Bighorn River Fishing Report

Information
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 by 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.
 
Featured Fishing Trips
Guided Fishing Trips
$
595
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
The Bighorn River is one of the best tail-water fisheries in the world. The Bighorn begins its journey in the Bighorn Mountains at the foot of Yellowtail Dam, flowing 70 miles across ... morethe plains to join the Yellowstone River. The first 13 miles below the dam provide some of the greatest concentrations of trout found in Montana. The Bighorn is a popular fishing destination. Our favorite time of year to experience this river is in the Spring. The river remains clear and fishable during these times of spring run-off and high water. This is also a good time of year to see fewer crowds, on what can be a busy river come summertime.

The Bighorn River is located approximately 200 miles southeast of Bozeman. Our trips to the Bighorn are a minimum of 3 days. Our Bighorn River Guide Rate is higher than our Standard Rate to provide for guide’s transportation and lodging.

Note: Minimum 3 days
Additional Information
Tributaries:
Bighorn tributaries include East Fork, Wind River, Greybull River, Shoshone River, Little Wind River, Nowood River and Little Bighorn River.
Source:
Two Ocean Mountain, Wind River Range
Mouth:
Yellowstone River
Length:
185 miles
Basin:
22,885 sq miles
Seasonal Conditions
Season
Hatches
SpringCaddis, Green Drake, Baetis, Damselfly, Scuds, Midge
SummerCaddis, Willow Fly, Pale Morning Dun, Nymphs, Scuds, Terrestrials
FallCaddis, Baetis, Terrestrials
Game Fish Opportunities
Latest Guide Fishing Reports
Guide Reports
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 ... moregood 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!
Date:
Thursday, 5 May, 2016
We're now up over 2,000cfs which is a great flow and I'm glad they're making room in the reservoir. Should also help dissipate some of the mud flowing in. We'll keep ya updated.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Saturday, 7 May, 2016
Here is your Thermopolis fishing report for the Bighorn in Wyoming. The fishing is sick! Lot’s of fish up eating dries. Big pods of fish up keying in on BWo’s. Fish are ... morealso chasing streamers especially with these cloudy days. Yes, the nymphing is great. Remember there isn’t a lot of access for wade fisherman. Your better off going with one of our fishing guides and having the most memorable day fishing you have ever had!
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Tuesday, 26 Apr, 2016
The fishing conditions on the Bighorn River have been ok lately. Make sure to bring a variety of streamer patterns. Also, nymphing has been working with mayflies and scuds.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Monday, 1 Feb, 2016
Fishing Trips
The Bighorn River is one of the best tail-water fisheries in the world. The Bighorn begins its journey in the Bighorn Mountains at the foot of Yellowtail Dam, flowing 70 miles across ... morethe plains to join the Yellowstone River. The first 13 miles below the dam provide some of the greatest concentrations of trout found in Montana. The Bighorn is a popular fishing destination. Our favorite time of year to experience this river is in the Spring. The river remains clear and fishable during these times of spring run-off and high water. This is also a good time of year to see fewer crowds, on what can be a busy river come summertime.

The Bighorn River is located approximately 200 miles southeast of Bozeman. Our trips to the Bighorn are a minimum of 3 days. Our Bighorn River Guide Rate is higher than our Standard Rate to provide for guide’s transportation and lodging.

Note: Minimum 3 days
Current Forecast
Water Flow
River Water Temperature
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One of the Best Places to Fish
One of North America's prime fly-fishing areas for large trout. Highly productive waters because of copious hatchings of insects year-round. In fall and winter months streamer flies suggesting minnows are effective in attracting migrating brown trout. Average catch run 17 inches, though 22 inches always a possibility. Crowds ease up in fall.
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One of the Top 10 Fishing Rivers in the US
The best water on the Bighorn River is found on thetailwater stretch. Especially famous for heavy hatches that bring the trout upto the surface to feed, fly fishers will do especially well here. Spin anglerswill catch some large trout as well
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