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.

 

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.

 

Spring Fly Fishing, Barbless Pledge and the Flushing Flows


Wyoming is sparsely populated with people but densely populated with trout. The fly fishing at Miracle Mile, Fremont Canyon and Grey Reef is firing on all cylinders. Slowly retrieved streamers are getting some love but the most effective rigs have been a scud/midge nymph rig with pretty light tippet and keeping the midge up in the water column a little bit. The Reef Fly Shop has a great selection of custom foam winged (buoyant) patterns to accomplish this approach. Worms and leeches are also good lead patterns. Miracle Mile has a pretty strong preference for red San Juan Worms or Bead Head Mohair Leeches, Fremont Canyon likes light tippet and a rig with 2 midges. Focusing on soft edges and tailouts is a really good idea but don’t discount shelves and riffles in heavier parts of the daily midge hatch.

Give us a shout if you are shopping for an awesome domestic fly fishing package for 2020. We are easy to fly and drive to and can compete with any destination in the world when it comes to the experience and high quality fishing. We have a great corporate and group option (including reduced rates and airport transportation) as well. We have Grey Reef’s most experienced guide staff, best location and unmatched private access since 1998.

The Flushing Flows are scheduled to begin March 28 and continue for 10 days. Many factors can alter the schedule so expect some changes. Grey Reef Reservoir will be down to the river channel on March 24th.

We pledged to fish barbless over 20 years ago and hope you’ll join us. It is really simple to pinch your barbs and it is the right thing to do for our trout population and catch-and-release fly fishing. Recently we’ve witnessed an uptick of social media accounts almost glorify pictures of trout that are missing parts of their face. This is caused by irresponsible angling. There are many things we can do to reduce the instances of disfigured trout but pinching barbs is the first step. Let’s not make the fish suffer for our lack of ability. Preserve trout faces at Grey Reef and fisheries everywhere by pledging to pinch your and your fishing customers’ barbs.

This brown was proud to swim away with all lips

 

 

Spring Fly Fishing, Barbless Pledge and the Flushing Flows


Wyoming is sparsely populated with people but densely populated with trout. The fly fishing at Miracle Mile, Fremont Canyon and Grey Reef is firing on all cylinders. Slowly retrieved streamers are getting some love but the most effective rigs have been a scud/midge nymph rig with pretty light tippet and keeping the midge up in the water column a little bit. The Reef Fly Shop has a great selection of custom foam winged (buoyant) patterns to accomplish this approach. Worms and leeches are also good lead patterns. Miracle Mile has a pretty strong preference for red San Juan Worms or Bead Head Mohair Leeches, Fremont Canyon likes light tippet and a rig with 2 midges. Focusing on soft edges and tailouts is a really good idea but don’t discount shelves and riffles in heavier parts of the daily midge hatch.

Give us a shout if you are shopping for an awesome domestic fly fishing package for 2020. We are easy to fly and drive to and can compete with any destination in the world when it comes to the experience and high quality fishing. We have a great corporate and group option (including reduced rates and airport transportation) as well. We have Grey Reef’s most experienced guide staff, best location and unmatched private access since 1998.

The Flushing Flows are scheduled to begin March 28 and continue for 10 days. Many factors can alter the schedule so expect some changes. Grey Reef Reservoir will be down to the river channel on March 24th.

We pledged to fish barbless over 20 years ago and hope you’ll join us. It is really simple to pinch your barbs and it is the right thing to do for our trout population and catch-and-release fly fishing. Recently we’ve witnessed an uptick of social media accounts almost glorify pictures of trout that are missing parts of their face. This is caused by irresponsible angling. There are many things we can do to reduce the instances of disfigured trout but pinching barbs is the first step. Let’s not make the fish suffer for our lack of ability. Preserve trout faces at Grey Reef and fisheries everywhere by pledging to pinch your and your fishing customers’ barbs.

This brown was proud to swim away with all lips

 

 

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!

 

 

Thaw and Flush


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!

Wyoming Fly Fishing Report, Grey Reef


Central Wyoming fly fishing is still impressive. The guides report excellent fishing at Miracle Mile, Fremont Canyon and Grey Reef. Grey Reef numbers can’t be beat and the average size is reminiscent of 15 years ago. Miracle Mile fly fishing report is also very good with not the numbers but the size has been really impressive…although the trophy class fish will be most often found in the upper 8 miles of Grey Reef.  Fremont Canyon is also producing and the dry fly has been solid.

Grey Reef Fishing Report: Flows are down to 1300cfs this AM water is clear and temps are cool until you get into Casper. Expect a drop and we may be down to 500cfs winter flows before we know it. Excellent nymphing with caddis and midge options. Leeches and scuds also productive. Grey Reef streamer fishing has really picked up steam and you should have a streamer rod rigged and ready. Grey Reef dry fly fishing is great with pods slurping trico spinners in the AM and really good caddis in the PM.

