Guest Column: Winter Fishing In Wyoming

Guest columnist Abby Roich writes, "Few alarms are likely going off at 5 am on a Saturday but mine is buzzing. I’m thankful for an automatic brewer as it’s already filling the air with the aroma of coffee. 'I get to go fishing today,' I think to myself..."

CSD Staff

March 15, 20244 min read

Abby fishing 3 16 24

Editor's note: Abby Roich fished the Big Horn River last weekend.

Few alarms are likely going off at 5 am on a Saturday but mine is buzzing.

I’m thankful for an automatic brewer as it’s already filling the air with the aroma of coffee. “I get to go fishing today,” I think to myself and suddenly it is an easy pull from my bedsheets to the shower.

A 3/6 on the Wordle, a mug of coffee and 30 minutes later I’m in pursuit of trout. “Sunrise” by Ryan Bingham is the anthem this morning.

Honestly, it is always the anthem when I have a clear view of the Wyoming horizon. One-hundred and thirty-seven miles span between me and the splash of a drift boat.

“This is the best part” I think to myself, and the cruise control is set.  

Wyoming Surroundings

Antelope are grazing in smaller herds than previous years. A golden eagle is a hard miss for passersby. Unbothered by his surroundings, talons gripping a carcass, he feasts on a gift from the prairie.

“I wish I could fish from the sky,” I think to myself.

Several dilapidated towns keep me company over the next two hours and my mind wanders to what this stretch of highway looked like 120 years ago.

More antelope and fresher paint I’m guessing.

As my truck winds through what I believe to be one of the most iconic and scenic byways in all of Wyoming, memories flood.

Dodging poison ivy, swimming across the river, slapping the 374th mosquito of the day, skipping/hopping/jumping railroad ties to keep up with others’ much larger strides.

I feel the combination of sunscreen and sweat drip from my brow just thinking about it. “Summer isn’t far off,” I think to myself. Another Wyoming winter is almost in the rearview.  


The rhythmic cascade of oars gliding in and out of the water is the melody on my soul until an unmistakable rattling bugle catches my attention.

Two sandhill cranes ascend from the bank. “They love each other,” I think to myself, “forever.”

Their broad wings seem slightly mismatched with their long necks and pointy features.

Slender legs trail behind them like kite tails as they make off into the sky.

Trout Confirmation

Fly line rips the water, and all my focus is shifted to the back of the boat. A bent flyrod weaves left, then right.

A minute or so later the net is dipped deep. Pinched barbs make for a quick and easy release. Back in the water goes a healthy cutthroat.

We know there are trout in the river, but confirmation is always welcomed. “The fish are just extra,” I think to myself. Just being here is always enough.

Midges have been hatching most of the morning and the sun is warming my once-cold hands.

 More Me

Eight river miles later I am more me. I’m reminded why I endure harsh winters, short summers and extreme wind.

I am grateful that my life looks significantly different compared to those of others my age.

But most importantly I have a refreshed awareness of the noise in the world worth noticing. 

“I got to go fishing today,” I think to myself as the most natural smile rises on my face and I can’t wait for when this, life’s best part, begins again.  

Abby Roich can be reached at:

Abby Roich is a professional bartender, a registered dietician, a licensed cosmetologist, and foster parent. She is also the advertising operations coordinator at Cowboy State Daily.

Share this article



CSD Staff