It's rare that I can get out of the state of California these days, and with a 9 year absence fishing Montana, It was way over due. I finally got to fish the mighty Bighorn River, a legendary tail water that has 8,000 to 10,000 fish per mile, and is very rich with aquatic life. It's a major destination for anglers all over the world.
It was cold in Fort Smith to this foothill boy who has been acclimated to the 2,500 elevation of Nevada City, for locals though, it was a heat wave. I was most impressed with the bird life, flocks of Mallards by the hundreds, pheasants darting across the highway, and groups of bald eagles hanging out in the trees over looking the river. Simply incredible.
My hostess was Shelly Ehmer, a highly skilled guide who knows the Bighorn intimately, and a bad ass behind the sticks. I highly recommend Shelly if you're going up to the Bighorn, a real class act, and a super sweet girl.
Shelly is also running the Bighorn Angler fly shop this winter, A great shop with a huge selection of flies, and all the gear you need to get the job done on the Horn.
Indicator rigs with scuds, sow bugs, and small mayfly nymphs were very effective. Even more fun was the streamer fishing, though the strip was very slow due to the 41 degree water temps. Fish were podded up and I was amazed how many fish were caught in such a small section of the river.
I also got to float with another guide, Dante Bonanini, one awesome dude with the best attitude. I thought it was cool watching his girl Sara row his boat while he got to chuck some streamers. What a team.
Someday I'll get back up to the Horn, not sure when, but I will make sure to go when it's summer time. You know how I like those dry flies. So with that, Thank you Shelly, Dante, and Sara for your hospitality, it was greatly appreciated!