Fishing report

A fisherman in a canoe is silhouetted against the blazing orange sky of a setting sun.

More heat and minimal precipitation is the key for a while, not only in our area but in the entire region. There’s more chance for thunderstorms on this side of the Continental Divide, but on the west side, there’s even less chance for rain. As a reminder, on this date a year ago a sudden and somewhat unexpected snowstorm arrived, delivering about a foot of snow to the Snowy Range. By contrast, this year the heat is on and there’s little relief in sight, at least through the end of next week. If this keeps up, now is the time to get out and toss a line. Some rivers and streams could get drastically low, and with warming waters, sooner rather than later this year. Now is a great time to get out before the mosquito onslaught that should start in the next week or two. Keep an eye to the sky. Areas east of the Continental Divide, especially along the Wyoming-Nebraska border, have the highest potential for thunderstorms, and some can even get severe with wind and hail.

Ranking Categories

H (One fish) – to ensure fish dinner, go to the local grocery store

HHHHH (Five fish) – toss a line and get a fish; the fish aren’t picky

Granite, Crystal and North Crow reservoirs

HHH

The buzz: The fishing is good with the best action at Crystal Reservoir. The mountain bike trails are now in prime riding condition. Check in at the Visitor Center for trail info and a map.

Suggested bait, lures and flies:

Nightcrawlers

Powerbait

Blue Fox

Panther Martins

Scuds

Bead head peasant tails

Wooly buggers

Chironomids

Sloans and Absarraca lakes

HH½

The buzz: The fishing is hit or miss, but those using worms and Powerbait report good results.

Suggested bait, lures and flies:

Worms

Powerbait (garlic flavor)

Mepps lures

Halfbacks

Gold ribbed hare’s ears

Elk hair caddis

Pole Mountain

HHH

The buzz: The fishing is fair to good as roads and trails continue to dry up. For those willing to hike, the beaver ponds off the beaten track offer not only solitude but some great brookie trout action. The trails at Happy Jack Recreation Area are in good shape for those opting to hike, bike, or otherwise get out in a non-motorized mode.

Suggested bait, lures and flies:

Worms

Spawn sacs

Bead head prince nymphs

Red copper Johns

Elk hair caddis

Soft hackle hare’s ears

Timberline emergers

Laramie Plains lakes

HHH

The buzz: The fishing is good across the basin with numerous lakes offering great angling opportunities. Some nice lunkers are being caught at Twin Buttes, while there’s more action but smaller fish at Meeboer. Alsop and Gelatt are doing quite well, too, with some larger trout being caught.

Suggested bait, lures and flies:

Nightcrawlers

Salmon eggs

Kastmasters

Chironomids

Bead head prince nymphs

Olive scuds

Hothead leeches

Crayfish patterns

Damsel nymphs

Laramie River

The buzz: The river is up, but the high flow this year is not nearly as high as most years. The slow kickoff to the runoff, due to cool temperatures in May, delayed the increase in flow. Even now at what might be the peak, it is around 800 cubic feet per second, compared to 1,100 cfs at this time a year ago. Still, the angling is tough but should pick up as flows ease and the water clears.

Suggested bait, lures and flies:

Small panther martins

Stonefly patterns

Hot head leeches

Halfbacks

Bead head prince nymphs

Copper Johns

Wooly buggers

Snowy Range

HHH

The buzz: There’s still a good bit of snow “up top” in the Snowy Range with skiers still getting out the boards, although the snow surface is getting quite “pocked,” making for some rough skiing. The high elevation lakes, including Lake Marie, Lewis Lake and the Shelf Lakes, are still frozen, although open water is starting to appear. On the other hand, the lower elevations are opening up. Access is possible at Lake Owen and the fishing is great. Be prepared for a rather stark landscape, though, where the Mullen Fire really scorched the area. Rob Roy Reservoir was still frozen as of last weekend, but the warm temperatures could change that quickly. Access is still tricky, though, with snow blocking the road in some areas, as happens every year. For those looking for some hiking or mountain biking, the Medicine Bow Rail Trail, south of Highway 230, is dry with very good conditions. A section of the trail north of Highway 230 is still closed due to damages from the Mullen Fire. There’s a lot of standing water in the vicinity, and the mosquitoes are starting to come out. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service snow measuring stations reports no snow at Cinnabar Park or Brooklyn Lake. On the north end of the range, the station at Sand Lake shows 28 inches of snow, a decrease of 24 inches from last week. The station at Medicine Bow, at an elevation of 10,500 feet, reports 26 inches of snow, a decrease of 34 inches from last week. The station at North French Creek, on the west side of the Medicine Bow Mountains, reports 5 inches of snow, a decrease of 26 inches from last week.

