.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

12/12/09

Destinations: Fly Fishing the Big Horn River in Montana
Comparing the Madison River to the Big Horn in yesterday's article and link
reminded us that maybe it would be good to go ahead and link our Perfect Fly
Stream pages on Montana's
Big Horn River for todays feature.

After a couple of bad water years, or years when there was little snow and
rainfall, the Big Horn has come back strong in the last few years. It is a great
place to catch plenty of large trout and sometimes, even on small dry flies. It is
truly a great river.

The Big Horn is one of those tailwaters that didn't dam up a stream that was
capable of sustaining a good population of trout throughout its length. The river
was far too warm for trout during the summer months in the area that is now a
great fishery. Construction of the dam made the stream. The lake bottom
provides the cold water necessary to keep the water temperatures at a
desirable level for trout.

Unlike many tailwaters, the Big Horn isn't just a wide continuous flow of water
that, for the most part, is all alike. Islands break up the flow and create
channels, braids, pockets, runs and riffles. That makes the tailwater much more
interesting and provides the trout a diverse habitat.

Terrestrials can produce well on the Big Horn from the first of Summer all the
way through September. Trico begin to hatch in September and can bring on
some great dry fly fishing. Fishing a tiny dry fly knowing a large trout may rise on
it any time is a thrill.

Trout can also be caught in the fall months on imitation of scuds and nymphs. In
November the brown trout spawn in the Big Horn. The large fish can be caught
using streamers during the time they are holding up before going on their redds.

Trout can also be caught during the winter on the Big Horn but it is all subject to
the weather. It may be 55 degrees one day and ten below zero the next. You
never know very far in advance either. Most of the time, the locals are the only
ones that can take advantage of the good days during the winter. Midges can
blanket the water at times.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh