Fall Feels Great!

pic: 20 year guest David Rogers with 20 year guide Seth Kapust getting it done yesterday  #pinchyourbarbs

Not sure about you but fall feels like a new beginning. Rather than clawing through to the end of the season and starting the prep for next year we are invigorated. Fishing is rocking and rolling, upland bird hunts started yesterday, we are between big game hunts, scheming a new approach for some of our facilities and adding some seasonal tidbits that may seem odd to the casual angler. We aren’t casual outdoor folks, we don’t subscribe to Chicken Little’s ideology so you might glean a little insight to how our lives function when we aren’t with guests on the river by a quick chat or even following our under-produced social media. The age of the phony influencer is dead. Mentors and roll models are in stock and in fashion. Dirty success is failure.

Fishing Report: Take your pick. Dry fly, subsurface emerger rigs, ugly nymph rigs and streamers all cued up. Trico,  psuedo, caddis and baetis dry fly sessions are the norm through mid October. Light emerger rigs go hand-in-hand with these hatches. Feeding the aggressive lot with smaller streamers on a floating line is a hoot and the down-and-dirty nymph rigs with rubber legs, scuds, leaches and caddis imitations keep the trad Grey Reef angler in the game. Grey reef temps are down and the flows are 500cfs fishing is excellent in clear water. Fremont Canyon is pea soup and actually fishing pretty good with caddis and leach rigs. Miracle Mile is low and fishing well. Standard Mile rigs of caddis and worms/leach/rubber legs will get ’em. Prediction for Oct 20-Nov: some of the most insane streamer fishing we’ve experienced since the termination of the old fall flushing flows. The abundance of bait fish and crawdads combined with a rapid decrease in Grey Reef flows… Our access, experience and location are the prerequisites for an incredible experience.

The Reef fly Shop is blowing out summer soft goods so stock up on shorts, quick dry pants. We are trying to get back up to stock on bufftrout logo hats but we do have a tolerable selection currently. Donkytrout hats are in for the Denver Bronc / fly fishing fans. Howler Bros. shirts and hats are in. We dig this brand. Simms and Pata flannels are mandatory for campfire and AM trico feeding episodes. “You know why grunge hasn’t died?” Because 50yo Gen X dads outperform their 20yo children. You couldn’t make that distinction for previous generations. What this really means is that flannel is synonymous with high performance:)

YOUR NEXT 2020 TRIP DISCOUNT this has been an eye opening year for all of us. What has become really interesting is how folks have gravitated toward what we have to offer in rural Wyoming. The shocking number of guests who’ve returned a number of times over the season is tough to wrap our heads around. We recognized this phenomenon in mid May and decided that for the sake of keeping our guide staff and hospitality staff busy we were going to try to cultivate the folks who, despite concerns and uncertainty, put their faith in us and Grey Reef. Come back for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th or more visits still this season and discount day trips by $50 and lodging at 10%. Want the full lodge experience? Call me and let’s build a custom option 307.237.1182.

Bird Hunts, Cast and Blast NPL guide Chris Scholtz rolled out opening day of Sage Grouse with two limits of birds and piles of smiles on the river. The next 2 weeks will be dogs, guns, fly rods and boats in every direction. Early Oct opens early season waterfowl and early Nov the regular season.

2021 Balls to the wall, excuse the language but this perfectly describes where our heads are at. The fly shop will be stocked months earlier than normal and already getting inquiries from folks who need to get back out there. Get your crew together and get on the books. We are always adapting and next may look a bit different at our properties. We’ll keep you in the loop as things progress.

 

Dog Days, Hatches & Haze

Central Wyoming anglers are squarely involved in the dog days of summer. Lots of great things happen this time of year and some not so great. Not so great items are…it is pretty warm (for us, folks from other parts of the country laugh at our whining), water temps are getting to be a concern (stay high in the system, keep fish in the current- release them quickly with a pinched barb and don’t fish if the water is too warm), the sky has been hazy the past few days due to wildfires across the West. The great items include awesome hatches, dry fly, streamer, nymphing, river swims, wet wading, light river traffic, and how much better a cold beer tastes at the end of the day.

