Skip to content

Mid-May 2019 Fishing Report

Date: May 21, 2019
Flows: 3500 CFS
Water Temp: 40 F

Not a lot has changed here on the ‘Horn. The flows have been stable for several weeks now. Same goes for the water temp. Will the flows and temp increase? Temp? Yes for sure. Flows? Maybe. We’ve had quite the cold snap here in the big city of Fort Smith. Rain and some snow in the hills have kept the water temperature from any significant movements. Who cares about the water temperature though? The fish do, that’s who. And that’s why you should care.

Fish are still in select areas still. Big, deep, slow. We’re still using 9 foot leaders with a 3/0 split shot. Flies of choice have been the regular springtime menu. Sow bugs, scuds, midges, and baetis nymphs. Nymph fishing has been pretty slow. The fish aren’t moving very far for bugs. Don’t get discouraged, they’re out there and they have to eat.

There has been some pretty darn good dry fly action on the cloudy days. A mix of midges and blue wing olives have the fish up and slurping. With the clear water, they can be a little tricky right now. Using sparse CDC flies and 5X will help.

Streamer fishing has been tough. The fish are sluggish and aren’t hunting the big bugs yet. Might be worth trying though. Prove us wrong.

Give the shop a call and have one of our guides show you where the fish are. 406-666-2391

Recent Fishing Reports

Keep up to date with what they're biting and when they're biting it!


Late August Fishing Report

  Tricos are here early in the morning, but we aren’t seeing many fish rising to them. Never the less, its still worth giving them a shot, but have patience. They are very picky on what they are eating so give ’em all you got. Hoppers are producing some nice healthy fish. There’s hoppers everywhere…


Early June 2019 Fishing Report

Flows are staying in a comfortable range, for both the fish and anglers. The rainbows are still spawning, though some have finished up their reproducing. PLEASE LEAVE THESE FISH ALONE. Avoid walking on the cleaned out patches of gravel and at least 15 feet below the clean patches. The eggs need time to hatch. On another…



Happy spring everyone! Here at Cottonwood the season is off to a great start, and we’re looking forward to another awesome season in the big city of Fort Smith! The river is in great shape this spring, and snowpack is just above average. This means that flows on the Bighorn for 2019 are going to…

Plan Your Trip To The 'Horn

Learn more about Cottonwood camp and the legendary Bighorn River. Plan your trip today!

fishing posts

Fly Fishing

Guided and DIY Trips

rentals posts

Boat Rentals

Rental And Shuttle Rates

lodging posts


Cabins, RV Slips, and Camping