North Platte & Bighorn Rivers
The main section of the North Platte River that we fish is Grey Reef, arguably the best fly fishing destination in the United States. The first 8 miles below Grey Reef Dam is the most “famous”, known to have the highest fish populations per mile and larger than average trout. The slow meandering pace of this typical tailwater offers soft seams, deep tail outs, slow moving riffles and productive inside corners for trout to hold and feed. We also guide the 50 plus additional miles all the way to Casper where the river becomes more like a freestone with steeper gradients, faster runs and a rockier bottom. Perhaps the biggest advantage the North Platte trout have over other rivers is the abundance of multiple food sources. Midges, Baetis, Pesudos, Caddis, Nocturnal Stoneflies, Trico’s, PMD’s and Yellow Sallies are complemented by protein rich Annelids, Leeches, Scuds, Crane Flies, and Eggs. Warming water temps in the spring bring the first big hatches of the year. Morning midges are suddenly replaced by afternoon blanket Baetis hatches producing some of the most consistent and predictable angling for big trout anywhere during the months of April and May. As we move into summer, Baetis are replaced by PMD’s and Yellow Sallies. Flows are higher than before and more river miles can be covered by a boat each day, spreading everyone out. These are the glory days on the Reef as the trout begin moving closer to banks and the inside of runs. Hoppers can also be prevalent and an exciting surface meal for the trout to gorge on. The late summer Trico hatch is some of the most pleasing dry fly fishing you could ever ask for. In the early morning hours its not uncommon to see pods of 40 plus fish eating on the surface. Come in late summer or fall to enjoy powerful streamer fishing, as water temps start to go down the fish get more fired up. No matter what time of the year you decide to fish Grey Reef, you always have the chance of awesome fishing with hard fighting fish, violent strikes, acrobatic aerial shows and excitement from start to finish.
Beginning beneath Kortes Dam the “Miracle Mile” is the highest tail water of the North Platte River that we fish. This is also considered to be the most unique and temperamental fishery we have to offer. The exceptionally large fish size attracts anglers from all over to have their shot at one of these trophy trout. The Mile is regarded as a quality over quantity fishery. Fish in the 20”-24” class are extremely common; on some rivers a trout this big is considered a fish of a lifetime. From the perspective of a fishing guide, the best day of the year will come at the Mile and so will the worst. Fishing can be tough, the wind can be howling and just because you hook a 20+” trout does not mean you land it. These fish take being hooked personally. This beautiful tail water sits in the foothills of the Pedro and Seminoe Mountains and feeds into Pathfinder Reservoir. Your day will be filled with beautiful views, faster water and far more rocks than you would see on Grey Reef. The Mile is also known for its Golden Stonefly hatch that leads to happy fish gorging themselves on these high protein meals. The Mile is located in the middle of nowhere, half of your drive will be on an unpredictable dirt road that isn’t forgiving on equipment and sometimes is inaccessible due to recent weather and moisture. Guests will also have to follow guides to boat ramps and assist with a shuttle. However, the size of fish and overall experience is what will continue to always bring people back to the Mile, a true Wyoming experience.
By far the most beautiful tail water the North Platte has to offer, Fremont Canyon is a wade only fishery due to its lower flows. Don’t let this fool you, this section of river holds very big fish. Fremont has everything to offer and is suitable for any angler. Mellow walking, short casts and easy to read water is all part of the Meadow section. Nymphing can be phenomenal and is productive year round. Just be ready to run down the bank… In the warmer months you can often catch it on a day with a good hatch and the fish will be looking up. Dry fly fishing can be great, but the fish may be picky so be ready to put on smaller flies and lighter tippet. If you like to be a little more adventurous then the Canyon section is just for you. Boulder hop your way along the river while fishing to all types of water in whichever way you desire. Dries, dry-dropper, nymphing and streamer fishing can all be productive here. Big boulders along the river give you a great vantage point, it’s a blast to spot and stalk fish. The view alone is worth going to Fremont and the fishing is world class as well.
Two hours northwest of Casper, the Bighorn river boasts breath taking views and incredible healthy trout. One of Wyoming’s premier Blue Ribbon trout rivers, this renown tail water has abundant food sources that keep the fish active and eager to feed even during the coldest of months. Anglers have unusually consistent dry fly opportunities to target fish on the surface throughout the season starting with early spring midges lasting through the late fall pseudo blue wing hatches. Many of our anglers prefer steamer fishing and can be epic for trophy trout in 20+ inch range that prevail here. After a wonderful day on the river, spoil yourself in the hot springs of nearby Thermopolis.