Your Best Spring Fishing in Wyoming

Your Best Spring Fishing in Wyoming
Photo By Ron Sinfelt

Driving through the classic high arid plains, sagebrush hills and pitched strata of central Wyoming, the average passerby wouldn't know it even existed. But weaving its way through this dry, dusty and desolate landscape is a clear river that runs cold all year long. It's here, thirty miles west of Casper, the North Platte River forms two top-of-the-line tailwaters that are ripe with rainbows.

March & April

Both of these Blue Ribbon fisheries are full of great runs, riffles, slow pools, and submerged gravel bars, and it's in these hallowed waters that trout are measured in pounds instead of inches. Offering both brown and rainbow trout, surveys suggest that many sections of these tailwaters offer visiting anglers up to 5,000 trout per river mile.

As Mother Nature warms these hollowed waters in the spring, catch rates increase, as well as the smiles on the faces of anglers. The first tailwater is the famed Miracle Mile, and it offers anglers nearly 6 miles of access. Open year round, "The Mile" produces numerous hatches throughout the year, but in the spring it's the blue-winged olive and midge that are on the agenda when March and April roll around. Meatier patterns like leechs, scuds and San Juan worms will catch the attention of the healthy residents when they drift by as well. Bait fish are also present so brown, cream and olive colored streamers can work well.

April & May

The Gray Reef section begins below Pathfinder Reservoir and eventually makes its way to the dry plains of Nebraska. Unlike the Mile, it has no definite end, but gradually loses its tailwater traits around Lusby.

Public access for the wade angler on the Reef is limited compared to other sections of the North Platte, however; well-maintained walking trails make it easy to sample the river. The Lusby Lease is the most significant section, but Trapper's Route #1, Government Bridge and the Gray Reef Access Area near the dam also offer excellent rod-bending opportunities.

Fish counts on this section of the North Platte are extremely good, and size is also typically better. It generally produces the same hatches as the Mile this time of year, but changes slightly when summer arrives.

Needless to say, both of these blue ribbon fisheries are Wyoming gems. Simply put, if you haven't fished the North Platte, you haven't fished one of the best found in the Rocky Mountain West.

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