A Little Taste of Winter


We have had a beautiful fall to say the least.  Mild temperatures, clear skies and very little wind.  It was only matter of time before we had to start seeing some weather…well, because it’s October and we live in Wyoming.  Last weeks storm blanketed our area in a nice layer of white, with Casper seeing 14″-18″.  As I write this report, we are supposed to see another dose of snow today and tonight.  The nice thing about it, it will be sunny and 50F by tomorrow.

With the changing weather, we’ve had a mixed bag of fishing.  Foul weather days have been consistently producing some awesome streamer fishing on Grey Reef.  Standard fare…rusty trombone’s, goldie’s, and/or black peacock buggers.  The calm, high pressure days have still be giving our guides and guests plenty of opportunities at the dry fly game.  We are still seeing some tricos in the morning, with psuedos and baetis being the late morning-afternoon program.  So if your headed our way make sure you are set up for just about anything.  This is the time of year you could throw nymphs, streamers and dries-all in the same day.

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.

 

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!

Baetis!


Well, as we write this report Central Wyoming is covered in a blanket of white.  Per usual, the weather in April has been a mix of everything.  We seem to be in a pattern of snow right now, about every other day.  By no means are we complaining because moisture is always a good thing!

So as of this morning water conditions are excellent everywhere.  Very, very clear from the Miracle Mile to Casper.  Current flows are as follows; Miracle Mile-2,000cfs, Fremont Canyon-72cfs and Grey Reef-450cfs.  So as for the fishing…we are in the middle of the baetis aka BWO spring hatch.  They are popping on a daily basis and the fish are keyed in!  Our guides have almost excusively moved over to strictly baetis patterns and our trademark mini-rig, especially during the peak of the hatch.  A 3-5ft rig, with minimal split shot tethered to a couple of bugs.  RS2 foam-wing, PAL, McGruber, pheasant-tail, jujubaetis, mayhem with a soft hackle trailer. It’s a fun time of year to be fishing, for sure.  Our fish love to hammer on the emerging bugs!

Aside from the baetis hatch, streamer fishing has produced some pretty solid days over the past few weeks.  Per usual, the rusty series of articulated streamers has been the top producers.  With the lower water conditions on Grey Reef and intermediate line has been about perfect.  Anything of depth is holding fish and don’t hesitate to vary your retrieve depending on the type of water your in.

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!

 

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!

Welcome to 2021! North Platte Fly Fishing Report!


Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a fun and safe holidays. We are back to being open everyday of the week from 8:00 to 2:00 and still have some awesome deals in the shop before our 2021 gear arrives. We had guides out over the past week and had some good weather and great fishing! We fished The Mile, Afterbay, and Grey Reef, as usual The Reef outshined them all.

We have our shoulder season rates going on until March 15th: Half Day Guided trip- $350, Full day Guided trip- $450 1 night in a cottage and 1 full day guided fishing-$575, and 2 nights in a cottage and 1 full day guided trip- $625. This is a great time to fish the North Platte with no crowds and good fishing!

Flows are up in Fremont and the Miracle Mile as they are filling up Alcova reservoir. Miracle Mile is flowing at 1,200 CFS and Fremont is around 2,2,00 CFS. They are still very fishable just focus on the slower tailouts and edges of runs.

Flies are similar on all three tailwaters right now: Pine Squirrel leeches, Reef Worms, Scuds, Mayhem Midges, tubing midges, the LAZY, the brassie, and RS2’s have all been working. Some days it definitely pays off to be shorter, lighter, and higher up in the water column. Other days it seems you have to be deep and heavy, so I always start off short and light and work my way down from there. Streamer fishing has also been working: Goldies, Rusty Trombone, kreelex, peacock buggers, and all peanut envys are the go-tos.

If you have any questions or want to book your next trip give us a call or stop by the shop!

Lowering Alcova Reservoir and the Grey Reef Trophy Trout Season


Grey Reef is the ultra-tailwater. This is a phrase we use to describe what the Grey Reef section of the North Platte River is and why it is such a consistent, productive, and trophy class fishery. We are blessed to have 5 reservoirs, closely spaced, immediately upstream from Grey Reef Dam. Two of these giant “settling ponds”, Seminoe and Pathfinder, are both very large each boasting a million acre-foot volume. The other unique feature to the arrangement of Grey Reef and its supporting impoundments are that there are no major mountain ranges to collect a snowpack and very sandy and rocky substrate that fails to create a traditional runoff scenario below the head of Seminoe Reservoir, the first lake in the system. Pre runoff fishing is superb,  peak runoff and Grey Reef is often the only good option in the game, post runoff is stellar and late season fishing is still rocking with a healthy water supply and heavily foraging trout. Water demand is reduced with the end of the irrigating season so Grey Reef flows are reduced to a very floatable, wadable, and productive 500cfs for the remainder of the fall and winter season.

This October Grey Reef is being utilized as a surrogate to unwanted water in Alcova Reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled some needed maintenance on Alcova Dam and as a result, they are lowering the level of the lake significantly. Since Oct 1st Grey Reef flows have been over 2000cfs or 4 to 5 times the “normal” October volume. This isn’t high water but it is high for the time of year. It has created some unique opportunities and big fish production has been a very welcomed result. But, what we might be the most excited about is the moment the BuRec cuts the surplus flows to Grey Reef. Imagine all of those crawdads and young-of-the-year fish displaced and scurrying to relocate into or near their normal October habitat. While the old fall flush is a fond memory of the past, this abrupt reduction of flows should parallel that event.

As of 10/19/20 Grey Reef flows are at 1300cfs and Miracle Mile Flows are 540cfs. Grey Reef streamer fishing has been exceptional and will only improve. Wade anglers thrive at these flows.

Big Flows, Big Fish


Uncommon for October, flows on Grey Reef(since October 1) have been in the 2,100-2,800cfs range.  For those unaware, Alcova Dam is needing a little rejuvenation and lake levels will need to drop 39 vertical feet to accomplish the task-hence the increased flows.  All things considered, Grey Reef is in pretty good shape.  The first couple of days were a little rough but after things stabilized and conditions have been good, especially on the upper river.  On that note and to be honest, the increased flows have made the fishing a little more inconsistent than normal.  We are not seeing the numbers(by Grey Reef standards) that we are used to but we are seeing some big ones hit the net.  25″ has been broken multiple times in the past week.  If your headed our way, expect to throw the bigger stuff.  Leeches, worms, crayfish, craneflies, scuds, etc…not to say you can’t get them to eat some bugs, the larger critters just seem to be working better.  Flows are expected to go back to the winter program(500cfs) on October 21.  Excited to see what happens…