Bighorn River Fishing Report with Owl Creek Flies

Date
Thursday, 5 May, 2016
Water Clarity
Muddy
Report
Fished with Larry and Ray today, just a half day, which is perfect for the amount of fishable water right now. Buffalo Creek is on round 2 of dumping in red mud. It had cleared pretty good after last week's rains but I guess we got quite a bit of snow up in the Bridgers and with the warm weather the last few days it's got the creek flowing good. River is MUDDY after the red cliffs. But with all that said we had a pretty good day. Hooked about 30 of these.

Lots of break offs today. Fat feisty rainbows on 5x. Baetis nymphs were our best bugs. Saw a few guys out there today throwing streamers only saw one boat get one. Other boats said no good. But it is a good option in the dirty water. Hoping the river clears by the weekend but we are forecast to get a little more rain. So we'll see. River is at 990cfs. And we have a few trips going out next week but still plenty of days available if you're interested. Also the dry fly fishing is still pretty good, at least it was on Tuesday when I went out with Adam. Besides the bwo's we are seeing quite a few caddis and a lot of fish are taking notice and even moving out of their feeding rhythm to eat them. And a minor psa, please respect the property owners' rights... it is private property from the first highway bridge below wedding all the way past buffalo creek and the red cliffs. We don't need this place turning into the reef. Have fun out there!
 
 
Flies
Nymphs
Name
Size
Baetis
10
12
Fishing Water Report
The Big Horn River in Thermopolis, Wyoming is the lesser known sister of the Big Horn in Fort Smith, Montana. An intimate tailwater which meanders through the farm fields and ranches ... moreof the Big Horn Basin, the river hosts Browns, Rainbows and Cutthroat trout. These fish grow large and fight hard, making for fun and challenging fly fishing. The Big Horn can be an excellent dry fly fishery - if conditions are favorable, trout will readily eat mayflies, cicadas, grasshoppers, crickets, ants and stoneflies during sometimes prolific hatches. Of course what happens on the surface is only part of the story. Trout fodder is abundant in the Big Horn, and often the best way to find fish is to go subsurface. The river fishes well in all seasons, and as we live right here in Thermopolis, we offer guided trips year round. A guided float trip is the best way to get the most out of this section of the Big Horn - due to water laws and private ownership, much of the river is not open to anchoring and wading. That being said, there are some spots where you could get out of the boat and wade fish if this is of interest to you. We invite you to come experience some of the best fishing Wyoming has to offer with one of the fishiest husband & wife teams in the West.
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Where does this river begin? This question remained unanswered well into the 19th century. In fact, the Wind River and the Bighorn River are one body of water artificially divided ... moreby two names. Because the river’s course is largely set by the surrounding mountain ranges, The Wind River Range that extends southeast to northwest along the continental divide and the Bighorn Range that rises east of Shoshoni and curves north to Montana, the river changes direction and appearance more than once during its long journey. Overhearing Native Americans describe this basin, mountain men, adventurers and mapmakers just assumed they were talking about different rivers. 

Today the Bighorn River arbitrarily starts at the end of Wind River Canyon at a spot known as the Wedding of the Waters near the town of Thermopolis. From Thermopolis to about 20 miles below the Wind River Canyon, the river runs cold enough to support ample trout, with the best fishing actually beginning on the Wind River below the Boysen Reservoir, 15 miles upstream. Roadside access to this year round, world-class destination is unlimited as long as you obtain a Wind River Indian Reservation fishing permit.

One of the vagaries of Wyoming law is that landowners can own and control access to shorelines and riverbeds, making it illegal for anglers to wade or anchor in private water. Thankfully, most of the Bighorn River around Thermopolis is owned by the town, which provides many points of public access. You’ll be fine with the law if you wade upstream or down, as long as you stay below the high-water mark. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has designated several fishing access points and easements over private lands to provide public use of the river.
Game Fish Opportunities:
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