A Fisherman’s River (video included)
Some of you may know that during high-water years, Bighorn River water temperatures rise more quickly than during lower-water years. The layer of very cold water on the bottom of the lake is flushed through the system earlier in the year. As water temperatures climb, the insect hatch schedule is moved forward—we may have black caddis in late-July and August, rather than September. Higher water temps also bring less-than-ideal conditions in early fall. Aquatic grass grows more rapidly and the nymph fishing becomes more difficult. Algae blooms on the lake and suspended sediment affect water clarity. This is what we are experiencing right now.
The good news is that we are still enjoying outstanding hopper fishing; plus, the trico hatch is coming on strong. And this is why I refer to the Bighorn as a “fisherman’s river” right now. You need to have some angling skills to take full advantage of the opportunities the river offers. If you can cast that hopper pattern three inches from the bank, rather than three feet, it will make a big difference. And if you can consistently get a drag-free drift with your trico over that rising trout, your success rate will rise dramatically. September should be a good month, but you have to be able to get it done.
In the video below, the Kienstra party is getting the job done on tricos. Once again, Dave Palmer is guiding and wearing the GoPro video camera. Fish on!