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Best Rivers & Streams to Fish Around Laramie – Our Top 5

Southeastern Wyoming has some truly amazing fishing in countless lakes, rivers, streams, beaver ponds and reservoirs. If you are not taking advantage of the great fishing you need to. This week, after many weeks of flooding, the rivers are finally dropping to fish-able conditions. Make plans to get your gear and family and friends out on our Wyoming waters for a great day of fishing. My top 5 rivers and streams are based on ease of getting to and from, and success in actually catching fish. Please check Game and Fish for fishing regulations and limits and bring your fishing licenses for all fishermen.


Big Brown
Photo Four Season Anglers
 

Miracle Mile, on the North Platte River, has been a well known trout fishery for decades. It is probably still a more recognized name than Grey Reef. Miracle Mile deserves its reputation as a productive fly fishing destination for trophy trout. What to catch: The Miracle Mile has rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout in healthy numbers. The ratio of species are more evenly matched than at Grey Reef. Although, rainbows and browns are caught far more often than cutthroat trout. The trout population took a hit earlier this decade and have been making strong recovery ever since. There are around 2000 fish per mile as of the latest Wyoming Game and Fish count. The average size of Miracle Mile's trout are not what they once were, but will grow to rival their heyday at the current rate. Directions: The Miracle Mile can be accessed by four different roads coming from four different directions. You can travel north from Sinclair, Wyoming; west from Hanna, Wyoming; south from Wyoming HWY 77 in Shirley Basin or east from Alcova, Wyoming. Fly Patterns: BH halfbacks, San Juan worms, Reef worms, Amber scuds, Goldie Locks, Vanilla buggers, Thin Mints, Red hots, Princesses, Magnum prince Mini sculpins, Egg patterns

 
Photo Four Season Anglers
Photo Four Season Anglers
2
 
 

The Gray Reef section of the North Platte River was voted #1 by American Angler Magazine in its winter edition of 2005, as the top spot in the world for large trout.This is where good eastern brook trout fishermen come to find nirvana-you have a better chance at a trophy rainbow (or, for that matter, brown) on the North Platte than you do just about anywhere else in the lower 48 (American Angler Magazine). The Gray Reef, located 30 miles south of Casper on Wyoming State Highway 220, is one of two Blue Ribbon tail waters on the North Platte River. It is considered one of the best Rainbow trout fisheries in the country with fish averaging 16-20 inches and plenty of fish in the 10 pound range. Fishing from a drift boat or raft is the best way to explore this area because of the limited public water to wade fish. When floating this stretch be careful where you drop anchor or get out of the boat. Wyoming state law states that the landowner owns everything but the water that you are floating on. There have been several fishermen that have been fined up to $250 for trespassing on private land. The largest public stretch of river is located below Government Bridge, at Clarkson Hill and By the Way Ranch Public Fishing areas. There are several other less significant access points that are mainly used as boat launching points, including Government Bridge, Sechrist, Bessemer Bend, and Robertson Road, each of which has a boat ramp. Fly Patterns: Red San Juan Worms, Reef worms, Egg patterns, scuds (especially in orange), red hots, zebra midges, ray charles, Goldie Locks Vanilla buggers, Thin Mints, Squirrel Leeches, Hot Head Leeches, PMD nymphs

 
Photo Two Dog Guide Service
Photo Two Dog Guide Service
 

At the foot of the Snowy Range Mountains flows a hidden gem through the Wyoming plains, the North Platte River. This pristine freestone river, nestled in the Saratoga Valley, offers a rare combination of Blue Ribbon trout fishing, spectacular views, abundant wildlife, and no crowds. This freestone fishery begins in North Park Colorado at the confluence of Grizzly and Little Grizzly Creek and flows north into Wyoming picking up several other small streams along the way. The North Platte continues north through Wyoming over 300 miles before it heads east and reaches the Nebraska border. On its travels the characteristics of the river change dramatically from a deep canyons with tight narrow runs to wide meandering flats in the lower pasture and high desert sections. The 60 miles between the Routt access and the town of Saratoga is all considered a Blue Ribbon trout fishery and has not been stocked since 1979. In 1982 the Wyoming Game & Fish Department instituted a slot limit, which requires all fish between 10-16 inches to be released immediately. They also designated this a flies and lures only stretch. The combination of these conservation regulations drastically increased the number of trout per mile. The North Platte now claims 4000 fish per mile consisting mainly of browns and rainbows, with a few Snake River cutthroats. The North Platte River offers a multitude of wade fishing and float fishing opportunities. Fly Patterns: Cased Caddis, Rock Roller Caddis, Electric Rock Worm, Jelly Chord Caddis Soft Hackle Hares Ear, Elk Hair Caddis, Partridge Caddis, Sparkle Pupa, X-Caddis

 
Photo Four Seasons Anglers
Photo Four Seasons Anglers
 

A little closer to home you can find great fishing on the Laramie River. The Green Belt Access is located in the middle of Laramie just east of I-80 at the Snowy Range Exit (exit #311). It contains wild brown trout 10-20 inches and has recently been stocked with catchable rainbows. The best fishing is right after runoff and in the fall. This section is a slow meandering river with deep runs and undercut banks, making great streamer and hopper fishing. Another local spot is the Monolith Ranch Access. The Monolith Ranch Access is located 6 miles west of Laramie on Wyoming State Highway 230. It is mainly flat slow water with a couple of deep runs. This section contains mainly browns ranging from 10-20 inches with a few rainbows. The Pioneer Canal Access is located 20 miles west of Laramie on Wyoming State Highway 230. This is a cottonwood-lined stretch with long deep runs, perfect for dry fly fishing. Early June through July is the best time to be on this section of river. It is a short walk from Wyoming State Highway 230 but it is well worth it. The Jelm Access is the most scenic public stretch of the Big Laramie River. It is located 30 miles west of a Laramie off of Wyoming State Highway 230 then south on Wyoming State Highway 10 at Woods Landing. It flows through a small canyon with far more riffles and runs than in the pastureland closer to Laramie. Pocket water, undercut banks, and faster moving water characterize the Big Laramie. The best time to fish this section of the Laramie is from mid May through early July and again in the fall. Fly Patterns: BH buggers black and olive, BMB olive and brown, Thin Mints Vanilla Buggers, Peacock buggers, Magnum Princes, Egg patterns, San Juan worms, Gummy Buggers, Brown Buggers, San Juan worms, Big Hole buggers

 
Photo Mike Gray
Photo Mike Gray
 

The wild trout on the Little Laramie River are trophy sized but can be easily spooked. Anglers fishing here need to know the art of stealthy fly fishing to be successful. A day on The Little Laramie can be a fun and challenging fly fishing experience. Fly Fishing access is limited due to private ownership so you need to know someone and ask for access or book a guided fly-fishing service. A couple of years ago we were eating at the Vee-Bar Ranch and I asked if I could fish out in front of our cabin. I caught an 18 inch brown trout; so glad I asked! This week the river will go down and reveal new fishing spots. Fly Patterns: BH buggers black and olive, BMB olive and brown, Thin Mints Vanilla Buggers, Peacock buggers, Magnum Princes, Egg patterns, San juan worms, Gummy Buggers, Brown Buggers, San Juan worms, Big Hole buggers

 

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