Thankful


We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We are thankful for all of you and appreciate your patronage.

As we wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday, it appears we are going to continue on this mild weather pattern as we make our way into December.  With day time highs in the 50s and lows above freezing, Grey Reef is open and fishable from Alcova to Glenrock, Wyoming.  A little weird but we’ve seen it before.  So, how’s the fishing?  Pretty darn good.  Afternoons are definitely fishing better than the mornings.  More bugs and a little warmer water temps in the afternoon.  According to General Manager Eric Anderson, a bead pheasant tail in sz. 16 or 18 has been the top bug.  Other patterns would be, pine squirrel leeches, reef worms and/or a PAL.  He has been sticking between 3-5ft in length and varying his weight run to run.  On the streamer front, we have scaled down in size.  Mini goldies, twin lakes specials and the old Seth special…the smaller stuff is working better for our crew.  The Miracle Mile continues to be a little crowded but for those wanting to head that way, we would suggest swinging a streamer(i.e. kreelex, rusty trombone, peanut envy) in the deeper runs.  Well, that’s about it on the fishing front for now.  So, if you’re in the area make sure to stop by and see us.

FYI.  As we roll into the “off season” our hours have changed a little bit.  Current shop hours are as follows, 8am-noon, daily.

Shoulder Season


Hard to believe it’s already November 15th and we are a week and half away from Thanksgiving.  Wow, time is truly flying by.  November 15th is the official start to our “shoulder season” and discounted rates.  So if you see a weather window, come pay us a visit.  We have cottages available and guides ready to work!

Now for a quick little fishing report.  After a couple weeks of weather, we have dried up and are having some very mild temperatures here in Central Wyoming.  It’s been a great month to be on the water thus far and the extended forecast looks like more of the same.  With dry fly opportunities waning, our guide crew has been focusing on their nymph and streamer game.  Pine squirrel leeches, PALs, foam-wing RS2s, mayhems and scuds on 4-7ft with 1-3B shot.  We have definitely been varying the length/weight depending on the run and type of water.  As far as streamers are concerned, we’ve mainly been throwing intermediate lines, covering the entire run.  The fish are holding in all types of water but as water temperatures continue to drop expect them to concentrate towards the bottom of the run.  Slow and deep, that is the winter streamer program.

Back On Track


Whether its La Nina or just a wet weather pattern, we’ve been getting some decent moisture the past few weeks.  A few of these storms have made a mess of the lower river (Government Bridge-downstream) but it appears now that we are on the mend.  Currently, Grey Reef is flowing at 450cfs and fishable from the Dam to Glenrock.  It is still a little off colored through Casper but we wouldn’t hesitate putting a boat on.  Fremont Canyon is plugging along at the standard 75cfs and still off-colored due to Reservoir turnover.  Miracle Mile is also at winter flows and holding between 500-500cfs.

Streamers and nymphs are the program right now.  Not to say you can’t put together a decent dry fly day on Grey Reef because baetis and pseudos are still popping on a daily basis to some degree.  Our nymph program is pretty much the same for all three North Platte tailwaters.  Pine squirrel leeches, san juan worms, pheasant tails, Macgruber’s and PALs.  As far as streamers are concerned our guide crew is a little split.  Some of them are throwing small and dark (i.e. wounded sculpin aka Seth special, peacock buggers, twin lakes special) and the rest are in the articulated camp (i.e. rusty trombones, articulated goldies, articulated ebony, mini dungeons).  For streamers we have been mainly throwing floating or intermediate lines.

Our phone at the shop is currently down.  We are hoping to have it fixed asap and apologize for any inconvenience.   

A Little Taste of Winter


We have had a beautiful fall to say the least.  Mild temperatures, clear skies and very little wind.  It was only matter of time before we had to start seeing some weather…well, because it’s October and we live in Wyoming.  Last weeks storm blanketed our area in a nice layer of white, with Casper seeing 14″-18″.  As I write this report, we are supposed to see another dose of snow today and tonight.  The nice thing about it, it will be sunny and 50F by tomorrow.

