bass boat up to Bighorn Lake. Let's keep going, a little farther, one more bend. After 35 miles up the canyon we decided to stop and start fishing. We looked around and there was bait everywhere. There were thousands of small emerald shiners swimming up to the surface getting chased by Small Mouth Bass, Walleye, Sauger; we didn't know. Carlo had a great idea to wind drift the boat off of the point of the lake and start to jig. About 30 minutes later on, during the second pass we started to get some bites.
Here is one of the Saugeye we caught that day. Saugeye are a walleye, sauger cross that is prevalent in the upper Bighorn Lake near the Wyoming border.