Spring Fly Fishing, Barbless Pledge and the Flushing Flows

Wyoming is sparsely populated with people but densely populated with trout. The fly fishing at Miracle Mile, Fremont Canyon and Grey Reef is firing on all cylinders. Slowly retrieved streamers are getting some love but the most effective rigs have been a scud/midge nymph rig with pretty light tippet and keeping the midge up in the water column a little bit. The Reef Fly Shop has a great selection of custom foam winged (buoyant) patterns to accomplish this approach. Worms and leeches are also good lead patterns. Miracle Mile has a pretty strong preference for red San Juan Worms or Bead Head Mohair Leeches, Fremont Canyon likes light tippet and a rig with 2 midges. Focusing on soft edges and tailouts is a really good idea but don’t discount shelves and riffles in heavier parts of the daily midge hatch.

Give us a shout if you are shopping for an awesome domestic fly fishing package for 2020. We are easy to fly and drive to and can compete with any destination in the world when it comes to the experience and high quality fishing. We have a great corporate and group option (including reduced rates and airport transportation) as well. We have Grey Reef’s most experienced guide staff, best location and unmatched private access since 1998.

The Flushing Flows are scheduled to begin March 28 and continue for 10 days. Many factors can alter the schedule so expect some changes. Grey Reef Reservoir will be down to the river channel on March 24th.

We pledged to fish barbless over 20 years ago and hope you’ll join us. It is really simple to pinch your barbs and it is the right thing to do for our trout population and catch-and-release fly fishing. Recently we’ve witnessed an uptick of social media accounts almost glorify pictures of trout that are missing parts of their face. This is caused by irresponsible angling. There are many things we can do to reduce the instances of disfigured trout but pinching barbs is the first step. Let’s not make the fish suffer for our lack of ability. Preserve trout faces at Grey Reef and fisheries everywhere by pledging to pinch your and your fishing customers’ barbs.

This brown was proud to swim away with all lips

 

 

River Report, Cheap Trips and Up and Coming for 2020

Fishing has been solid with variable weather conditions at Grey Reef and Miracle Mile. Low pressure has been frequent so snow and slushy conditions have persisted in Central Wyoming. Our snow pack is well above average and that should mean excellent flows sooner than later. Grey Reef is humming with big midge hatches and stout trout enjoying easy pickings. One of our original patterns the PAL (an acronym for a semi-crass name beginning with Periwinkle, this is what Colorado based tiers have come to identify it as) is a multi purpose rockstar pattern that gets it done year round. Trail it behind a scud or a leech, pinch the barb, and let it go to work. We can thank one of Grey Reef’s original full time fishing guides , Adrian Keeler, for that morsel. Miracle Mile fishing is also good and a slow stripped Rusty Trombone or a worm/midge nymph rig will get their attention in the nondescript fringe water and way in the tailouts. The Reef fly Shop has good guide availability for the best discounted trips and lodging packages in the business. This will run through mid March. We also have a 3 night/2 day cottage/guided fishing package beginning where the off season rates end…this will be available starting March 15 and terminate April 10 for $1295. This is a #bugsnotbeads promo.

NPL has some great inclusive spots available for up to 12 anglers staying (eating well!) and fishing all of our famous private access. Come solo or bring 11 or your best fishing friends to enjoy the famous spring fishing at Grey Reef. We also do corporate packages but don’t book this if you don’t want to build connections with your customers.

Father’s Day Event – two nights and 2 days packaged for the Friday and Saturday before Father’s Day. Arrive by noon on Friday and we’ll fish well into the eve before retuning to the lodge for dinner and rise early for a full day trip on Saturday. Depart Sunday AM in time to make it back for an afternoon BBQ at home with your family. This is PERFECT for the Front Range folks.

Women’s Event- This was a huge hit last year with a great menu, morning yoga sessions, excellent dry fly fishing, wine tasting, cigar sampling and great camaraderie. We have one spot for 2 anglers left. Do it!

Trophy Trout Tournament – Are you an aggressive streamer angler and can out pace anybody on the river? This is your show. Teams of 2 but a single winner. The longest fish of the weekend takes home cash and prizes from Scott Fly Rods, Simms, Nautilus Reels, The Reef Fly Shop etc. Enjoy adult beverages from Gruner Brothers Brewing and Backwards Distilling both local craft wizards. This is the last weekend of October so expect some adverse weather conditions and heavily foraging trophy-class North Platte River trout.

