Well its April and I’ve got that itch. I figured the Bighorn wouldn't be a bad spot to scratch it. I have been thinking about making a trip out Montana during my spring break for a few years now and it just never became a reality. I am lucky enough to have an uncle that lives on a ranch close to the Bighorn River, so I booked the flight out to Billings and crashed at his place for the week. As most people would think that early spring is dull and the weather stinks. At the Bighorn, like many other tailwaters the air is cold, but the river temp remains fairly constant year round. The water was my no means warm, and hovered around 38 degrees. But most people aren't going to run out to the river when there's forty degree temps, that would just be stupid right. For me I enjoy the solitude of less people on the river and when the fishing is excellent in forty degree weather you can count me in.
I hadn't been on the Horn since my childhood days, so I had sort of forgotten the game of the river. After a few minutes on the horn it proved to be nothing short of what I remembered it to be, RIDICULOUS. The first day on the river I fished with one of my childhood buddies on his day off. He recently set up shop to guide on the Horn last year.
The rest of the week I spent on the bank and saw the same level of success that I did on the drift boat. The hot flies for the week were any assortment of midges and baetis nymphs. When the hatch was coming off I got a kick out of swinging soft hackles and watching the fish fight over it as it swung through the seams. Like the midwest ladies, they aint picky round' here.
Threw some meat into the mix
Took in the full Montana experience at the Professional Bull Riding Contest
Well it was a crazy spring break on the Bighorn. And no it wasn't the normal crazy spring break trip down to Cancun or Miami, but a different kind of crazy. Crazy in the sense of flying to a place where I can sight fish for opportunistic trout in gin clear water, catch 30-40 fish a day, live off of minimum food and sleep for a week, and spend time with good old childhood fishing buddies and family. Sure wouldn't trade it for anything.