Posted on September 7, 2021
Early September in Wyoming and fishing couldn’t really be any better. Clear, cool water coupled with more hatches than necessary and it is pretty hard for things not to be good. Early AM Tricos, midday pseudos and hoppers, craneflies, caddis and midges all keep the trout with an eye to the sky. We are expecting warm and dry weather conditions this week supporting our position that summer ain’t over yet! We love the 40+ degree daily temperature swings with mid 40s in the evening and upper 80s at the height of the sun’s arc. Shorts and flip flops all day but make sure to have a hoody when you wake up and while at the evening camp fire…and plan on going to bed with chilly feet. Upland bird hunts and dry fly fishing are where we live in our dreams and reality for the next month and half. Intermittent interruptions with trophy trout hunting with streamers, big game hunts and early season waterfowl confuse our sense of focus at times. Central Wyoming is a dream. Not going to lie, we are ready for the tourist traffic to settle down on the highways and get back to the kind of traffic where folks return your steering wheel wave.
The Reef Fly Shop has some availability for guided fishing and cottage stays over the next few days but then gets pretty tight until about the 10th of October when the regional pace will downshift to 2nd gear. Shadows will become longer, leaves start to turn, migratory waterfowl will buzz your hat on their way up the river and the fishing will mature as it does every fall. You either need to book several (uhhmmmm many) days of guided fishing to be able to take advantage of all the opportunities or settle on a discipline or two and resign yourself to walking away from some. Our recommendation is to plan a mid October to mid November to visit to the area. Blast right through Casper and get to Alcova, post up in a cottage and step into your waders. Swingers, aka trout spey guys will have Miracle Mile giving up the goods, small stream enthusiasts will fall in love with Fremont Canyon ( the Grey Reef Reduction) and those who love head hunting or targeting our resident behemoths will want to focus on Grey Reef. 100 miles of highly productive trout water and our locations on Grey Reef Road are the epicenter. Apres at The Reef Fly Shop with cheap afternoon guide-beer selections and swing over to the Sunset for a burger or call up Sloane’s General Store and order up a pizza to go. Our “cheap trip” rates begin November 15 and include discounted guided fly fishing trips, cottage rentals and super-reasonable cottage/fishing packages. Fishing is no less productive but the weather may or may not be ideal for those who require fair weather recreation. Expect some good apparel sales at the shop as well…starting now.
North Platte Lodge is in a bit of a predicament with availability through late October. We’ve got one spot mid October and as well as one late October spot. Early November still has a good option for a water fowl-fishing combination trip before we go into construction mode. So gather up your crew and be prepared to be blown away by the food and fishing. Per usual, we’ve got our winter hit-list of things we want to do to make the joint even better. Be the first crew to see the new digs next spring. April has great lodge availability but we are intent to get back to a busy April lodge schedule for 2022. Why? April is the highest volume fishing each and every year, bar none. The fishing conditions at that time of year are the very best for those who may not spend tons of time with a fly rod in their hands. Recreational anglers, corporate groups and fish counters – spring is for you. Those who thrive in tech nymphing, sight nymphing and lightweight emerger rigs…well, spring is also for you. Our new Regular Season rate schedule will provide for even more affordable stays outside of our Peak Season, June through September. Corporate rates will be even more attractive as well.
Blue Grouse, waterfowl, sporting clays and pheasant and chukar preserve hunts. We’ve heard the stories and we only hunt wild birds on our wild bird hunts. Sage Grouse hunts sell out fast and we are only offering Sage Grouse hunts in a max of 2 days of hunting (you can stay and fish or hunt big game or other birds as long as you like) as a North Platte Lodge package. All other species are available as day hunts or cast and blast. Early Season waterfowl and preserve hunts are excellent packaged with fishing in the same day. Central Wyoming duck and goose hunting is available through the later part of January. The ultimate cool-season event…book a cottage and put on a pot of chili. Head out with the guides for a day of decoying waterfowl and winter fly fishing and get back in time to watch the game.
