Bighorn River

The Bighorn River is one of the most productive wild trout rivers in Montana. It is a large tailwater that produces incredible numbers of large trout year round. Located about 3 hours from Bozeman, it is too far for a day trip from our normal operations area so we usually recommend making the Bighorn a single destination river. Our guides focus most of our efforts on the river during May and June when the river is fishing at its best.

The Bighorn's productivity is the result of the cold waters that exit the bottom of Yellowtail dam. The river gravel is litterally crawling with mayflies, aquatic worms, midge larva and small crustaceans. The density of trout it this river is amazing. Because of the extremly high numbers of fish as well as an average size of 18", the Bighorn is the most popular river in Montana. As a result of the popularity of the river you are never alone on the river so it is not the place to get away from other fisherman. Although our Montana fishing guides feel a bit crowded compared to our home rivers when we are on the 'Horn, it is not a crowded river compared to some of the tailwaters in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico and we enjoy making our annual pilgrimage there each year to experience this amazing trout factory.

Hatches on the Bighorn are often prolific and can produce outstanding match the hatch dry fly fishing. Fishing the Bighorn River is a bit more technical than many of our freestone rivers so expect to fish down to 5x. Nymph fishing is very productive, even for beginning anglers. The dry fly fishing on the 'Horn requires slightly more advanced casting to get adequate presentations.