Date: April 24, 2019
Flows: 3300 CFS
Water Temp: 37 F

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 be low, clear, and fishable. This is a great change from the last two years of high water. Dust off the waders, break out those flies and hit the river!

The water temperatures are pretty cold, and the fish are a little sluggish. As May approaches, look for the fish to become more active. Nymphing is the best option right now as fish are hugging the bottom of the river in the deep slow runs. They’re feeding on sow bugs, scuds, midges, and baetis nymphs. Running a Firebead Sow Bug and a small black midge has been the most consistent rig. It’s not necessarily the fly selection that matters currently, but instead fishing selected locations. Like I mentioned, slow and deep.

On cloudy days fish can be taken on midge dry flies. There are a few baetis dries around, but the fish aren’t keyed in on them yet. Streamer fishing also is relatively slow, as water temperature gets warmer, streamer fishing should heat up.

We here at Cottonwood are excited to welcome back return guests and look forward to meeting new friends. Call the shop for up to date reports on the river or to book your reservation for 2019!

Recent Fishing Reports

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


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…


Mid-May 2019 Fishing Report

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…


Late August Fishing Report

Pretty darn good out there. Rainy and cold today. The trico hatch should be better later on this week with warmer temperatures forecasted. The cooler mornings have delayed the hatch for a while. There are still bugs, just not a ton of fish up. They’ll be back later this week, I promise. Nymph fishing has…

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