 

 

Wyoming Fly Fishing with a Conscience for 22 Years

Get your crew gathered up and book the ultimate fly fishing experience at the North Platte Lodge for 2020. Our 22nd season at the original Grey Reef fly fishing lodge! Wow, where has the time gone? We accommodate 1 -12 anglers at the lodge. Are you shopping and trying to distinguish differences between operations? The main differences are our location, experience of guide staff, food, access, on site liquor sales, vacation rentals, we have a big van for airport shuttles, cigars, full service fly shop, drift boat rentals, river shuttles and we don’t fish pegged bead rigs. I guess that means we are the only fly fishing operation in Central Wyoming? We also have great guided wing shooting and big game hunting. Our corporate trip option is as good as it gets. Call 307.237.1182 and start your favorite tradition.

Grey Reef and the Big Horn River are fishing very well. Miracle Mile fishing report is good. Lets start with the Big Horn River in Themopolis, WY.  It is the Wyoming banana belt which means super nice weather, far less wind and warmer temps and big big fish. Book a Big Horn trip with us for $475/day for 2 anglers. Book 2 days or more and we’ll reduce the price to $450/day for early season. High pressure is bad for skiing and excellent to fill the winter gap on the river. Do it!

Grey Reef fishing well with midge, scud nymph rigs. Tailouts and soft edges for most of the day. active feeders will move up to the shelves during the big daily midge hatch. The upper is floatable right now but there has been some ice chokes. Nobody is fishing The Reef! What are they scared of, catching big fish without an audience? Miracle Mile trout are looking at slowly retrieved Rusty Trombones or similar and eating midges well back off of the heavy part of the runs. Roads are good and it has really been a bit too busy for the level of production. But hey, that’s The Mile.

 

Here’s to the New Year!

We just want to begin by saying we hope you all had a safe and happy New Year!!  To kick the fishing year off right, we hit the water yesterday for a little streamer session.  With water temperatures at the lowest point for the year the “grab” wasn’t anything crazy but we did manage some really nice fish, the largest being a 22″ brown.  Oh and we did lose one that was substantially larger…  As you would expect the nymphing is excellent right now and it will only get better has we head towards the spring.  We do have some openings currently in April, so if you want to experience some of the most productive fishing of the year, give us a call.

PATHFINDER OUTFITTERS(BG-058) On the hunting end of things…for NONRESIDENTS applying for ELK…Applicants may apply between January 2 and January 31.  The nonresident elk license draw will no longer be in February, but will be conducted in May.  The tentative draw results date is May 21st.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

Snow has piled up and the ice has started to form along the
edges of the North Platte River. Animals have started to move
to their winter ranges and the fish have slid down in the runs
with the cold-water temps. This can be some of the best times
to take advantage of the vacant banks, crowd less runs, and
abundant fish. Of course, the ice and wind can make it
challenging. This is when the slower, tail outs of runs can be
your most productive areas. Like many things in the winter, fish
become lethargic. Wanting to conserve as much energy as
possible. Eating the easiest of food. Start by working soft edges
of seams. Changing lengths and depths. And moving down in
the runs. The fish will be sitting in places that can be hard to get
a perfect drift. Mending will be harder with the more delicate
presentations needed at times. But be patient. Pack extra gear
prepare to chip ice from your guides. If you can handle it,
you’re in for some amazing opportunity at world class fish.

The Reef Fly Shop has just what you need to get you going.
From the gear to the trip. Contact the shop to get your “off
season rate” and your trip booked. We have the best access for
wade fishing slow runs and our ramps on the upper stretch
allow for access to float stretches that typically never freeze
over. And what better gifts for the holiday season than some
gear from the shop! From Santa rod and reel set ups to stocking
stuffers of all sizes, we have what you need. If you are out in
Alcova stop in to see some great sales and prices for anyone in
your family.