Just because Grey Reef and Miracle Mile fly fishing trips are more affordable doesn’t mean they are the lesser option. Pssst, we don’t go into summertime hoot owl (many Rocky Mountain fisheries have been shut down or limited in recent years due to too hot and low to practice catch and release fishing) mode because our river conditions are frankly better and more consistent than the destinations you read about in the magazines. We generally have more and bigger trout. We generally have far fewer river users. We have more private access, easier to get to, better locations on the river and there are very few operations that provide the range of services that we do at North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop, Cottages & RV. Give us a shout, we can help you unpack your preconceived notions and get ready for your next fly fishing chapter.
July was a whirlwind and August has entered taking no prisoners. Our summer season has been defined with solid hatches, consistent monsoon moisture and really, really good times. Sallies have mostly departed, PMDs, Tricos and caddis are living large and we are still twiddling our thumbs, waiting for the hoppers to get here en masse. Central Wyoming has been blessed with plenty of cool water running down the lower North Platte River System so no hoot owl restrictions or dangers from warm temps.
Grey Reef was just reduced to 2000cfs from 3000cfs so this with supercharge Trico activity. Tricos are ultra consistent and a pretty technical hatch ( rather spinner fall) to target, Trout put themselves in precarious situations because they can’t resisted the conveyor of spent bugs. Tricos are a wade anglers object, typically amplified in shallow, nervous riffles, they are accessible on foot. We are getting hopper eats but they haven’t kicked into high gear. Nymphing, however, has been pretty ridiculous.
The Reef Fly Shop and North Platte Lodge guide crew have been cranking and things aren’t looking to settle down until mid October at this rate. North Platte Lodge is booked, like zero openings, until Sept 25-28 where we just opened up a 4 angler option for 3 days of fishing. We are also booked for sage grouse. We do have a 1 or 2 angler option Oct 6-10 and then we go to Oct 14 before we gat a bit more consistent lodge availability. Awesome fishing and great bird hunting options for the October through mid November range. Cottage availably is still pretty good for September and October but Aug only has scattered options.
Upland bird hunting, waterfowl, sporting clays and cast and blast are centered in our targets for October through January. A cool experience that keeps you active through the time of the season you need it most!
Let’s talk about the 2022 lodge roster and get you written in asap. Things are already pretty excited but we do have lodge packages available during the highest volume fishing of the year in April and May. We are going to adjust rates seasonally so April and May will consequently have lower rates due to unjustified lagging popularity of spring fishing. The truth is that April and May are the best choice for folks who prefer really high volume fishing, wade fishing, and it is easier for those who may not be as adept or experienced with a fly rod. Spring weather isn’t the most predictable but the fishing is very predictable. This isn’t shoulder season where you get reduced rates because the fishing is so-so…the Grey Reef Spring Fishing is as good and better as fishing anywhere, anytime.
If the internet static is confusing your decision just give us a shout. We can help you navigate through all the website smoke and mirrors you will encounter when searching or Grey Reef and Miracle Mile fishing. We’re happy to explore if we are a good fit for you and your crew.
A little recap of our fishing conditions and what to expect at Grey Reef and Miracle Mile for the remainder of 2021. With much of the Western fly fishing world puckered because of drought caused low and warm water conditions this summer we are positioned to be enjoying awesome fishing throughout the 2021 season and put us in an incredible position for 2022…NPLs 24th season.
