Fishing the Afterbay
As the Yellowtail Dam generates power, the water is collected in the Afterbay reservoir. The intent is to preserve a constant flow of the Bighorn River for fish and wildlife habitat.
Fishing: The Afterbay’s main species is rainbow trout. Brown trout, carp, ling and other warm water species can also be found in the reservoir. The Afterbay is stocked by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks every third year. The next stocking will occur in spring 2010 with 6” to 8” rainbow trout. Some of the best places to shoreline fish include: the buoy line at the Afterbay Dam, close to the campgrounds, and around the Historic Big Horn Headgate. Keep in mind:
Note: This page does not provide all the fishing regulations. To see the fishing regulations for Montana click here...
Boating: There is a boat launch on the south side of the Afterbay. Motor boating is allowed on the reservoir with the exception of the area closest to Yellowtail Dam (beyond the orange log boom near the historic Bighorn Head Gate). Restricted areas are also identified and delineated by signs or boat restraining systems.
Camping: There are two campgrounds at the Afterbay, one on the south side with 24 spaces and another on the north side with 12 spaces. There is also hard sided camping only in the parking lot of the Afterbay Boat launch.
Swimming: Do not swim in the Afterbay! Though the reservoir does not freeze, the water temperature rarely gets warmer then the mid-40s, even wading in these waters can be treacherous.
Did You Know?
The Bighorn River is a tailwater, which means the water temperature doesn’t fluctuate like a freestone river, and rarely freezes. This means float and wade fishing is available year round, and anglers can be found on the water 365 days a year. More...