Best Fishing Spots in Wyoming

River flowing through Wyoming, a popular fishing spot.
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Wyoming offers a vast expanse of serene landscapes and rich fishing grounds that are a dream for any angler. With its clear streams, large reservoirs, and mountain rivers, you’ll find plenty of spots to cast your line. As you explore Wyoming, you’ll be greeted by the opportunity to catch a variety of species from trout to bass, making it a premier destination for fishing enthusiasts. Fly fishing in the Snake River, especially within the Jackson Hole section, delivers more than just the catch. Here, the backdrop of the Teton Mountain Range adds to the experience, coupling stunning scenery with the thrill of fishing. If you prefer the legendary wilderness of Yellowstone National Park, you’re in for a treat with its sprawling meadows and canyons complemented by an array of fishing spots within this breathtaking setting.



Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park offers a diverse range of fishing experiences in Wyoming. You will find over 2,650 miles of streams and 45 named streams within the park’s boundaries. Here are some recommendations and insights for your fishing trips in Yellowstone:

  • Yellowstone Lake to Old Faithful via Southern Boundary: Known for its rewarding elevation gain, this area delivers a unique fishing adventure with a challenging 11,069 ft ascent.
  • The Gallatin Skyline Trail: As the park’s second-highest elevation gain trail, it offers a gain of 9,166 ft for those looking to combine a vigorous hike with their fishing.

When planning your trip, consider the timings and techniques:

  • Seasons: Fishing conditions peak in September, especially for wade and dry fly fishing.
  • Permits: Anglers aged 16 and above require a permit. Options include a $40 season permit, a 7-day permit for $25, or a 3-day permit for $18.

Some top fishing spots within the park include:

  • Lewis Lake to Shoshone Lake: Ideal for stand-up paddle fishing.
  • Firehole River: Excellent for fly fishing.
  • Indian Creek Campground: Offers access to nearby fishing spots.

North Platte River

The North Platte River offers some of the premier fly fishing experiences in Wyoming. When you visit, you’ll find the river hosts large populations of rainbow and brown trout, providing a rewarding challenge for anglers of all levels.

Ideal Flow for Fishing:
To optimize your experience, aim for water flow rates between 500 and 1500 cubic feet per second (cfs). Above 3500 cfs, the conditions are less favorable.

Prime Locations:

  • Grey Reef: Renowned for its tailwater section, this area is conducive to year-round fishing. Cast your line here for a chance at trophy-sized catches.
  • Miracle Mile: A stretch rich with food sources for trout, such as egg patterns and various worm imitations. The depth requires weighted lines to reach the bottom-feeding fish.

Expert Tips:

  • While in Casper, consider hiring a guide for advanced insights and local secrets to enhance your fishing endeavors.
  • Explore different sections below the dams, as released water levels can shift, affecting where the fish are biting.
  • Be prepared with various fly patterns like hot head leeches and woolly buggers to mimic the native food sources that trout favor.

Snake River

When you venture to Wyoming, the Snake River beckons as a premier destination for anglers. Renowned for its Finespotted Cutthroat trout, which are active and keen to bite, the river offers both challenge and reward.

Ideal Flows for Fishing

For a successful day on the river, aim to fish when the flow is between 1500 to 2000 CFS. Stream flows outside this range often signal the pre-runoff and runoff periods, affecting the fish’s activity and feeding patterns.

Prime Locations

  • Moose Wilson Road Access: Nestled in Grand Teton National Park, this spot affords captivating views and bountiful catches.
  • Jackson Lake Dam: An excellent choice for winter fishing, this site combines historic charm with promising fly fishing prospects.

Techniques and Tackle

Utilize an assortment of flies, with a focus on large dry flies that appeal to the local trout population. If you’re drifting, a boat gives you access to otherwise unreachable stretches along the Teton Range, increasing your chances of a memorable catch.

Transportation Tip: A jetboat or a drift boat is highly recommended for navigating the river and reaching the most fruitful fishing spots.