Our reality is that if Nebraska farming is requiring irrigation then Grey Reef will be flush with water. It took a little bit to get the Bureau of Reclamation to release water at Grey Reef this year. Several factors contributed to this “delay” and the most notable was that a bunch of volume was dumped from Alcova Reservoir in Oct 2020 and moved through Grey Reef to Glendo so that they could do some maintenance on the facilities. A so-so snowpack didn’t require elevated spring flows and there wasn’t much room to store it downstream so it was held in Seminoe and Pathfinder (uphill from Grey Reef). Miracle Mile had quite a bit of water pushing through early and the quality of fishing paralleled the flows…in a good way. I heard somewhere that fish like water and while we, as anglers, might not know how to contend with that, our scaly friends are masters of the river and thrive with volume. Typical spring flows at Grey Reef and even 50cfs less than the minimum prescribed made for excellent spring conditions and jaw-dropping wade fishing. Warm May weather created water temps enough to nudge some premature hatches but not too warm to cause concern for the fish. We finally experience a bump to 1500cfs then to 2000 and now to 3000cfs! Temps dropped, fish didn’t skip a beat, we purged premature algae growth and now have the volume we need to protect us from the water temps getting too warm for comfort and all the while pushing water up against the banks creating the edge structure *cough* ie hopper habitat. We’ll take 3 grand but would be pretty excited if that were doubled!
We’ve now transitioned to the ordinary summer hatches including Caddis, Yellow Sallies and Pale Morning Duns and our short-lived Golden Stonefly hatch that peaks for about 2 weeks. This is a fun time as we get dry fly opportunities and fish are spicy and hanging out in cool places. By mid July we should see the long-lived trico hatch ensue. Daily dry fly opportunities on the spinners typically extend well into October. Hoppers seems to be a little delayed this year so I’d think the 3rd week in July should get them really honing in on terrestrials. Hoppers should be prevalent through the 3rd week of September with a couple stagnant days in September as they reduce their activities during low pressure events. The grasshopper hatch is predicted to be a pretty serious threat to local farmers this year so that should translate to robust hopper fishing. High pressure is what we want for that…seems counterintuitive but we want hot, sunny and breezy conditions as they are most active and get knocked into the river.
Let’s touch on availability for the remainder of 2021. North Platte Lodge has very little availability through the middle of October. We only have two 4 night/3 day spots for 2 anglers available from now until the 3rd of September. Labor Day weekend still has a couple spots available, a couple mid September spots, we still have a couple Sage Grouse cast and blast dates the last ten days of September. Our first full lodge availability is Oct 6th then we jump to Oct 15th for the next. For corporate groups and those who prefer to secure the full facility October and November are the targets. For those who are interested in shooting we’ll touch on that lower in the report. We have RV sites and guide availability for day trips and we have our 4 cottages, the vacation rentals, located on The Reef Fly Shop property with some options still remaining through August. A solid option is to start planning now for October or even spring 2022. We love entering fall and particularly mid Oct through mid No(yes!)vember Baetis, Caddis and Tricos make for awesome dry fly and nymph fishing. Long shadows create the best scenes, colored leaves and a little morning chill in the air is as refreshing as it gets…not to mention a significant slowdown of river traffic and a ramping up of trout feeding for the coming winter. Late October through November is trophy trout season and a streamer junky’s dream and waterfowl cast and blast is full-steam. Spring fishing is, by far, the best option for novice anglers and those who really seek the highest volume fishing available anywhere. It is easier for the angler to have a lot of success, plain and simple. April and May are prime.
