Bighorn River, MT

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by run26miles, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. run26miles

    run26miles Member

    Dec 13, 2007
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    Spokane, WA
    My buddy and I made the long drive from Spokane to the Bighorn just before Memorial day weekend. It was a long drive (9 1/2 hours) and I really wondered if it would be worth it. Man, was it worth it. We hooked up with a guide, Wayne Egbert, recommended by Sean at Silver Bow, to dial us in on our first day. On the river about 11, we floated the upper 3 mile beat twice. First cast I had a nice bow on, and before I could get him in my friend had one on also. I don't think 10 minutes had passed before I had landed a rainbow, a brown and a white fish. No more thinking it might not be worth the drive. Now, I will admit that it slowed down considerably from there, but the fishing was still outstanding. We were fishing with a double nymph setup below a thingamabobber. It was cold and rainy, in fact the local news said that over the three days we fished they had a "10-year rain event". It didn't seem to deter anyone, as the river was like a freeway with drift boats. Day 2 we floated a 13 mile stretch, starting at the dam, this time without a guide. We tried some streamers in a couple of the deeper holes with good success. However, it was very tough to figure out the dries. There was an incredible number of baetis on the water, and it seemed like a sheer matter of chance if the fish happened to pick ours. We tried lots of patterns, but only picked up a few and went back to the nymph setup. The fish we caught were about 2/3 rainbows, 1/3 browns, most between 14 and 18 inches. The bows were thick-bodied, the browns seemed skinny by comparison, but still beautiful fish. Day 3 we did the top 3 mile section again, but a lot more slowly, stopping to do more wade fishing. We finally endured one deluge too many and bailed. It was the Friday before Memorial day and getting very crowded. In fact, I thought we were going to see a fist fight break out between the guys in two boats! Crazy!

    I have to say what a great fishery this is. To endure this much pressure and still be that good was remarkable to me. I hope that some of you find this post useful, as I have certainly benefited from many of your postings on this site. Now we'll see if I can figure out how to post some pictures.