Cold weather is the great enemy of winter fishing on the bighole. Ice jams are starting to form in the lower river and ice flow is prevelent throughout. If you do find a day above freezing, stick to the upper river. The name of the game this time of year is midges. These bugs make an appearance around 1 pm or so and will stick around for a few hours in the afternoon. Watch any slow runs, back eddies, or foam pockets and you will see heads. A good imitation is a small purple haze or a black parachute. If the bugs are not out, nymphing will produce. Running a bigger fly such as a pats rubber legs or a worm pattern with a smaller mayfly nymph behind is a good option. As with any river with brown trout, the bighole streamer fishing can be really good. As always, be cautious of reds and spawning trout. Leave shallow water fish alone! Be aware as well that this river experiences ice flow quickly. Make sure you call before you head over. Expect ice on the cold days.
Dries| Griffiths Gnat: 16-20, Renegade: 16-18-20, purple haze: 14-18, royal wulff: 12-18, Royal trude: 12-18, lime trude: 12-18, rusty spinner: 18
Nymphs| Bubble Back BWO: 16-18, BH Pheasant Tail: 14-16-18, Green Machine: 18-20, CDC Pheasant Tail: 12-14-16-18, Rubberlegs Olive, Olive/Brown: 6-8-10, Ugly Bug: 4-6-8, Red Belly Yuk Bug: 2-4 Coppertone Delektable: 6-8 Lightning Bug Pearl, Gold, Purple: 14-16 IED Worm: 10 Copper Johnson Yellow, Red, Blue: 12-14-16-18, Pats Rubber Legs: Olive, Black, Coffee, Tan: 8-12
Streamers| JJ Special: 4- 6 Sculpzilla's Tan, Olive, Black: size 4-6 Haymaker Sculpin Olive, Brown: 4 Bellyache Minnow Tan, Olive: 1/0-1 Micro Zonker Tan, Olive, Black: 8 Fatheads Yellow: 2 Sex Dungeon Yellow, Rust, Natural: 2 Home Invader Yellow, Olive Space Invader: 2 Flash Fry Brown & Yellow: 2 Space Invader Brown Yellow, Tan: 2-4-6; Brown/Copper Sparkle Minnow 4-6
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