Fishing in Wyoming
Talk to any fisherman and you’ll likely hear tales of fishing the waters of Wyoming. For many, fishing in Wyoming is like finding paradise on earth. With 4,200 lakes and 27,000 miles of rivers and streams, the opportunities are endless for casting a line on Wyoming’s blue-ribbon waters. Whether you’re an expert angler, a first-time fly-fisherman or a winter lover who searches for opportunities to fish year-round, the Cowboy State has plentiful options for every level. Wyoming also provides plenty of expert guides for any of your fishing questions, fears or ambitions.
North Platte River, near Alcova.
Lake and Reservoir Fishing
While it may not seem like a hot spot for lake fishing, Wyoming has a plethora of water that’s home to more than 22 species of fish, including trout, walleye, catfish, bass, sunfish, yellow perch, salmon and whitefish. While lakes and reservoirs are found throughout the state, solid fishing opportunities are found on Glendo Reservoir at Glendo State Park near Douglas, Grayrock Reservoir near Fort Laramie, Ocean Lake near Riverton, Guerney Reservoir inside Guernsey State Park, Boysen Reservoir in Boysen State Park, Alcova Lake near Casper, Keyhole Reservoir near Moorcroft and one of the most scenic fishing destinations of all—Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
In Wyoming’s higher elevations, prime fishing is found on Fremont Lake near Pinedale, as well as Libby and North Gap lakes in the Snowy Mountain Range.
During the winter months, many of these lakes freeze over and provide ample ice-fishing opportunities.
If you ask a fishing guide where some of his favorite waters are, chances are he’ll answer with a resounding “Wyoming.” And for good reason. Among the state’s nearly 98,000 square miles of terrain are some of the country’s best blue-ribbon waters. While there are many destinations to choose from, local (and visitor) favorites include the Green River in southwest Wyoming, the Bighorn River near Thermopolis, the Wind River near Dubois and on the Wind River Indian Reservation, the North Platte River (home to the Miracle Mile and Gray Reef), Sand Creek in northwest Wyoming, the Salt River in Star Valley and an area affectionately called “North Fork Country” near Cody, which is home to the North Fork of the Shoshone River and the Clarks Fork of the Yellwostone River.
Wyoming fishing season does not have to end because snow is on the ground. Crowds thin and the possibility of reeling in a number of trout increases during winter months. From corner to corner, anglers have the opportunity to enjoy these benefits. Favorite spots to visit include Keyhole Reservoir and Sulfur Creek Reservoir.
Fishing in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
While they may not be top of mind when you think of fishing destinations in Wyoming, both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks are some of the most well-loved fishing destinations in the West. Fishing enthusiasts will find brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, native cutthroat trout and lake trout among the waters in Yellowstone National Park. Just south of the world’s first national park, Grand Teton National Park is home to plentiful and appropriately named Snake River cutthroat, which also happen to make their home in the Snake River. High apline lake fishing can be found in Jackson Lake, Bradley Lake and Lake Solitude.
Guided Fishing Trips
Guides and outfitters are not required when fishing Wyoming’s waters, but an experienced and knowledgable guide can make or break a fishing trip, especially when they are able to get you into their favorite fishing holes and spots on the river. From Cody in the northwest to the North Platte River outside of Casper, fly-fishing guides are available to help you have a picture-perfect day on the water.
When fishing the waters of Wyoming, be sure you purchase appropriate fishing licenses. You can learn more about the state’s rules and regulations, as well as where to buy a fishing license, here. If you plan to fish on the Wind River Indian Resrvation, you will need to purchase a Wind River Tribal Fishing/Trespass Permit. For more information on fishing in Wyoming, visit Wyoming Game & Fish.