Re: late april bighorn patterns
Fyshstykr gave you good advice on the bugs that will be hatching. Midges are usally the dominate nymph pattern during that time of year and I would bring along a selection of different colors all in # 18 or # 20. My personal favorites are zebra midges in Black with a silver rib, red with a gold rib and yellow with a silver rib. The fish will get keyed in on one color over another in some holes and changing colors can often be the difference between a few fish and alot of fish. The black is probably the top producer the majority of the time but you should have the other colors just in case. You will also want to have a few pupae patterns for the afternoon. The fish will start to key in on the pupae stage once the hatch gets going strong. I have two pupae patterns that I use reguarly. One is called a Big Ugly, which you can look up on the Montana Fly Company website and the other is tied on a # 18 scud hook with a strand of small black wire and a strand of small cream wire wrapped up the body, a peacock herl head with a small nickle bead head on it. It is basically just a plump tied zebra midge but it works great in the afternoon. For midge adults you will want both clusters and single midge patterns.
Other patterns I would definetly keep with you are Grey Ray Charles # 16-18, Soft Hackle Sow Bugs # 16-18, Dirty Orange Scud # 16, Red San Juan Worm #10, Orange San Juan # 10, Brown San Juan # 10, Skinny Nelson # 18 and any other small black beadless mayfly nymph patterns you may use on other waters. If you need any help finding any of these patterns let me know and I can send you some recipes or where to order them from. Good luck on the Bighorn and maybe we'll see you on the river.