Big Horn Fly Fishing | Wyoming

Big Horn Fly Fishing | Wyoming

– Hi I’m Mark Melnyk, previously
on The New Fly Fisher, we were in Sheridan, Wyoming. Check this out! (soft music) – [Woman] There’s one, nice! – [Mark] That thing hit
like a ton of bricks, man! – [Woman] Yeah! – [Mark] Alright!
– [Woman] Gorgeous. Ohhh (laughs) Yeah!
– [Mark] Yep! Whoa that’s a good fish!
– [Woman] Nice fish! – [Mark] Fantastic
– [Woman] Guess it just ate the hopper!
– [Mark] Oh my gosh! – [Woman] Ooooo!
– That is just amazing. (soft music) Ready, see ya! Thank you!
– Yeah! – [Mark] Biggest brown trout ever, caught on a streamer,
in the Bighorn River. Stories don’t get any better than that, really don’t. (soft guitar strumming) – [Mark] Welcome back to Wyoming, Sheridan Wyoming to be exact! A wide open land, fantastically
dissected by a vast artery system of rivers chalk
full of fly friendly fish. Wyoming is a well known
destination for fly anglers during the spring and summer months. However, as summer turns to fall, many anglers put their fly rods away and hit the hills looking
to other outdoor pursuits. This in turn leaves the
waterways surrounding Sheridan Wyoming all but abandoned. The fall time is the right
time for those looking for world class fishing, massive populations of wild native trout and near zero angling pressure. (soft music) Sheridan Wyoming is steeped
in western tradition. Tradition which includes a
history of great fly fishing, main street statues offer a
constant reminder of the nearby rivers and creeks and the fish they hold. Peter Widener owns and operates the Fly Shop of the Bighorns and his operation is located
smack dab in the middle of Sheridan, it’s a full service
fly shop and guide service fishing out of Sheridan
and all points Wyoming. You can fish guided public water, or you can have access to
many of the local ranches and fish private water all through the Fly Shop of the Bighorns. This day, we’re fishing
a small free stone river not too far from the shop. It’s October and we’re
fishing mice for brown trout. (upbeat music) Many of the rivers and creeks
surrounding Sheridan Wyoming have native brown, cut
throat and rainbow trout, today I’m stringing up a
six way rod with a weight forward floating six weight line. The mice we are using are
a custom pattern tied by Brett Smith from Sheridan. Brett is known as the developer
of the Palomino Midge, and his Hantavirus Mouse
has proven deadly for trout in Wyoming and beyond. (upbeat music) Peter, October in Sheridan County Wyoming, you asked me to tie on a mouse? That’s craziess! – Well, not here. You know, in our area we like to fish mice quite a bit, quite often.
– Not just at night? – Not just at night, no,
we don’t need a full moon. Absolutely not
(Mark laughing) We throw ’em during the
day, we de-barb ’em, – Yep
– And it’s a local pattern type by a guy named Brett Smith. – [Mark] Yep
– We call him Sydney so this is his pattern, he
calls the Hantavirus but we call it Sydney the
mouse, he’s kind of a mascot for our fly shop – So how do you want me to fish this? – Couple different ways,
you can dead drift it, you can swing it or you
can slow strip it back. Whatever you do, little bit of pops good, give it some life-like movement. – [Mark] Right
– And see if we can hoax a big brown to come up and eat it. – Alright man, show me!
– Alright. So this time of year,
the water temps like, I’ll take a temp real quick, normally I do for safety points like with fish in the summer, we’re fishin’ a lot of
hoppers and dry flies. But we don’t fish, our company
policy is anything above 65 degrees we stop fishing. – [Mark] Right! – If it means we give a
refund, we give a refund but this time of year, I take
temperatures to see how lethargic the fish are gonna be. – [Mark] Yep!
– And so if I get any temps that are in the high 30s, can’t move your flies too fast. This time of year we’re gonna
be like low 40s I guess. We’ll be able to trick a
few fish to come up to mice. Yeah, see we’re at like
41 degrees, 42 degrees. That’s like perfect for mouse fishing. (soft music) Fish ’em up stream straight across, down stream, any way you
can do it to access a place where you think the fish are sittin’. Get it in that slack water. – [Mark] Fish, nice! – That was a cuttie maybe, light colored brown or a cut throat. – [Mark] Warm up spot, huh? – Well, I gotta scuba diver
that hides in that hole. (Mark laughing) – Brown trout
– Little brown, nice. In October! Somethin’ like that, little brown. – [Mark] That’s fantastic! (soft music) Good start. Brown trout are most comfortable
in 15 degrees Celsius or 59 degree Fahrenheit temperature range. This is when they feed readily
and are willing to move around in a pool or run. When temperatures get as warm
as 65 degrees Fahrenheit, angling a fish may cause them harm. Important to note that
as temperatures rise, the fish will be at more risk
of post release mortality. Conversely, as the temperatures
drop into the low to mid 30s, trout metabolism
slows down drastically and they may not be willing
to expend the energy to chase a meal. When the water gets cold, a general rule of thumb is to slow things down, big time! But the water is in the low 40s, and today it’s perfect for mousing. – Nice fish! – [Mark] Alright! Who would’ve thought man, brown trout on a mouse in October. That’s fantastic!
– [Peter] Pretty awesome, right?
– [Mark] Oh my gosh, yeah! – [Peter] And it’s funny because
it’s an immediate reaction, right?
– [Mark] That’s quite right. – [Peter] The waters 41 degrees, they’re not lethargic yet
