In the Middle of Nowhere- a Minute from Everything


 

Anglers seek great fishing, that’s no secret. We also want our trip to include an adventure component and a little exclusivity. Grey Reef is still a far lesser known angling destination despite, objectively, being a in the top tier of superior fisheries based on a bunch of features. It is tough to match Grey Reef’s healthy numbers of trout, large average size with gargantuan trophy specimens, relatively low to absurdly low angling pressure (season dependent), access, abnormally good water conditions all year long, proximity to a bunch of stellar fisheries and being able to provide a great experience to a broad range of anglers from novice to advanced and all ages. Of course, that’s what we’ve always prided ourselves on providing while not diminishing what fly fishing really is. We Grey Reef Road locals are loaded to be, not only an invaluable resource for visiting anglers that are not booking guides with us, but also providing a guided/hosted program that aligns with skilled, traditional and conscious fly angling.

Like you, we are destination anglers. We’ve tailored our operations to fill gaps that we see in many of the fisheries we visit. As anglers, we need a great place to stay, food, drink, fuel, great guides and advice and flies…a cool vibe is an added bonus.  Pretty simple, but hard to pull off since most great outdoor experiences are isolated from amenities or manufactured and lose the soul you get with rustic establishments built and operated by locals. Think the modern ski resort. Alcova, WY and Grey Reef are different. While we don’t have the engineered facilities that are planned, proposed and built in bulk we have the best kind of amenities. These amenities were here before Grey Reef became known in the fly fishing world. They’ve been here for a very long time to serve the ranching community of this special, unmolested region of Wyoming. They are loaded with character/s and the things we need. The North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop properties were just lucky enough to be the first fly fishing operations to set up shop on the lower North Platte River over 25 years ago. That’s why we have these insane locations. Grey Reef Road was once the main highway from Casper to Rawlins, Wyoming but has now been reduced to a mile and a half long, dead-end relic of the old days that accesses the Grey Reef section of the North Platte River and our two locations. North Platte Lodge was a feed ground before it was built and The Reef Fly Shop was the location of and old road house bar. It was a scary proposition to make investments and carve out a first of its kind outfitting business on an entirely unknown fishery. What is often overlooked are the local businesses that make The Reef Fly Shop and North Platte Lodge visit unique and position us in the ideal location to provide an experience only we can. We are in the middle of nowhere but a minute from everything.

The Sunset Grill: Locals call it the The Sunset and has been an Alcova fixture for many decades. Just a 3 minute walk or a sub one minute drive from your cottage at The Reef Fly Shop, Sunset burgers are legendary. Nobody who comes to fish Grey Reef should miss an experience at the Sunset. Seriously, you’ll bump into a variety of folks from local ranchers to anglers from all regions of the country to the lake folks stopping in for a burger before the 30 minute drive back home to Casper. It is a little salty and family friendly but is also a great spot to grab a cold beer, pin a doodled dollar to the wall and meet your new best friends. If the drive though doesn’t blow your mind, when they hand you a cocktail out the window will.

Sloane’s General Store: Sloane’s has been in business for a 100 years. Their location is a touch over a minute drive from The Reef Fly Shop and is a must do stop for a scoop or two of ice cream. They sell fuel, basic groceries, firewood, propane, souvenirs, beer, boating and fishing supplies etc. Sloane’s will build you a pizza that you can pick up 15 minutes after your order. They have prepared food like breakfast burritos, cinnamon rolls and pizza that you can grab anytime. These are prepared fresh and onsite. They also have the original vacation rentals in Alcova and the fall-back if we are booked.

Windy Waters RV: This is a newer operation and is located across the road from Sloane’s General Store. They provide RV campsites and allow long term stays. While The Reef Fly Shop RV sites are closer to fishing (walk out in front of the shop) and Grey Reef boat ramp/fishing access, nicer views and a great vibe at the the fly shop property. Windy Waters is a solid nightly option and provides month long or longer living.

Alcova Post Office: it does post office things but you can also pick up bird hunting licenses if you forgot to get yours online. Another one-minute destination from your cottage.

Alcova School: K-8 rural school situated below Alcova Dam 4 or 5 minutes from the shop. Not sure if there is another public school anywhere who has world class angling a few skips from the playground!

