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.
We hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable labor day weekend! Based on our sources we have been told Grey Reef will start dropping this week, it may even start today. Fortunately it looks like we will be out of this blistering heat wave by weeks end as well. Our guide staff has been diligent about taking water temperatures and we have chosen to go-to early starts and early offs until the cool weather shows up this weekend. This mornings forecast shows highs in the 50s with lows in the 30s on Saturday. That’s gonna feel good!
With the anticipated drop in flows we are expecting a pretty strong uptick in trico/pseudo activity and the fish feeding on them. So you’ll definitely want to keep the dry fly rod handy. Currently our guides are looking for heads in the morning then switching over to nymphs later on. 4-6ft, 1-3 BBs tethered to a leech, cranefly, Pat’s rubber legs and dropped with a small pheasant tail or foam wing RS2. A pretty straight forward rig!
A quick little report on Grey Reef. Flows are currently at 2,000cfs. We have been having some legit thunderstorms the past few evenings and Grey Reef has been impacted. As of this afternoon, upper Grey Reef is clearing and fishable. Everything downstream of Government is not, zero visibility at this time.
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Hard to believe we are already nine days into the month of August! It’s been a busy summer for us and will continue to be for the coming months. Thank you to everyone who has joined us this year…it’s been a good one thus far. So, here’s a little fishing/water conditions report for everyone. Flows on Grey Reef have dropped to 2,600cfs, clarity is excellent and water temps on the upper are 60.5 degrees as of this afternoon. Miracle Mile is still sitting at a low and slow 540cfs, clarity is marginal and water temps are probably leaning on being a little too warm (we have not had any guides on the Mile for several weeks to report an exact temperature). Fremont Canyon is currently flowing at 400cfs, clarity is marginal there as well and the water temperatures are around 60 degrees.
So as for the fishing, our guides have been spending their time on Grey Reef. We are continuing to see consistent trico numbers in the morning and we are definitely finding some fish up on the surface. After that subsides our Grey Reef guides have been switching over to a nymph rig. Foam wing RS2, pheasant tail, birds nest, poxyback…these are a few of our top nymphs right now. So what about hoppers? We are getting some fish to eat the hopper, for sure. The number of fish eating really seems to depend on the day and the float. Otherwise, if you are willing to strike out early or stay on late, streamers are in play as well. Top streamer right now, the trusty rusty t, of course.
Cool and wet this morning! Current water conditions are as follows; clear from Grey Reef Dam to Lusby, muddy at Government Bridge. Flows are sitting at 500cfs and fishing has been good! It’s bug season on Grey Reef, with daily baetis and midge hatches. Our rigs have been pretty straight forward, a reef worm or leech trailed by a PAL/foam-wing RS2/Macgruber or pulsating emerger. Remember to shorten and lighten up when the bugs start popping!
Well folks, as we write this little report it is snowing! Some locations more than others. Casper is currently under about a 10″ blanket of white, while 30 miles to the southwest in Alcova, it might just be a few inches. Currently the Grey Reef stretch of the North Platte is in good shape. For about the past week and a half we have been fortunate to have good water conditions from Grey Reef Dam to Glenrock, Wyoming. That’s a lot of fishable water! Unfortunately it might be different below Casper when the snow starts melting.
Miracle Mile: 1,526cfs
Fremont Canyon: 72cfs
Grey Reef: 505cfs
Nymphing is currently the name of the game. Leeches, worms, annelids, midges and baetis patterns are top producers. 3-7ft on the rig length, with anything from a single #4 split shot to 3BB’s. We know thats a broad range but when the bugs are popping our guides are fishing light/short and when things quiet down a longer rig is more appropriate.
If you haven’t seen it on our social media outlets, then here’s a little flush update. The Grey Reef flush is now scheduled to begin on March 31 and run for exactly nine days. During the flush-flows will increase every night, starting at midnight. Maximum flow during the flush is 4,000cfs. Flows will drop and stabilize to 500cfs every morning at 10am. At this time we do not know what flows will be post-flush but our best guess would be somewhere around 500cfs.