Shooting and Hunting with Pathfinder Outfitters, North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop, Cottages & RV – Big Game, Upland Bird Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting and Sporting Clays. Sharing passions is what we do here. We’ve done the bird hunting since the beginning and added our awesome big game program a few years ago. Sporting Clays at our good neighbor’s place Riverbend Roosters just came online last month! Sage Grouse, we are the premier outfitter in the world for this rare hunt. This hunt is perfect as a fishing and hunting Cast and Blast and available as a NPL package. Other upland species include Blue Grouse and Hungarian partridge and preserve hunts with pheasants and chukar. Waterfowl, private access and guides who know the behavior of the birds makes the early season (first 2 weeks of October) the best intro to the waterfowl season. A mixed bag of puddle ducks and geese including fast flying teal get the juices flowing before spending the remainder of the day on the river. Our early season waterfowl cast and blast is underrated. Big Game – Antelope, Deer and Elk. Impressive populations and growth rates coupled with tough draws and you have a recipe for a really cool experience. Here are the differences, you stay at the North Platte Lodge that includes gourmet dining and in close range to the field rather than a motel room or tent. You benefit from our focus on quality over quantity and the best fallback in the business. You don’t need contingency planning when you hunt with Pathfinder Outfitters. What happens if you fill your tag the first morning of a four day hunt? You made the right choice to pick Pathfinder Outfitters because you continue your stay in comfort deciding if you’d like to fish, hunt birds, shoot clays or all of the above. Others send you home, we send you back out there to experience the best of Central Wyoming. We’ve already enjoyed the combination days with fishing and sporting clays and booking more and more of these. Everything is provided for the shooting and is billed separately by Riverbend Roosters. During the warm months there is plenty of daylight to fish a bunch water and still get a round of shooting in. Jump on for a central Wyoming waterfowl hunt during the regular season Nov – Jan. We aren’t going to blow smoke and tell you this is the most amazing hunting, day in and day out, because it isn’t. It is noteworthy for excellent decoying and calling birds when the conditions are ripe and it is noteworthy because if the birds aren’t responding the fish will and it is noteworthy because you get to stay in or come to Central Wyoming. To summarize you can have incredible duck and goose hunting 45 minutes from Casper and just a few minutes from our exclusive Grey Reef locations but if they aren’t responding, you go fish. Be sure to check out Wyobraska Waterfowl if you want to travel a bit for a dedicated and excellent duck and goose experience.
Golfing – Yep, a couple of our guides are avid golfers and one is a former pro. We’ve got cast and swing trips on the books as well. This isn’t an official offering but it is officially awesome.
Carp fishing – Of course! Barefoot warm water wading on shallow sand flats, sight casting to cruising brutes. Split your day wading at Fremont Canyon, Grey Reef or Miracle Mile and spend a couple hours on the carp flats. It is ok and appropriate to get out of the boat to fish, too.
You might wonder what we don’t do? We don’t peg beads, fur or chenille to snag fish as an accepted approach to fly fishing. We don’t target fish on redds. We don’t do multiple floats a day abusing a small, couple mile, section of Grey Reef. We don’t employ barbs. We don’t put you on the river with inexperienced guides or those who don’t align with our highest sporting standards. We limit our daily bookings to satisfy this mission. You may have to adjust your plans a little bit as we won’t call up a warm body to guide you if that day our staff is fully booked, just so we can make a buck. If high standards and fair chase are important to you we’ll get along famously and have a long and storied relationship. Our guide staff is ridiculously experienced and will never stoop to being opportunists in the field or on the river…they don’t have to. They create the highest level experiences within set parameters and a sporting tradition.
Posted on May 13, 2021
Central Wyoming fly fishing doesn’t get much better than it is right now at Grey Reef. Water conditions are low and clear on all 80 plus miles of the Grey Reef system and fishing exceptionally well – especially for those fishing light BWO emerger rigs. Worms , eggs and big tippet aren’t hitting the mark. Miracle Mile is at 2600cfs and clear. Fishing is good but the angling traffic leaves little to be desired. Lots of folks out there camped on the redds. It is a bit disappointing to see the sporting needle trending down, however, the fish are eating bugs, worms and leeches in the feeding lanes and some walleye are staying in the mix. So that is cool! The low, clear and super buggy conditions will likely persist through the first week of June. Let’s cross fingers for a bump in flows in anticipation of PMDs and Yellow Sallies. Already seeing a few caddis and fish are starting to look up for BWOs. Come strapped with your light nymph rig and a dry fly rod. The streamer program has produced some high quality browns this week. Nothing tipping our trophy class status at 25″ but many within an inch or two.
