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The Wind River Indian Reservation, an area nearly as large as Yellowstone National Park, is home to the remaining Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe, Native American Tribes. It ... moreis also home to a considerable portion of the Wind River before it reaches the Wedding of the Waters near Thermopolis and becomes known as the Bighorn. At its head, below the Boysen Dam, the Wind River Canyon appears narrow and formidable with rocky walls rising 2500 feet into the air. But don’t be intimidated. The Wind River Canyon is one of the West’s best-kept secrets, harboring excellent pocketwater fishing along its entire 15 mile run. Full of trophy browns and rainbows, it’s not unusual to net 18 to 26 inch trout while 30 inchers are infrequent but not unknown. Float fishing is available but professional guides are highly recommended since the river descends the canyon in a series of Class II and Class III rapids and conditions vary widely from season to season.

Wind River crosses into the reservation at the confluence of its East Fork, about 35 miles below its headwaters at Dubois, Wyoming. In continues in a southeasterly direction for nearly 75 miles where at Riverton, it abruptly turns north. About 20 miles downstream from this point, the river’s flows are captured by the Boysen Reservoir located outside the reservation’s boundaries. The open, high plain of the Wind River Valley is lined on the north by the Owl Creek Mountains and to the south and east by the Wind River Range. Strong winds which funnel down the valley from the northwest, give the river its name.

Wind River Lake, at the base of Togwotee Pass northwest of Dubois, is the source of the river. For its first 10 miles it is barely more than a trickle but it soon doubles in size as it merges with Sheridan Creek. Visitors can find lodging in Dubois, the social and recreational center for the northern Wind River and the eastern Absarokas mountains. Flows on the upper river fluctuate during growing season due to irrigation releases from tributary lakes. Experienced anglers say early spring, before the seasonal runoff, is the best time of year to fish, although April 1 to September 30 is the official fishing season. Fishing is good for rainbows, browns and cutthroats in the 12-16 inch range while it’s possible to hook a considerable number of larger fish.
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Originating in Jackson County Colorado, The North Platte flows north until it reaches Jasper, Wyoming at which point it turns southeast and eventually empties into the Missouri River. ... moreOver 300 miles of this lengthy river, run within the state’s boundaries, making it Wyoming’s longest tributary of the Missouri. The Upper North Platte is best defined as remote, undeveloped and pristine. For fly fishermen seeking quiet and solitude, this section of the river has much to offer, including 55 miles of heavily forested greenery and Blue Ribbon waters from the Colorado border to a point just shy of Saratoga.

Near the junction of the Encampment, another highly regarded trout stream, the river enters the high plains and runs free until blocked by the Seminoe Dam and reservoir, about 100 miles north of the border. Below Seminole Dam is the smaller Kortes Dam and a short distance downstream from there begins the world famous Miracle Mile. This stretch is not known for dry-fly fishing; for best results, anxious anglers are encouraged to use nymphs, woolly buggers, streamers and glo-bugs that can be fished deep or just under the surface film. Favorite nymphs and emergers, in bedheads and unweighted, include squirrel tails, pheasant tails, hare’s ear and Prince nymphs, flashbacks, caddis larva and caddis pupa. There is full public access along the Mile although accommodations are mainly limited to campsites.

If you are intent on finding the rare and difficult, The Dome Rock Reservoir, located in the North Platte drainage basin, is managed as a finespotted cutthroat fishery although catches are limited and tackle is restricted. Fishing in North Platte reservoirs can also be challenging and rewarding. Seminoe, Pathfinder, and Alcova are excellent sources of both trout and walleye. Another excellent tailwater fishery is located just below the Alcova Reservoir from Grey Reef Dam to Goose Egg, just west of Casper, where you can find cutthroat, rainbows and browns. Since the Miracle Mile tends to be crowded, Grey Reef appears to be taking its place as the fly fishermen’s new “most favored” destination.
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Melting snowpack from the Wind River Mountains give rise to the Green River, Wyoming’s second longest. After flowing south over 700 miles, the Green enters into the Colorado River ... moreand is considered by many to be this river’s headwater. Supposedly named by 16th century Spanish explorers for its clear color, a mystery since most people say it looks quite the same as the murky Colorado, the river ran basically unimpeded until the early 1960’s when the Fontenelle Dam was completed. One year later another dam was built in Dutch John, Utah, which flooded the scenic, red-rock Flaming Gorge for nearly 90 miles, creating a deep-water fishery famous for its monster lake trout and trophy browns.

Despite man’s effort to tame the Green, over 150 miles of the river still run free. Set between the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Bridger Wilderness area, the remote river basin has retained its rugged, pristine, scenic beauty. Locals joke that there are more elk, bear and deer in residence than people, a fact attractive for those seeking an authentic, fly fishing experience. Fishing is thought to be best during the late summer and fall seasons when there are prolific mayfly and caddis hatches and trout is plentiful, including the native Colorado River cutthroat.

