What Are Your Favorite Big Horn Flies?

Alan Green

Spiritual and Legal Counsel to the Fishes
T'is the time of year for me to tie up a few hundred tailwater specials. I was hoping that some of you might chime in with your favorite and most productive flies from the Big Horn river, say for a late March trip...Any instructions would be appreciated:thumb:

Don Davis

Formerly FlyCatcherman, formerly Don_The_Fly
San Juan Worm is one of the standards with a copper John dropper behind. I like fishing the Big Horn with a streamer. last time I was there I fished an epoxy minnow and caught some very large browns. The river can drive you nuts as you see hundreds of fish slurping the surface on little teeny tiny midges. If you have the ability tie up dome #22 griffiths gnats as well. If it were me going I would probably just fish the streamers and have a blast doing it.


Active Member
On the Bighorn (or any tailwater) I keep my nymphs and dries very small and my streamers articulated and big. The time of year you're talking about it'll be midges and BWOs. Some people will undoubtedly mention scuds (Ray Charles) but I find the midge patterns more productive.

These are the flies I use.

Simple midge pattern size 18-22 in white, gray, black, red or brown. I tie a simple one with a goose biot body, a hint of flash and a very small black dubbed head, but this example is good http://www.fisheyesoup.com/article_details/240.html

A palomino midge makes a nice dry pattern if you have young eyes. http://www.westfly.com/fly-pattern-recipe/wet/palominomidge.shtml

BWO nymph: micro may (18 -22) I fish this fly everywhere. http://www.americanflyfishing.com/retail/common/tieit/pattern.asp?id=67&store_id=212

BWO dry: I love the DOA dun (I apologize for the uneven dubbing in this #18 swap fly, can't believe I let that one go)

And finally, I love streamers on the Bighorn. The bigger the better. Here are three Bighorn pics (Mike's Pecs, Peanut Envy and T&A rainbow).


Active Member
I have heard some people at the shop talk about the "Ray Charles" does any one have the recipe?
It's just ostrich herl wrapped on a hook with pearl tinsel pulled over the top. Easiest fly in the world to tie, and as they say "works so well even Ray Charles could catch a fish with it" ( The link claims it's "even a blind fish could see it", perhaps that's more politically correct.) Either way, probably the most popular Bighorn fly.