Flaming Gorge Reservoir

The sun sets over the calm waters of Flaming Gorge Reservoir, casting a warm glow on the surrounding cliffs and pine-covered hills. Fishing boats dot the surface, with anglers casting their lines into the tranquil waters

As an angler seeking exceptional fishing experiences in Wyoming, you’ll find Flaming Gorge Reservoir a premier destination. Spanning across northeastern Wyoming and into Utah, this reservoir is known for its deep, clear waters and an abundance of game fish.

Fishing Licenses & Regulations:

  • Under 12: No license needed in Utah
  • Adults: Options for three-day, seven-day, or annual Utah permits
  • Reciprocal Permit: Required for fishing across state lines, costs $10

Notable Species:

  • Trout: Home to state record lake trout as well as a notable population of German Browns.
  • Bass: The reservoir instituted a three-fish daily limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass combined.
  • Kokanee Salmon: Regulations permit up to a four-fish daily limit, combined with trout, excluding lake trout.

The 91-mile-long Flaming Gorge Reservoir is encased in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, with red canyon walls and green forest framing your fishing adventure. It’s not only the largest lake in the region but also historically significant for anglers, once setting world records for German Browns and boasting the state record 51 lb. 8 oz. lake trout.

Equipment & Bait Tips:

  • Rods: Sturdy rods, capable of handling large fish
  • Bait: Depending on the season, choose live bait or lures effective for the specific species you’re targeting

Bighorn River

As an angler, you’ll find the Bighorn River in Wyoming to be a prime location for fly fishing. This river offers abundant access along its course, except for the canyon portion, which is owned by the Crow tribe—you can secure a fishing permit for this area. Fishing permits are priced at $40 for a single day or $90 for a week.

Why Choose the Bighorn River:

  • High-quality trout fishing due to a controlled flow from the Yellowtail Dam.
  • The river’s ecosystem boasts a high density of fish population.
  • Offers a mix of wading and floating opportunities for anglers.

Before Your Visit:

  • Prepare your gear: There are limited fly shops in Thermopolis.
  • Licenses and Gear: Purchase from local stores like Canyon Sporting Goods or arrange with outfitters.

Key Points:

  • Fish Species: Primarily trout
  • Permit Costs: $40 (1-day), $90 (7-days)
  • Local Guide Services Available: Yes

Lake DeSmet

Located in north-central Wyoming, Lake DeSmet is a prime destination for anglers seeking a serene and productive fishing experience. Covering 4,000 acres and stretching over 12 miles of shoreline, you have ample opportunities to cast your line in pursuit of the lake’s abundant fish varieties.

Species and Tips:

  • Rainbow Trout: Try using small lures and flies for the best results.
  • Brown Trout: Consider fishing near inlets and outlets where water flow attracts active fish.
  • Cutthroat Trout: Keep an eye out for active feeding times, typically early and late in the day.

Activities and Amenities at Lake DeSmet

Boating and Watercrafts:

  • Water skiing is allowed; note that boating regulations apply.

Camping and Hiking:

  • Campsites are available, including both primitive spots and those with electric hookups.

Access Points:

  • Improved roads on the north, west, and south shores make for easy entry to various fishing spots.

Keep in mind that the lake is not only known for its fishing but also for family-friendly outdoor activities, making it a well-rounded option for your next outdoor adventure in Wyoming.

Wind River Range

Your search for remarkable fishing experiences in Wyoming should lead you straight to the Wind River Range. With more than 2,000 lakes and a variety of trout, the Winds offer some of the most scenic and diverse fishing spots.

What You’ll Find:

  • Golden trout: Renowned for the chance to catch larger-than-average specimens, Cook Lake held the record with an 11-pound golden trout.
  • Mountain Streams: Teem with trout and provide both challenge and tranquility in a remote backcountry setting.

