Spring Big Horn River MT trip

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by msteudel, May 13, 2014.

  1. msteudel Mark Steudel

    Posts: 970
    Seattle.
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    So I convinced my father in law and several friends that we take a trip down to the Big Horn river in MT at the end of April. Flying into Billings we looked down in dread as every single river we saw was chocolate brown. As the organizer I started stressing about the folks that were flying in from the east coast.

    We got our van and drove down to fort smith (after loading up on alcohol at the local stores), which was a nice 2 hour drive. I had arranged for us to stay with Big Horn Angler (bighornangler.com) and had booked us in their Lodge Rooms. While these rooms were small (think dorm) they were clean and did what we were looking for. I also had them take care of all our meals for the 3 days were going to be down there. It really saved us the hassle of grocery shopping, cooking etc. Generally we had breakfast at Hals (right across the street) and ate dinner at a new restaurant (name escapes me) about 15 miles down the road. The food at both places was great. We were also provided awesome lunches for each day ...

    The first day I had thought we would go down with guides. This would give us the lay of the land and then we could run our own drift boats down the next two days. The river was up around 7500 cfs, which I guess is about 3 times it's normal flows at this time. We also experienced some seriously high winds the first day, gusting around 40 - 60 mph (max speed depended upon who was telling the story). The river was also as clear as could be, no major streams entered until much lower down, and even then it didn't really effect the river too much. First day was fantastic, everyone caught lots of fish and my arm was sore that evening.

    Most of the guys didn't have any experience rowing a drift boat so they opted to hire the guides the next two days after experiencing the first days weather. The guides: Dave, Seth, and Eric, were great. They all had their own great personalities and all put us into a lot of fish.

    Second day the sun came out, though the wind was still up gusts of 25 or so. We didn't catch as many fish that day as the first day.

    The third day the weather was perfect, sunny, 5 mph winds and the fish were stupid. My friend and I lost track of the # of fish we caught, so we started tracking the # of doubles, we had 13 doubles that day.

    Everyone ended up having a awesome time and hopefully this will become a annual event ...

    If you want to see some of the photos of the trip you can check out the gallery here:
    http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=18858

    I was playing around with iMovie and created this trailer of the trip:


    If anyone is planning a trip and has questions don't hesitate to PM me.
    Mike Ediger, surfnsully and scottybs like this.
  2. scottybs Active Member

    Posts: 449
    Bellingham, WA and IGH, MN
    Ratings: +79 / 0
    Nice! Hal's is great!
  3. luv2fly2 Active Member

    Posts: 1,578
    .othello
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    great story and a great trip and pics. it makes me want to make my first trip to eastern Montana. thanks, mike w