We have experienced a wide range of weather here in southern Wyoming over the past week, resulting in flows on our local rivers fluctuating considerably. Cold temperatures brought flows down early last week and into the weekend, and there has been some windows of excellent fishing on the North Platte and some of the major tributaries. Conditions are still highly variable, and increasing flows can slow fishing down considerably. Anglers who pay close attention to flows and weather patterns should be able to find some water with good clarity and cooperative fish over the next week.
Daytime temperatures are forecasted to rise over the next week, which will likely increase flows once again. There is still a fair amount of snow in the high country that will be contributing to runoff over the next week or two. Conditions will most likely be highly variable over the next week, but fishing has been outstanding during windows of decreasing flows and increasing clarity.
Access to high country lakes and streams is beginning to open up throughout the Snowy Range. Rob Roy and Lake Owen are both accessible, although a 4WD vehicle is recommended.
The Plains Lakes continue to provide quality fishing with increasing insect activity.
Upper North Platte
Flows: ~ 1,200 cfs
Conditions: Variable; the Platte has provided some excellent fishing over the past week on the tail end of cold snaps. Watch for increasing flows and decreasing clarity this week as temperatures are forecasted to increase. Caddis have been active, and we have had some success on caddis nymph patterns, however the fish seem to be primarily keyed in on large stonefly nymphs as we approach the salmonfly hatch. Big bugs should be making an appearance this week, watch for the hatch to start up with the increasing flows. Streamers have also been effective on days with a little bit better water clarity.
Flies: Nymphs; Rubber Legs, Restless Stone, 20 Incher, CDC Stone, HDA FAV Variant, Blue Devil Jig, Hare's Ear, Dirty Bird, 307 Nymph, Pheasant Tail, Copper John, San Juan Worm
Streamers; Sculpzilla, Slumpbuster, Tequeely, Dirty Hippy, Thin Mint, Platte River Spider, Hale Bopp Leech, Wolly Bugger
Dry Flies; Carnage Stone #4, Christensen's Salmonfly #6, Orange PMX #8, Clark's Stonefly #8, Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis, Light Cahill, Bat Wing Emerger
Flows: ~ 500 cfs
Conditions: Fishing has been slow on the Laramie with fluctuating flows and variable water clarity. Focus on fishing around cooler nights for the best water clarity.
Flies: Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Scuds, San Juan Worm, Blue Devil Jig, Hare's Ear, Dirty Bird, 307 Nymph, Pheasant Tail, Sculpzilla, Slumpbuster, Tequeely, Dirty Hippy, Thin Mint, Wedge Head Streamer, Wolly Bugger
Flows: ~ 200 - 750 cfs
Conditions: Tributary streams have remained somewhat clear over the past week, but expect water clarity to decrease with warmer temperatures coming in the next few days. Streamers, along with stonefly and worm patterns, have been the most effective.
Flies: Sculpzilla, Wedge Head Streamer, Dirty Hippy, Slumpbuster, Tequeely, Platte River Spider, Thin Mint, Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, San Juan Worm, Squirmy Wormy, Scuds
Conditions: The Plains Lakes continue to provide quality fishing this spring, and will be the best option for quality fishing available to anglers during the runoff period. Fish are still on their spring patterns, so stripping a baitfish or crayfish pattern, or a chironomid, midge, or scud underneath an indicator in 3-10 feet of water should provide results. Look for increasing insect activity in the coming weeks.
Flies: Hell Razor Craw, Wolly Bugger, GB Crystal Bugger, Pine Squirrel, Chironomids, Scuds, Olive Hare's Ear, Zebra Midge, WD 40