With the changing weather, we’ve had a mixed bag of fishing.  Foul weather days have been consistently producing some awesome streamer fishing on Grey Reef.  Standard fare…rusty trombone’s, goldie’s, and/or black peacock buggers.  The calm, high pressure days have still be giving our guides and guests plenty of opportunities at the dry fly game.  We are still seeing some tricos in the morning, with psuedos and baetis being the late morning-afternoon program.  So if your headed our way make sure you are set up for just about anything.  This is the time of year you could throw nymphs, streamers and dries-all in the same day.

More Of The Same


Well, it seems to be the same thing on repeat.  Obviously, with the way things have been going, that’s not a bad thing.  Great weather and water conditions on Grey Reef are primo.  Super clear and bugs are popping!  Like we said in our last post, if technical dry fly fishing is your thing, it’s a great time to be on Upper Grey Reef.  We do have some weather on the horizon which could really fire up the streamer bite.  For those of wondering about the Miracle Mile, it has been fishing pretty well.  But as you would expect, fairly crowded, especially the lower end.  If your headed that way it’s going to nymphing/streamer program.  Worms, leeches and pheasant tails are our go-to patterns right now.  If your going to throw a streamer you’re hard pressed to go wrong with a Goldie.

Bring Your ‘A’ Game


Firstly, sorry for the lack of reports recently.  We have been working on our new website.  We still have some tweaking left to do but we hope you enjoy the new site!

So, how’s the fishing?  Let us start with water conditions on the North Platte.  Both Miracle Mile and Fremont Canyon are slightly off color.  This can be attributed to reservoir turnover.  Both systems are still fishing relatively well, just don’t expect great clarity.  Grey Reef on the other hand is in great shape.  Clear conditions from Grey Reef Dam to Glenrock, WY.  Per usual the vegetation is more concentrated on Upper Grey Reef, as it is every year at this time.  That being said, that’s where the most consistent dry fly fishing is happening.  But it’s not easy.  It’s technical and a whole lot of fun!  Tricos, pseudos and some baetis.  Break out the longer leaders and 5X and get ready to get abused.  This fish are full of fight and it’s a battle to keep them out of the vegetation. But again, it’s sooo fun!  If that’s not your game, you can always head down low to avoid the veg and run the nymph or streamer program…and you also find less technical dry fly eating fish.

Lowering Alcova Reservoir and the Grey Reef Trophy Trout Season


Grey Reef is the ultra-tailwater. This is a phrase we use to describe what the Grey Reef section of the North Platte River is and why it is such a consistent, productive, and trophy class fishery. We are blessed to have 5 reservoirs, closely spaced, immediately upstream from Grey Reef Dam. Two of these giant “settling ponds”, Seminoe and Pathfinder, are both very large each boasting a million acre-foot volume. The other unique feature to the arrangement of Grey Reef and its supporting impoundments are that there are no major mountain ranges to collect a snowpack and very sandy and rocky substrate that fails to create a traditional runoff scenario below the head of Seminoe Reservoir, the first lake in the system. Pre runoff fishing is superb,  peak runoff and Grey Reef is often the only good option in the game, post runoff is stellar and late season fishing is still rocking with a healthy water supply and heavily foraging trout. Water demand is reduced with the end of the irrigating season so Grey Reef flows are reduced to a very floatable, wadable, and productive 500cfs for the remainder of the fall and winter season.

This October Grey Reef is being utilized as a surrogate to unwanted water in Alcova Reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled some needed maintenance on Alcova Dam and as a result, they are lowering the level of the lake significantly. Since Oct 1st Grey Reef flows have been over 2000cfs or 4 to 5 times the “normal” October volume. This isn’t high water but it is high for the time of year. It has created some unique opportunities and big fish production has been a very welcomed result. But, what we might be the most excited about is the moment the BuRec cuts the surplus flows to Grey Reef. Imagine all of those crawdads and young-of-the-year fish displaced and scurrying to relocate into or near their normal October habitat. While the old fall flush is a fond memory of the past, this abrupt reduction of flows should parallel that event.