Grey Reef Flows are 1500CFS, Miracle Mile flows are 780cfs and Fremont Canyon flows are 75cfs. Hatches include AM and PM Tricos, PM PMDs , midday hoppers, PM caddis, PM stones. Grey Reef has been having fun fishing with trico spinners in the AM and emergers and duns in the early evening, this is also true of the PMDs in the evening. Midday caddis movement in heavy water has been stellar for nymphing and they get gulped off of the surface in the eves. The hopper bite has been luke warm lately but still very worth it. Nocturnal Stones have been hurting our Pat’s Rubberleg supply and fish are crushing streamers in hot spots. Leeches everywhere and scuds always produce this time of year dredged along weed beds. Fremont Canyon has been a bit more tech but the trico and caddis thing is solid. Miracle Mile is pretty standard with leeches, crawdads, stones and worms shouldering the majority of the labor but Milers in-the-know will step back and give ’em some emerging tricos, midges and PMDs and keep a caddis pattern rolling through the riffles.

The forecast for this Friday is 84*! The next week will be significantly cooler so that will help with late day angler energy levels and water temps.

Don’t forget to come back again in 2020 and take advantage of our discount! We have a couple guests keeping the whole crew employed it seems:) This is a stretch but we are very thankful for all of you!

Our first big game hunt starts next week, wow. We’ve had a tremendous response to cast and blasts this year and are tapped for 2020 Sage Grouse hunts. We limit this program to just a few hunts and will book for 2021 starting the first week of October. These will all be hunting and lodging packaged moving forward. Seeing huns and blue grouse and have had a robust interest in waterfowl cast and blasts as well.

Still time to jump on a Sept or Oct or early Nov lodge package for your crew! Give a call and we’ll put something together!

Big Wonderful Wyoming

 

Photo: a great brown landed by a longtime guest Jim from Texas a couple days ago. Draw a line straight up from the tip of the tail and you’ll be at the location of the North Platte Lodge. What is that phrase they use about location?

 

Wyoming Fly Fishing at North Platte Lodge and The Reef fly Shop, Cottage & RV checks all the boxes for a vacation with 2020 parameters. Awesome fishing, seclusion, fresh air and very limited contact with humanity. That has always been our speciality. Seriously, we are the only private properties at Grey Reef. It is easy to get here but isolated and amazing.

Since our last Grey Reef and Miracle Mile fly fishing report flows have dropped. This has not been a detriment to grasshopper fishing but has been a large benefit to the trico program, wade fishing and nymphing. Grey Reef is flowing at 2100 cfs (down from a max of 3600 cfs) and Miracle Mile is currently flowing at 1500 cfs (down from 2200 cfs) . Grey Reef and Fremont Canyon are fishing particularly well with caddis, tricos and grasshoppers. All 3 create really fun dry fly fishing. Trico emergers can make your morning (prior to the spinner fall) and caddis fished subsurface in heavier water and drops will ease the transition from the 11 – 4pm hopper and late eve caddis dry fly. Miracle Mile has been fishing well with caddis, worms, leeches, crawdads while the fall back might be midges subsurface. Never discount the streamer option since there is plenty of bank structure and current to satisfy an ambushing brute.

Expect great hopper fishing through the 3rd week of September and about the same time the pseudos arrive for afternoon dry fly and upper column emerger rigs…so fun! Tricos and caddis will be a staple through much of October and the fall baetis ( blue winged olives) will arrive late September to early October. That is a really cool time to be casting morning dry flies. You’ll be targeting spent trico eaters and they’ll suddenly stop paying attention to your trico imitation while still rising. They’ve switched to BWO duns! Same water and similar rises just different bugs. Crane flies and midges round it out while scuds, leeches and crawdads keep them always in constant reach of their high protein diet.

We will be guiding our first big game hunts in early September and our first bird hunts start the 3rd week of September. Sage Grouse hunts are nearly tapped but we still have good options for early season waterfowl cast and blast and even a preserve pheasant cast and blast.

