Fishing Report 3/18/18
Flow: 5,500 CFS
Water Temp: 35
It is a spring time here in Fort Smith and we are officially open for the 2018 campaign. As expected with a Montana spring, we have had both beautiful sunny days, as well as some more-like-winter days. Regardless, any time is a great time to be on the ‘Horn.
The last week has produced solid fishing. Midges have been out in full force. Fish are willing to hunt down a streamer. Nymphing has stayed very consistent. Needless to say, it’s a great time to wet a line on the Bighorn.
As far as throwing dries, the bugs of choice are as follows; Griffith’s knats, Smokejumpers, CDC Midges, and The Student. We are still fishing these bugs fairly small, #18-22. The streamer bite has been solid on a slow retrieve. Cloud cover definitely helps the cause. Our favorites have been dark colored Sparkle Minnows, Mini-Dungeons, and Ice Picks. Nymphing has been the most consistent way to pick up fish. Midge patterns, soft hackle Ray Charles(grey or pink), and Eddie Vedder Rays have all fished well. Try a 7 foot leader with a 3/0 split shot a foot or so above the bugs.
It looks as though flows will be going up to around 6,000 cfs in the coming days. 6,000 cfs is still wader friendly with caution. This flow allows the side channels to be full as well, which is very beneficial for fishing. To follow along with the current conditions and operating plans, refer the Alliance’s website https://bighornriveralliance.org/current-river-flows/ .
The spring is coming into shape, flow predictions look fair, and fish are willing to play. It is looking like it is going to be a great year on the Bighorn. Be sure to swing in to the fly shop and check out our updated fly selection, as well as updated gear and clothing. We look forward to seeing you at Cottonwood for the 2018 season!