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.

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 !!

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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.

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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!!

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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Sunday, 29 November 2015 03:30

Fishing On the Bighorn River in the Fall

Okay you are going to love this one. So we have a wonderful client, Howard Hargrove, who has been coming to the Bighorn River Lodge for around 20 years every fall to fish regardless of the weather. He is after big browns ready for the spawn. So this year he brought his son Grant who had never been to the Bighorn. Having just graduated from college this was a present from his father. So here is the deal. Last week, his first trip on the first day, and this was the first fish of the day. 

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A monster 26” brown. Not bad for a rookie. I told him he might as well pack his bag and go home now cause it’s not gonna get any better than that. You can imagine the heat he had to take over the next three days. Congratulations Grant!

As a reminder the fall fly fishing can be spectacular. I went out last week when the high was 50 and believe it or not there was a BWO hatch. Spotty on the dry flies but we had a great day nymphing with a #18 grey RS2. Just a beautiful day and virtually no one on the river. Keep October and November on your list of OFF SEASON RATE possibilities. We are talking big healthy fish. See you on the river!!!

Saturday, 22 August 2015 19:00

Fall Fishing On The Bighorn

September, October and November offer some of the best fly fishing of the year here on the Bighorn River. The waters cool down, the Fall colors are spectacular and the summer crowds have gone.

September

September dry fly fishing can be sensational once the Baetis and Trico hatches return during this month.  Cooler weather and some Fall cloud cover create the perfect conditions for these hatches.  If the Spring Baetis hatch and the recent Trico hatches are any indications, the Fall hatches should be prolific.15 Fly Fishing trout

October

October ushers in the beginning of streamer fishing especially for the aggressive big Brown trout. Both the rainbows and browns are getting ready for Winter and the bite can be really, really good.
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November

November means the Brown trout will be spawning and with the cooler weather the aggressive behavior of both the Rainbows and Browns makes for some electric fly fishing experiences whether you are nymphing or stalking feeding fish on dries.
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Favorite Time of Year

This is my favorite time of the year here at the lodge as the Fall colors, cooler weather, and aggressive fish produce some of the best fishing to be had on the Bighorn River.  If you haven’t fished here during these months I urge you to do so. Especially since our OFF SEASON RATES BEGIN IN OCTOBER. So get out your calendar, call Cheryl in the office at 406-666-2368, and come experience fall at the Bighorn River Lodge and the superb Fall fishing on the Bighorn River.

Monday, 17 August 2015 19:00

Winter Schedule and Reminders

Fishing on the Bighorn remains good. We have had some great trico hatches and the caddis are not far behind. As we head into fall we are looking forward to some great streamer fishing as well. With the season entering its final months we would like to pass along some information. 
Please note the following:

  • Last October produced some of the best fishing of the year so check our OFF SEASON RATES which begin October 1st.

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  • The facilities at the lodge will be closed as of Dec. 8th and reopen on April 1st of 2016.
  • The office however will remain open throughout the winter in order to accept reservations for the coming season and to answer any questions you may have.
  • With that in mind we urge everyone returning next year or anyone who is considering coming for the first time to BOOK EARLY!
  • This ensures that you will secure the dates that you want and that we can book our superb guides as soon as possible. If you have a request for a certain guide this is the best way to make sure we can grant your request.

As a point of information all guides are independent contractors and they take the first booking requests they get from wherever that inquiry comes from.  So again by booking early we are able to get our requests into them as early as possible which helps us book the best guides possible.

It has been a great year so far and next year should be just as good so get your plans started and remember to BOOK EARLY!

Contact us by calling the office at 406-666-2368 or emailing us.

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