Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the Big Horn River, Montana

The Big Horn River provides the perfect water for trout. Its pH is great because its water flows
through limestone rock far above the lake providing an almost spring creek type water
chemistry. The trout grow large and fast because there is plenty of food available for the trout
to eat.

As mentioned in the introduction, the Big Horn is a wide stream of up to two-hundred feet. It
has islands in many areas which splits the flow of the river into channels, flats, pools, and
moderate speed runs providing a very diverse habitat for the trout. These islands change the
flow of the river creating different current speeds and therefore different current seams that
carry food downstream. The trout can be found in many different types of water but tend to
prefer certain types over others, depending on the season and hatches taking place.

Trout can be taken on nymphs most anytime of the year. Dry fly fishing depends greatly on the
hatches. As you will see in our hatches section, there isn't a very diverse selection of aquatic
insects but those that exist in the river exist in huge quantities. The trout can key in on any one
of these insects and become selective in their feeding. That often requires what anglers
generally refer to as technical fishing.

The water is the river is clear and the trout usually get a good look at your flies. If you make a
lousy presentation, you can look forward to poor results. Long, light leaders are often required.
This doesn't mean that the trout are difficult to catch. They can be caught in good numbers. It
just means that poor strategies and lousy presentations want accomplish very much.
Big Horn River, Montana
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