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Bighorn River Fishing Report Late May 2018

Date: May 29, 2018
Flows: 6000 CFS
Water Temp: 48 F

Flows have dropped to 6,000 CFS. This is to help control flows on the Yellowstone River, which is currently dealing with flooding. Despite changing water levels, fishing has been unaffected. Fish are moving into the quicker moving shelf water. Rainbows are in full spawn, please be mindful of these fish and let them do their thing. Rainbow numbers are down in recent years so please let’s do everything we can to ensure a healthy population in the future. There are plenty of other fish to catch and they are more than willing to eat your flies. We will see what happens with the flows, the fish don’t seem to be bothered by the drop.

Nymph fishing is still the main tactic being used by anglers. Sow bugs and baetis are the top bugs on the river. Fishing 9 foot leaders with at least a 3/0 split shot has been the standard rig.  Go to patterns include pink crush, carpet bugs, juju baetis, quill nymphs. The lower flows have given way to more wade spots.  The fish are now scattered throughout the river and are located in heavy riffle water.

Streamer fishing continues to be good. Though shiners have slowed down a little bit, fish are still eating small white patterns. Tandem rigs with a dark and light fly combination have been our go to.

Dry fly fishing has been mixed. In the early morning and late evenings fish have been feeding on top. Midges and blue wing hatches have been decent daily. Cloudy days with low wind are ideal for the dry fly game. Fish are feeding in soft inside seams. They’re not too smart as of yet, but soon they will be. Get after them while the going is good.

Carp fishing on the reservoir and afterbay is in full swing, eating dries and leeches. Sight fishing for carp provides a great change in scenery from the river when it gets too crowded.

Follow along with the river flows at

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