Suggested bait, lures and flies:

Worms

Salmon eggs

Panther martins

Bead head prince nymphs

Copper Johns

Chironomids

Renegades

Damsel nymphs

North Platte River and Encampment River – Saratoga Valley

HH

The buzz: The North Platte River is up with a flow at Northgate of 862 cubic feet per second. Compare this to a flow of 1,450 cfs at this time last year. There is concern with increased sedimentation due to the Mullen Fire, which could impact the fishery as the North Platte River passes through the burn area. Time will tell just what impacts might occur. No camping is allowed within 1,000 feet of the centerline of the North Platte River from the state line, north to the river’s confluence with Savage Run Creek. This includes the Six Mile River Access area. With the low snowpack, the best fishing will be early in the season, so get out soon before the flow drops and the water heats up.

Suggested bait, lures and flies:

Small spinners

Caddis

Gray drakes

Stonefly patterns

Zebra midges

San Juan worms

Barbed wire midges

Flash bang midge

Salmon flies

North Platte River – Grey Reef

HHH

The buzz: The fishing is very good at the Reef with the flow a rather mild 500 cubic feet per second. Aim for the faster runs and on the shelves where the fish are feeding. They head for deeper water as temperatures increase during the day.

Suggested bait, lures and flies:

Blue-winged olive mayflies

Pale morning duns

Amber scuds

Purple Q-tips

San Juan worms

Rock worms

North Platte River – Miracle Mile

HHH

The buzz: The fishing is good at the Mile. The flow averages 2,600 cubic feet per second, which can make wading tricky. The fast flow also makes it difficult to get the flies down to the fish.

Suggested bait, lures and flies:

Pat’s rubber legs

Blue-winged olive mayflies

Stoneflies

Amber scud

Olive zebra midges

Rock worms

Hare’s ears

Wheatland Reservoir No. 3

HHH

The buzz: The fishing is good to very good. Water levels are lower than they’ve been the last couple years, but the boat ramp is usable.

Suggest bait, lures and flies:

Nightcrawlers

Powerbait (orange, green)

Chironomids

Crayfish pattern

Thomas cyclones (gold, silver)

BMB’s (brown)

Bead head prince nymphs

Black or olive woolly buggers

Squirrel leeches

Glendo

HHH

The buzz: The walleye fishing is good and gradually improving. While the walleye are numerous, they are on the small size. For those opting to mountain bike on the 40-plus miles of trail, this weekend is an opportunity to try out some new bikes and enter some races at the Glendo Demo Days. The fun starts each day at 10 a.m.

Suggest bait, lures and flies:

Leeches

Nightcrawlers

Minnows

Flatfish (frog pattern)

Rebels (crawfish pattern)

Hawk Springs Reservoir

HH½

The buzz: The fishing picked up, but is still on the slow side. However, the crappie fishing is quite good off the dam using nightcrawlers.

Suggest bait, lures and flies:

Worm harnesses with leeches

Nightcrawlers with worm harnesses (gold, silver, burnt orange blades)

Magic Bait (for catfish – liver, beef flavors)

Grayrocks Reservoir

HHH

The buzz: The walleye fishing is good both from the bank and from boats, but the crappie action is even better.

Suggest bait, lures and flies:

Leeches

Nightcrawlers with worm harnesses

Stink baits (catfish – chicken, liver flavors)

Various jigs (crappie and bass)

Reservoir levels

Alcova: 97.8% full

Boysen: 87.7% full

Guernsey: 64.1% full

Glendo: 81.2% full

Gray Reef: 96.5% full

Keyhole: 79.9% full

Pathfinder: 77.0% full

Seminoe: 49.3% full

River flows

North Platte River at Northgate: 862 cubic feet per second

North Platte River above Seminoe Reservoir: 2,650 cfs

North Platte River near Miracle Mile: 2,593 cfs

North Platte River at Gray Reef: 500 cfs

Encampment River near town of Encampment: 1,090 cfs

Encampment River at Hog Park: 464 cfs

Laramie River near Laramie: 614 cfs

Boat ramp openings

Glendo Reservoir: All ramps are open.

Guernsey Reservoir: All ramps are open.

Boysen Reservoir: All ramps are open.

Seminoe Reservoir: All ramps are open except Medicine Bow.

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