The Reef Fly Shop is where it is at for apres fish. We have beer specials and a great porch to wind down and jaw about the day. Wise to get prepared for tomorrow – tonight, no? Refresh your bug supply, reinforce your approach with the knowledgeable shop staff and soak in the views surrounding Grey Reef Road. Even better when you are staying at a cottage or camping in your RV a stone’s throw from the shop and water. Call the shop for reservations 307.232.9128
North Platte Lodge has a great upcoming dates available the eves of May 26-29, June 17 – 20 and Aug 1-3. Fish with The Original and get the advantage of location, access, and experience – 3 undisputed benchmarks.
Q “Why don’t you fish pegged bead rigs?”
A “Because we don’t have to”
Posted on April 13, 2021
Mid-column Baetis presentations will cramp your smiles. Grey Reef is so good right now and Central Wyoming fly fishing couldn’t be better. River conditions from Grey Reef Dam ( in Alcova and a 1/4 mile from the lodge) all the way to Casper and Glenrock are excellent. Low and clear with lots of bug activity. Midges and Baetis ( blue winged olives) are where the fish are at. Fish a pair of sz 18 -20 imitations and you will be in fish all day long. The higher up you stay the better the bug activity. Keep it light with smaller tippet and a less obtrusive indicator. Swing soft hackles but leave your beads at home and experience what Grey Reef and fly fishing are all about. The wade fishing has been super productive and we have more quality private access than anybody in the state of Wyoming, not to mention private boat ramps. If you want to get in on the spring baetis book now to the 3rd week of May for the best window. As the hatch matures we will get more and more dry fly opportunities. While this won’t be the daily norm, bring a dry fly rod just in case you happen to be in the right place at the right time. Scroll down and save this page for Miracle Mile and Grey Reef stream flow graphs and current Grey Reef weather conditions.
We have lodge options and cottage spots still available. Bring a crew and book the lodge for inclusive fishing, lodging and meals OR opt for a cottage and day trips and you take care of the cooking.
Get here early so you have enough time to come back for another round while taking advantage of our “next trip discount”. After the spring melley, we will be thrust headlong into Yellow Sallie, PMD and Caddis season and by mid July Tricos and Hoppers enter the scene ..the beginning of our dry fly season. Mid September and pseudos and fall baetis, crane flies, upland bird hunting arrive as our big game season has been ticking for a few weeks. Waterfowl is cued in early October as dry fly and big game hunts proceed. Never a dull moment here on Grey Reef Rd.
Pic: Dan with a full-faced rainbow from his guided trip last week
Welcome to Grey Reef and 2021! We are so proud that our guests continue to put their trust in us and so proud they lifted us through 2020. It was a team effort and so many of you returned for multiple visits throughout the season. We made sure to thank you by providing a discount on “your next trip” of the season. We are continuing the program for 2021 so not only do you get to enjoy the best lodging location, by far the most private Grey Reef access, most experienced guide staff , more lodging options but you get a solid discount on the second and each subsequent visits in 2021. Book early so you have enough time to squeeze in at least one more fishing trip.
At North Platte Lodge we take care of the details while you enjoy yourself. We provide transportation, comfortable accommodations, great meals and awesome fishing while you engage in the business of camaraderie and memories.
The great thing about Alcova, WY is that it is easy to get here, close to services yet a long way from population. Wyoming is the least populous state in the union and we like our breathing room. The Reef Fly Shop, Cottages and RV and North Platte Lodge are the only private properties on Grey Reef Rd. Grey Reef Rd is the access to the epicenter of the legendary Grey Reef and is also a dead end road. No through traffic and there is no reason to pass this way unless you are coming to fish. Yep, we pinch ourselves all the time.
Spring fishing is about gluttony and it is the highest volume fishing of the season. As we move into summer the fishing remains excellent and adds some diversity of technique with many hatches and culminating in the hoppers and tricos traditionally starting in mid July. Capitalize on the dry fly opportunities all the way through our Sage Grouse wing shooting season and early part of our big game hunting program. Early season waterfowl often ushers in the start of our trophy trout streamer trips and that’ll get us through the end of the year. 2020 provided lots of our guests a great cast and blast option with blue grouse and some fun afternoon pheasant hunts at our neighbor’s preserve. There is never a risk and we don’t have a “best time to be here”. Much of experience is directly related to your ability to go with what Mother Nature provides…and she always does. Let’s narrow down your hit list of trip requirements and build the perfect Wyoming vacation. You will generally have to accept the probability of sacrificing one of your lower requirement to accomplish your top goal. For example, catching a 25″ brown is your main priority and having perfect weather is your second priority. Chances are you might need to allow leeway on the weather part to make sure you are here for the best timing for foraging trophy browns.