Access Points:

AreaDescription
Crow’s NestAbove Glimpse Lake, lesser-known trailhead
Wind River ValleyEasy access, ample fishing spots.

When you’re fly fishing, Wind River Range’s clear, rushing streams are likely to reward you with a satisfying catch. Dubois is a key location by the Wind River with accessible public fishing areas.

Essential Gear:

Remember, while the Wind River runs through public land, it also flows through the Wind River Indian Reservation. Make sure to get the appropriate permits if your trip takes you into reservation waters. In short, whether you’re trekking to remote lakes or fishing by the roadside, your adventure in the Wind River Range is bound to be unforgettable.

Fremont Lake

Fremont Lake, Wyoming’s second-largest natural lake, is nestled in the scenic Wind River Range. Located just 7 miles northeast of Pinedale, it’s not only a historical landmark, once a stop along the Oregon Trail, but also a renowned fishing destination. At over 600 feet deep in some locations, it ranks as the 16th deepest lake in the United States.

Species: Fremont Lake is well-stocked with a variety of fish. You can find:

  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Kokanee Salmon

Fishing Tips: Use lures or flies that mimic the lake’s natural baitfish. The clear, deep waters of Fremont Lake may require different tactics than other fishing spots.

AmenitiesDetails
Boat Launch RampsLocated off US Forest Service Road 111
MarinaLakeside Lodge Marina, 99 Forest Service Rd, Pinedale, WY
Boat RentalsAvailable at Lakeside Lodge
Fishing LicensePurchase a Wyoming fishing license before heading out

In addition to fishing, enjoy water sports, hiking, camping, and appreciating the rugged backdrop of the Wind River Range. Remember to respect the natural beauty and preserve the environment for future adventurers.

For a full experience, consider staying at one of the lake’s campgrounds. These allow for an immersive outdoor adventure, granting you more time on the water and under the Wyoming skies.

Shoshone River

The Shoshone River offers a promising fly fishing experience if you’re in Wyoming. Specifically going through Cody, you can expect to find brown trout, Snake River cutthroats, and rainbow trout. Here’s what you need to know:

Fish Population:

  • Brown Trout: They are prevalent, with average sizes ranging from 14-16 inches.
  • Snake River Cutthroats: A specialty in this region, providing a unique catch.
  • Rainbow Trout: Vibrant and energetic fighters that also call Shoshone home.

Popular Fishing Spots:

  • Hayden Arch Bridge
  • Cooper Lane
  • Corbett Bridge

For an optimal experience, consider using local fly selections which are tailored for the river’s conditions. Equipment shops in the area can equip you with the necessary gear, and many offer free shipping on orders over a certain value.

Remember, the current conditions can affect your fishing endeavors. To stay updated, check the latest reports on water levels, hatches, and weather forecasts.

Accessibility:

  • The river stretches from Buffalo Bill Reservoir to Yellowstone’s East Gate.
  • Access points like 12th St., 19th St., and Road 2AB provide entry to prime fishing locations.

Glendo Reservoir

When you visit Glendo Reservoir in Wyoming, you’re in for an exceptional fishing experience. Located in the east-central part of the state at Glendo, WY, this 12,000-acre body of water is known especially for its walleye and yellow perch populations. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your trip:

Target Species:

The reservoir, also referred to as Glendo Lake, offers quality catfish and crappie fishing opportunities in addition to its famous walleye and perch.

Fishing Hot Spots:

  • North Platte River inlet
  • Glendo Dam area
  • Near the Power Plant in the Wetlands Area (note that access may vary)

To ensure a smooth fishing trip, remember that day use permits are required from 6 AM to 10 PM, and camping permits are needed from 10 PM to 6 AM, with fee booths operational from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

For weekly updates on fishing conditions, consult local resources or check the latest fishing reports from reliable services before heading out.

Remember, whether you’re casting for 4-pound walleyes or seeking those 10-inch perch, Glendo Reservoir is a destination that promises a rewarding fishing venture.

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