– No – And as soon as that fly hit, it was on! Maybe we’ll get into a big bruiser today, that’s a good fish!
– Yeah it is. Look at that! – [Peter] Mouse eater! – [Mark] Oh my gosh! Alright, let’s take a look. For my fish Sheridan brown
trout here in Wyoming, man that’s a beautiful, beautiful fish. Look at that. – [Peter] All wild.
– All wild, and angry hungry! That’s pretty cool. Sweet fish, man. Thanks buddy, gone! – [Peter] Dude!
– On that mouse! – [Peter] Hey
– What a fantastic fish. Thanks, man! (soft music) – We have three big tail waters close by and then the free stones
we have access to are, I mean, without even giving
names, there’s tons of free stones we can fish with all wild trout populations. And it’s amazing, it’s some
of the best dry fly fishing you can get during certain
times of the year and some of the best streamer fishing
you can get certain times of the year and that’s
just within our area. There’s other parts of the state that’s probably just as good, but
Sheridans pretty special. – [Mark] With so many
opportunities to find fishable water in the Sheridan Wyoming area, it pays to cut the
guessing and hire a guide. Not only a local expert on the water, but one that can teach you about fishing and their own backyard, their own way. (soft music) – I’d start at the top, and I’d work down. I usually don’t start at
the bottom with the mouse. Usually at the top, I get
a nice down stream mend, and then I dance it all
the way through the run. If you rush into water too quickly I feel like you spook the fish, you let ’em know you’re comin’. So I like to sneak up,
comin’ up from the side. – [Mark] So these fish are
not too leader shy then. – [Peter] They’re not too leader shy, no. And with the mouse, you know
we’re disturbing the water pretty good with a big rodent on top. (soft music) – [Mark] How spooky are these fish, am I ruinin’ this? – [Peter] No, that’s
why I like to stay back like you’re doin’ and you’re
castin’ out in front of you a ways, even farthers fine. But they’re spooky, I
mean the waters clear, any kind of stompin’ of your feet, these things are gone. – [Mark] When fishing late season mice, presentation is key to incite a strike. These fish are not leader shy and your job is to cover
the water effectively. – Fishing a mouse you’ve
got a couple of different options for retrieval of said mouse. And I’m gonna go through the
three that I’m using today. When I’m fishing up
stream, what I like to do is cast 45, at least 45 degrees up, put a bow or a down
stream mend in the line and then jiggle the tip of the rod to give that fly a skittering, dancing motion. That’s the first way, the second way is if I’m
fishing up stream again, what I’ll do is I’ll let
it dead drift all the down till it gets 90 degrees
or perpendicular to me and then I’ll do the same, I’ll get that fly moving. Oftentimes the deadstick of the mouse, not doing anything, coming
back to life is enough to get this brown trout going. Now the third way I’m doing it, just like swinging for
atlantic salmon or brook trout, where with a high rod
tip you create a wake, such that that mouse skitters
across creating a V behind it that drives brown trout crazy. – [Peter] I’ll throw a
streamer in there in a sec when you’re–
– [Mark] Oh God! – [Peter] Oh, buddy! Yeah, atta baby! – [Mark] You called it man, you said there was the fish in this pool. Now we’re gonna, look how to
drops his nose and digs in. – [Peter] Look it’s a
beautiful buttery brown. – Man oh man, oh what a take, this water is so clear, oh what a fish. You can see that fish
come up and rule on it, absolutely amazing, on
a mouse, can’t beat it. Look at this! Oh my gosh. – [Peter] Beautiful brown,
what a fantastic brown trout. Rodent eater! – Rodent eater (laughs). Now one of the great things
about fishing in October in Wyoming is if your hands
are wet and you handle these fish you’re not doing them any harm, as long as you’re keeping
their gills in the water, we can unbutton this guy, I wanna show you somethin’ really neat. Here’s the good side of
this beautiful brown trout. Now, this guy has had a life of adversity ’cause if you look on his
left side, he’s blind. I mean, shows the tenacity
and how strong brown trout can be for this guy to get
this big with only one eye. Just incredible, alright
buddy, you know what? We’re gonna let you go, pull
you into some deeper water here let ya go and you can feed up for the winter time. (soft music) Alright buddy, thank you so much. What a fantastic fish. Swims away back to the deep, unbelievable! Absolutely perfect! (soft music) Coming up, the snow starts to fall and we hit the mountains! (upbeat music) – [Mark] As the day comes to an end, the snow gets heavier and
we decide to fish a bit back toward the vehicles. I generally am not a proponent
of fishing back down. – [Peter] Yeah, it works great. – But you know what, we
didn’t catch anything out here on the way up, so why not give it a shot? And any time you can catch
a brown trout on a mouse. – [Peter] (laughs) Yeah
– Take it. Let me see if I can get ’em up here. You know Peter we were
talkin’ earlier today that you know a lot of people think that when you go to an exotic
destination of any kind whether it’s Wyoming or Mexico, right?
– [Peter] Yeah. – It’s all about the size of the fish. Well it’s not, many times
it’s about the technique that you use to take a release these fish. I’ve said it many times, we’re in October here, it’s snowing. It’s 32 degrees and we’re
taking fantastic brown trout on mice flies, you can’t beat
that anywhere in the world. It’s not about the size, it’s about the play,
it’s about getting out, just pops out and dancing
