Today is the first day of the spring flushing flows. It came a little later than most of us would have liked, but better late than never. I took some photos of the river yesterday before the flush and this morning after the flush had been in progress for several hours. Check out the difference!
**CLICK ON THE PHOTOS FOR A BETTER VIEW**
Vance and I are the only 2 souls at Grey Reef. He needs hooks so we grab some at the shop.
Grey Reef Boat Ramp: looking downstream yesterday afternoon
Grey Reef boat ramp: looking downstream this morning
Afterbay: view from The Reef Fly Shop yesterday afternoon
Afterbay: view from The Reef Fly Shop this morning
Grey Reef Dam: view from the Bretty Place yesterday afternoon
Grey Reef Dam: view from the Bretty Place this morning
Friday, March 27, 2009
This week it's the LAZY midge. Simple to tie, it fishes well on Grey Reef all year. This fly requires absolutley no thread and was developed(not that it's anything special...more so the tying method) by Erik and the North Platte Lodge guide crew.
A week ago it was 70 and if you've been reading the fishing reports you know that the last four or five days have been cold and snowy. The one upside to this is very little fishing pressure and some time to get on the water ourselves. Here are a few pics from the last week before the cold and after...enjoy!
Monday, March 23, 2009
The Reef Fly Shop has canceled all of our trips until Friday. We actually believed the weatherman this time. Most often, in these situations, we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. What I mean is normally we have a terrible snow storm during the morning and by afternoon the sun is out the wind is calm and the fish are going bonkers. At 4AM the snow was just starting and hadn't had any accumulation yet. The flakes were among the biggest I have ever seen. These pictures were taken about 8 and half hours later(an hour ago). The last two images were delivery trucks and a bus stuck in Casper. The first image is the table on my back patio in Casper...better than 15"!
APRIL: The Month of Plenty
Fly fishing Wyoming's North Platte River Grey Reef stretch is spectacular any time of year. But, April is the month of plenty.
There are several reasons that make April such a productive time on Grey Reef. The flushing flows, the rainbow trout spawn, and the spring baetis (blue winged olive) hatch all contribute to this magical month.
The flushing flow program is designed to purge the North Platte River's spawning gravel of it's sediment load. Rainbow trout use the gravel to build nests (redds) where they lay their eggs. The spawn has been much more productive since the introduction of the flushing flows. The rainbow's appetites are voracious during this period. Most fly fishing guests of the North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop lose track of the number of trout they have landed during the day. All this while landing roughly half of the fish they hook up.
While fishing during the spawn we never target fish on the redds. We don't consider this activity as sporting. We do target the trout who have moved back into feeding lanes and holes.
Fly fishing the spring Baetis hatch is incredible. The "blue winged olives" are a mayfly that are a favorite of Grey Reef's trout. The rainbows, cutthroats and browns will feed wildly on these small morsels. Fish can be fooled on nymphs, emergers and dry flies.
Most of what is written about fly fishing Wyoming's Grey Reef is referring to springtime. The water is low, clear and easy to read. The fish are healthy, strong and hungry. Be careful, Wyoming's Grey Reef will become your favorite fly fishing destination.
Monday, March 16, 2009
The fly of the week is the pine squirrel leech(PSL). Simply put this fly catches fish, 365 days a year! Dead drifted, twitched, and swung this pattern is a staple of the North Platte Lodge/The Reef Fly Shop guide crew. Olive, natural, black, crawdad orange, and brown round out the list of colors we use on our local tailwaters. If you fish Grey Reef, Miracle Mile, and/or Fremont it is a must have in your fly box.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Despite the sub zero wind chills and icy guides, Pat Dorsey, Jim Cannon(owners of the Blue Quill Angler), and Bob Dye(guide extraordinaire) had a fantastic stay at the North Platte Lodge. We even managed to get the boats on the water in these less than favorable conditions. Nymphing was the name of the game, producing great numbers of "grey reef" sized fish.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I'll begin by saying, please don't misunderstand me...I love fly fishing for trout. There are very few things that compare to wading a good riffle, floating a beautiful western river, or trekking into a back country stream pursuing trout. By no means is the following article an attempt at turning anyone away from the above. But after spring on Grey Reef subsides and we begin to settle into our summer pattern my thoughts begin to turn towards carp. Now, it's not because of boredom or lack of good trout fishing, that would definitely not be the case. June, July, and August can be some of the best fishing of the year. It's just different and provides a totally unique experience.
Carp are a fascinating fish! They can exist and survive in conditions unsuitable for most other fish species. In our local waters they are found in huge numbers and can provide the angler with hours of entertainment. The carp in the Alcova area can grow up to 35lbs (some maybe even larger) and you can almost always find them patrolling the shorelines in search of their next meal. They are most definitely an opportunist, taking advantage of any meal whether terrestrial or aquatic, plant or animal.
In the early days we found ourselves pursing them on foot around Pathfinder and Alcova reservoirs and let me tell you, we had a good time. In the last couple of years we have added a few features to our john boats to aid in the carping game making the pursuit of these characters even more enjoyable. Imagine getting a 25lb. fish, in 18in. of water to inhale a fly in such a way that your knees get a little shaky. No BS. I can tell you with the utmost sencerity I have seen the beasts move on the fly in such a aggressive manner that...well, will amaze even the most seasoned fly fisherman. In closing, if you think you wouldn't enjoy it, you still need to give it a try...trust me.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The fly of the week is Pat Dorsey's Top Secret. This particular pattern works well dredged along the bottom or fished right in the surface film. A good friend of the North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop, Pat Dorsey is responsible for some very "fishy" patterns. We always enjoy seeing Pat and Jim each year for their annual trip to the lodge.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Spring is in the air!! The days are starting to get longer and without a doubt a little warmer(Alcova is forecasted to get into the 60s this week). The Reef Fly Shop has seen a drastic increase in business during the last several weeks. Stories of a 26in+ rainbow lingered around the shop this weekend. Needless to say it's fishing season! Midge hatches are now a daily occurrence and I suspect baetis will be seen in the next month. Low, clear water and hungry trout make the spring an unforgettable time on Grey Reef.