I fished the Bighorn River in August of 2018 with my father and brother. It was my first time visiting a river after my last combat deployment to Afghanistan. At the time, I did not know that it would be my last deployment. My decision to leave the A-10 behind after fourteen years deeply impacted my life. That trip to the Bighorn was cathartic. The fishing was excellent. The room was great. The food was outstanding. Everyone we talked to was genuine in their desire for us to have a great time.
We had to pull the drift boat back upstream to reach the pull out. It was our first day on the Bighole River and fishing had been slow. I pushed and my brother pulled until we reached the concrete that jutted into the current and my brother handed the rope to my father and left to get his truck. It was not a far distance to move the drift boat, but combined with a slow day fishing, I stood waist deep in the cold water a bit deflated.
To me, the riffles are every bit as exciting as any other part of the river. I think of the riffles as connections between sections on the river. You cannot catch fish if you are not fishing as you move from section to section.
It was August on the Bighorn River when I learned that trout are lazy.
My brother drove the whole way. I sat in in the back. My father was up front. My brother and father had split the cost of the drift boat four years earlier. That was before the Rendezvous.
It is hard to mess up a day of fly fishing on the Bighole River in Montana, but in the middle of a PMD hatch and rising trout all around me, I was trying my hardest.
I rowed most of the day while they fished. The Bighorn River is easy to float in a drift boat and there are many good places to stop and wade.