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.
Well folks, the flush had ended on Grey Reef and flows are back to 450cfs. Water conditions as of today are primo! We have fishable water from Grey Reef dam to Casper,WY. We do have cold and wet weather forecasted for the week so we will have to see if that impacts the downstream water conditions.
Just a heads up, road construction is expected to start tomorrow on Kortes Rd. The construction will take place from the bridge at Alcova Dam and end at the Miracle Mile/Fremont Canyon split. What does this mean? Well, if you are planning on heading to the Mile you’ll need to go via Pathfinder Rd/Fremont Canyon Rd. Expected finish date is late September.
What a beautiful week we have had in Central Wyoming! Mild, sunny and calm. As we make our way toward the flush, here’s a few updates. Flows are currently as follows; Grey Reef(500cfs), Fremont Canyon(72cfs) and Miracle Mile(530cfs +/-). Currently Grey Reef Reservoir aka The Afterbay is drained to the river channel, this will continue until the start of the flush on March 31. After that we should see it fill back up.
All and all the fishing has been solid! Nymphing has been the name of the game with pine squirrel leeches, reef worms, san juans, PALs, rhinestones, mayhems and pulsating emergers being our list of go-to patterns. With the low flows our rigs have been living in the 4-6.5ft range, with 1-3 b shot depending on the run. This has been our setup for Grey Reef, Fremont Canyon and Miracle Mile. Keep in mind, with the low flows and clear water conditions, you might want to dial down your tippet size. Most of our crew has been fishing 4x fluorocarbon to the back fly.
Well, the weather has started to really shape up in Central Wyoming. Yeah we know, it’s winter but over the past several weeks we have had some beautiful days. If you follow us on social media you’ve seen that we are officially back on the water. It’s hard to believe that it is time to start ramping up for another season. Shop orders will start arriving in the coming weeks. That means new patterns, a FULLY stocked fly bin, new gear and more.
So, as for the current North Platte fly fishing report…flows are low and steady and the fishing is solid! Grey Reef is currently at 450cfs, Fremont Canyon 72cfs, and Miracle Mile is hovering around 530cfs. And everyone is running nice and clear. Nymphing and streamers are the name of the game but with the right conditions and a midge hatch we are seeing a few fish on top. Nymph rigs for this time of year are 4-7ft, 1-3B shot…it really just depends on the type and depth of water you are in. Of course the most popular flies to date are as follows; pine squirrel leeches(natural/brown/black), reef worms, PALs, rhinestones, brassies and mayhems. If you go the streamer route a short sink tip or an intermediate line tethered to an articulated goldie or a rusty should do the trick.
Let’s hope we keep getting some windows of nice weather and when we do, give us a shout and take advantage of our offseason day trip/cottage packages. 307-232-9128
First things first, we’d like to wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our crew to all of you! We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday.
For those of you that keep up with our weather, you’re probably noticed the lack of “nice” days over the past few weeks. Well, as we discussed in the last report, that’s just the way it can be this time of year in Central Wyoming. But when the weather has lined up, the fishing continues to be good. It most certainly has been more of an late morning/afternoon program for Miracle Mile, Fremont Canyon and Grey Reef. Our list of top flies right now are the following; pine squirrel leeches, reef worms, orange scuds, PALs, rhinestones and mayhems. The most productive water continues to be the mid to lower half of the run, concentrating on the slower/deeper water. One last thing, as of right now Grey Reef is floatable to Lusby but that will more than likely change with colder temperatures expected next week. As always we will keep everyone updated on the current conditions but if your planning on heading out don’t hesitate to reach out via e-mail or give us a call at the shop.
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, 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.