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Fishing Report & 2024 Season Preview - 4/6/24


Lower elevation tributaries have provided good windows of quality fishing.

As quickly as the weather has warmed up, Mother Nature is back to remind us just how quickly things can change during the spring months on the Wyoming high plains. After a week of warm temperatures, we saw a lot of the lower elevation stretches of river free up from ice, and flows starting to increase. Expect to see flows drop and clarity improve over the weekend as cold weather persists. The Plains Lakes are all open and reportedly fishing well! The Laramie River, North Platte River and lower elevation tributaries have started fishing, although fishing quality has been largely dependent on flow levels and water temperatures. Expect fishing on the rivers to pick back up later in the week as temperatures begin to rise once again.


2024 Fishing Season

We are off to a great start this year with snowpack sitting just over 100% in the Upper North Platte and Laramie River drainages, with more on the way! We are anticipating good flows and water quality throughout the season, and expecting a productive fishing season, as well as float season possibly lasting a little bit longer than the past couple of years.


I'm betting on 3-4 more snow storms before June.


Upper North Platte

Flows: 500 - 850 cfs (Saratoga, WY)


Conditions: The Upper Platte is thawing out and on the rise. The canyon section remains mostly frozen with no readings on the gauge just yet. Access to the canyon may also present challenges with road conditions and snow drifts. The North Platte from Bennett Peak to Saratoga has been fair to good, with fishing quality improving with better water clarity. The Platte should be on the drop after the cold temperatures this weekend, and anglers may find a productive window early next week when temperatures start to rise once again. Expect to see flows on the Platte begin to rise again later next week with water clarity and fishing quality on the decline. Larger flies are crucial this time of year with variable flows and water clarity. Streamers and nymphs with large, dark profiles will stand out the best in dirty water and provide the best opportunity for hooking fish in pre-runoff and runoff conditions.


Flies: Streamers; Sculpzilla, Tequeely, Slumpbuster, Pine Squirrel, Wedge Head, Dirty Hippie, Baby Gonga


Nymphs; Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Restless Stone, San Juan Worm, Squirmy Wormy, Tim's Stone, CDC Stone, Dirty Bird, Devil Jig, Hare's Ear, Blow Torch



The Laramie River below Woods Landing.

Laramie River

Flows: ~ 75 cfs (Woods Landing, WY)


Conditions: The Big Laramie has been on the rise, with water clarity declining. Fishing has been slow to fair on stretches between Laramie and Woods Landing. The section upstream from Woods Landing still has some snow and ice on the banks, but the river is opening up. Expect to see winter-like conditions persist on the upper river through the weekend, and more water opening up later next week. The same flies and techniques utilized for the Upper Platte at this time of year will be productive for the Big Laramie as well.


Flies: Streamers; Sculpzilla, Tequeely, Slumpbuster, Pine Squirrel, Wedge Head, Dirty Hippie, Baby Gonga


Nymphs; Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Restless Stone, San Juan Worm, Squirmy Wormy, Tim's Stone, CDC Stone, Dirty Bird, Devil Jig, Hare's Ear, Blow Torch



Tributary Streams

Flows: ~ 25 - 75 cfs


Conditions: As always during this time of year, main tributaries to the Upper North Platte have been highly variable depending on weather conditions. Fish have been feeding aggressively when water temperatures and clarity cooperate, but expect to see conditions changing by the day on most of the main tributary streams. Flows should be dropping again over the weekend, and start to pick back up mid-to-late next week. Look for windows of decent water clarity by focusing your efforts right after a drop in air temperature. Large flies with dark profiles will be the best option in these variable water conditions.


Flies: Streamers; Sculpzilla, Tequeely, Slumpbuster, Wolly Bugger, Platte River Spider, GB Crystal Bugger, Pine Squirrel, Wedge Head, Dirty Hippie, Baby Gonga


Nymphs; Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Restless Stone, San Juan Worm, Squirmy Wormy, Tim's Stone, CDC Stone, Dirty Bird, Devil Jig, Hare's Ear, Blow Torch



Plains Lakes

Conditions: Reports from the Plains Lakes have indicated that fishing has been good to excellent for the past couple of weeks! The Plains Lakes will offer anglers the best and most consistent option to get hooked up with a quality fish at this point in the season. All of the lakes are open and fish are cruising the shallows looking for meals after a long winter.


Flies: Streamers; Hell Razor Craw, Wolly Bugger, GB Crystal Bugger, Platte River Spider, Tequeely, Pine Squirrel, Hot Head Leech


Nymphs; Hare's Ear, Prince Nymph, Tungsten Zebra Midge, WD40, Juju Baetis




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