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Fishing Report - 4/20/22

Recent snow storms have boosted the snowpack across northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, bringing us up over 100% of average on the Laramie River side of the Snowy Range Mountains, and over 90% of average on the North Platte side.

With day time temperatures reaching the upper 60s, I would expect to see a bump in flow rates on the rivers this week, but as night time temps will remain in the 30s, I do not believe that rivers will blow out to unfishable levels just yet.

Spring fishing is here in full force - with warming air and water temperatures and an increase in aquatic insect activity, fish are starting to spread out a bit more in the rivers and are becoming more active. Streamers and bigger nymphs fished in deeper, slower runs continues to be the most effective strategy, but don't pass up on any likely holding water, and look for fish to be moving from deeper holes and closer to the banks as flows increase.

Rainbow trout are in their spawning patterns throughout the lakes and rivers of southern Wyoming. Be aware of spawning trout and avoid fishing over spawning beds indicated by cleaned sections of gravel, which noticeably stand out from the rest of the river bottom.

Upper North Platte

Flows: ~ 1,000 cfs (Saratoga)

Conditions: The Platte has been fishing fair to good for the most part over the past two weeks, although fish are still mostly in their winter patterns for now. Look for fish to start spreading out with rising air and water temperatures. Fishing quality and visibility could decrease this week as flow rates continue to rise. Keep looking for fish in deeper, slower runs, alternating between deep streamer and deep nymph set ups. Don't pass up any likely holding water as fish to move throughout the river.

Flies: Streamers; Tequeely, Pine Squirrel, Platte River Spider, Baby Gonga Rainbow, Wedge Head, Dirty Hippy, Slumpbuster

Nymphs; Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail, Zebra Midge, WD 40, Biot Midge Emerger, Scuds, San Juan Worms

Laramie River

Flows: ~ 125 cfs (Woods Landing)

Conditions: The Laramie is fishing good to great all the way to the Colorado border. Clarity and flow rates have been very conducive to good fishing over the past week, but keep an eye on visibility as flow rates jump up this week. Fishing should remain good overall until visibility decreases to less than a foot, which we may see by the end of this week with warmer temperatures in the Big Laramie Valley. Concentrating on working the end of tailouts with slow-stripped streamers and deep nymph rigs have been the most effective over the past week.

Flies: Streamers; Slumpbuster, Tequeely, Pine Squirrel, Platte River Spider, Baby Gonga

Nymphs; 20 Incher, Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail, Copper John, Zebra Midge, WD 40, Scuds, San Juan Worms

Tributary Streams

Flows: 30 - 125 cfs

Conditions: Most Laramie River and North Platte River tributary streams are open and fishing well up to about 8000' in elevation. Over 8000' some streams are still icy and slushy, and access roads can be blocked by snow drifts in spots. Tributary streams are on the rise as well, however they will not blow out as quickly as the main branches of the North Platte and Laramie Rivers. Focus on hitting tributary streams as flow rates on the main branches increase and visibility decreases.

Without as many deep holes to hide in, look for fish to be a little more spread out in smaller tributaries at this time of year. Don't overlook undercut banks, deep runs and smaller plunge pools. Slightly larger flies will be the name of the game here as fish look to stack up calories after the long winter and before runoff starts in earnest.

Flies: Streamers; Slumpbuster, Tequeely, Pine Squirrel, Platte River Spider, Baby Gonga

Nymphs; 20 Incher, Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail, Copper John, Zebra Midge, WD 40, Scuds, San Juan Worms

Plains Lakes

Conditions: The Plains Lakes are open and fishing good to great. A nymph rig or streamer stripped in 3-6 feet of water should be productive as fish remain fairly aggressive following ice off and throughout the rainbow trout spawning season.

Flies: Hell Razor Craw, Tequeely, Pine Squirrel, Zebra Midge, WD 40, Biot Midge Emerger

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