Swing by The Reef Fly Shop for a handful of bugs, a six pack of local craft beer, some world famous Bufftrout hats, an RV site or to check into your cottage. Meet your guides and pick up last minute necessities before you check in at North Platte Lodge, a mile further down Grey Reef Rd. Our staff will take great care of you.
Wyoming Fly Fishing Report: Grey Reef fishing is solid…ha! The fish are eating well but there is also ice starting a few miles down the river. The ice will halt your progress from Grey Reef to Lusby if you float. Plan on wade fishing and that is a good thing. Lots of great water available that is fishing really well with very little traffic. We do have private ramps that allow floating so if you opt to take advantage of our shoulder season fishing and/or lodging packages you will have that option. Check www.northplatteflyfishing.com for details on reduced rate trips. You won’t sacrifice on high quality fishing or very limited angling pressure but you might have to bundle up a bit. Miracle Mile is fishing good, however the roads have been an issue with drifting. This week is on a warming trend so that might lead to improved access but also might tip the scale to muddy roads. Give the shop a call before heading that way. Leeches, scuds and midges have been the name of the game and there won’t be much of a deviation until early April when the baetis ( blue winged olives) start kicking around.
Give us a shout at 307.232.9128 to explore a North Platte Lodge fishing vacation!
Posted on November 16, 2020
Central Wyoming fly fishing hasn’t skipped a beat but has scared some folks away with the windy conditions of late. The remainder of the week is warm and breezy, however slightly cooler temps and very little wind beginning Friday. Miracle Mile is fishing well. The water is clear and was nudged to 640 cfs this AM. Fishing is solid with standard Mile nymph rigs of worms, leaches and midges. Streamer enthusiasts as well as swingers are getting thumped with a variety of critters from Platte River Spiders to Goldies, Rusty Trombones, Near ‘Nuff Sculpins and Dungeons. We know it is tempting but please leave the Redds alone, folks. Fremont Canyon is level with the other tailwaters so not the cute little Disneyland fishery, but still fishing well. Scuds, midges, leaches and the aforementioned streamer selections. Always be ready for dry fly opportunities at anytime of the year. Matt’s Midge, traditional Adams, Renegade, and G-Gnat all good picks. Grey Reef has been the local star, clear and 600cfs, with little traffic and great production. Short and light nymph rigs of scuds and midges on the edges and tail-outs unless in the thick of a daily hatch…then target the heavier riffles and drops. Streamer activity has been very good keeping your imitation low and level across the run or swung/twitched with the current. Big Horn has been fishing well and a bit less exposed to the wind.
Cast and Blast and Waterfowl Hunts have been surprisingly good! The basics needs of the birds are improving in Central Wyoming…pssst, food. With our access the hunting and fishing is pretty impressive. We also do upland hunts and cast and blast utilizing our good neighbor’s Riverbend Roosters preserve. Prefer wild birds? We can do that, too!
We’ve entered our off season rate part of the year so cottage and day trips rates are reduced a bunch. Weather may or may not be as good as regular season but the fishing doesn’t suffer. Trout still do all the same trout stuff after the anglers have packed it in for the season.
Thanks so much for checking in with us re: 2021! 2020 was an interesting round and we suspect 2021 will carry some of the odd issues but we will continue to roll along. We made adjustments in procedure but the nature of our operation almost excluded us from altering the basis of our program. Distance, seclusion, fresh air and cleanliness is built in…we’ve always done it and always will. It is what we do. Get back on track for the best trip of the year!
