Trout On The Fly

The Bighorn River

The Bighorn River is located in eastern Montana, on the Crow Indian Reservation near Fort Smith, Montana. Offering year round fly fishing, the Bighorn is considered the cream of the crop, not only in Montana, but in the fly fishing world! In the first 13 miles from the Afterbay to Bighorn access, the fish per mile has been estimated as high as 6,000 trout per mile, averaging 16 inches, though it's not uncommon to take trout over 20 inches. With its fame come crowds. It is hard to find a time when you are the only boat on the river, especially during summer months. To avoid the crowds, I recommend floating with Trout On The Fly from mid-October through May. This can be a great alternative when the Yellowstone and Gallatin Rivers are “blown out”. Like on the Missouri, smaller flies and lighter tippit, down to 7x, is not uncommon on the Bighorn. Watch out in late October or November when Bighorn Lake turns over and moss fills the river – you could end up spending more time picking moss out of your fly and line than fishing. Guided trips on the Bighorn River have a two day minimum. At Trout On The Fly we are happy to help you find accommodations, but lodging is not included in the price of the trip.