Monday, April 24, 2017

Bighorn Trip

I apologize for another long gap since the previous post. However, you'll understand why if you read this and next post, and then wait for my newsletter from my main website (please subscribe or send me your email address).

I had a series of guide trip on Bighorn River in the middle of this month. Although it may be slightly behind to report, weather and river conditions have not much changed since. The Bighorn has been running higher than ever!! Mountain ranges in Wyoming have accumulated way above average of snowpack through winter, which have been barely coming off. So the dam is releasing waters in historical level to accommodate oncoming snow-melts. As of my trip, it was around 10,000 cfs, which has been bumped up to 11,500 cfs as of today. It may sound scary "if this were to be a freestone river" but the River has been fishing so well. Just one caution: be super careful at each boat ramps!! Especially at Bighorn Access (or Thirteen Mile), make sure not to crowd the upper ramp for your- and others' sake. Then if one dares to use the bottom ramp, be careful!! No mistake should happen!!

In the morning, as I leave my house in Livingston to catch up with my clients at Billings Airport, it was like this............ serious scraping was required. This weather pattern has not been changed much since. I was expecting a repeating client of mine along with his son.
We had a short trip in the afternoon. It started well right after the launch at Afterbay Dam!!

We caught massive & healthy whitefish once a day...........
Stopping the boat and wade-fishing.

Not super big but a feisty brown from the side channel
 A good end for their first day on The Bighorn!!

While clients stayed in the cozy lodge at Bighorn Angler, I camped at Afterbay Campground. As the sun rose and my coffee boiled, my spirit also rose and I expected a good fishing day coming!
 Day 2 started just like the day 1.

Bighorn Double😁😎✌👍
This was one of the highlights of the trip!!
I have to mention that below Soap Creek, one of tributaries which enters the river about 2.5 miles above Bighorn Access, water was murky, even along the left bank. Fishing slowed down😕

Day 3 turned out to be different. First of all, perhaps due to the nicest weather, Afterbay launch became so busy😲. Also the dam release was bumped 300 cfs more sometime during the day before. And then, from the previous 2 days of fishing, we decided to float & fish the "Upper 3" twice.

After initial "armada" of driftboats passed and went ahead of us, we learned the mood of the river for the day and started to pick up trout.

Another Bighorn Double completed by father and son😁😸☝👌
 Just as we expected, the second float of Upper 3 was far less crowded - indeed did we count number of boats!? We were able to major hot spots without competition.

Then this rainbow marked the largest and the last trout of the trip🙌

It was a great 3-day of fishing on The Bighorn! I hope my clients enjoyed what the river has to offer.
And this is why I've been promoting to fish this world's greatest tailwater in spring!!

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