Trout fishing at 7,000 feet

Posted: September 15, 2014 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Fly Fishing, Out of Area, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead
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Drive East about 14 hours and find the action in Western Wyoming. We do that every summer and love the change of scenery and change of pace.

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The family has a cabin above a good-sized glacial lake in the mountains. We are about 8 miles from the nearest big town of 1,000 + and at an elevation of more than 7,000 feet. The back drop is a range of awesome, craggy peaks leading to rolling hills covered by sage brush. Here and there are wide, green valleys with meandering trout streams, hay and alfalfa fields and cattle. These areas are like finding an oasis of sage and dusty roads.

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After Labor Day, most of the tourists evaporate and it is time to get serious about fishing. Most of the land is in private ownership but with a little map work and talking to the locals, one can find some good spots with public access. There is also some good water available to reach by boat. In Wyoming, the landowner owns the stream bottom so if you are floating things are good as long as you don’t step out of the boat or drop anchor.

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The streams have rainbow, browns, cutthroat (planted Snake River fish and native Colorado River cuts) and some aggressive and good-sized white fish. Fish average 12-16 inches but 18-24+ inch fish are not at all unusual. This is a great area for fly fishing, especially dry flies and streamers for the big browns. I think the regs prohibit bait but good luck can be had flipping spoons and spinners.

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With a little luck, it is possible to do a whole day of fishing and not see another angler. Often the only sounds are the calls of the sand hill cranes in the fields and the cross country jets going over at 35,000 feet. You need to be alert as moose are pretty common, especially bush whacking through the willows that line most stream banks. These big boys are usually not aggressive but you do have to watch out for mommas with their calves. You definitely do not want to get between the mom and the calf. As you move higher on the streams, there are grizzly bears but they are pretty far and few between.

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This is a special place that pulls me back at least once a year.

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Dave Heller

  1. strick says:

    I want to do this trip in the future. I’ve fly fished Montana and loved it. Wyoming is definitely on the list.

  2. Hellcat says:

    Definitely worth keeping on the list.

  3. TowTruck says:

    Beautiful water!!! Beautiful fish, look very relaxing

  4. Lucas says:

    Great photos and info.

  5. Hellcat says:

    Lucas thank you for commenting my man. Addicts rule.

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