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Old 06-02-2013, 05:46 PM
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Default The 13 Mile Bighorn below Yellowtail Dam

I had a long looked for vacation, to fly fish the 13 Mile Bighorn below Yellowtail Dam starting about 18 May for a week.

I was basically, a Novice at fishing Size 16 Nymphs in a Tandem Set up, the top one for an attractor and the bottom as the "hatch".

The word was that the fish were all feeding on a little #16 Nymph called the "JuJu Baetis". There are YouTube Videos for it.

The good part, was that I got an education in this kind of fishing.
The bad part was dropping about $400.00 in the fly shop for Flies, because when I arrived, I found that I had left about 3 fly boxes at home.
Besides, I didn't have any #16 JuJu Baetis anyways.

I bought a nice new set of Breathable Waders.

All that aside though, I sure enjoyed catching a few fish, both Browns and Rainbow.

I realize now, what is probably obvious to many of you, which is that before driving the 500 Miles, I ought to have contacted the Fly Shops there and found out what to use. I might have found better prices than the $2.25 each Flies @ the Fort Smith Fly Shops.

The "Bighorn Fly Shop" (the Middle shop of the three there in Ft. Smith)... people were very nice to me. This is the store in the middle, between the other two. I cannot say what they did for me, but I got a product at a very nice savings and they really took care of me when I had a Fly Line difficulty.

There are 3 Fly Shopes at Fort Smith, all in a row in one giant gravel parking lot. I have something to say about all three.

The first one is right after you turn into the parking lot.next to the Convenience Store.
Now this one is the only "Full Service" shop, and by that, I mean it generally has
FLY TYING SUPPLIES. That is good to know.

The "Bighorn Fly Shop" (the middle one) has really fine gentlemen and they will really take care of you and do a little extra for you if you need help with a gear issue.

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Then there's the Third Fly Shop. It is the furthest one in at the back of the parking area.
Out of kindness, I'll just say they were rather like the "K-Mart of Fly Shops".
I won't bother returning to them.


There is a Café in town in Fort Smith, if you need a meal; but the ownership has changed.
Many of the guys from our club insisted on eating our first evening meal there.
For about $14.00 and change, I had some kind of "Blackened Chicken on top of Macaroni and Cheese".

Everyone else ordered some other half a chicken breast and said that it was not quite worth the price they paid.

About 5 days later I had an Omelet and Hash Browns there. It was "fair".

I think the best thing is to just get a Hamburger or something.


Otherwise, my group stayed in the nice accomodations at "Cottonwood Camp" just about a mile north of Fort Smith and the Fly Shops. Now that place I can really recommend for accomodations.

We had a nice Mobile Home Trailer with a shower in our room (five of us and seven guys would have had enough room).

We had a Kitchen with Stove, Coffee Pot, Microwave, Running Water, Refrig w/ Freezer, TV w/cable, but I think we only turned it on once or twice. There's a huge BBQ Grill outside that turns on gas like, "instantly" for steaks etc.

At Cottonwood Camp we had WiFi, and many of us used laptops to message home etc.
Also, Cottonwood Camp has a cozy "Office/Fly Shop" where they sell basic flies, streamers, etc. Not a lot, but enough to take care of some basic needs for the fly box. I think my entire cost for 6 days and 7 nights of stay was about $250.00 because our 7 man trailer was divided up 5 ways. The actual rental cost was about $130/night.

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I felt as though I were living like a king. the Clubmember who brought the Groceries for the once a day common dinner had food that was scrumptious. We all pitched in to cook and do dishes.

I learned so much about Fly Fishing that my head is still spinning from what these guys taught me.

I used to think I knew quite enough, but they showed how humble my knowledge was. I learned though.
And my suspicions were all confirmed. I'm dumber'n I thought I was.

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Last edited by brucerducer; 06-02-2013 at 06:11 PM.
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