It is a good time to be fishing in southern Wyoming; rivers and tributaries are running clear and cold, plenty of bugs are out, and the fish are hungry! With runoff coming to an end, fishing has been quite productive over the past week and conditions should continue to improve as we head towards the month of July.
Many tributary streams are wadeable, and the North Platte and Laramie Rivers should be in good wading condition by the end of the week. Plenty of bugs are out on the main rivers as well as the tributaries, including: caddis, brown stoneflies, yellow stoneflies, PMDs, and BWOs.
High country lakes and streams have also become quite accessible, opening up even more options for the wading angler. Mirror Lake and Lake Marie are about fully thawed, along with most alpine lakes in the Snowy Range. Some north-facing lakes, or lakes surrounded by taller timber remain mostly frozen, but expect to see all of the alpine lakes start to open and become fishable over the next week.
Fish are on to their summer patterns in the Laramie Plains Lakes, with early morning and later evening providing the best action. Fish will be a bit deeper in the water column during the day. Note: we will be suspending our Plains Lakes fishing report in favor of a high country lakes and streams report, for updates on the Laramie Plains Lakes, check out https://www.flystore.net/find-a-fishing-location/wyoming/laramie-plains-lakes/
Upper North Platte
Flows: ~ 1,200 cfs
Conditions: The Upper North Platte has dropped considerably in flows over the past week, but it will likely be the last hold out with runoff conditions throughout the Laramie and Platte River valleys. The North Platte has had decent clarity, and conditions are day-to-day as runoff continues to fluctuate a bit on its way out. Look for the Platte to come into more consistent form and offer good wade fishing opportunities towards the end of the week.
Flies: Streamers and large nymph rigs continue to be the most productive set ups as runoff comes to an end. Some fish are keying in on caddis and PMD hatches, but we have not seen significant dry fly fishing just yet. Salmonflies have mostly disappeared, but that doesn't mean trout won't remember them - a salmonfly pattern in #4 or #6 on top of a dry-dropper rig may provide exciting results as some fish may still be looking up for big bugs following the hatch.
Streamers; Tequeely, Sculpzilla, Slumpbuster, Double Dirty Hippy, Baby Gonga, Wedge Head Streamer, Platte River Spider
Nymphs; Rubber Legs, 20 Incher, Hare's Ear, Prince Nymph, Copper John, Devil Jig, HDA FAV Variant, Blowtorch, Dirty Bird, Caddistrophic Pupa
Dry Flies; Carnage Stone, Orange Swisher's PMX, Christensen's Salmonfly, Chubby Chernobyl, Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis, Light Cahill, Bat Wing Emerger
Flows: ~ 400 cfs
Conditions: The Laramie is dropping pretty quickly and should provide some great wade fishing opportunities this week with good water clarity. Dry-dropper rigs and streamers will be the best options on the Laramie as flows retreat to summer levels.
Flies: Streamers; Tequeely, Sculpzilla, Slumpbuster, Dirty Hippy, Baby Gonga, Wolly Bugger, Platte River Spider, Pine Squirrel
Nymphs; 20 Incher, Scud, San Juan Worm, Squirmy Worm, Hare's Ear, Copper John, Dirty Bird, Caddistrophic Pupa, Devil Jig, Blowtorch
Dry Flies; Chubby Chernobyl, Hippie Stomper, 409 Yeager, B/C Dropper Hopper, Amy's Ant, Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis
Flows: ~ 200 - 800 cfs
Conditions: Tributary streams will be the first to recede to summer flow rates, and provide better fishing opportunities than the main branches as runoff continues to wind down. We have observed excellent insect activity on the tributary streams with plenty of caddis, stoneflies, PMDs and hoppers active. It is officially hopper-dropper season on these streams. Cooler, cloudier days can also provide some good streamer action on the tributary streams.
Flies: Chubby Chernobyl, Swisher's PMX, 409 Yeager, Amy's Ant, Hippie Stomper, B/C Dropper Hopper, Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis, Corn Fed Caddis, Light Cahill, Bat Wing Emerger, San Juan Worm, Squirmy Worm, Scuds, Hare's Ear, Prince Nymph, Copper John, Devil Jig, Duracell Bomb, HDA FAV Variant, Blowtorch, Dirty Bird
Alpine Lakes and Streams
Conditions: Streams are running clear and cold and fish will be feeding aggressively in the short growing season; alpine lakes are mostly open, with some higher elevation and more shaded lakes holding some ice still. Attractor dry flies, small nymphs, and small streamers are typically the most productive options for the Snowy Range alpine lakes and streams.
Flies: 409 Yeager, Amy's Ant, CDC Ant, Dave's Beetle, Hippy Stomper, Hare's Ear, Prince Nymph, Copper John, Wolly Bugger, Pine Squirrel, Platte River Spider