The equipment needed for the fishing here can be as simple as a 5 weight, 8’+ rod and a pair of chest waders, or more elaborate (and everyone knows: the more toys you have, the more fish you catch). The best combination of rods is a 6 weight for nymph fishing and a 4 weight for the dries. A 5 weight is always useful so bring it if you own it, and all rods should be 8′ or longer. A medium-fast to fast action is by far the best. Weight forward floating lines are the general rule.
Chest waders are a must as hippers will only serve to keep your legs wet. Neoprenes are best (2mm or 3mm) in the Spring and Fall, and the Orvis No-Sweat waders are the ultimate in the summer. Polarized sunglasses are a must. We do a great deal of sight-fishing and being able to see is a big help. On a final note: the Bighorn is a great place for beginners, everyone ties into fish every day. And for the experts, the ‘Horn will offer you the challenge of the monster on a tiny fly.
SHOTGUNS & SHELLS
Everyone has their biases, but for our shooting here we really like doubles. A 20 guage is great and is the choice of most of our guides, but 12’s and 16’s certainly do the job. If you like to shoot a 28, Hungarian partridge are an excellent bird that provide a great challenge as a target but are not typically at long range. As far as ammunition is concerned, we recommend a fast shooting load in the 71/2 for the partridge and 6’s for the pheasant and grouse. 6 shot is a good all-around shot if you want only one load.
Weather & Condition
May / June
- Dries: Blue Wing Olives, Midges
May is prime time for big trout on small dries!
- Nymphs: Midge Larva, Baetis, Sow Bugs, Scuds, Algael Worms
June offers the best nymph fishing for large trout and is the perfect month for novices.
- Dries: Pale morning Duns
The PMD’s are great and they aren’t so darn small
- Nymphs: Caddis Larva, Baetis, Algael Worms
A good deal of sight-fishing on the riffs and shelfs
August / September
- Dries: Caddis Flies, Hoppers
The Caddis Fly Blizzard is phenomenalm and if the hoppers go, watch out!
- Nymphs: Caddis Pupa, Baetis, Midge Larva
Shallow water sight-fishing with small nymphs
- Dries: Midges, Caddis Flies, Blue Wing Olives
The Blue Wing hatch can offer great fall dry fly action
- Nymphs / Streamers: Algael Worms, Scuds, Wooly Buggers, minnow-imitating streamers
- Streamers can produce Big Browns