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Bighorn River | Montana

Bighorn River Montana Fly Fishing Information

The Bighorn River begins at Boysen Reservoir in Wyoming. It enters Montana more than 150 miles downstream where it flows into Bighorn Lake, formed by the Yellowtail Dam. It is know throughout the world as one of the premiere trout streams in the United States. The Bighorn River is a very popular destination spot for anglers on a Montana fly fishing trip.

Below the dam, the Bighorn River flows through an open and isolated landscape. The Bighorn River’s banks are a mix of grass, cottonwood trees, alfalfa and brush. The Bighorn rivers sees some of the most prolific hatches of all western rivers in the United States.  The black caddis hatch in late summer is an amazing display of mother nature.  The caddis hatch so thick, the trout have their noses out of the water for hours.  The Bighorn also gets incredible Trico hatches throughout the summer and fall.


The river consistently pulls out large fish. Brown trout average about 15 inches, while rainbow trout average around 16 inches. The river has outstanding hatches. And unlike many rivers in Montana, the Bighorn is a high quality fly fishing river for the entire year, offering anglers, who don’t mind the elements, the opportunity to catch large fish in the middle of the winter.

Trout fishing on the Bighorn River is generally localized to the first 13 miles below the dam, this is area is called the Bighorn Access Site. In the upper thirteen miles, Afterbay Dam regulates river flows and irrigation has only a minimal impact on river flows. As a result, the Bighorn River almost always flows steady, clear and cool, creating ideal fishing conditions.

Bighorn River Hatches
Summer – Pale Morning Duns, Tricos, Stoneflies, Caddis, Terrestrials, Scuds, Annelids
Fall – Baetis, Midges, Scuds, Annelids, Leeches, Sowbug
Spring – Blue Winged Olives, Midges, Scuds, Annelids, Leeches, Sowbug
Winter – Midges, Scuds, Annelids, Sow Bug

Bighorn River Flies

Bighorn River Lodging

The Bighorn Trout Shop’s lodging facility is the finest in the area. Lodge rooms are modern, spacious, and comfortable. All rooms have private baths, TV, and air conditioning, plus wireless internet service is available. These rooms were designed with the comfort and convenience of anglers in mind. There is also a Common Room for those who wish to socialize and swap a tall tale with friends. Continental breakfast is served daily and is included in the room rate.

Phone: (406) 666-2375

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