Miracle Mile fly fishing report: Flows are at 1000cfs and clear and cool. Nymphing with small bug/caddis rigs the most productive. Miracle Mile streamer fishing has been pretty good as well.

Fremont Canyon fly fishing report: flows are 75cfs and very clear and cool. Dry/dropper rigs in the rock gardens and streamers throughout. For numbers stick with a light nymph rig and caddis emergers and midges.

We had a pretty exciting day on Sunday. The lodge was very close to being consumed by a human caused grass fire. The Alcova community and NaCo and BLM fire crews as well as the sheriff’s dept saved the facility likely. Pretty cool when tractors, road graders, water tanks just kind of pop out of the hills with neighbors who are a tenacious bunch. Big thanks to all who lent a hand!!

 

Central Wyoming Fly Fishing Report


Grey Reef Fly Fishing is very good and river conditions couldn’t be better. Clear water and 1500cfs with water temps in the mid 40s. Fishing is consistent in the AM, very robust throughout the middle portion of the day with the emergence of our besties the baetis and the late afternoon has been a slowdown after they have demolished all of the blue winged olives (baetis). Streamer activity not great but all it takes is one or two fish to make an uneventful session into a great memory. As was the case with Trent and Beau a couple eves ago.

Fremont Canyon has some excellent baetis dry fly and emerger rig opportunities. Go armed with light tippet and bugs that look like naturals or aren’t too gaudy. Get rid of your bright indicator and ease in with a small chunk of white or black yarn OR go old school swinging a Reef’s Pulsating Emerger! Most Grey Reef pro anglers will tell you 2x and a pegged bead is the only way but you will discover a whole lot more to these fisheries once you sit back and watch a bit. Discovery is the essence of fly fishing!

Miracle Mile is fishing fair and there are good midge and beginning baetis on that stretch as well. Scour the inside 3′ depth before trudging out to the slot…they are in there.

Remember to kindly ignore fishing to active spawners!

Pic: Trent handling his new best friend

Wyoming’s Grey Reef and Miracle Mile Fly Fishing Report


Grey Reef Fly Fishing report was cold and nasty yesterday with lots of Wyoming roads closed. We had to push a number of trips as Grey Reef anglers couldn’t get to the area. Miracle Mile fly fishing conditions are good but the roads are poor. Leave those alone for a day or three. With the winter weather all across Wyoming, the fishing was still excellent. A couple rounds of midges had fish on and very near the surface. Of course the beatis were doing their thing but midges have been very prolific and important. The Grey Reef section of the North Platte River is in great fishing condition and the sections below Government Bridge have improved dramatically…even into Casper. Casper Mountain received 20″ of snow so we should expect poor conditions below the Grey Reef section again as that snow melts. We would be very happy if the BuRec decided to push a little extra water down the North Platte River to give the fish a little more room and spread things out. This would also help IF we get some dirty water associated with the latest storm.The Fremont Canyon fishing report is great but a tad more busy.

Short/light emerger rigs with a PAL and UV Crystal Midge has been super productive. Our Rhinestone has also been a hyper performer. Lighter rods are not a bad idea as the a compliant tip help to hold the aggressive Grey Reef trout. Don’t get too flashy the fish can see everything and don’t need big obnoxious flies to be noticed. We have had some good dry fly opportunities and the streamer fishing has been hit or miss. Swinging and stripping emergers has been pretty dang fun!

We do have some Grey Reef cottage availability and guides next week. We do have a lodge spot available over Memorial Day weekend as well. We have 2 weekend lodge spots in June and then we are pretty snug until the 23rd of August. We do have a full lodge option at that point.

Grey Reef Fly Fishing Report 3/31/14


Central Wyoming Fly Fishing is excellent and this won’t change. Alcova did get a blasting of heavy , wet snow and it is still coming down. This will continue the poor water conditions below Government Bridge. But, the Grey Reef section of the North Platte River should hold strong. These events can create a muddy runoff into Grey Reef Reservoir and that has been known to shut things down for a day or so. The snowpack #s for the North Platte River drainage are excellent and getting stronger. We should probably expect a bump in flows in the next couple weeks. That won’t hurt our feelings at all.

Miracle Mile and Fremont fly fishing reports are good. Road conditions to Miracle Mile will again be poor. Miracle Mile has picked up a touch over the slower production of the past couple weeks. Rigs at all 3 venues have been PSL, scuds, deep purple, foam wing rs2 and Mayhem midges. Streamers are getting limited attention but they do get noticed…keep them low and slow.

The spawn is on and this means fish need our help to continue Grey Reef’s legendary quality. Please don’t target spawning fish and don’t wade in and through the redds. The Wy Game and Fish released press that said a bead placed no more than 2″ above a fly isn’t illegal BUT snagging fish is illegal.