Give us a shout if you’d like to explore a Spring trip to Grey Reef. 307.237.1182

Cheap Trip Season and Prepping for 2020

Grey Reef has been fishing especially well. Still getting them on dry flies, streamers and nymph rigs…of course. Midges, baetis and some caddis still bopping around. The dominant hatch will continue to be midges throughout the winter season. Scuds, crawdads and leeches and the ever present midge patterns should be lining your boxes. Everyday is a fishing day on the lower North Platte River system…that is no exaggeration. You may not be equipped to handle the really rough weather but the fish don’t care. Miracle Mile fishing has been good but a junk show. Really congested and lots of targeting spawning fish. That being said, there are high quality fish in areas where they are actually feeding. Fremont is super fun and presenting some nice dry fly options. The streamer game is strong and you can get away with a pretty aggressive retrieve on the right day. Not tons of banks to target but those that have the right cover are well worth it. Retrieving across the runs and through slack water has been successful. Stay high in the system for the big boys or even walk the pathway in Casper to target some sippers…many are in the 10-12″ range but there are brutes through town as well.

We’ve got the best cheap trip option with location, lodging and access. We’ve only got one remaining cottage available for this weekend and over Thanksgiving. Save a bunch of coin and have a great experience.

Upland Bird Hunts, we are booking upland hunts with our Big Horn Basin program. Great hunting with a solid fishing option to match. Wild Chukar, Huns and Pheasant.

2020 NPL Bookings- It is time! Get your plans dialed and on the books. We’ve always been fortunate to have strong repeat guests but we do still have really good lodge openings for next season. Give a call to explore the best timing for you and your group. 307.237.1182

 

Fall at Grey Reef, Miracle Mile and Beyond

*Brown landed a couple afternoons ago after a successful Sage Grouse hunt

Central Wyoming is giving us a show. Fishing, upland, waterfowl and big game hunting all part of the program and really productive. We still have a couple great lodge package opportunities for 2019 as well as cottage and day trip availabilities. Remaining NPL dates:

Oct 9-12 for up to 4 anglers

Oct 16-19 for up to 4 anglers

Have you heard about the Big Horn Basin upland bird hunting and Cast and Blast? These trips are based out of Thermopolis, WY and provide Chukar, Hun and pheasant hunting with the added bonus of  fishing the Big Horn River. The birds are available to hunt through January and the fishing is solid all year round.

TTT aka the Grey Reef Trophy Trout Tournament will go live on Oct 24 when 6 teams will compete over the next 3 days to land the longest trout. The 2019 Tournament is full but keep it on your radar for 2020. Lots of great sponsors, events and stuff, but the real draw is grinding out some long days of throwing streamers and trusting your strategy. We’ll update as we proceed.

Wyoming Fly Fishing: The hopper program is mostly over but Tricos, psuedos, crane flies and caddis all are providing banner dry fly currently and will through the end of October. Nymphing is strong and streamers are moderately productive…by this we mean not all fish will display interest but the fish that count likely will.

Wyoming Upland Hunting: The Sage Grouse season is winding down and it has been very favorable. Sorry to the many folks who requested hunts that we couldn’t fulfill! Lets try to get you on the books for 2020. We have Hun hunters out today in the Big Horn Basin and early season waterfowlers at Grey Reef this AM prior to an afternoon of dry fly fishing. No report yet for the upland guides but the water fowl crew collected a number of mallards and a couple geese. Interestingly the teal were a bit stand-offish for them this AM.

Wyoming Big Game Hunting: Our hunting guests are 100% thus far with elk and antelope hunters tagging. We have several more hunts happening through the first week of November. The antelope hunters added that to their program of hunting Sage Grouse and hopper fishing. What a cool trip and it exceeded all of our expectations.

Cheap Wyoming Fly Fishing: We hate to call it that but that is really what it is. Beginning Nov 15th and running through March 14th we offer reduced cottage and fishing guide rates with a super-cheap packaged option. What do you get? A full day guided fly fishing trip with one of our experienced rostered guide, the best private access available in the state (both quantity and quality) and flies. What don’t you get? Lunch…bring your own! The quality of the fishing does not suffer at all and can actually be more productive on a number of fronts during the cheap season. The weather might not be as stable so if you are a tender foot pony-up the extra cash and fish in July. If you are harty and miserly…the cheap trip is for you.

