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

 

Trout On Top

Over the last few weeks we have seen a lot of different weather. Literally, EVERY type of weather. From shorts and flip-flops to puffy coats, hats and gloves. This hasn’t slowed or stopped us! We are currently getting a lot of rain. What does that mean for us here? Bugs! Lots and lots of bugs! BWO’s, Midges, and even some PMD activity out there. This is a special time to get out and cast a fly. The water temps have climbed out of the winter chill and are sitting around 52-55 degrees. And couple this with our low flows at 500cfs. The fish are very active! With overcast/wet days, we are getting to see a lot of feeding fish on the surface. These fish WILL eat a presented dry fly! The past few days we have had some incredible dry fly opportunities. Its always fun to see fish on the surface eating your fly. Oh, and don’t worry. If you come out and they aren’t on the surface that day, the incredible nymphing opportunities lead to some pretty memorable days out there. June is approaching and everything is stacking up to be an unforgettable couple months. From PMD’s to Yellow Sallies and even the beginning of hoppers is all right around the corner!

One thing to keep in mind about our amazing fishery is, we have clean, fish-able water. With the series of bottom release dams upstream of the Grey Reef, we are typically clean year round. Yes, there is the occasional gully washer rain storm that will dirty the river for a day or two, but for the most part we are clean and clear. We do not have the big run off affects that other fisheries have to deal with. There are a series of small creeks that merge into the North Platte downstream of the Grey Reef boat ramp. These for the most part are small trickles into the river.

DON’T FORGET OUR STREAMER TOURNEY! We are excited to bring this unique opportunity to you. This isn’t your normal fishing tournament. Yes, there are prizes, and cash like most. Simms, Scott Fly Rods, Dirty Water Fly Co. etc.  However, this is hosted where you will be staying! So no having to leave after the long day of casting streamers. Sit back on the porch, enjoy some drinks and fine dinning! See the below information and if you’re interested, give us a call. Limited space so make the call!

STREAMER TOURNAMENT: This is a North Platte Lodge Trophy Trip on steroids and positioned at the height of the most successful time to target trophy class trout (25″ or more) . The event will be limited to 12 anglers staying and fishing double occupancy. Arrive Thursday afternoon Oct 31st, Fish full day Nov 1 and 2 and a half day Nov 3. On the final day NPL will provide a chef prepared lunch and award ceremony prior to an afternoon departure. Cash and prizes will sweeten it up! The goal is to land the longest Trout of the weekend. Lodging, meals, 17 miles of private access with 5 boat ramps and guides/boat provided. Once the roster is set you will have access to your guides to scheme your approach. Call for details 307.237.1182

 

 

 

Spring at Grey Reef and Miracle Mile, Father’s Day NPL Event, NPL Tournament Weekend

Central Wyoming Fly Fishing has been excellent. Spring Baetis ( Blue Winged Olives) and midges are dominating the hatch. The fish are super active and suspended. Some are so suspended that they are eating on top. It has been really fun. We were graced with a little wintery backhand the past couple days but Casper and Alcova are back up to near 60* degrees today. The river is in prime shape and still low flows at 500 cfs at Grey Reef and 1800 cfs at Miracle Mile. The lower North Platte River is fishable all the way through Casper at the moment but the most active and buggy locations will be much closer to Grey Reef Dam. Expect warmer conditions to get the feeder streams moving again over the next couple days causing cloudy water below Government Bridge. This should be short-lived and a bit more mileage will become (more) fishable.

The Reef Fly Shop has been in the grip of a renovation and we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel. We hope you’ll like it! The porch is going to be awesome and we’ll be able to stock more stuff to make sure you have a great experience when visiting. The cottages have been really busy but we do have some openings throughout the month. Of course, RV spots are available as well as boat rentals and river shuttles.

North Platte Lodge has some great openings for one or two rooms over the next couple weeks and over the 4th of July! This is a cool time to fish Miracle Mile’s Golden Stone Fly hatch and Grey Reef is ticking on all cylinders with PMDs, Sallies and caddis. Who doesn’t like an evening dry fly session after dessert?

FATHER’S DAY EVENT Fathers and Kids! Kids bring your Dad or Dad bring your kid/s to NPLs first Father’s Day Event. Arrive June 21, fish a full day the 22nd and 23rd then a half day the morning of the 24th before departing. We will have a nice sit down lunch before you hit the road on Sunday afternoon. All meals and lodging provided! Call for details. 307.237.1182 We realize this is the weekend after Father’s Day but we didn’t want to steal you away on your special day.

STREAMER TOURNEY Oct 31-Nov 3 This is a North Platte Lodge Trophy Trip on steroids and positioned at the height of the most successful time to target trophy class trout (25″ or more) . The event will be limited to 12 anglers staying and fishing double occupancy. Arrive Thursday afternoon Oct 31st, Fish full day Nov 1 and 2 and a half day Nov 3. On the final day NPL will provide a chef prepared lunch and award ceremony prior to an afternoon departure. Cash and prizes will sweeten it up! The goal is to land the longest Trout of the weekend. Lodging, meals, 17 miles of private access with 5 boat ramps and guides/boat provided. Once the roster is set you will have access to your guides to scheme your approach. Call for details 307.237.1182

 

Fishing is fun!

What is fishing to you? Is it the thrill of catching the fish you are seeking? Is it the suspense of the tug on your line? Is it just being out on the banks of your water, taking it all in while you wet a fly? All of these are what keeps each angler going. Have you ever noticed that your memories made while fishing somehow stick with you? Almost etched into our brain, calling for us to return to experience more. Recently I was able to fish with a guest who truly reminded me of what fishing is to me.

Wanting nothing more than to throw big streamers, Mr. Thomas was beaming when he was introduced. Not knowing what to expect or even what the river looked like, he was like a kid walking into a candy store. In a big southern drawl he explained his love of casting a streamer for the perhaps one opportunity of a fish. This was the start to our two day trip together.
Utilizing one of our private access points on the river, staying in front of most boat traffic in mind, we pushed off. Throwing a 5” long custom black fly of his own, Mr. Thomas began casting away. Only slowing down every so often to complete one of his stories. The endless conversations between us and past experiences spent on waters we shared, made time fly by. A couple grabs on his fly during these conversations altered the tone of our voices. Excitement and frustration both. This from not hooking whatever made the attempt to eat the meal he presented. As time passed and the further we made it downstream, the more I realized that what we were doing was pretty special. The banks were alive with spring sounds. Only to muffle with our laughter. Switching patterns a few times, we were able to put a couple great fish in the net. Rainbow trout that had some big appetites and attitude problems. As Mr. Thomas kept reminding me, “this is why we do it”. As the day drew to an end, and the boat ramp neared, he sat still in conversation. Not casting. Almost like he was taking in every sight he could see before his first day on the the water ended. All while expressing his excitement for the next day to come.

The next day it was much of the same. The only thing that was different was the backdrop. The Miracle Mile never ceases to amaze me. For Mr. Thomas it was a site he exclaimed he “will never forget”.  The weather wasn’t on our side but we made the most of it by bringing a couple fish to the boat. Once again, on a big custom fly of his own.

I guess in the grand scheme of things, there truly are so many different aspects to fishing. So many sites, sounds, and experiences to have. These are what keep us going. What drives us back to the water. And in the end, fuels our passion for fly fishing. Give us a call and book your stay. Let us help you fuel your passion.