Another cold front brought more snow and bitter temperatures to Central Wyoming. Fortunately for us, temperatures will start climbing, starting tomorrow. We have definitely shifted into a wet pattern it seems like, which from a snowpack standpoint is a great thing. We will take it, especially in the upper drainage (Walden CO, Encampment WY, Saratoga WY).
Let’s start with a little Grey Reef FLUSH update. Still nothing firm but our resources tell us the Bureau of Reclamation will be performing a gate check at the end of March. That indicates the flush will follow after the gate check is complete. So, if it is to happen, we’d plan on something around the beginning of April and it should be somewhere between 5-10 days in length. As always, if we hear anything we will let everyone know.
As for the fishing, we have started to put a few more boats on the water in the past weeks. Conditions have been good, other than a brief warm-up last week that had the river blown-out at various locations starting upstream of Government Bridge. Obviously this most recent cold front has help with the run-off but locked the lower river back up with ice. As always the upper river from Grey Reef dam to Ledge Creek is clear and fishing well. Nymphs and streamers continue to be the name of the game. For our nymph rigs it’s been a mix of the following…pine squirrel leeches(brown or natural), reef worms, deep purples, mini san juans(red or purple), PALs, rhinestones and/or mayhems. Our rigs have been running between 4-7ft with 1-3 BB split shot. If your looking to strip a streamer, the petunia as been our go-to pattern as of late. With the low winter flows plan on fishing your streamer pattern on a floating, intermediate or very short/light sink-tip. There is no need for a really stout sink-tip or sinking line this time of year.
After a very mild and pleasant fall we have rolled into more of our standard winter weather program. Weather and wind. Either we’re getting snow or it’s blowing, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Population control for Central Wyoming.
Grey Reef is finally starting to see some icy conditions below Government Bridge. The Upper, as always this time of year, is the place to be. Flows are at 450cfs and clear, with the vegetation becoming less and less by the day. Pine squirrel leeches, PALs, rhinestones, reef worms and small pheasant tails are the bugs of choice. With water temperatures dropping we are definitely concentrating on the lower half of the run and focusing on the deeper tailouts and seams. Thats not to say you can’t find them nosed up to shelf during the afternoon midge hatch but the most overall productive water is going to be the deep stuff.
So how about the Miracle Mile fishing report? Well, with the weather finally shaping up more into its winter pattern the crowds have finally started to subside. Per usual, make sure to check with us our someone else “local” this time of year before you venture that way. Roads can get nasty and the Mile is not the place to get stuck this time of year. While nymphing is always a popular winter program on the Mile, you’ll find most of us headed out there to swing a streamer. Again, with water temperatures hovering slightly above freezing, the slow/deep tailouts are your friend. Intermediate lines and/or a short sink-tip is the way to go. These lines along with a weighted streamer will get you into the lower third of the water column, putting your streamer in front of their faces. For whatever reason you’re hard pressed to beat an articulated goldie or rusty trombone when it comes to swinging the Miracle Mile.
Well, we finally got some MUCH needed water in Grey Reef. Earlier this week, Bureau of Rec. decided to bump the flows to 1,500cfs, which happens to be a pretty ideal flow for both boat and wade fishing. Projected flows for Grey Reef this summer are expected to be between 2,000-3,000cfs. Things are starting to shape up nicely. Fishing is good! The bump in flows stalled the summertime bug activity, so we are seeing a few baetis again but PMDs and sallies are right around the corner. If your going to be throwing nymphs, go with the following…leeches, worms, PMD nymphs and sally nymphs. Also due to the bump in flows, water clarity is so-so below Government Bridge but that should only continue to improve. Golden stone fly nymph activity has begun to pick at the Miracle Mile, as we should start seeing a few adults in the coming weeks. This is always as fun time of year as we make the transition to the “glory days” of summer.