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.

Miracle Mile Fly Fishing and a Little Reality Check


Stiff-arming a Miracle Mile Chunk   (Photo by NPL Guide Josh Stevens)

Miracle Mile is a short tail water section of the the North Platte River that is arguably the most recognized piece of fly fishing water in the state of Wyoming. The “Mile” as it is commonly known, is actually 5 to 8+ miles long depending on the level of Pathfinder Reservoir. The term Miracle Mile was coined by Curt Gowdy who was a well-known sportscaster for NBC and ABC Sports during the 1960s and 1970s. The Reef Fly Shop is the nearest operation to Miracle Mile and we frequent this remote area in Carbon County. Wade fishing trips to Miracle Mile were some of the first guide assignments for North Platte Lodge in 1998, and current staff floated the Mile in their sweet yellow Aire Super Puma and cheap Sevylor K-79 inflatable kayak beginning in the early 1990s. We’ve been around a little while.

Don’t get us wrong, we love Miracle Mile and for the same reasons that it enjoys infamy. It is a good fishery with quality trout, it is remote, has lots of public access, it is easy to drive right to any run, has plenty of camping options, it fishes year round and oozes some lawless anonymity. Much of the public allure however, comes only from the name and lore.

GREY REEF   If we had to choose it would be Grey Reef and none of the area fisheries would be a close second…not even Miracle Mile. Grey Reef for trophy class fish (25″), Grey Reef for dry fly, Grey Reef for high-volume fishing, Grey Reef for novice angler’s success, Grey Reef for angling diversity and response to hatches, Grey Reef for fish population and shear productive river mileage, Grey Reef for accessibility, Grey Reef for less fishing traffic and congestion.

Miracle Mile can be a shit show, especially in the fall. Please let us be on Grey Reef during a blizzard, big wind event or gulley washer. The Mile is better than most fisheries but can’t compete with the consistency of Grey Reef. It has some huge fish but we target trophy trout at Grey Reef for a reason. Miracle Mile is lackluster for dry fly except the short Golden Stonefly hatch, Miracle Mile has more midstream structure and heavier water making it more difficult for less experienced anglers and the wading is a lesson in expecting a swim. Miracle Mile has almost no edge structure and is 800′ higher elevation than Alcova. Again, we love Miracle Mile and it will always be part of our program but it is evident from conversations we’ve had with folks over the past couple decades that their interpretation is mostly misguided due to lack of really understanding the contemporary reality of Miracle Mile.

 

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.   

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.

Good Times on Grey Reef


We love this time of year!!  Hunting seasons start opening, the weather is beautiful, water conditions are primo and the fish are looking up.  Of course Miracle Mile and Fremont Canyon are fishing well and always a good place to be but Grey Reef is firing on all cylinders.  This is the time of year where its not at all uncommon to throw dries, all day.  Nymphs and streamers are most certaintly in play but the dry fly game is just so fun.  For most of our guides, it’s chasing pods of trico eating trout in morning and switching to hoppers around lunchtime.  Sound fun?  Tricos, of course, can be some of the more technical dry fly fishing of the season.  So be prepared to break out the 5X and don’t be afraid to throw a little something different.  Maybe a larger parachute or even a royal wulff…if their staring at thousands of spinners, it never hurts to show them something a little different.

Trico Time!


As we hit the middle of August Tricos are in full swing here on the Reef and the fishing is still great! We are seeing a very healthy Trico hatch from early in the morning until about 9-10am. If you’re nymphing black RS2s and Mayhem Midges have been the ticket. We haven’t been seeing too much surface action for the Trico hatch, but if you hit it on the right day you can have some shots at sipping trout. Throwing smaller mayfly patterns or trico specific flies might get these sippers to eat. As the day goes on PMD’s, Yellow Sallies, Caddis, and Stoneflies have all been in the mix and productive. As was the case in early August, some sort of flashy bead head with an emerger off the back can’t really be beaten when nymphing. We have yet to see hopper action pick up, but that may mean just a later and greater season on that front. Of course we have to cover the topic of grass and weeds in the river as well because this time of year is when they really pop up. Surprisingly this year it isn’t that bad yet, but it seems like the grass is growing by the minute. The key to fishing when the weeds really come in is finding where channels open up and drifting your nymph rigs through there. Looking for faster current and deeper shelves where there grass doesn’t grow as high should be your target. Your first instinct may be to shorten up and lighten up in order to drift over the weeds, but you’d be surprised to see how many trout are actually living in the grass, making drifting a little bit deeper through the channels much more effective.

