The Bighorn River
Streamers, dry flies, deep nymphing, and sight-fishing
Grand Slam Fishing and Tactics
Starting way up in high plains of central Wyoming, the Bighorn River enters Bighorn National Recreation Area and canyon just before the river enters Montana. Once in Montana, a massive dams creates a world-class tailwater fishery. But it wasn't until the early '80s when the federal government took over management of the river from the Crow Indian Tribe that the river's fishing became famous. Many angler make an annual pilgrimage to the Bighorn - many anglers coming more than once.
The rivers abundance of trout keep them coming back again and again. With more fish packed into each mile of its waters than any other river in Montana, the Bighorn boasts great numbers of browns and rainbows and consistent early season fishing beginning in March and going all the way through November. While nymphing tends to be the most productive technique on the 'Horn, fantastic dryfly and streamer fishing can be had, especially the summertime 'hopper fest that starts in August.
The Bighorn is located in southeast Montana, a bit on its own from the rest of our blue-ribbon rivers in Montana. It flows out of the Pryor Mountains and is less than two hours from Billings, Montana. Billings serves as a good fly in and out spot for a Bighorn trip, but you'll want to stay on the river if you're doing anything more than a daytrip.