| North Platte River / Gray Reef / Miracle Mile / Fremont Canyon
NORTH PLATTE RIVER IN WYOMING
FLY FISHING MIRACLE MILE, GRAY REEF, AND FREMONT CANYON TAIL WATERS OF THE NORTH PLATTE RIVER
The North Platte River headwaters form and gather in the North Park area of Northern Colorado. Flowing northerly, the North Platte River quickly enters Southern Wyoming where other important feeder rivers and streams feed the North Platte. The Douglas, Encampment rivers and French Creek all feed the North Platte River with snow pack run off.
From the Southern Border of Wyoming to Seminoe Reservoir, the North Platte River is a freestone river and experiences heavy snow pack runoff from about mid May through first part of June. It probably fishes its best just before and after runoff and then again in the fall.
Still flowing northerly, from Seminoe Reservoir to Alcova Reservoir, there are two Blue Ribbon tail waters. The Miracle Mile and Gray Reef sections have both recognized as trophy tail waters that produce large rainbows, browns and cutthroats. Fremont Canyon below Pathfinder Reservoir is a new tail water that has been reestablished through negotiations with a landowner, Bureau of Reclamation and Wyoming Game and Fish. It will probably reach blue ribbon status at some point in the near future.
The Gray Reef section has recently been most written about, and with good reason. It is probably the best Rainbow Trout tail water in the lower 48. It has limited public access and is best fished from a boat. It fishes best from March through July then again in the fall months from September through November. Gray Reef is a typical tail water is fished most using nymphs and streamers. Dry fly fishing is limited to sporadic activity in the spring to some good dry fly fishing in the fall on Trico's and Blue Wing Olives. Nymphing is usually done with two flies with the top fly being an attractor fly such as a scud or san juan worm trailed by either a midge or baeits pattern.
Once reaching the Gray Reef section, the North Platte River turns eastward and flows toward Nebraska. There is still one more tail water of importance to fisherman that is not discussed much in literature and that is the section below Glendo Reservoir. The fluctuation in flows, and difficulty of shuttle service makes fishing this section difficult, but those that know when to go and study this section do very well and usually catch very large fish. Downstream from this tail water the water temperatures become to warm and are not suitable for trout.
The North Platte River is a diverse and prolific river that produces not only large quantities of trout, but also large trout. The largest trout caught weighed and measured, came from the Gray Reef section. A brown that weighed a whopping 22 lbs. Rainbows are commonly caught in the five pound to double digit range, but most fish average 16 to 20 inches. If you have not yet had a chance to experience the Platte River, it should be placed on your to do list while it is still not spoiled. In recent years people that visit and fish the Platte River rank it as the number one tail water in the lower 48 states.
You can find more information like hatch charts, fishing reports and maps on the North Platte River at the Platte River Fly Shop website www.wyomingflyfishing.com.
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