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.

Bring on the bugs!

The 10 days of the Spring flush has come to an end. Fishing has been great! The river bed has been cleared of most silt and debris. The fish are now moving up to their spawning beds throughout the river. As always spawning is an exciting time of year. Being able to see hundreds of fish in their yearly routine is something many have never had the opportunity to witness. The blonde cleared away patches of pebbles checker board in the shallows with some dark shadows of fish near by. These fish are now creating the future of the river. Anglers as well as other people need to respect the fishes space by avoiding walking and fishing in these fragile places. This will help preserve our amazing fishery. Although there are many fish spawning, there are also many that are not. Some are patiently waiting their turn. A selection of fish sit and feed in preparation for spawning or once they are complete in the deep runs and soft edges. However, fish are not the only creatures going through this Spring dance.
The banks of the river are lined with all sorts of wildlife that call the North Platte river home. Nesting eagles are always a site to see. Golden and Bald eagles both call the Platte River their home for generations. Seeing these regal giants sore above, and occasionally giving us the quick photo opportunity, is truly magnificent. Along or banks also has turkeys currently strutting their stuff, along with the beautiful ducks and geese. Chicks will soon start to pop up along the river, and newly born fawns will start to show up with their mothers for a quick drink.
Oh, and did we mention our Spring bugs! They will start to swarm the water. From the Baetis popping up on the surface; to swarms of midges that seem to form small clouds that always follow the boat. The fish become very active during this time. Fish forget all about the cold, lethargic state from winter water temps, and go into somewhat of a feeding frenzy.
Being able to witness some of these events is worth a trip to the North Platte in itself. Catching world class fish while doing it, well that’s just the bonus. Give us a call and get your next opportunity booked!

The Guide Report

In the recent weeks, there has been some unbelievable and tragic flooding in the United States. From Nebraska, South Dakota into Montana and North Dakota. Ice jams and high waters have devastated many of our great country towns, cities and farmlands. Our heart goes out to all who are hurting. If you are wanting to help in any way. There are a few ways. From food and clothing donations all the way to aid and relief donations. Check with your local area to see how to help or Click the links below to learn more.

https://www.redcross.org/about-us/our-work/disaster-relief/flood-relief.html

https://criout.com/donate/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwhPfkBRD0ARIsAAcYycH3iQ7ZV-_MS17q8riM2-6kFGmiOca0EGWgkYAoKCe3PMDUV65d2b8aAq2bEALw_wcB

Here in Alcova we are fortunate to not have these events happening to us. There is a series of lakes and bottom release dams upstream of Alcova. That and being relatively in close proximity to each other, this keeps flooding at bay. There is some ice that forms further downstream from Grey reef dam but because of the low flows and not a lot of run off in the drainages entering the river, these devastating ice jams are not formed like they are in large rivers across our nation. We have received quite a few phone calls asking if we are affected by these and we appreciate the concern of everyone. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who are not as fortunate. 

Etiquette – noun; the customary code of polite behavior in a society or among members of a particular profession or group.

For many years, guys have been “rowing” around this topic. River etiquette and respectfully fishing around others. At any time, and for many reasons, certain stretches of the North Platte River can get a little busy. Boats can get bottle necked up in runs and wade fishermen and women can get stacked along the banks. That being said, it is easy for frustrations to ensue. This can be easily avoided if everyone is on the same page. First off, be polite. Have you ever heard the term, “respect is earned, not given”? It is simple, treat anglers with the same respect and curtesy that you would like to have. This applies here to the max. Move over for anglers and give them space. Now, we all understand that sometimes this is unavoidable. Obstacles in the way to prevent you from maneuvering without hitting. All the way to weather conditions. This brings up the next topic: Be vocal. If you have to move a certain direction and are unable to give the wade fishermen space, let them know. Just don’t assume that everyone knows. Many anglers have never rowed a boat and do not understand this. By having a quick, respectful conversation with everyone, letting them know, it will be very much appreciated. All of this applies to other boaters. When a boat is in a stretch on a certain line, follow them. And if you don’t know where they were fishing, ask. It is all the etiquette of the anglers and guides that can make every one’s experiences that much better. 

It was a awesome stretch of weather we just had for a few straight days. Very little wind. Not kidding, almost no wind. Sunny days. And happy fishermen. This beckoned anglers from all over to get out and enjoy it. The Spring Flush started today and it couldn’t have happened at a more opportune time. The North Platte river, downstream from the Lusby access take out has been dirty all the way to town. The recent warm weather meting away snow along the banks and drainages making it muddy. The flush will help move that dirty water away faster giving everyone the opportunity to spread out and fish about anywhere. However, as we are updating you as we speak, we are getting hit with yet another spring snow storm. A wet heavy snow has covered us up and is continuing to come down. Its only supposed to last for today but it is definitely nice to get all this moisture. If you haven’t done so and are looking to get some days in on the North Platte. Give us a call and get your trips booked. We hope to see you out there.

Beautiful Days and Melting Snow

As a lot of you may have seen, central Wyoming was hit with a big snow storm last week. Snow accumulations varied in the area and drifts have piled high. A lot of our boat ramps were not usable because of this. However, this didn’t stop us from getting out and enjoying the beautiful weather for the days that followed.  We weren’t the only ones! This was a busy weekend for the Grey Reef stretch. Quite a few boats out there. With our private access we can often avoid traffic and this is what we did! The fishing has been pretty good the last few days and has produced some very healthy, well wintered, fat trout. This time of year there is a variety of food the fish are eating. From midges and annelids, all the way to worms and leeches. This definitely makes the choice of what to use easy.  Even though the water temps are sitting at 38°F to 42°F, the trout are fighting hard! Let em run! If you haven’t already, get your trips booked at The Reef Fly Shop. 

Just a quick update on the spring Flush. It has been postponed to March 29th and it will now be a full 10 day flush. We will continue to update on this if there are any other changes.

With the recent snow and drifts, it had made the road to the Miracle Mile not passable. Many who tried over the weekend were in for a shock. Turning around to head back to the Grey Reef and even getting stuck themselves. This has recently changed. The plow has opened the main road up and a few are making the drive over now. The roads along the river are still bad so be careful out there and good luck! Share your pictures with us on Facebook or Instagram. We would love to see how everyone is doing!

Warmer temperatures and some beautiful days are in the forecast. With all the snow sitting around, this can cause for some cloudy river conditions. Sometimes this may lead to fishing a little different or even fishing some different locations.  Be flexible and trust your guides. You never know, it may turn into an unexpected adventure of a lifetime. Give us a call and get your next adventure booked!