with wonders just like this. So don’t focus on the size of the fish, focus on the experience, focus
on the method of catching these fish and letting them go. Brown trout on a mouse pattern, I would’ve never thought. – It’s pretty cool. – [Mark] We decide to call
it a day and head back to the fly shop, tomorrow we
head into tongue canyon and hit the tongue river. (soft music) A short drive from downtown
Sheridan finds you in the tongue canyon, into
Bighorn National Forest. (soft music) What a difference a day makes. Well, this is fishing in
the fall time in Wyoming but you know what, it
doesn’t make a difference what the weather does,
you still need to fish it as ya find it so I’m
gonna take some time today and show ya a couple of
techniques that I like to do when the weather turns south. It’s cold, it’s below freezing, that doesn’t mean that those
fish still won’t be feeding, won’t be active, you just need
to adjust your presentation. In just a minute, I’m gonna
show you just what I do when the temperatures drop
and fishing gets tough. So even though it’s a blue bird sunny day I noticed on the drive
in that most of the river was in shadow because of
the depth of the canyon that we’re in so I’m gonna
pretend that it’s actually a cloudy day because there isn’t much sun that’s touching the river. (solum music) So this is a slit bobber and it was designed by
our good friend Phil Rowan at Edmonton Alberta, and this bobber is designed
so that he can fish extremely long leaders yet still be
able to bring your leader into your fly rod if needed. And the way it’s designed
is quite ingenious. So what you do is you
take the center pin out, and you thread your leader
through the hole down the middle and it goes all the way
through and out the other end. Take your indicator part, and you pass your leader
material or your tidbit through the hole there as well. What you do is you find
the depth that you want, take the pin out, make
a loop with your leader, take the loop, put it down
the hole of your indicator, you then take the pin, and drop the pin into the center
effectively locking it in, but what you pull on that
leader, the loop comes loose and you can fight the fish
all the way into your rod. Let’s see if we can catch one. A good way to ensure that
you’ve got a drag free drift when you’re fishing with this indicator, and nymph system, is cast 45 degrees up and as that indicator
comes perpendicular to you, get some slack and throw
in something called a stacking mend which
throws the line up stream. It ultimately pulls the
indicator out of the water and drives the nymphs down deep and then you can simply
feed line like you would on an indicator drift as per normal. And again if you see any movement, lift gently to set the hook. So this is with no doubt the
slowest way to fish this rig, the indicator is dictating
the speed as the river flows, the indicator brings the
flies, the nymphs down with it. You can change your depth to
get right into the strike zone of the fish and it’s just a
matter or constantly putting it in front of them, in front
of them, in front of them until one decides it’s time to eat. (soft music) – Fishing in the shoulder
seasons you really need to understand and pay attention
to what the environments are telling you as how to fish. I mean today obviously it’s
sub freezing, it’s cold, the fish are very lethargic and so that’s why we switched
to this 15 foot full synced tip 350 grain sink tip
to get down to the bottom where we believe the fish will be. And you can slowly present it to them. If you put it right in
front of the right fish at the right time at the right speed, you never know man, you could
just come up with one of these trophy brown trout,
rainbows, whatever. It’s a slow game but it’s a
game that if you put your, you put your time in and your effort in you can very well be
rewarded but you know what, even if you don’t catch something, look at the environment that you’re in. It’s absolutely wonderful. I’ve been fishing all day,
had a couple of bites, this is just wonderful. There’s no reason why you have
to catch fish to have fun, especially in an environment
like this in Wyoming. It’s just perfect, absolutely fantastic. (soft music) Fish! Fish nice! Alright! Perfect! You slow down, you take your time, and you just might get lucky. It’s cold, it’s crazy, but it paid off. You know we slowed down, we went deep. Oh it’s a white fish, fantastic! Hook pops out side catch a brown trout,
mountain white fish. How fun is that? Slow down, take it easy,
slow presentations, it doesn’t matter what you catch up here, they’re just fantastic. Alright, that’s super fun. Well there you have it, on shoulder seasons when the
weather doesn’t play along, it is vital that you slow things down and you finesse. A little finesse you’ll find sure success. That’s for sure right here in Wyoming. (soft music) Well that about does
it for this episode of The New Fly Fisher, thanks for watching! For more on our series
and fishing in Wyoming, check us out at Remember adventure is out there, all you need to do is go and find it. And what better way than to do it with a fly rod in your hand. For everyone here at The New Fly Fisher, thanks for watching and
hopefully we’ll see you in the great state of Wyoming. (soft music) Hi I’m Mark Melnyk from
The New Fly Fisher Television Show I really hope you enjoyed that full length episode If you did, do me a favour and hit and hit the like button and subscribe today. Now new episodes are
going up All the time so, click that bell icon so that you’re notified the next time we
put one up