As of 10/19/20 Grey Reef flows are at 1300cfs and Miracle Mile Flows are 540cfs. Grey Reef streamer fishing has been exceptional and will only improve. Wade anglers thrive at these flows.

Big Flows, Big Fish


Uncommon for October, flows on Grey Reef(since October 1) have been in the 2,100-2,800cfs range.  For those unaware, Alcova Dam is needing a little rejuvenation and lake levels will need to drop 39 vertical feet to accomplish the task-hence the increased flows.  All things considered, Grey Reef is in pretty good shape.  The first couple of days were a little rough but after things stabilized and conditions have been good, especially on the upper river.  On that note and to be honest, the increased flows have made the fishing a little more inconsistent than normal.  We are not seeing the numbers(by Grey Reef standards) that we are used to but we are seeing some big ones hit the net.  25″ has been broken multiple times in the past week.  If your headed our way, expect to throw the bigger stuff.  Leeches, worms, crayfish, craneflies, scuds, etc…not to say you can’t get them to eat some bugs, the larger critters just seem to be working better.  Flows are expected to go back to the winter program(500cfs) on October 21.  Excited to see what happens…

Indian Summer


What a great time of year!  Flows are at winter levels and the weather is beautiful.  Highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s with light winds(with the exception of yesterday), day after day.

GREY REEF: Grey Reef is in excellent condition!  The water is clear from Grey Reef Dam to Glenrock.  Lots and lots of water to fish!  Tricos are the name of the game in the morning, especially on the upper river.  5X tippet to a parachute adams with a trico spinner dropper has been our go-to setup.  Once the dry fly fishing subsides our guides have been switching over to the nymph program or a big dry/dropper setup.  3.5-5ft, 1-2 BBs attached to the following flies; prince nymph,tung teaser, pat’s rubber legs, san juan worm, PAL, and/or a foam wing RS2.

MIRACLE MILE: Pathfinder Reservoir is at 61% capacity, making the Mile fishable to the Sage Creek confluence, below Chalk Bluff.  Water conditions are excellent and nymphing is the name of the game. 3-6ft, 1-3 BBs attached to the following flies; prince nymph,tung teaser, san juan worm, UV leech, pheasant tail, and/or a foam wing RS2.  For the devout we are getting some fish to eat the streamer.  Standard fall fare-rusty trombones, goldies, mini sex dungeons and mini peanut envy’s.

FREMONT CANYON: The water has been off-colored for the past few weeks in Fremont.  Fishing remains fair and nymphing has been the most productive method for catching fish. 4-7ft, 1-2 BBs attached to the following flies; bh prince nymph, bh pheasant tail, reef worm, and/or a foam wing RS2.

Dropping Flows and Cold Weather


At midnight, the flows on Grey Reef started decreasing.  After weeks of living at 1,500cfs, Grey Reef is now settling in at its winter flow(500cfs).  We are also soaking in our last day of 90 degree temperatures, as a substantial cold front bears down on the West.  Projected highs Tuesday are expected to top out in the high 30s, with lows in the teens.  Talk about a temperature shift!  Welcome to Wyoming.  Good thing is, it will be short lived.  We will be seeing highs in the 70s by weeks end.  As for the fishing, it continues to only get better and with another drop in flows, the dry fly fishing should be excellent for the coming weeks.  Our guides are continuing to locate sizable pods of fish in the morning feeding on tricos and transitioning to nymph rigs or hopper/dropper rigs in the afternoon.  Water clarity is excellent, so be prepared to throw some lighter tippet.  Streamer fishing will also start becoming a larger part of the daily program.  Woohoo!  That’s what makes this time of year so great, you can do it all in a days fishing on the North Platte.