2014 Season Opener: Bighorn

bitterroot river guides hamilton montanaHere we go again!  Another December behind us and another ice off on the warmer rivers, the higher altitude streams still waiting many months to release their lock up from the long Montana winter.

Of course on the Bighorn, it’s game-on year round.  Some good folks and I made a February journey to these historic waters, hoping to find our first real fishing of the season that didn’t include ice augers and egg balls.  Cottonwood camp, right out of Fort Smith and five minutes from the three mile access, would be our home for a few days.

bitterroot river guides hamilton montanaDrift boats in the water, mists rolled off the river as we started tossing articulated streamers, letting them sink a bit on clear tipped weighted 7wt lines before retrieving them in short strips.  Real quick, like the first run, we figured out why the Bighorn is so bad ass: fish are everywhere. Quick strip the shorelines, rip through the riffles, backdredge the insides and points, we even stuck a couple on dries: pretty much anywhere that could hold trout, held trout.  And this kept up for all three days!  Maybe we hit it good, maybe the fish gods smiled upon us, shithouse luck possibly, but the Bighorn treated the six of us foreigners pretty nice for a February fishing trip.

bitterroot river guides hamilton montana

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