Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bighorn River Report

It may come as a surprise, but solitude can be found on the Bighorn River. The tailwater trout fishery is world famous, and rightly so, but all of the attention it receives during the summer months does tend to detract from the overall experience. Fortunately there is an off-season. November through March finds the river largely void of anglers, anglers who are missing out on the joys of cold fingers, iced rod guides, and productive fishing for large, hungry trout.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week a couple of fishing buddies and I found ourselves floating prime trout water below Yellowtail Dam. Despite the unseasonably warm weather, over the course of two days we saw only a couple of other boats. The fishing was very productive, with both nymphs and streamers taking scores of fish. The streamer bite was particularly strong, with a variety of colors and sizes taking fish from late morning through evening. 200-grain sink-tip lines were generally relied upon to pull fish from winter holding water. Nymph rigs consisting of soft hackle sow bugs and midge pupa drifted deep accounted for many fish, particularly earlier in the day before the streamer bite really picked up. Midges - and even a few baetis - were hatching, but there were very few fish consistently coming to the surface.

We were fortunate enough to share some time on the water on Tuesday with Mike Faris, a guide for Bighorn Trout Shop. To say that Mike's knowledge of the river was helpful would be a drastic understatement; I'm always amazed by how much I learn when in the presence of a veteran guide. For up to date river reports throughout the off-season (and a guide if you'd like), the folks at Bighorn Trout Shop are your best resource.

No comments:

Post a Comment