Bighorn River Fly Fishing: A Guide to The Best Fishing Experience

bighorn river fly fishing

Bighorn River Fly Fishing, undoubtedly, is one of Montana’s most popular attractions. The river’s smooth and gentle flow, as well as its abundance of fish, provide an excellent opportunity for fly fishermen of all levels. The river offers a once-in a lifetime experience for tourists and locals. Its scenic views and diverse eco-system make it a great destination. This article will provide you with a deeper look at Bighorn River Fly Fishing in order to help you have the best experience fishing in this area.

Bighorn River

The Bighorn River runs through southern Montana and stretches 120 miles between Yellowtail Dam, Fort Smith, and Bighorn Lake, Montana. The river flows through Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, which is home to diverse flora. The river is known as a cold and crystal clear water source that supports a variety of fish species including rainbow trouts, brown trouts, cutthroats, and smallmouth basses.

Why Fly Fishing on Bighorn River?

It’s easy to see why the Bighorn River is known for its world-class fishing. The river’s cold, crystal-clear water is an ideal habitat for many fish species. It’s an anglers paradise. Bighorn River is extremely productive all year round because of the annual hatches that occur. These include blue-winged Olives, caddisflies and mayflies. The river is suitable for all levels of anglers. It can accommodate beginners as well as expert anglers.

Best time to fish in Bighorn River

You can fish Bighorn River year-round due to its favorable climate and abundance of fish. The best time to fish can vary from season to season.

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  • Spring — Spring is a great time to fish the Bighorn River. During this time, the river’s levels are usually high and the fish are more active. During spring, pale morning duns and blue-winged Olives are among the best hatches.
  • Summer– Fly fishing in Bighorn River is just as good during the summer as it is during spring. The river is at its lowest level of the year, with warm, dry weather. Floating and wading are the most popular ways to fish during summer. Summer is the time to look out for caddisflies and pale morning duns.
  • Fall– The fall is a great time to fish the Bighorn River. This is especially true for those anglers that prefer fishing away from crowds. The water temperature drops to a comfortable level and the fish become more active. The fall is the best time to fish with streamers and nymphs. Midges, blue-winged Olives, and Tricos are some of the best hatches.
  • Winter You can still fish Bighorn River in winter. You will need to wear warm clothing as temperatures can be very cold. Winter fishing is best done with nymphs. Winter is the time for midges, blue-winged Olives, and Baetis.

Fly Fishing Equipment Required

Fly fishing equipment is dependent on the conditions of the river and the species of fish you are pursuing. Here are some essential equipment for fly-fishing in Bighorn River.

  • Fly Rods : 3-5 weight rods work well for fishing the Bighorn River.
  • Fly Reels : These should match the weight of your rod. They should also feature a smooth drag system.
  • Fly Line : The weight of the fly line should match that of your rod. You can use either floating or sinking line.
  • Tippets and Leaders: These are matched with the fly size you’re targeting and the fish species.
  • Boots and Waders are essential for any fly-angler. They will keep you warm and dry while you wade in the river.
  • Flies : These patterns should be matched with the hatch and you can carry dry flies as well as nymphs and streamers.
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Fishing Regulations

Bighorn River, like any other fishing destination has fishing regulations that anglers are required to follow. Anglers are required to have a fishing permit, and there are regulations regarding the size and amount of fish that can be taken home. To avoid violating any fishing regulations, it’s important to familiarize yourself with them.


Anglers of any level will find Bighorn River Fly Fishing a unique experience. The river’s diverse eco-system offers the chance to catch a variety of fish species in an idyllic and beautiful environment. When planning your trip to Bighorn River Fly Fishing be sure to check the weather and bring appropriate clothing. It is important to follow fishing regulations. Bighorn River Fly Fishing is a great experience if you plan well.

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