Bighorn Trout Shop : Fort Smith, Montana

Tackle Bag

Bighorn River Fishing Report

Last Updated:
Current Report:
Water flows are at 2,500 cfs and the fishing is very good. Nymph fishing has been excellent on caddis pupa and sowbug patterns. Anglers are still catching fish on San Juan worms in the faster runs. The best dry fly action is in early to mid-afternoon when the black caddis are emerging. Fish can be taken on dry caddis patterns, although pupa patterns are often the most effective. We are also seeing Pale Olive Baetis (formerly Pseudocloeon). Psuedo spinners seem to be more abundant than the duns, so have some rusty olive spinners with you in size 22. A few PMDs and Yellow Sallies around, but generally not in numbers to bring the fish up.

Streamer fishing has been steady. Pounding the banks will produce, as well as fishing the deeper water with sinking lines.

Catch of the Week:
One-Week Forecast:
Excellent 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. PMDs and Yellow Sallies on lower river.
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:
56 degrees at 3-Mile.
  • Fishermen in a drift boat
  • Long view of a boat on the Bighorn River