The Bighorn River’s reputation as a world class fishery has been well documented in almost every fishing magazine published in the world. Upon the completion of Yellowtail Dam in 1967, the Bighorn became a clear, cool-water tailwater hosting between 5000-7000 rainbow and brown trout per mile. The average trout caught on the Bighorn ranges in size from sixteen to twenty inches. Guests are often surprised by the abundance and size of trout caught each day.
Bighorn River Lodge is a world class fly fishing resort offering private access to Montana’s Bighorn River. Additionally, the lodge property has two large ponds exclusively for the use of their clients, thus offering secluded fishing experience.
The uniqueness of Yellowtail Reservoir, which is the headwaters of Montana's portion of the Bighorn River, allows angler to fish the Bighorn year round.
Water flows from the reservoir into the river from a depth of around 500 feet. The water temperature remains a consistent 40-55 degrees, ideal for trout. During the hot days of summer, the depth at which the water exits the dam helps keep the water cool. The water temperatures may rise into the lower 60’s at which time the trout move up into shallow riffles where the fast moving water provides more oxygen and more food. During winter, the water may get cooler but because of the dam, the river never freezes. In winter, fish find their way into slower, deeper pools where they can conserve energy until water temperatures rise again in the spring.
Grass and algae, which are abundant in the Bighorn, help create habitat for aquatic invertebrates and insects which are essential food sources for trout. These food sources include midges, baetis, caddis, scuds and sowbugs. These are supplemented by grasshoppers and other terrestrials during the warmer months. Fall, winter and spring offer tremendously good streamer fishing, imitating the large abundance of fry and baitfish that are found in the river due to the ideal conditions.
Travel by air to the Bighorn generally is via Billings, MT. Once at the airport, you may pick up your prearranged rental car, or we can help you with the local transfer service that will meet your flight and transfer you to the lodge. Either option will take you about one hour from the airport.
After a full day of fishing for wild rainbow and brown trout, you will finish just a few steps from the front door which is situated right on the bank of the Bighorn River.
The lodge is a two-level structure and is crafted in a log-style construction that is representative of the “Big Sky Country”. While the dining room seats up to twenty and is located directly off the impressive display kitchen, there are a variety of seating arrangements available, depending on group sizes and desires. The dining room is decorated with spectacular art from renowned wildlife artists, and offers views of the river and surrounding wildlife. Guest rooms are furnished with a pair of twin beds or a pair of queen sized beds. Additionally, King sized beds are available for couples. Each room also offers a private bathroom.
All meals including breakfast, boat lunches and dinner will be provided during your stay. Breakfast will be served on the day of departure. The kitchen is flexible but small. All dietary restrictions are taken into account and they are more than able to accommodate your needs. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies before your arrival.
Please note: Alcoholic beverages are not included in your stay.
Please bring your own alcohol, if desired.
After a long day of fishing, relax on the outdoor patios with friends and a cold beverage. A five acre pond stocked with largemouth bass, carp and a few trout sits at the center of the property. Guests can enjoy fishing off the dock, paddle-boating, or walking around the premises. If you haven’t had your fill, walk down to the lodge’s private boat ramp on the river and cast for a few more trout while watching the sun set over the Bighorn Mountains.
Nearby attractions include the monument to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, the famous location where Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer of the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry and the Sioux along with the Cheyenne met in one of the Indian's last armed efforts to preserve their way of life.
Cast and Blast
As the Bighorn River Lodge is nestled in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains amongst some of Montana's most fertile agricultural land, ranchers' crops of sugar beets, alfalfa, and cereal grains make this the ideal location for staging waterfowl. As a tailwater the Bighorn River remains a constant temperature well above freezing, providing plenty of winter roosting habitat for migratory birds and of course world class trout fishing. With this abundance of food and constant open water comes hundreds of thousands of waterfowl including mallards, widgeons, green wing teal, wood ducks, gadwall, pintail, multiple species of diver ducks, and Canadian geese.
Legendary fishing amidst abundant waterfowl allows the Bighorn River Lodge to recapture the tradition of "Cast and Blast." This is Montana hunting at its finest.