Where to Find High Country Trout and What To Do
March 19, 2018
Wyoming, Idaho and Montana offer some amazing high country trout angling options, and these are among the very best.
Into the heart of the premiere wild trout fishing on the continent comes spring and great fishing in the northern Rockies. As always there will fantastic trout fishing this year in the land where "A River Runs Through It."
The rivers and lakes of these mountains are so good some people come here every year. Some stay their lives. And, here is why.
The most noted trout fishing in Wyoming occurs where vast stretches of national forest, national park and BLM land hold some of the finest trout fishing in America. There is so much public water that an angler can't fish all of it in a lifetime.
It's where Tim Wade, with North Fork Anglers in Cody, has fished for years. And he says this time of year has very good fishing in tailwaters and in freestone streams, if they aren't muddied too much.
It's a good time for trout anglers because the main crush of the tourist season has yet to arrive. But even when that does occur later in the summer, it's not hard to escape the human herd. Even a short walk on most streams will get you away from the crowds.
In northwestern Wyoming fishermen can hit the lower stretches of streams earlier on because they will open up earlier in spring. Fishing higher up in Yellowstone or the mountains comes on later.
"Our spring season is very good," says Wade. "Dry fly fishing on tailwaters and nymphing on freestone. We have 1,500-miles of streams in the Cody area. It all starts in the third week in March."
Wade recommends watching the weather this time of year to determine where to fish.
"It depends on how the weather warms up," he says. "The high desert lakes have big fish. From May to June we fish more lakes when runoff is going on. Our freestone rivers may be blown out, but the still-water fishing is awesome in April, May and June."
East Newton Lake sets at a five-minute drive from Cody, is easy to get to and has 22-inch brown trout and rainbows. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department manages this lake as a trophy trout fishery. It doesn't disappoint.
Regulations there call for flies and artificial lures only. It's good for spin-fishermen.
Smaller spinners will work.
And, of course, fly-fishing works well. Good flies include blue-winged olives and scuds.
Montana Trout Hookset