To all the folks who’ve visited in 2020 we want to extend a huge thank you. Come back this year and we’ll cut you a break. Save $50 on day trips and 10% on lodging and packages. The best crew in the biz and far more private access than anybody. Many of you have already returned a 2nd and even 3rd time. Again, thanks so much!

We understand your fears so we have lots of different options for lodging. RV and tent camping and exclusive cottage rentals at the fly shop to full lodge options including meals and guided fishing/hunting. Now you can even rent the lodge exclusively for your group without booking the full package. Doesn’t get any better, closer, more isolated, fishier and happier than this!

Looking forward to 2021, pinching every barb and never pegging a bead. Cheers!

 

Fishing after 2PM and Return Trip Benefits

Caddis, Hoppers, PMDs Wyoming Fly Fishing. We are thoroughly enjoying the warm days of summer and although it might get a bit warm on the river in the mid to late afternoon that is really high time for hopper eating trout production. We love the fact that everybody else is taking out at 2PM. Grey Reef water temps are not dangerous to trout but a well presented hopper after 2PM certainly is. There is no need to sacrifice two hours of the best fishing of the day. The Reef Fly Shop and North Platte Lodge schedule is roughly 7AM – 4PM. Tricos, PMDS, Hopper and Caddis are getting their attention.

We can’t thank our guests enough for their patronage in 2020. We’ve had an high rate of folks returning for 2nd, 3rd and even 4th trips this season. As a result, we are showing our appreciation by discounting your next 2020 trip.

Fremont is giving up some fun dry fly fishing but it is still at bigger flows than the norm. Miracle Mile nymphing is rock solid and Grey Reef is giving us streamer, nymphing and dry fly thrills.

Have a group but don’t want a full lodge package? Give us a shout to discuss the NPL B&B option. You rent the full lodge (6 rooms). It isn’t packaged with guided fishing but you can add that, it isn’t packaged with dinner service but you can add that, too. The best location to access Grey Reef, Miracle Mile, Fremont Canyon, Alcova and Pathfinder Reservoir, Independence Rock and Martin’s Cove with seclusion and wide open space.

Bufftrout Hats are getting snatched up but we have an order of small sizes arriving in the next couple days and another huge order of all styles to follow soon. Call the shop 307.232.9128 and we’ll be happy to ship. Howler Bros and lots of Simms sun hoodies are also available.

Seth and Guest with a post 2PM hopper eater

 

Why North Platte Lodge in 2020?

This is why^

Current Fishing report for Miracle Mile and Grey Reef is very good and the outlook is excellent. Clarity and temps are great at both venues. Grey Reef flows remain at 3600cfs and Miracle Mile flows are 2400cfs. Expect solid PMD, caddis and Yellow Sallie hatches at both tailwaters while Miracle Mile is enjoying excellent Golden Stone Fly activity and that should continue for the next couple weeks!

Fishing: What to expect for the remainder of 2020? Hoppers and Tricos in the near future! Central Wyoming is littered with grasshoppers and it’ll make for some of the funnest fishing you’ve ever experienced. Mid July through mid September is the range. Tricos are our daily and ultra consistent dry fly opportunity from mid July through mid October. Psuedo and crane fly fishing will ramp up mid September then the baetis will take over from there and stealing some glory from the daily caddis activity that covers the rest of the season. Streamer activity will be solid throughout with it really picking up mid October through mid November. Nymphing wont slow down and resident invertebrates keep our trout fat all year long.

Hunting: We start our big game hunting program in August with archery antelope and continue through November adding elk and deer to the schedule. Sage Grouse opens the 3rd week of September and is always a popular cast and blast option. Don’t miss this! Early season waterfowl starts late September and is another excellent cast and blast option.

Access, Experience and Location This is why you choose North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop, Cottages & RV.  We are the only private properties at Grey Reef, nothing can touch our location. Experience, simply put the most experienced crew on the lower North Platte River…bar none. We are the first permitted Grey Reef guiding operation, first lodge and shop on the river, since 1998 anglers have trusted us to provide an unparalleled angling experience. We employ sporting techniques and set the bar with regard to rejecting non sporting angling approaches. Our guides won’t take you down that rabbit hole because their experience and knowledge of the river means they don’t have to.

