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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Over the last few weeks we have seen a lot of different weather. Literally, EVERY type of weather. From shorts and flip-flops to puffy coats, hats and gloves. This hasn’t slowed or stopped us! We are currently getting a lot of rain. What does that mean for us here? Bugs! Lots and lots of bugs! BWO’s, Midges, and even some PMD activity out there. This is a special time to get out and cast a fly. The water temps have climbed out of the winter chill and are sitting around 52-55 degrees. And couple this with our low flows at 500cfs. The fish are very active! With overcast/wet days, we are getting to see a lot of feeding fish on the surface. These fish WILL eat a presented dry fly! The past few days we have had some incredible dry fly opportunities. Its always fun to see fish on the surface eating your fly. Oh, and don’t worry. If you come out and they aren’t on the surface that day, the incredible nymphing opportunities lead to some pretty memorable days out there. June is approaching and everything is stacking up to be an unforgettable couple months. From PMD’s to Yellow Sallies and even the beginning of hoppers is all right around the corner!
One thing to keep in mind about our amazing fishery is, we have clean, fish-able water. With the series of bottom release dams upstream of the Grey Reef, we are typically clean year round. Yes, there is the occasional gully washer rain storm that will dirty the river for a day or two, but for the most part we are clean and clear. We do not have the big run off affects that other fisheries have to deal with. There are a series of small creeks that merge into the North Platte downstream of the Grey Reef boat ramp. These for the most part are small trickles into the river.
DON’T FORGET OUR STREAMER TOURNEY! We are excited to bring this unique opportunity to you. This isn’t your normal fishing tournament. Yes, there are prizes, and cash like most. Simms, Scott Fly Rods, Dirty Water Fly Co. etc. However, this is hosted where you will be staying! So no having to leave after the long day of casting streamers. Sit back on the porch, enjoy some drinks and fine dinning! See the below information and if you’re interested, give us a call. Limited space so make the call!
STREAMER TOURNAMENT: This is a North Platte Lodge Trophy Trip on steroids and positioned at the height of the most successful time to target trophy class trout (25″ or more) . The event will be limited to 12 anglers staying and fishing double occupancy. Arrive Thursday afternoon Oct 31st, Fish full day Nov 1 and 2 and a half day Nov 3. On the final day NPL will provide a chef prepared lunch and award ceremony prior to an afternoon departure. Cash and prizes will sweeten it up! The goal is to land the longest Trout of the weekend. Lodging, meals, 17 miles of private access with 5 boat ramps and guides/boat provided. Once the roster is set you will have access to your guides to scheme your approach. Call for details 307.237.1182
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!
March is an exciting month. It’s the time of year where anything can happen with the weather. It will snow a foot one day, and then be 50 degrees on another. The river that has been frozen down stream will start to open, and the banks will start to come alive. The beginning of spring. Things will start to thaw and the North Platte River will be hub for activity. It is to many, their favorite time of the year to go Fly Fishing! Floating is an amazing way to see everything from deer and antelope, all the way to turkeys strutting their stuff on the banks. Oh, and did I mention the fishing is fantastic? The Reef Fly Shop has the best early season package in the business! 2 nights in a cottage and 1 day of guided fishing on Grey Reef for $600! Until March 15 where we return to regular season rates. Get it while it lasts!
Every year the North Platte River is flushed near the second week of March for ten days. The flush is when the Bureau Of Rec slowly bumps flows up from our current 500cfs to 4000cfs and then back down slowly to 500cfs over night. This cleans out the “junk” if you will on the bottom of the river. Over the year silt and debris covers some of the bottom and prime spawning habitat for our fishery. The high flows clean this from the bottom moving it down stream away from prime spawning habitat. This year however, with the remaining ice and cold weather in the extended forecast. Coupled with the current bridge construction taking place below Alcova Dam, dates for the flush have not come out yet. There are a few factors to think of with this. We don’t want the flush to be late, as this will wash away where fish have already spawned. However, we do want a flush to clean up the bottom, creating more prime spawning habitat. With a little luck, hopefully the weather warms up and it will get back on track! We will continue to update everyone on the flush plans and schedule as we gain more information.
We recently have made some changes to The Reef Fly Shop and it is starting to come along nicely! Click the link here to check it out. https://youtu.be/xWb4pN_G43I Although we have the project going, we are still open. So stop in to grab your gear and see the changes yourself!
We’ve made it out to the Miracle Mile a couple times in the last few weeks. Braving the elements. This is always a challenge this time of year. Roads are a pain, wind blowing, and cold temps make it hard. But can be well worth it. Swinging streamers, we were able to connect on some great fish! The Miracle Mile road had some drifting and slippery spots so be careful if you are going to make the trip out passed Alcova!