Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bighorn Trip Day 1

Now is one of a few time-periods of the year that I can venture some other rivers in this broad state of Montana. Less number of anglers, splendid spring hatches, and hungry trout: those can be common in other Montana rivers too. Among those, Bighorn River is the highest in the list!

We hit the road very early on Saturday 19th. We successfully arrived at Fort Smith, MT and checked in one of cozy cabins at Cottonwood Campground.

Up until this day, it had been cold through last week. We started a bit late on purpose. Two years in a row, the first launch of my boat for the season was at Afterbay Dam! Certainly this was the first time for Renee to make such a big fishing trip!

Not just us but for most anglers during those 2 days we stayed, Bighorn offered its classic actions!! right off the bat!!

Actions went on.
This was really a nice rainbow!
Always learning.

Over all, two most constant hitters for us were my own Giant Sowbug and Flexi Zebra - black.

For lunch, we cooked up "over-sized" ham-&-cheese with Pioneer Meats ham. Then, considering the cold weather, we also warmed up chicken noodle soup!!
We had fair amounts of actions in the afternoon too.
 This was the nicely colored and one of the best trout we caught!!

 Also in the afternoon, insect hatches were tremendous!! Namely midges and spring baetis!! We pulled over my boat and I was able to fish some. Personally this was what I was expecting for, driving all the way from Livingston. Boy, they were really challenging!! Trout and insects hatches on Bighorn are pretty much equal to those on Livingston's spring creeks. After some trials, and lots of patience, I was finally able to get one!
Searching the answers........
This is why........
Baetis: dun, emerger, ascending nymphs
Midge: adults, pupae, larvae, both in black and olive
............. So many insects were hatching in different stages all at the same time!! and trout were feeding on at their rhythms and whims.
Along the iconic Car Body Pool...........
We grilled up simple yet essential cheese burgers to refill energies for Day 2..........
With relatively lower flow, it was somewhat "pushy" to go through 12 miles to Bighorn Access. Plus so many pods of rising trout here and there!! We discussed battle plans and were up for Day 2!!

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