Accommodations and new lodging programs: North Platte Lodge Overlooking upper Grey Reef, the lodge welcomes up to 12 anglers in 6 rooms. Book as a single angler up to corporate and group options consuming the entire facility. A traditional lodge package includes all meals and guided fishing or hunting. The ultimate in convenience and seclusion with great meals and incredible views. The boat main ramp is one minute away. 2020 B&B Option due to the odd circumstances of 2020 we have some lodge vacancies and have begun to offer a bed and breakfast option. Book the entire lodge for your party of up to 12 guests with minimum stay of 3 eves. Breakfast is provided. Lunch and dinner can be enjoyed off site or you can add that service as an a la carte option. You may also add guided fishing trips as an a la carte option. Wyoming has become very popular during the covid era due to our seclusion, fresh air, and economical yet high quality and authentic experiences. Cottages and RV sites We have 4 great vacation rentals at The Reef Fly Shop that have full kitchens and grills and house up to 4 guests each. They are always a popular choice for our guided fishing guests, unguided anglers and those wanting to explore the Alcova area’s historic, and cultural sites and our local water recreation lakes (Alcova and Pathfinder Reservoirs) a stone’s throw away. The RV sites are basic and feature 20/30/50 amp service with sewer and fresh water available and the best bathhouse in the biz.

The Reef Fly Shop  307.232.9128 This is where you go for the most up to date advice, grab some bugs and a Bufftrout cap, book a 2 hour primer trip (intro to Grey Reef) or a half or full day guided fishing trip, rent a drift boat or grab a six pack or 2. Top shelf gear at Grey Reef and one minute to the main boat ramp…

Let’s be diligent and have a great time in 2020.

 

 

Grey Reef and Miracle Mile Win Again

Central Wyoming Fly Fishing, as always, is firing on all cylinders. Expect the hatches to include PMDs, Yellow Sallies, Caddis, Midges, hoppers and the Golden Stones at Miracle Mile. Incredibly diverse and productive trout fishing. The North Platte River is in incredible condition and flows are nice with 3600cfs at Grey Reef and 2400cfs at Miracle Mile. No going to lie, the North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop guide staff would not be disappointed if flows were bumped up a grand or two. At this rate we still have great hopper banks and will maintain cool water all summer. Pat’s Rubber Legs, Soft Hackled PT, Bread Crust, Big Bear, Epoxy Back Sulfur, Foam Wing RS2 etc have all been excellent choices. 4x Fluorocarbon and a lovingly pinched barb is on-point.

What to expect in the coming warm months? Hoppers. There as so many grasshoppers right now it may be too many? The land is dry-dry and we have lots of water in the drainages…the perfect storm to get the grasshopper to the riparian zones and teed-up for crazy dry fly fishing. We are already getting some hopper eats but don’t expect it to get really keyed up until later in July. And, cross your fingers for a little wind. By mid July we should see our resident tech dry fly attraction, tricos, swarming in mini funnel clouds and splaying out on the river’s surface – the conveyor of floating trout food. Tricos will be a morning event through early to mid October and the Hoppers will get ’em through mid September. pssst! don’t forget about evening caddis on dry flies, if you aren’t too tired?

This season has been a wild ride and we are receiving last minute Lodge bookings like crazy. Yesterday we booked a vacated spot from a group whose Alaska trip became riddled with too many hoops to jump through. We saved them thousands and will deliver a high quality product with our location, private access and operating philosophy. Flights to Casper are cheap right now.

You have a smaller group and want the best fly fishing experience but also concerned about sharing space with other folks? We’ve been tailoring some great exclusive lodge packages for groups of as few as 6 anglers and securing the entire lodge. Guest each get their own room and we have many separate dining tables and bars that you have plenty of space.

We have had an inordinate  amount of returning guests in 2020. They come once and have such a great time and feel relaxed and comfortable that they have been rebooking for another 2020 visit. Because of this we are offering discounts on “Your Next Visit” in 2020. If you have a trip scheduled for later in the year but might like to get some relief from the burdens of life a little sooner? You will qualify for the discount as well.

Thanks so much for your support through the years and especially this year!

 

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.