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  1. Exclamation What makes the Bighorn Special.....

    Granted I aint the brightest to begin with, but after living on Crow and working at a great shop; I feel at least partially qualified to explain how the crazy river works;...The same which provides fly fishermen with the amazing amount and size trout per square-mile; they do year after year after year?!...

    That's it. That is 'The Dam'. Not much to look at, but a hundred folks a month will come in and ask "how and where do I go to see the dam?"

    ...And this is where we sent them, ...since thanks to a certain terrorist even in the middle of the Crow Reservation; it too is considered off-limits to Muslim mischeif?


    This is what the dam holds amazing Lake 75 miles long , 400 feet deep, and its flows and how it affects hidro-electric for the state of Montana; is currently controlled by a bunch of idiots apparently?


    Here's where it gets sort of interesting..."The After Bay"...

    Not the prettiest example of the lake that seperates the Dam from the river, but works for this story to show that this 2 mile long reservoir(approx. 50 foot deep in spots); is as near as I can tell; what sets this river apart from any other?..

    [Here's where someone 'who knows more' should step in and save me; as I'm not entirely sure I know what the heck I'm talkin about; except to show that it serves a purpose by forming one the best tailwaters in the lower-forty-eight?]

    ....This 'interupting the flows' and on most days, providing a steady level of between 3,000 and 4,000 cfs; is considered ideal for wade fishing and floats. Plus of course a healthy amount of aquatic vertibrae and insect species trout feed on year round.


    Thus begins 'the Bighorn River........'

    This is what the "After Bay Dam" looks like 95% of the time and is where most guide trips launch from just right of frame; to enjoy the upper-three-miles...considered "the BEST" on the river.


    This is what it looks like every so often, when some engineer drinks too much the night before and is why you should only call and trust 'that certain fly shop that's been there for 25 years and no one else'; to get a true understanding of what the Bighorn is doing on any given week;...else your trip to Montana might be your last (oh and 'talk to an owner', not just some nimrod like me)?

    Over the past summer 2009 however, there were days when it reached 12,000 cfs and then dropped to 4,000 overnight? Again..not good.

    But hopefully with the states' involvement and Bighorn River Alliance and other Orgs keeping track of things; this will be the end of the troubles and the fisherie will return to its legendary status. If I seem sensitive to the problems its because it directly affected my wallet and tons of guides, shops, and lodges as well; given mass cancelations etc.


    If you can time it right, by using the tried and true Ray Charles, San Juan worms, and Pink scuds/sow bugs, all will be rather easy. It is best of course to have someone rowing you along if possible, and then pulling into a stop "only they know about" that allows for some nice dry-action too? The BWO hatch is awesome as well as black caddis, and midges of course.


    Other than that, the Horn doesn't offer much else except tons of big fish an fun catching them. There's no alcohol on the REZ so you must stop in Hardin on the way, no bars in Fort Smith whatsoever, no TV's in most rooms or cell service, and no touristy shops either (dont even think of bringing a non-fishing spouse; else she drive shop guys nuts trying stuff on and jabbering endlessly);
    ..Nope,..its strictly fly-fishing at its best..on The Bighorn.


    Last edited by moe b; 02-28-2010 at 12:08 PM. Reason: More info, and better lake pic.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Upper Mojave Desert

    Default Re: What makes the Bighorn Special.....

    Enjoyed your report. Thanks Moe. Three pictures up make it easy to see why it's called big sky country.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: What makes the Bighorn Special.....

    Moe: Great looking photos and report on the Big Horn! Thanks for sharing.


  4. Default Re: What makes the Bighorn Special.....

    Nice article, never fished the Bighorn but plan on it this summer.

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