The North American Fly Fishing Forum

The North American Fly Fishing Forum (http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/)
-   Rocky Mountain Range (http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/rocky-mountain-range/)
-   -   Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ? (http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/rocky-mountain-range/12856-1st-july-too-early-dry-flies-bighorn.html)

kingfish87 03-03-2010 11:26 AM

Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ?
 
Greetings to all: I'm a newbie here, but overall an advanced beginner at flyfishing. (after 30 years I've given myself a field promotion to Advanced Beginner, because compared to my fishing buddies, I'm an Expert !) It Looks like the family's planned summer trip to my wife's old stomping grounds of Billings, could maybe include a few extra days for fishing. I am looking for dry-fly fishing opportunities. Is it reasonable or not to expect to find good dry-fly fishing that early on the Bighorn ? ( I'll hire a guide and do the float trip / get out a wade thing, for sure.)

webrx 03-04-2010 08:35 AM

Re: Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ?
 
If the fish are rising, it is not too early for a dry, and sometimes, even when they are not, you can still entice them with a stimulator or adams.

d

bighorn flies 03-04-2010 11:48 AM

Re: Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ?
 
Be sure to bring some BWO's sizes 20 to 24 maybe some PMD's or Tan Caddis if you're lucky. The earlier season BWO's are in full swing right now which makes it promising for July. Not much of a PMD hatch the last few years but I'm hoping they come back this year.

kingfish87 03-04-2010 05:21 PM

Re: Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ?
 
Thanks for your thoughts guys! So, I gather that 1st of July is too early for the little yellow stoneflies...When does that hatch usually get going...or is there no such thing as usually with that hatch.

bighorn flies 03-04-2010 06:43 PM

Re: Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by slimfast (Post 84435)
Thanks for your thoughts guys! So, I gather that 1st of July is too early for the little yellow stoneflies...When does that hatch usually get going...or is there no such thing as usually with that hatch.

It starts around Mid-June.

Biggie 03-05-2010 08:41 AM

Re: Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ?
 
The Bighorn has evolved over the years and the hatches that were once so prevalent in the summer have gone by the wayside a bit. The river used to have magnificent hatches of PMD's, Yellow Sallies, Tan Caddis, Trico's and Black Caddis. In the past ten years the Yellow Sallies, PMD's , Tan Caddis and Trico's have been very marginal with some years seeing almost no hatches of the aforementioned bugs. The real dry fly season on the Bighorn has really been March through May with midges and BWO's dominating the hatch activity. The summer months have seen some good grasshopper fishing with an occasional aquatic insect hatch for a few fortunate to be there when they do hatch. Then in the fall the Black caddis along with more BWO's will bring fish back to the surface.

With this being said this season may see a bit of a rebound with the insect hatches that have all but disappeared. Last year the river got the cleaning it needed with high flows for an extended period of time which cleaned and scoured the river bottom. Hopefully with more gravel and less mud the river's summer time hatches will rebound a bit and provide the great fishing to pods of rising fish that used to be a common occurrence during the summer on the Bighorn. Only time will tell and I for one am keeping my fingers crossed that the flush did it's job.

Good luck on your trip and if you want to fish some dries in July give the Stillwater a try, not as large of fish as the Bighorn but it is a really nice Freestone stream.

kingfish87 03-05-2010 11:43 AM

Re: Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ?
 
Thanks for your continued thoughts, guys and a special thanks to Biggie for giving me the recent history of the dry fly hatches on this river. So, maybe the flushing from last year will work and the insects will make a come back ! That would be great, no doubt as it sounds like the Bighorn was once a dry fly fishing paradise :thumbup:. We'll be staying with some close friends of my wife's while up in Billings and the gentleman of the household has already told be he'd love to get away for a day trip to the Stillwater. So, I will have a chance to lose some flies on that river also :rolleyes:

moe b 03-05-2010 05:44 PM

Re: Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ?
 
I can read you've gotten great feedback already and will only 'second' a couple things said; such as the lack of PMD's and Tricos?

Apparently these were 'legendary hatches' on the Bighorn in the 90's and every once in a while the phone would ring and some guy who hadn't visited in forever would ask about "the trikes or PMD's" and I'd be caught off guard not knowing what they were talkin about; since over two seasons I hadn't written it on the board?

Tricos yeah, we still saw a little of this the past two seasons, but not enough to tout it like years past. Same for PMD's, we in fact did get an amazing PMD hatch in 2009, but wierdly it only lasted a few days...and weirder than that it didn't take place on the river as much as on the road to-and-from Hardin?

What I mean is it happened in the lower-river (Bighorn to Mallards) far beyond where most guys fish and one evening it was so intense; clouds of millions swarmed onto the roadway and you litterally had to drive with your windsheildwipers on and spraying water in order to see at night (a four mile stretch)?:eek:

I was told, and I cant confirm if this is true, that "the insects will confuse the reflection of the road for the river" and this is why once they were blown off the Bighorn and into the road they stayed and swarmed as they did that night:confused:?

Two days later, with barely a fisherman reporting catching anything on one; they vanished. Except for the gazzilion still stuck to the front of most every guides' truck in town.

Will they return this year...?
...................

One other thing to factor-in is by July 1st the flows on the Bighorn, as mentioned in another thread I posted, may be around 12,000 cfs and there aint no dry fly fishing then; its all "chuck-and-duck", with lead sinkers and san juan worms and two floats a day from A to B, then another form A to 3, since the rivers moving so fast and nowhere to get out safely?

If you want, drop me a PM when you get closer to visiting and I can direct you to some great guides and a shop 'with accurate and trusted info on current conditions'; the guys who'll tell ya to 'come to the Horn only if its good', or pick somewhere else instead.


Moe;)

kingfish87 03-08-2010 11:45 AM

Re: Is 1st of July too early for dry flies on the Bighorn ?
 
Thanks Moe !!! I will definitely be in touch as we finalize our plans in early June. this has ALL be very helpful information. Thanks, Gys


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
2005-2014 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.