Montana Fly Fishing
The Bighorn River

Bighorn River

Fly Fishing the Bighorn River

Bighorn Access Site to Yellowstone River

Bighorn River at Two Leggins
Photo Use Guidelines

Below Bighorn Access Site, trout populations begin to thin out. Decent numbers of trout, particularly brown trout, will be found down to the Two Leggins Access Site. Below Two Leggins, brown trout will still be found, although their numbers are quite low.

Below St. Xavier Access Site, the Bighorn River enters the Crow Indian Reservation, where it flows for another fifteen-miles. Shore access along this stretch is non-existent, so plan on using a fishing boat or inflatable boat if you want to fish this section.

The river also can also become low during the summer due to irrigation. Some of the feeder creeks also can become turbid with only small amounts of rain, clouding up the Bighorn River on occasion during the summer.

Despite this, the section of river between Bighorn Access and Two Leggins Access can provide excellent fishing. Fishing pressure is significantly less than further upstream. And while the fish populations will be less, the trout in this section are just as large as further upstream and are a lot less picky and spooky since they don't have hundreds of rafts floating over them every day.

Fishing technique and patterns used between Bighorn Access and Two Leggins are not much different than used further upstream. However, streamers should also be used on this section. Brown trout become a much higher percentage of the fish in the river the farther the Bighorn travels through the Crow Indian Reservation. As a result, fishing large streamer patterns down deep in the holes and right along the banks is an excellent way to take the larger brown trout.

Downstream from the Two Leggins Access site, the Bighorn River turns into primarily a warm water fishery, mainly pike, bass and some whitefish, although some large brown trout can still occasionally be found. The river can flow quite slowly through this section as it winds its way through the plains of Southeast Montana to its end at the confluence with the Yellowstone River.

Next Page : Floating Information for the Bighorn River


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