The recent low river flows provided some of the best dry fly fishing of the season on the upper 3 miles. We’re starting to see flows being ramped back up, and as this occurs, we’ll see a return to the heavy-water nymph fishing program. That’s not to say we won’t continue to have dry fly fishing available, but it will be limited compared to what we’re experiencing right now. Nymph fishing has been good.
Highway 313 from Hardin into Fort Smith was closed due to flooding on Rotten Grass Creek. The creek was overflowing the bridge near St. Xavier, and there has been damage to a section of highway near the bridge. Road crews restored one-lane traffic on Tuesday. Also, due to damage done to fiber optics cables, telephone and Internet service was out throughout the Bighorn Valley. Some of this has been restored.
Lodge Grass and Crow Agency have been the epicenter of the flood. The Wolf Mountains east of Lodge Grass received over 8 inches of rain. Interstate 90 has been closed in that area, but should reopen soon. Customers driving in from the south need to exit at Ranchester, Wyoming and take the old highway into Lodge Grass. From Lodge Grass you can drive up the valley and then take the Good Luck Road (really, that’s what it’s called), which connects to Highway 313 south of St. Xavier. You can then drive on into Fort Smith.
There has been a fair amount of misinformation circulating through the rumor mill, and even in the media. Highway 313 was closed for one day as the road was repaired near Rotten Grass Creek. The Bighorn River below Two Leggins Access was recently closed. This section of river is not important to trout fisherman, but the rumor is that “the Bighorn is closed.” There are other false reports about bridges being out and people being stranded. Certainly, the flooding in Montana is a real concern, but the accuracy of some of the reports in our area is a concern.
The bottom line is that you can get to Fort Smith, and the upper river is fishing well. Lime Kiln Creek is putting some muddy water into the river at Afterbay, but the river is fishable and productive for 7 or 8 miles downstream. Fish are being taken on dries, nymphs and streamers. All this could change with another storm, so feel free to call us for updated information.
Tel: (406) 666-2375