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Rocky Mountain Range Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Post fishing reports, ask for information, discuss this area...

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Old 10-24-2012, 07:55 PM
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Default Bighorn River Report

I took my wife up to Fort Smith last week for her first trip to the Bighorn. She got tired of me coming home with stories of 7500 fish per mile and 16-inch average fish.

When I go with my buddies, we generally stay in the Cottonwood Camp which is pretty rustic but very clean and inexpensive. I love it there. With my wife, we stayed at the Bighorn Trout Shop - Man! Do they have a great setup. I half-heartedly call it a "poor man's lodge" because it doesn't have all the fancy amenities that some places do, but I have to say that for the price, it was very comfortable and great for my wife. The rooms were huge and the meals were absolutely fabulous, truly four-star eats. Their fly shop is also gorgeous and meticulously cared for.

We hired a guide and drifted the first day and then waded around 3-mile the second day. The winds were anywhere between 10-40 mph. A real challenge no matter how experienced of a fisherman you are. The water levels are very low - about 1800 cfs - which made finding fishable water difficult when wading.

However, the river was absolutely on fire! We landed well over 75 fish and had numerous hookups that didn't want to cooperate (probably 100 opportunities overall in two days). The fish were on caddis and pink sowbugs mostly. I had a few eats on skinny-body mayfly nymphs. Took a handful off the top with tricos and caddis, mostly in the morning before 10 am.

Get into a riffle/run section, find the shelf and work it hard starting in very close and quartering out about 30 feet. Start at the head of the run in the very fast water and work backward (I know that sounds counterintuitive). Each run will provide about 100-300 feet of fishing space. If you are drifting - just throw your line in and hold on . The fish are stacked up due to the low flows. If you hook or catch a fish, keep fishing in that same spot because there will be others.

If you are wading around 3 mile, wade out to the main channel on the far side of the farthest island. The water will look like a big slick, but it has plenty of depth and plenty of pace. Get long drifts and work near to far.

Here are a few pictures. Enjoy.

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Gary
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Bighorn River Report

Looks like a great couple days fishing. I've never fished in Montana, but hope to in the coming year or two. Thanks for posting the great pictures.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Bighorn River Report

Gary: Looks like you guys had a fantastic trip, congrats! The Bighorn is one fish factory that everyone needs to experience.

Larry
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Bighorn River Report

I enjoyed the 3rd pic immensely. A very tasteful image...
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Bighorn River Report

Looks like a great time for you and your wife.Been a long time since i fished the Bighorn.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: Bighorn River Report

Hope to fish there some daygreat report... thanks for sharing Gary
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Bighorn River Report

beauty, eh
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Bighorn River Report

Hi Gary.
Thanks for the report,it's always great to hear of great places to visit.
I"m not "Stirring" or "Rubbing The Salt In",however it's always the same The Girls seem to catch The Biggest Fish.
Brian.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Bighorn River Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liphookedau View Post
Hi Gary.
Thanks for the report,it's always great to hear of great places to visit.
I"m not "Stirring" or "Rubbing The Salt In",however it's always the same The Girls seem to catch The Biggest Fish.
Brian.
You know it. She pretends to not know what she's doing when it's convenient, but she outfishes most of my friends. Truth is, it's great to share these experiences with her and I am happy to be her net caddy and to take pictures of her in beautiful places.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Bighorn River Report

Congratulations, you had really a great trip
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