Bighorn River Update: Local News & Fishing Report

Yesterday, an area guide who will remain nameless because he’s a friend of mine (although that doesn’t prevent me from reporting the incident in the name of freedom of information even though it could have happened to anyone, but since it didn’t happen to me and nobody was hurt, I find great satisfaction in reporting it … did I mention this guy doesn’t work for me?) failed to let out enough anchor rope after he parked his boat at Bighorn Access. As he was retrieving his vehicle AND using the bathroom, his boat “drug anchor” and his two clients soon found themselves drifting downriver with nobody manning the oars. Thankfully, the two clients were rescued before they drifted into a sweeper or strainer, and despite being momentarily paralyzed with fear, all returned to the lodge unharmed. This incident illustrates the fact that you have to be careful out there. Lots of water coming down the river.

On a less-exciting note, The National Park Service has begun work on 3-Mile Access. They will be improving the parking lot and boat launch, and the project will close down the access site for the next two weeks. You will be able to utilize the site during weekends. After work at 3-Mile is completed, construction activities will move to te Afterbay parking lot and launch ramp. Work here is expected to be completed within 5 days, and you will be able to launch boats after 9 AM every day (we think).

With area feeder streams dropping rapidly, fishing on the lower river from Bighorn Access to Mallards has become productive. Water clarity is still not optimal, but the fish don’t seem to care, and they are taking San Juan Worms with gusto. Soap Creek, Rotten Grass Creek, and Bovet Creek have all dropped dramatically in the last week. This is not to say they’re not still doing some “dirty work,” but their negative effect on the river has diminished. All this helps spread out the boat traffic, and some guides are now floating 22 miles of river from Afterbay to Mallard’s Access. This float takes 35 minutes if you don’t stop for lunch … ONLY KIDDING! It takes several hours, but with the current speed it doesn’t take near as long as it used to.