It’s looking to be a banner year for fishing along central Wyoming’s famed “Miracle Mile” and other prized sections of the North Platte River where trout are already hammering flies, an expert angler said.
“Regardless even of the monsoon weather, we’ve had fishable water ever day this spring and early summer,” Trent Tatum told Cowboy State Daily. He’s the co-owner of the North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop Cottages and RV in Alcova.
After parts of Wyoming had record-shattering snowfall this winter, some smaller streams and creeks are still too swollen and full of runoff sediment to fish, avid fly fisherman Mike Jensen of Cheyenne told Cowboy State Daily.
“I think a lot of people are trying to find a place to fish, and the challenge is the dirty water because of the big runoff from higher amounts of snow,” said Jensen, who is the Wyoming council coordinator for the Wyoming chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Hitting The ‘Bugs’
The fishing on the North Platte for rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout is execptional, Tatum said.
Now, the trout seem most interested in bug-style flies. As spring blooms into summer, flies based on various species of mayflies will probably to the ticket, he said.
His company guides anglers along the Miracle Mile, Fremont Canyon and Grey Reef sections of the North Platte. Those stretches of river, particularly the Miracle Mile, have a world-class reputation among trout fanatics.
“Overall, fish size is good,” Tatum said. “We’re seeing a lot in that 16-to-18-inch, 16-to-19-inch range. You also have a chance to getting fish into the mid-20s size range.”
Meanwhile, the runoff water elsewhere is staying dirty longer than usual this year because May and early June have been colder than normal, Jensen said.
“We didn’t go directly from winter into the peak-of-summer temperatures,” he said.
That’s kept runoff sediment from pushing through as fast as it might have, he said. But when the waters start clearing, it should be worth the wait.
“If we’re all patient, I think there’s going to be some big rewards at the end of this dirty water cycle,” he said.
Season Of Plenty
After so many dry years, both anglers said they appreciate ample water flowing into Wyoming’s fisheries.
The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced that it will release more water from Fontenelle Reservoir into the Green River, Jensen said.
The reservoirs along the North Platte are as full as they’ve been in years, Tatum said.
“I think it’s going to be an awesome year,” he said. “We have reservoirs that are on the rise everywhere. We like full reservoirs.”
Mark Heinz can be reached at email@example.com.