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Old 01-01-2009, 04:05 PM
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Question late april bighorn patterns

Planning a trip to the Bighorn in late April. Anyone got any suggestions as to what patterns/sizes would work best there at that time of year? Dries or nymphs.
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: late april bighorn patterns

The Horn has very heavy Midge hatches so plan for that, also the Baetis should be going along well.
As far as nymphs, usually the standard fare there includes the ol'Bighorn orange scud, and the always popular San Juan Worm in red.

Honestly I think any of your standard nymphs will work there but you may need to go with smaller sizes starting around #18's and smaller.

It's been several years since fishing there, so take it for what it's worth.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: late april bighorn patterns

Many thanks for the advice; should help limit the number of fly boxes I take(usually take too many on trips to new locations and don't use most!)
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: late april bighorn patterns

Humpy,
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.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: late april bighorn patterns

Biggie,

Thanks for all the tips. I'll follow up with Montana Flies, and have a go at tying some of the patterns you suggest. I don't have pattern specs(recipes) for Grey Ray Charles , Soft Hackle Sow Bugs , or Skinny Nelson, so if you have these or links to these it would help. Will do a post when I get back from the trip and let you know what worked!Thanks again.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: late april bighorn patterns

Humpy,
Charlie Craven has the soft hackle sow bug, skinny nelson and the Ray Charles recipes as well as tutorials on his website Charlie's FlyBox - Metro Denver, Colorado's Best Fly Fishing Retailer (flyshop) with online Fly Tying Tutorials

If you are not familiar with his website just click on the box at the right of the screen that say FLYBOX. This will take you to the main page for the fly patterns he has on his site. From this page you can either scroll down the patterns or click on the small box at the top of the page which has a pull down menu where you can find the patterns on the site. Once you have the pattern you want you need to click on the find pattern box to pull up the tutorial.

Montana Fly just has photos of the Big Ugly fly so I will give you the recipe below.

Thread: Black 70 denier UTC or 8/0 Uni Thread
Hook: any 2x or 3x Long nymph hook works well, I prefer a light wire hook versus a heavy wire hook because you will get more segmentation from the tubing you pull over the hook.

Body: Red or Blood Red Standard tubing that you get from Hareline. You can also use round Larvae lace but it is a bit larger in diameter and more opaque in color. Cut a small piece, about the length of hook shank and trim one end on an angle. Depending on the hook manufacturer you will either need to slide this small piece over the eye of the hook (Tiemco or diaichii hooks) or over the hook point (Mustad Hooks). If you slide it over the eye of the hook you can attach the thread at the rear of the hook prior to sliding the tubing onto the hook shank, if you have to slide it over the hook point you will have to attach the thread after you slide the tubing on.

Gills: Oyster White Poly Yarn.

Head: Black Midge Tubing from Hareline. Tied in fiqure eight around the poly yarn wings.

This fly is great in the afternoons when the fish really start to key in on the pupal stage of the midge hatches. If fish both dead drifted under and indicator or as a dropper off the back of dry.

Ah heck I decided to go into my photo bucket account and put the fly up here so you don't have to go to the Montana Fly website and look for it.

Big Ugly Profile
Click the image to open in full size.

Big Ugly Multiple flies.
Click the image to open in full size.
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