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.

Iced Tea Iced Guides


October through mid November is a pretty magical time in Central Wyoming. The scene changes daily and the transitions between fishing disciplines and hunting opportunities seem endless and can be exhausting.   Gear rooms, boats and vehicles suffer the most as the constant exchange inevitably creates disarray and confusion. Anglers are loaded with 3 rigged rods – the dry fly opportunities are all day and you need to be able to grab a rod as soon as rising trout start doing their thing, nymph rigs fill the gaps and help you to not feel inadequate for surface refusals and the streamer water should never be ignored. The dry fly game is plentiful yet humbling, nymphing light emerger rigs is really dang productive and you never know what kind of critter your streamer will land in front of. The days start with coffee, waders and a hoody and end with t-shirts, sandals and a beer.

Then there is hunting. Big game often warrants different caliber choices, waterfowl and upland bird and you’ll shop for tools to optimize that experience. And don’t forget about the dogs that make it all happen…pointing, flushing, snuggling and retrieving.  Add other Central Wyoming outdoor recreation options like mountain biking, gravel biking, off road motorcycling, climbing, trail running and paddling. That isn’t the end of it but we know where to stop, ha! This region has not been developed to optimize most of these activities and that is a good thing. Getting outside begins with leaving your comfort-zone and culminates in continuing to advance your comfort by creating a habit of putting yourself out there. Going further, rejecting the normal definition of success and discovering things that very few people will. This isn’t the Visit Casper version of Central Wyoming…this is the raw and real version that excludes the entry level social media influencer portrayal.

Put yourself out there, or come hang out with us for a few days and we’ll do our best to show you the ropes…this is the perfect time to do it. Before the snow flies and skis and snowmobiles come out along with the water fowling waders, layout blinds and we enter the season where chipping ice out of our guides has every angler thinking to themselves how they can solve this age-old dilemma.

Miracle Mile fishing report is good with leech, worm, baetis, caddis, scud nymph rigs. It is busy with hunting camps so be aware. Fremont Canyon fishing report is very good dry fly with tricos, pseudos and caddis. Swing crawdads and soft hackles in the unoccupied tweener water. Grey Reef is rocking and rolling from top to bottom, the upper is quiet and the dry fly is excellent. Streamer activity is ramping up and short light emerger rigs are the way to go if you like the numbers game.

The Reef Fly Shop is open daily and we still have guides, cottages and RV sites available. Stop in for some good sales or check out the newly restocked space.

 

2021 – The Year of the BuffTrout


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!

Wyoming Fly Fishing, Big Game & Bird Hunting – Cast and Blast


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.

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.

 

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!

 

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.

 

Fly Fishing 411


Apologies for our lack of fishing reports as of late.  As most of you probably assumed, it’s been pretty darn busy.  Well, here we are at more or less the mid-point of the 2019 season.  Water conditions are great, finally, and we are staring down the barrel of some more excellent summer fly fishing on the North Platte River.

With reservoirs just about topped off and flows holding steady (Grey Reef-3,000cfs, Miracle Mile-4,000cfs, Fremont Canyon-800cfs), fishing should only get better…and with higher, steady flows-it’s getting buggy.  Lots of caddis and pmds…with yellow sallies just around the corner.  Golden stones are still happening on the Miracle Mile but the peak of the hatch has passed.  The other thing we are starting to see A LOT of are hoppers, that’s right…lots and lots of hoppers.  Now, we can’t promise hopper madness like 2011-12 but we are already starting to see some fish look up.  If that’s not enough for you the lower river is prime for streamer fishing.  Banks are inundated and its that ideal “streamer green” color.

If you have fishing on the brain, now would be a great time to give us a call.  Oh, one last thing…STREAMER TOURNAMENT October 24-27.  Call for details.  It’s going to be a grand old time!

Beautiful Days and Melting Snow


As a lot of you may have seen, central Wyoming was hit with a big snow storm last week. Snow accumulations varied in the area and drifts have piled high. A lot of our boat ramps were not usable because of this. However, this didn’t stop us from getting out and enjoying the beautiful weather for the days that followed.  We weren’t the only ones! This was a busy weekend for the Grey Reef stretch. Quite a few boats out there. With our private access we can often avoid traffic and this is what we did! The fishing has been pretty good the last few days and has produced some very healthy, well wintered, fat trout. This time of year there is a variety of food the fish are eating. From midges and annelids, all the way to worms and leeches. This definitely makes the choice of what to use easy.  Even though the water temps are sitting at 38°F to 42°F, the trout are fighting hard! Let em run! If you haven’t already, get your trips booked at The Reef Fly Shop. 

Just a quick update on the spring Flush. It has been postponed to March 29th and it will now be a full 10 day flush. We will continue to update on this if there are any other changes.

With the recent snow and drifts, it had made the road to the Miracle Mile not passable. Many who tried over the weekend were in for a shock. Turning around to head back to the Grey Reef and even getting stuck themselves. This has recently changed. The plow has opened the main road up and a few are making the drive over now. The roads along the river are still bad so be careful out there and good luck! Share your pictures with us on Facebook or Instagram. We would love to see how everyone is doing!

Warmer temperatures and some beautiful days are in the forecast. With all the snow sitting around, this can cause for some cloudy river conditions. Sometimes this may lead to fishing a little different or even fishing some different locations.  Be flexible and trust your guides. You never know, it may turn into an unexpected adventure of a lifetime. Give us a call and get your next adventure booked!