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 Post subject: The Bighorn......
PostPosted: August 4th, 2018, 8:48 am 
FFIM Addict

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4239
Location: Ellsworth

After leaving Craig/Dearborn the six of us headed about seven hours southeast along I-90 to a little town called Ft. Smith, a former outpost on the famous Bozeman Trail.

We use a shop called the Bighorn Angler. They always treat us right. This year we chose the House option so we stayed about a mile outside of town.

Like the Missouri, the Horn was higher than we’re used to. Not nearly as high as last year, so it was very wadeable, but still higher than we like.

The trout on the Bighorn are mostly.......but not exclusively.......Brown Trout. I’d guess they average two to three inches shorter than the Rainbows on the Missouri, but are more plentiful.

We try to hit the tail end of the Black Caddis hatch (#20’s) and the early stages of the Trico’s. The Black Caddis had pretty much gone by, and the shelf that I love to fish on the outside of an island was too high to fish, but the Trikes more than made up for it.

The Guides want their Sports to stare at a TMB, or a semi inflated balloon for thirteen miles with a pair of Nymphs underneath. That will put a ####load of trout into the net, and the Guides figure the more trout in the net, the bigger the tip.

We simply don’t do that. The six of us like dry fly fishing. Perhaps less trout over a days Fishing.......but way more enjoyable; at least to us.

We do fish Nymphs before the Trico Spinner Fall, but fish dries during the fall.

Two Nymphs were the ticket for me. On the point I fish a #20 bh Flasbback PT, with a Red bead Zebra Midge (#22) about 18” below the PT.......with a small #4 shot about a foot above the PT. That rig works like a charm.

The Fishing got better and better every day we were there. The last morning Joel, Terry, and I were on the town side of the river and just hammered them on Nymphs early, then on the Trico Spinners during the spinner fall. Just a freaking blast. If you’ve ever done it Trico Spinners Falls are NOT easy Fishing. Your presentation has to be perfect. Your imitation is competing with.......quite literally.......thousands of naturals. The trout won’t move two inches for your fly. It’s tough, but so very satisfying when it all comes together.

Joel asked us what our favorite thing was during the trip. For me, it was two. The last evening I was hunting trout during a spinner fall. Not pods of trout, but individual trout. We were on the other side of the river.....trout were obviously rising to Spinners (not Trikes). I had to go to 6X, and get the drift perfect. The trout were set up about two inches from the bank, and there were three different currents coming together. I had to anticipate exactly where to put the fly to deliver it without drag to get it into the trouts feeding lane. Not easy by any means, but oh so satisfying when done right. I probably only put a dozen or so trout into the net.......but it was just a freaking blast. About as close to Bonefishing as you can get in fresh water. The hot fly that evening was a #20 Rusty Biot Spent Spinner.

A fantastic trip. We certainly, truthfully, didn’t catch as many trout as on some trips, we had to work harder for them. The trip is made, or broken, by the guys on the trip. We have a great bunch of friends on these trips. Great guys.......really good fishermen......I look forward all year to this trip.

I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to post pics or not. They’re in the camera, and have been downloaded to the desktop, but I haven’t got them uploaded to Photobucket yet, so you may, or may not, be able to see them.

If any of you have any questions please feel free to IM me. I’d be glad to help answer any questions you may have if you’re planning a trip like this.

Dave M

"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009

 Post subject: Re: The Bighorn......
PostPosted: August 4th, 2018, 9:51 am 
FFIM Addict

Joined: September 28th, 2003, 12:00 am
Posts: 2728
Great reads. photos are always nice but words can paint the picture in ones mind. And targeting individual fish that you can observe and stalk is the ultimate. It's matching wits with the adversary.


The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of something that is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

Sir John Buchan

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