Bighorn Trout Shop : Fort Smith, Montana

Tackle Bag

Bighorn River Fishing Report

Last Updated:
Current Report:
Water flows at 6,500 cfs. The Bureau of Reclamation is making room in the lake for significant snow melt. The higher flows have pushed fish toward the banks, so focus your efforts there. Look for softer water out of the main current. Also, side channels are fishing very well. Avoid the faster water because of cold water temperatures.

River is in good shape above Soap Creek, but recent snow melt is causing clarity issues downriver. Nymph fishing is very good, but you have to find the right spots. Fish are looking for sowbugs with the increased flows. Red midge larva, midge pupa of various colors, and Baetis nymphs are also effective. Dry fly fishing is getting better every day as Baetis and midges increase in number. Already some very good dry fly reports, especially on the 3-Mile to Bighorn stretch. Streamer fishing has been steady.

Catch of the Week:
One-Week Forecast:
Good nymph fishing on sowbugs, midge pupa, and Baetis nymphs. Baetis and Midges increasing in number.
Two-Week Forecast:
Hatch Info:
Baetis and midges.
Hot Fly Patterns:
Nymphs:#14,#16, #18 Grey Ray Charles, #16,#18 Soft Hackle Sowbug, #8 S.J. Worm (Burgundy, red); #16 Pink Soft Hackle; #19 Red Midge Larva; #16, #18 Zebra Midge; #18 Cream Midge Larva
Dry Flies

#18, #20 CDC Baetis Sparkle Dun; #20 Student; #18, #20 Black Posted Sipper Midge; #20 Crippled Thor; #20 Griffith's Gnat; #22 Trailing Shuck Midge.
#6 Thin Mint Wooley Bugger; #4,6 Bighorn Wooley Bugger (brown & yellow); #4 Brown Wooley Bugger; #4 Olive Zonker (silver body/grey rabbit)

River Flows:
6,500 cfs.
Water Temperature:
39 degrees at 3-Mile.
  • Fishermen in a drift boat
  • Long view of a boat on the Bighorn River