Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Other Bighorn

Who knew that there is more to the Bighorn River than its short stretch of world-famous trout water in Montana?
Last weekend I spent some time on Wyoming waters, broadening my horizons and realizing that maybe, just maybe, this unheralded stretch of the 'Horn is even better than its Montana counterpart.

Granted I'm basing this assertion on a single experience, but those broad-shouldered browns and rainbows were significantly bigger - on average - than what I've seen on the Montana portion of the river in recent years. Fishing pressure was practically non-existent; we were on the water for about ten hours and saw only four other boats. Baetis came off in big numbers during the afternoon, and the fish responded; we took several large trout on dries.

The downside was that we were stuck in the boat all day. Wyoming stream access laws allow floating through private property, but technically anglers can't anchor, let alone wade fish. We were regularly reminded of this by signs posted on riverfront property. Even so, I still have to give the nod to the Cowboy State - it has been a long time since I've seen that many big, strong trout boated on the Bighorn River.


  1. Who knew? I knew, but it sure doesn't get the press like it does up in Montana.

    1. I've run into quite a few people who have heard that there is good fishing here, but few who have made the trip. It doesn't get much press. And it's a bit of a journey from pretty much anywhere... the locals have it mostly to themselves.

  2. Why would it be any different than the MT side of the river?