Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies for the Big Horn River, Montana
The Big Horn River has some huge trout. There are some huge size browns and rainbows in
the river. The ideal all around fly line would probably be a 5 weight, floating fly line. You could
get by with just this one fly line size if you had to. Some anglers would prefer something
heavier for large nymphs and streamers. A 6 weight fly line would deliver most of the streamers
and heavy nymphs better than the 5 weight. You may also want to use a sinking tip line for the
You would want a fly rod to handle each of the above line sizes. The five and six weight rods
would be ideal at a length of nine feet. We think a medium to medium fast action would be best
for the rods. You want to be able to cast in the afternoon wind that comes about most every
day during the summer.
The reels for the 5 and 6 weight lines should both have good drags. The drags should be
smooth and adjust to fine increments. You don't want to hook one of the Big Horn River's huge
trout and end up with a broken tippet because you had a less than adequate fly reel.
You should be using at least a seven foot leader anywhere on the river. A nine foot length
would probably be the best all around length. The only exception would be when you are
fishing streamers. If you fish the small Blue-winged Olive and other hatches that require long
leaders, you may want to use a 12 foot leader. If you fish streamers, you may want a short
leader or only 3 or 4 feet.. Make sure you have leaders in sizes ranging from 0X for streamers,
up to 6X for midges and other small flies.
You should also have plenty of extra tippet in sizes ranging from 0X to 6X.
Waders are necessary anywhere you fish the Big Horn River. We prefer the breathable type
but you may need neoprene waders if you are fishing during the winter.
Felt soles would be our choice. The new rubber soles may work well. They have at other
similar waters where we've tried them.
The use of a wading staff would be an optional accessory. The current can run strong at times
and in certain areas.
You probably shouldn't be fishing the Big Horn River without a landing net. Some anglers do,
but you would have a better chance of landing its larger trout with one.
We recommend "Perfect Fly" trout flies. We have specific imitations of every important insect
that exist on the Big Horn River. It is best to use the hatch chart and select the flies to use for
the period of time you will be fishing. The Big Horn River trout can become very selective in
what they eat and reject. Our Perfect Flies have been proven successful over and over on this
river. We have thousands of customers who have used them successfully where the trout are
picky about what they eat. If you haven't already done so, we hope you will give our Perfect
Flies a try. You will be glad you did.
Bighorn River, Montana
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 & 12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 71/2
ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Superb Five or Ultimate Six
For 5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.