That’s all for this report, hopefully next report we will be able to give you all some good news about the hopper bite!

Summertime!


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.

Post Storm Fly Fishing Report and Grey Reef Flush Update!


While most of Wyoming and Colorado was hit by a major winter storm Alcova and Grey Reef hardly got an inch of snow! The roads are all opening up and the weather this weekend looks prime! Our cottages are full this weekend, but we still have guide availability. Please Call the shop for updated Miracle mile road reports.

The flush of Grey Reef is NOT happening this year due to a few different circumstances. Do not worry, the fishing has been and will remain good. We saw increased flows in October last year and that cleared out a ton of sediment and debris from the spawning areas. Honestly the fishing every year is usually the same pre flush as it is post flush. It’s just kind of a different and fun way to kick off to the season. We just beefed up our snowpack with the last storm and should hopefully be able to fill some of our reservoirs.

Flies: Fishing has been really good on all three tailwaters, conveniently the flies are similar for all of them. Leeches in brown, olive, natural #10, Reef Worms in red and purple #12-18, Scuds in olive, pink and orange #14-16, Pheasant Tails #16-18, Mayhem Midges black and purple #18-20, All day May in olive #18, PAL #16-20, and Rhinestone in #18-20 have all been great patterns the past few weeks!

Flows: Flows are low and will stay that way for the next few weeks. The only change we are supposed to see is Grey Reef go back up to 500 CFS from 400CFS

Grey Reef-400 CFS

Miracle Mile-500 CFS

Fremont canyon- 72 CFS

If you have any questions feel free to stop by the shop or give us a call!

Spring Weather is Here! North Platte Fly Fishing Report!


Spring is finally here and we couldn’t be more excited! The fishing has been great and have guide trips out quite a bit! The weather looks great for the next ten days and the fish are on the feed! We still have our shoulder season rates going through March 15th and some availability left! Call the shop and lets get your 2021 fishing season started off right!

There has been no official announcement of the 2021 Flush. We will update our social pages and this report once we have confirmed dates. The flush is historically set for the second week of March.

Grey Reef- 500 CFS Fishing has been great on The Reef as you would expect from the North PLatte’s most consistent fishery. Leeches have been the top producer. Chocolate, natural and olive are all working well. Reef worms in red and purple, the Reef’s PAL, mayhem midges, tubing midges, and the Rhinestone are all getting fish too! The river is open from the Dam to Government bridge!

Fremont Canyon/Cardwell- 75 CFS It has been pretty busy up there so you might want to sixe down your tippet and get a little “techy”. Mini rigs for midges and good presentations!  The PAL, Tubing midges, Reef worms, Rhinestones, Mayhem Midges, and pheasant tails.

Miracle Mile – 530 CFS Fishing has been good lately but also have to deal with some crowds. Leeches are still the go to followed by Reef worms and san juan worms, the PAL, rhinestone and mayhem midges. Theres been sgreat midge hatches out there everyday!

Give us a call or stop be the shop if you have any questions!

 

Mild Winter


It has been a strangely mild winter in Central Wyoming, no doubt. Moderate temperatures and lackluster snowfall, it’s a marked contrast from this time last year. Grey Reef, Miracle Mile and Fremont are all in great shape and fishing well. Flows have stabilized, with roughly 500cfs (current flows as of 1/27/2021: Miracle Mile-490cfs, Fremont-72cfs, and Grey Reef-501cfs) moving down the system, top to bottom. We have mostly been spending our time on Grey Reef as of late. And just a heads up, with some colder days/nights mixed in, floating to Lusby can be questionable. That being said make sure you check in with us or someone local before committing to floating.
Nymphs, streamers with the occasional dry-fly pod seems to be the name of the game. Standard nymph fare-leeches, reef worms, scuds, PALs, mayhems are a great place to start. Fish are definitely concentrated at the middle to lower half of the run, so think a little longer-5-8ft, 1-3 BB split shot, 3X and 4X tippet. Streamers are definitely worth your time as well. An intermediate line or a small sink-tip is working well on a slow strip. Single hooked or small articulated patterns in white, tan and/or olive have being working best. And on the calm days keep your eyes peeled for fish on top. It’s been nothing crazy but we are getting a few on various midge dries.