11 thoughts on “Big Horn Fly Fishing | Wyoming”

  • Oh my! You guys are the best! Such an inspiration! I long to going back to the wild and wonderful Wyoming! All the best from Ken and Sameo Sweden!

  • wyoming is outdoors men/woman paradise, hunting fishing, camping backpacking. my grandfather lived in rock springs wyoming over the years found dozens of amazing arrow heads, rock & bone knives, tamahawk, and a dinasaur bone he donated to the museum in utah

  • Must be a great fly shop. Policies of barbless flies and fishing only when water temperature allows safe release show that they take setting a good example seriously. Everybody who profits from fisheries should also be their good stewards, and I certainly would never patronize any that are not.

  • Awesome video but Ill suggest using a loon tip top indicator, they are super light weight they don't effect casting and you can also adjust depth for nymphing.

  • please make a video about tying the mouse flie… Or ask Tim Flagler to help you 😉
    The mouse I use for pike and Brown Trout is
    the Less Mess Morrish Mouse :

  • Sorry to be that guy, but brown trout are not native to the state of Wyoming lol, or anywhere in North America, they are an introduced species. I believe you meant to say "wild brown trout".

  • Excellent job. But, NW Montana just south of Glacier National has same estuaries filled with huge browns, rainbow, and cutthroat. Wyoming is good, but I think the native wild spawn population is much larger in NW Montana, from Lincoln and north of. All averaging 17-26 inches, with the occasional 32+inch 8lbs+ beasts. But ya the Big Horn river is pretty good.

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