Bighorn Trout Shop : Fort Smith, Montana

Tackle Bag

Bighorn River Fishing Report

Last Updated:
Current Report:
Water flows are at 2,500 cfs. Nymph fishing has been fair to good on caddis pupa and sowbug patterns. Fishing has slowed lately due to the growth of aquatic grass. A number of fishing spots have been choked off by the grass and anglers need to concentrate on the faster water. Fish a conventional nymph rig but reduce the distance between your strike indicator and flies (5' to 6'). Or use a dry/dropper rig with a cicada or hopper pattern up, and a 30' dropper with a caddis pupa below. Black caddis are still hatching, along with Pale Olive Baetis (Pseudocloeon). Fish can be taken on caddis pupa patterns throughout the day. The best dry fly fishing has been in the afternoon or evening. Both Baetis duns and spinners can be on the water, so look closely. Guides have been fishing a caddis up, Baetis down setup in the afternoon.

Streamer fishing has been steady.

Catch of the Week:
One-Week Forecast:
Fair nymph fishing. Good dry fly fishing in selected areas, especially in mid-afternoon and evening.
Two-Week Forecast:
Same. More black caddis. A few tricos in the morning.
Hatch Info:
Black caddis. Pale Olive Baetis.
Hot Fly Patterns:
Nymphs:#16,#18 Olive Flash-Back Pheasant Tail; #16 Bead Head Olive Flash-Back Pheasant Tail; #14,#16, #18 Grey Ray Charles, #8 Atomic Worm; ; #16,#18 Soft Hackle Sowbug, #8 S.J. Worm (Burgundy, red); #6 Atomic Worm (floss); #16 Pink Soft Hackle;
Dry Flies

#18 CDC Black Caddis (in various styles, with or without green egg sack); #18 Black Elk Hair Caddis; #18 Hemingway Caddis; #18,#20 Black Poly Caddis; #20 Caddis Pupil (Frank Johnson pattern); #22 Rusty Spinner; #20, #22 Student (pale olive); #16 Downey Dun PMD; #16 Lt. Orange Para PMD
#6 Thin Mint Wooley Bugger (Hale's favorite); #4,6 Bighorn Wooley Bugger (brown & yellow); #4 Brown Wooley Bugger; #4 Olive Zonker (silver body/grey rabbit)

River Flows:
2,500 cfs.
Water Temperature:
62 degrees at 3-Mile.
  • Fishermen in a drift boat
  • Long view of a boat on the Bighorn River