Southeast Wyoming Fishing Off To Slow Start But Will Change Soon

To put it bluntly, the fishing “sucks right now,” in southeast Wyoming, says Josh McPeak, a fishing guide with Four Seasons Anglers in Laramie. But the turnaround, he says, could come as early as this week.

Mark Heinz

June 16, 20244 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

LARAMIE — Temperatures in the low 80s and brisk winds haven’t exactly been making for the best fishing southeast Wyoming, but there’s no reason to think the rest of the summer won’t be fantastic, according to some local fishing buffs.

To put it bluntly, the fishing “sucks right now,” but that’s bound to change soon, said Josh McPeak, a fishing guide and store manager with Four Seasons Anglers.

The heat has put mountain snowmelt into overdrive, which in turn has filled area rivers and streams with fast water and heavy sediments. Those aren’t the best conditions for the guided fly-fishing trips that Four Seasons Anglers specializes in.

But that’s not unexpected. It happens every year, and McPeak said there’s every reason to think business will start to really pick up, possibly as soon as this week.

The North Platte River is the shop’s go-to place to take clients, guide Garrett Brannan said.

“The water is still running high and is off-color, but it should turn around soon,” he said.

Worms And Flies

Just down the street at the West Laramie Fly Store, there was a steady coming and going of customers, even in the middle of a weekday afternoon.

Most were there to buy fishing licenses or other things related to angling.

When asked by a customer what fish are going for, staffer Luke Stimson replied, “Worms, and any sort of a fly that looks like a mosquito, because there are a lot of mosquitos out right now.”

At the fishing fly counter, Mike Lucas helped Phil Propst pick out just the right fly.

Propst is from Sturgis, Michigan, and was in Laramie for his niece’s wedding.

The family was camping in the Snowy Range Mountains west of town, and his daughter had just got a new fly rod from her granddad and was eager to try it out, he told Cowboy State Daily.

The conditions in the mountains were gorgeous, with nearly all the snow melted off, he said, adding that, “We just want to get out there and have some fun.”

At the West Laramie Fly Store on Wednesday, employee Mike Lucas helps Michigan resident Phil Propst pick out just the right fishing fly.
At the West Laramie Fly Store on Wednesday, employee Mike Lucas helps Michigan resident Phil Propst pick out just the right fishing fly. (Mark Heinz, Cowboy State Daily)

Rob Roy Finally Accessible

With rivers and streams still a little iffy because of the runoff, “The lakes are fishing OK,” McPeak said, as he and the other guides visited at Four Seasons Anglers.

Back over at the West Laramie Fly Store, talk centered around the various still waters near Laramie.

The vaunted Laramie Plains Lakes dot the prairie between town and the Snowy Range.

One of them, Meeboer Lake, had a near-total die-off of its trout over the winter for the second year in a row. But word in the shop was that the fishing there had bounced back nicely, after the Wyoming Game and Fish Department had re-stocked it with trout this spring.

It had been a frustrating wait for the snow to clear off enough to allow access to Rob Roy Reservoir, a gem of the Snowy Range and a favorite for local and non-resident anglers.

While there “was till a snowbank on the road on the Albany side,” the reservoir could be reached from the Fox Park side, Stimson said.

Using worms, he said that he’d caught an 18-inch rainbow trout fishing off the dam there. That made it worth fishing in the wind, amid clouds of mosquitos.

Wind is just part of fishing in southeast Wyoming, McPeak said.

“If you’re out on the water in something like a float tube, the wind can be an issue,” he said. “But it’s mostly nonresidents that really notice the wind. For locals, it doesn’t really bother us.”

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter