Bighorn Trout Shop : Fort Smith, Montana

Tackle Bag

Bighorn River Fishing Report

Last Updated:
Current Report:
Water flows are at 3,000 cfs. Nymph fishing has been fair to good on sowbugs, San Juan Worms, and caddis pupa. Anglers need to concentrate on the faster water because of the growth of aquatic grass. 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 nymph below. Still a few fish eating hoppers. Black caddis hatch is basically over, but a few bugs around in the evening. A few Trico spinners in the morning hours and some Pale Olive Baetis in the afternoon. Fish can be taken on Tung Teaser or caddis pupa patterns throughout the day. They're probably eating the Tung Teaser as a drowned trico spinner.

Streamer fishing has been steady but you'll need to know how to slap grass.

Catch of the Week:
One-Week Forecast:
Fair nymph fishing. Some dry fly fishing on Tricos and Pale Olive Baetis.
Two-Week Forecast:
Hatch Info:
Pale Olive Baetis. Tricos. A few Mahogany spinners.
Hot Fly Patterns:
Nymphs:#18 Tung Teaser; #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

#22 Student (Pale Olive);#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; #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:
3,000 cfs.
Water Temperature:
62 degrees at 3-Mile.
  • Fishermen in a drift boat
  • Long view of a boat on the Bighorn River