North Platte Lodge:  That’s us. Owned and operated by fly fishing guides with deep and lengthy connections to the fly fishing industry. The original inclusive fly fishing lodge serving Grey Reef and Miracle Mile with great food, the best and most experienced guide crew in the business and the undisputed prime location for those targeting the Grey Reef, Fremont Canyon and Miracle Mile sections of the North Platte River. The Grey Reef boat ramp is visible from the awesome deck and your guide will have you at the boat ramp in a minute. We often trailer our boats with oars in the oar locks and straps off ready to launch as soon as you pull up. With rods already rigged you are making casts while others get their straps off of their boats. The lodge is a little over a minute drive from The Reef Fly Shop, Cottages and RV and is a nice one mile walk along the very low and slow traffic Grey Reef Road. The lodge has some of the best trout water in the world a couple minute walk from the front door. We also have upland, waterfowl and big game hunts as well as hunting/fishing packages.

The Reef Fly Shop, Cottages & RV: That’s us. Custom flies, expert (and friendly) advice, our overqualified guide crew, RV sites, drift boat rentals, vacation rentals, BuffTrout swag, cigars, beer. Apres beers on the covered patio, every evening.

That’s it, aside from a few residences and primitive camping options. Alcova has pretty wild geology (paleontology, archeology etc) so the topography hides sight of other locations in many cases…especially the North Platte Lodge, we are way off of the highway and around the bluff from the shop, the Sunset, Sloane’s etc but the only to have outfitter to have front row seats to Grey Reef the fishery. The airport is a 40 minute drive. If you need groceries, restaurants, a mechanic, hospital or any other services you’d expect in a city, Casper is only a 30 minute drive. We are the nearest outfitter to Miracle Mile at a 30 minute approach and Fremont Canyon, Alcova Reservoir, Pathfinder Reservoir at 15 minutes and the after bay section is at your ready right in front of the shop.

Grey Reef doesn’t play second fiddle to any fly fishing destination.

 

Trending In The Right Direction


***SHOP PHONE LINES ARE STILL DOWN***

We apologize for the inconvience. Feel free to call CenturyLink and complain.

Email us at: info@thereefflyshop.com

 

*PURCHASE YOUR FISHING LICENSE ONLINE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE*

Sloanes General Store is no longer selling licenses and we will not be able to keep up with the demand so PLEASE get your licenses before you get here. Thank you!

 https://wgfd.wyo.gov/apply-or-buy

We are finally starting to dry out a little in Central Wyoming. Thankful for the rain but happy to see a little more warmth and sunshine. We might be the only part of the country singing that tune right now. Flows, conditions and bugs are all trending in the right direction, so here’s to summer. The back half should be a good one!!

GREY REEF: Flows have bumped up to 2,000cfs and water conditions on the upper are good and improving a little everyday. We are hoping this bump will continue to help conditions downstream. Nymphing is staying consistent with more PMDs, sallies and caddis popping everyday. We are even seeing a hoppers hit the water and a few fish are starting to look up.

FREMONT CANYON: 82cfs and holding steady. Starting to see tricos in the morning and the fish are showing some interest.

MIRACLE MILE: Flows have reduced to 2,000cfs. We’ve hit the height of the golden stone hatch and adult numbers are slowly going down. Definitely getting a few on top but the fish seem to prefer a drowned adult or a Pat’s rubber legs. We are also seeing a good number of PMDs and the fish have been eating those as well.

A Little Update


*PURCHASE YOUR FISHING LICENSE ONLINE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE*

Sloanes General Store is no longer selling licenses and we will not be able to keep up with the demand so PLEASE get your licenses before you get here. Thank you!

 https://wgfd.wyo.gov/apply-or-buy

Alright folks, here’s a little updated report for you! Let us start with the flows and conditions…

GREY REEF: 2,000cfs, Grey Reef just bumped up to from 1,000cfs to 2,000cfs last night. It is currently stirred up a little bit below Grey Reef but it’s still fishable. We are expecting it to get back to normal in the next day or two.

FREMONT CANYON: 72cfs, mostly clear, hazy green in color. Fishable.