Picture: A recent trip up Fremont Canyon to test the streamer fishing in recently exposed and short lived runs due to Alcova Reservoir being lower than it has in many decades.
Posted on October 12, 2020
It has been a whirlwind several weeks of Cast and Blast, Upland Bird Hunts, Waterfowl Hunts, Elk Hunts, Deer Hunts, Antelope Hunts and our meat and potatoes Fly Fishing in Central Wyoming. We are thankful to have more on the horizon and even developing additional opportunities that are in alignment with our expertise – It is what we do. Firstly, we’ve had very temperate weather conditions but experiencing a few days of cooler and windy. Our air quality has been good and we haven’t experienced much of the smoke that has been plaguing much of the West.
CENTRAL WYOMING FLY FISHING – Flows at Grey Reef were bumped to 2300cfs on October 1st and to 2600cfs a couple days ago. The reason is that the BuRec is lowering Alcova Reservoir for maintenance. With this comes confusion and opportunity. Grey Reef trico hatches are still clicking but with fewer available risers – don’t perceive this language as no dry fly fishing. The psuedos are still popping and baetis have been delayed. This is a good thing as it can be a bit overwhelming having, tricos, midges, psuedos/baetis, crane flies and caddis all competing for the trout’s attention – cue Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption – it can cause premature nymph-ication. The common theme with the North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop’s guide crew has been working harder and generally fewer fish hitting the net but the number of high quality fish has been impressive. Daily, we are getting pics from the guides with very large fish. You’ve been waiting for the “opportunity” piece of this conversation? Fishing is solid right now but Grey Reef flows will be dropping abruptly somewhere around the 3rd week of October and this drop in flows will displace crawdads and baitfish. Prediction is some crazy streamer and nymphing. Miracle Mile is probably nudging Grey Reef on the numbers front but the stories of big fish encounters are mostly right out in front of our properties on Grey Reef Rd. Fremont is clicking along just fine and well worth the effort.
BIRD HUNTING- Sage Grouse hunts and cast and blast packages were a big success this season. Sage Grouse will be packaged as an NPL option for 2021 and that is currently available to book. We can comfortably say that we provide the best sage grouse hunting anywhere. Our private access and guides are nothing short of excellent. Blue Grouse are providing some great hunts and that is still available to book. These are day hunts and logistically not great as a cast and blast (hunt and fish the same day) but make an awesome addition to a fishing trip or vise versa. We also have Chukar and Hungarian Partridge opportunities. Cast and Blast Pheasant Preserve – Next door to North Platte Lodge is Riverbend Roosters upland preserve and our guests have been loving the cast and blast package with pheasants, chukar and now quail. High volume fishing and hunting in such close proximity! Waterfowl hunts and cast and blast are already kicking off and have been really productive for the early season. Waterfowl hunts and cast and blast are available through Jan 20, 2020.
What to expect for the remainder of 2020? The end of October through November has been the most productive time to target trophy class trout of 25″ or more. This year it should be supercharged due to the interesting flows. Our off-season reduced rates start Nov 15 but we’ll give up a couple days to that schedule to get you here the weekend prior. Day trips and cottage rates are reduced through March 14, 2021. Waterfowl and upland hunts packaged with or without one of the best trout fisheries on the planet. NEXT TRIP DISCOUNT – Many of you have returned several times in 2020 and we can’t thank you enough. The best way we can express our “thanks” is to knock $50 off of your day trips an 10% off of lodging and boat rentals. Still lots of time to book your next trip 2020 Grey Reef trip.
Again, thanks so much for believing in us! The original North Platte Lodge has been around for more than 2 decades and we’ve been through the dotcom and mortgage bubble popping, 911, the bottom dropping out of the 2008 economy, H1n1, Covid and other uncomfortable episodes. We’ve realized that our niche is staying in our lane and staying the course. There is inherent beauty in solitude and separation. This has always been and will always be what we do.
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.
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!