 

Wyoming Fly Fishing, Bird Hunting, Big Game and Trophy Trout Tournament

It has been a busy Grey Reef fishing season thus far. We are loving the summer weather and the associated hatches. Expect plenty of dry fly opportunities and filling in with nymphing and streamers through mid October-ish then we will likely be back to streamer and nymphing with some midge dry fly chances. We have a full schedule with a couple upcoming events and we are kicking off our latest hunting program – Upland Game Bird Hunting in the Big Horn Basin.

The Women’s Event happens in two weeks and it’ll be a ton of fun with yoga, a great menu, wine and spirit tasting, cigars and, of course, stellar fly fishing! We are booked this year but give us a shout to jump on board for the 2020 trip!

Trophy Trout Tournament – This is where serious streamer anglers compete to land the longest trout of the weekend. Fish hard and enjoy the peripheral activities like an evening sponsored by Gruner Brothers Brewing, tying demo with Dirty Water Fly Company and great food etc etc. Cash and prizes for the top angler and team. This is an inclusive event with lodging, meals, private access and guided fishing. Arrive Oct 24, fish 25-27 and depart 27. Two team spots still available. Call 307.237.1182 to claim your position. There is a Facebook Event page as well located at North Platte Lodge.

UPLAND BIRD HUNTING – We are kicking off our outpost upland wing shooting operation for 2019 and if you like wild Huns, Chukar, Pheasant with a couple other species sprinkled in this hunt has your name on it. Call for details and to book your trips. The season runs from mid September through mid January. This package also make a great cast and blast. The Big Horn River is a prolific trout fishery that compliments even more prolific upland bird hunting. We will base these hunts out of Thermopolis, WY.

The secret must be out? October is booking up at North Platte Lodge but we still have great spots available and a couple full lodge spots for big groups. Come see what makes October a guide’s choice month on the Grey Reef and Miracle Mile sections of the North Platte River. Excellent fishing, early season waterfowl cast and blasts, trophy class trout aggressively seeking a well presented streamer, beautiful fall weather and very light river traffic.

Call 307.237.1182

Fly Fishing 411

Apologies for our lack of fishing reports as of late.  As most of you probably assumed, it’s been pretty darn busy.  Well, here we are at more or less the mid-point of the 2019 season.  Water conditions are great, finally, and we are staring down the barrel of some more excellent summer fly fishing on the North Platte River.

With reservoirs just about topped off and flows holding steady (Grey Reef-3,000cfs, Miracle Mile-4,000cfs, Fremont Canyon-800cfs), fishing should only get better…and with higher, steady flows-it’s getting buggy.  Lots of caddis and pmds…with yellow sallies just around the corner.  Golden stones are still happening on the Miracle Mile but the peak of the hatch has passed.  The other thing we are starting to see A LOT of are hoppers, that’s right…lots and lots of hoppers.  Now, we can’t promise hopper madness like 2011-12 but we are already starting to see some fish look up.  If that’s not enough for you the lower river is prime for streamer fishing.  Banks are inundated and its that ideal “streamer green” color.

If you have fishing on the brain, now would be a great time to give us a call.  Oh, one last thing…STREAMER TOURNAMENT October 24-27.  Call for details.  It’s going to be a grand old time!

Fish like water.

2019, thus far, has not disappointed.  Our average size fish is most certainly larger than the past several years, with strong a representation of 17-18″ fish.  We are also seeing plenty of fish in the larger size classes.  Simply put-the fish are big, healthy and fighting hard.

If you have not payed us a visit yet, you might be unaware of the cool and wet weather we have been having.  And unless you enjoy watching the snowpack and reservoir data like we do, you probably are not aware that we still have more to come.  What does this mean for Central Wyoming and the North Platte watershed?  More water and some exciting fishing.  With reservoir levels all currently above 80% and more runoff to come we can expect flows to drastically go up in the coming weeks.  Not going to lie, we are excited!  Big flows mean big floats and chucking to the banks.  Just pick a side of the river and start fishing.  Also we can’t rule out the potential for world-class hopper fishing.  2019 is very reminicent of 2011/2012…just saying.

Regardless, this summer is stacking up to be a great one!  We do have a few rooms left for the remainder of the year, so if you have the itch to experience some of the best fishing of the season, give us a call!  307.237.1182