MIRACLE MILE: 2,775cfs, clear. The Mile has been holding steady at around 2,775cfs for a bit but are expecting flows to go up again at some point, probably sooner than later.

All and all things are pretty good in Central Wyoming. Reservoirs are starting to fill(*they have a ways to go), there’s a little green tint to the prairie and the fishing is pretty darn good. Standard fare on our three tailwater; baetis, midges, leeches and worms are whats working for our crew.

Flush is Finished


*PURCHASE YOUR FISHING LICENSE ONLINE*

 https://wgfd.wyo.gov/apply-or-buy

Well, the spring flush has officially wrapped up. Flows on Grey Reef have gone back to 450cfs. At this point we do not have any information regarding the flows for Grey Reef later this spring and summer. As always, if we hear anything we will let you know. Currently Grey is is floatable and fishable downstream of Government Bridge. This is subject to change, especially this year with the amount of lingering snow drifts.

Miracle Mile? We have had guides at the Mile the past week and other than one 150yd stretch of Kortes Road, the getting around out there is relatively easy. Keep mind folks, we have some more wet weather on the horizon, so this is subject to change. As always, USE CAUTION when headed that direction.

It’s gradually starting to feel like spring and the fish are starting to act like it. With the flush in the rear view, the spawn is really going to fire up. PLEASE be considerate of the fish and don’t walk through the redds. It really is best if we leave the spawners alone.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Valentine’s Day, the midpoint of February.  Granted it still feels mostly like winter, you can kind of feel a little bit of change in the air.  Super Bowl Sunday was one for the books with mild temps, sunny skies and virtually no wind.  It was a good day to be on the water!  Unfortunately the mild temperatures are going to leave for a few days, as another cold front is set to hit this afternoon. Keep in mind with this afternoon’s storm system, river and driving conditions could change for the next couple of days.

Here’s our current Grey Reef/Fremont Canyon/Miracle Mile conditions and fishing report…

Grey Reef: 450cfs 

Very clear from Grey Reef to Lusby, floatable from Grey Reef to Lusby. Frozen in sections from Lusby to Casper.

Nymphs: pine squirrel leech(brown or natural), hot-head leech(black w/ chartruese head or brown w/ orange head), PAL, rhinestone, reef worm, mini impaler, all-day may(black), amber scud, grey scud.

Streamers: rusty-t, goldie, articulated goldie, near-nuff sculpin(tan).

Fremont Canyon: 76cfs

Clear.  Road into the Canyon is icy in spots.

Nymphs: orange scud, amber scud, PAL, rhinestone, mayhem(grey), brassie(red).

Dries: Griffiths gnat, para adams.

Miracle Mile: 535cfs +/- (We do not have any updated fishing report due to the driving conditions on Kortes Road. Miracle Mile is passable but PLEASE use caution and pack the appropriate gear and equipment.)

Closer to Spring


It’s hard to believe we are already almost a full week into February.  Spring is going to be here before we know it!  After the last big snow/cold event, Central Wyoming has been on a little bit of a warming trend.  The past few days have delivered highs in the mid to high 30s but it looks like week ahead is going to cool down a touch and may have a few days of snow mixed in.

Here’s the updated conditions/fishing report for Grey Reef, Fremont Canyon and Miracle Mile…

Grey Reef: 450cfs 

Very clear from Grey Reef to Lusby, Floatable from Grey Reef to Lusby as of today.  Frozen in sections from Lusby to Casper.

Nymphs: Pine squirrel leech(brown or natural), Hot-head leech(black w/ chartruese head or brown w/ orange head), PAL, rhinestone, reef worm, mini impaler, all-day may(black), amber scud, grey scud.

Streamers: rusty-t, goldie, articulated goldie.

Fremont Canyon: 76cfs

Clear.  Road into the Canyon is icy in spots.

Nymphs: orange scud, amber scud, PAL, rhinestone, mayhem, brassie.

Dries: Griffiths gnat, para adams.

Miracle Mile: 535cfs +/- (We do not have any updated fishing report due to the driving conditions.  We would not advise driving from Alcova to the Miracle Mile at this time.)

 

 

More Snow


It seems this year we are staying a little more consistent on the snow.  Southern and Central Wyoming has been seeing storm systems at least once, if not two times a week.  Snow pack in the North Platte drainage is anywhere from 116%-165%.  That’s pretty darn good if you ask us. Hopefully we continue to keep piling it on!

Now let’s talk about the conditions and the fishing…

Current Flows:

Grey Reef: 450cfs (*Floatable from Grey Reef Dam to Lusby.)   

Fremont Canyon: 76cfs  

Miracle Mile: 535cfs +/- (*As always this time of year use caution if you are thinking about venturing to the Mile.  Make sure to check with someone local and be prepared.)

What flies are working?  Here’s Mason Bouffard’s top pick nymphs….

PALs, rhinestones, leeches(brown, natural, UV brown and hot head) scuds(amber, orange and olive), reef worms and mayhems.

Remember to concentrate on the lower half of the run.  If the water looks deep and slow, fish it!

 

 

 

Happy New Year!


We hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable New Year.  Here’s to 2023!  Well, we are starting the year off right in Central Wyoming.  As we write this little report we are on the backend of a two day snow event that has taken snowpack above 120% in the entire North Platte River drainage.  We like it!

Otherwise things are good here, just getting dialed in for the upcoming season.  Before this latest storm the weather was pretty nice and we actually had a few boats on the water to round out the year.  When you get the weather windows the fishing has been pretty solid!  So here’s an updated conditions/fishing report for all of you winter anglers…

Current Flows:

Grey Reef: 450cfs  

Fremont Canyon: 76cfs  

Miracle Mile: 535cfs +/- (*As always this time of year use caution if you are thinking about venturing to the Mile.  Make sure to check with someone local and be prepared.)

Top Flies:

Nymphs: amber scud, ray charles(tan), rhinestone, PAL, pine squirrel leech(brown or natural), mayhem midge(black), reef worm, hot head pine squirrel leech(chartreuse and black)

Streamers: rusty-t, articulated goldie, goldie w/ a pine squirrel leech trailer

 

 

The Winter Program


First things first, here is our winter schedule for the shop.

CURRENT SHOP HOURS:

Thursday-Monday: 8AM-1PM

Tuesday and Wednesday: CLOSED

A quick little fishing report for you folks.  It’s pretty much winter in Central Wyoming.  Flows are down to winter levels and we are starting to see some slush ice on lower sections of Grey Reef.  Nymphing and streamers have been the way to go on Grey Reef, Miracle Mile and Fremont Canyon.  Various scud patterns, rhinestones, PALs, reef worms, leeches and mayhems have been our top producers.  The most productive nymphing water has been the mid to lower sections of the runs.  Some fish are definitely starting to hunker into their winter patterns.  Streamers (i.e. Rusty T and/or a Goldie) have been producing some nice fish, just remember to slow down your strip with the colder water temperatures.

Feels a Little Like Fall


Cool and rainy this morning in Central Wyoming.  Not gonna lie, it feels pretty good!  We are officially at the midpoint of September and we are right where we are supposed to be.  Flows on Grey Reef are at 500cfs, Miracle Mile 530cfs and Fremont is holding steady at 75cfs.  Everything is fishing well, actually really well.  Water temperatures have dropped to a more comfortable level and conditions, especially on Grey Reef, are primo.

Pretty standard when we see the drop in flows, Grey Reef is running very clear and the vegetation is far less of a hinderance.  That being said, it has been buggy and the fish are looking up.  Huge trico numbers in the morning and pseudos in the afternoon.  Our Grey Reef guides have pretty much been rowing around looking for heads.  A little longer leader, tethered to 4X or 5X with a single dry (i.e. para adams, trico spinner), or a double fly rig with something a little bulkier (i.e. X caddis) with a trico spinner dropper. If dry fly fishing isn’t your thing, you can still catch them on trusty nymph rig.  Our go-to nymphs have been PALs, RS2 foam-wings in black and grey, pheasant tails, Pat’s rubber legs and/or a black two-bit hooker.  Our nymph rigs have been between 3-6ft in length and anything from no weight to 1-2BB split shot.  It really just depends on the type of water you are fishing.