Pinedale, a small resort town on US 191, is the primary hub for the upper Green River, attracting anglers from as far as Jackson. Another small town, Green River located on I-80, services sportsmen along the lower portion of the river. Fly shops are in abundance and guides are widely available at both locations. 
Fly fishers who seek to get far from the maddening crowd should consider the Clark’s Fork, as it offers ample fish, scenic beauty and alluring solitude. The river makes its grand entrance ... moreinto Wyoming from Montana through a rift in the jagged, glaciated Absaroka Mountains. Surrounded by soaring, snow-capped peaks, the river is bounded by the Beartooth Mountains to the northeast and the rugged Sawtooth Mountains to the southeast. Running for over 60 miles through the state, its upper waters are full of Yellowstone cutthroat, rainbow and brook trout while grayling and brown trout can be found below the famous Canyon section as the river makes its way back to Montana.

Designated as Wyoming’s first Wild and Scenic River, it flows through verdant, conifer forests, a stunning, 20 mile-long Canyon area, and open farm and ranch lands. The river descends from 8,500 feet at its headwaters near Cooke City to less than 3,000 at its northeastern crossing at the state line. The spectacular canyon portion of the river is as popular with hikers, kayakers and river rafters as it is with fishermen. Adventurers around the globe come here to experience its Class IV to Class VI rapids.

Technically the river is open year-round for fishing although the Colter and Beartooth passes are usually blocked by snow until late May. Public access can be gained from the highways that parallel most of the upper river through the Shoshone National Forest and anglers can, with a few exceptions, stop and fish at their leisure. Much of the lower river runs through private land although the Wyoming Game and Fish manage 4 public access points making it possible to enjoy fishing in these waters. Spring runoff can continue through June, sometimes even into mid-July, and then tends to remain steady from late summer and well into September.
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The Big Wood River, which is fed from the mountains to the north of the Snake River Plain, cuts through 0.8 m.y. old basalt in an area north and east of Shoshone, Idaho. ... more

Be ready for hard fighting, healthy wild trout! There is no stocking on the main Big Wood River which runs for 137 miles in central Idaho.

Team up with a local outfitter to help you create the perfect cast and amazing memories in this breathtaking location. Located in central Idaho, it is a tributary of the Malad River.
Game Fish Opportunities:
Scenic and wild, the Little Salmon River is a tributary of the Salmon River which is the longest free-flowing river (425 miles) within one state in the lower 48. Resident species are ... moreBull Trout, Westslope Cutthroat, and Rainbows.

Things to Know

Fish species in the Little Salmon River: Steelhead, Chinook Salmon, and Rainbow. Consult the Idaho Fish & Game regulations for seasons, limits, and Special Rules for the region.

Any person 14 years of age or older must have a valid license or permit to fish in Idaho. Resident children under 14 years of age need not be licensed and may have their own separate limit. Nonresident children under 14 years of age if not licensed, must be accompanied by the holder of a valid fishing license and their fish must be included in the license holder's limit or the child may purchase their own license and have their own limit.
Game Fish Opportunities:
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Jackson is the ideal hub for exploring the Snake River, a surging, full spirited river that provides a direct connection between Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National ... morePark. The setting is breathtakingly beautiful – jagged peaks jutting into the sky while the river and its maze of channels and tributaries “snake” their way through the verdant, lush valley. Important to early explorers seeking passage west, the Pacific and Atlantic Creeks reach the Continental Divide at Two Ocean Pass near Jackson and part ways. The Atlantic Creek turns east, merges into the Yellowstone River and eventually flows into the Missouri while the Pacific Creek turns west and merges into the Snake, becoming the largest tributary of the Columbia, eventually reaching the ocean.

Known for its own unique trout, the Snake River finespotted cutthroat can only be found in the waters around the Jackson Hole valley. Considered by experts to have once been the only trout species in the Western interior, it has evolved into 14 different subspecies. To this day, its native range is limited to the upper Snake from Heart Lake to the Palisades Reservoir. Despite the finespotted’s hearty, undiscerning appetite and a seeming willingness to eat just about anything, experienced anglers view this fish as the most aggressive, hardest fighting trout to snare. As a result, when you catch one you earn major bragging rights. 

The most heavily fished areas of the Snake’s run through western Wyoming are the 35 miles in the park between Jackson Dam and the 17 remaining miles flowing through Jackson Hole. This section of the river is ranked as one of the best dry-fly streams in the West. Snake enthusiasts recommend floating the river although newcomers are advised to only go with a guide and veterans are reminded to exercise caution, as the water can be turbulent and unpredictable. Should you decide to wade, be mindful of swift currents along undercut banks and stick to quiet, shallow river sections and side channels. Great stream fishing can be found at Gros Ventre River and Flat Creek.
The Smith River is nationally one of the most well known streams in the U.S., in large part because of the unique experience it offers. For visitors from all over Montana and across ... morethe country lucky enough to draw float permits, the Smith River float, with access to a 59-mile stretch of river only at its upper and lower ends, holds a pristine adventure. The river begins its 121-mile journey near the town of White Sulphur Springs where the North and South forks of the Smith merge. For much of its course, the mainstem runs through a broad valley between the Big Belt Mountains on the west and the Little Belt and Castle Mountains on the east.

From Camp Baker, the upper public access point to the canyon, the Smith carries rafters and canoers through a deep, rock-walled passage with great fishing, floating, and boat camping. Emerging at the canyon's lower end, the stream meanders on through rolling grass-covered hills until it reaches the Missouri, near Ulm.
Game Fish Opportunities:
The Flathead River represents the combined flow of hundreds of headwater creeks funneled from the glacial cirques of Glacier National Park and other wild places within the U.S. and ... moreCanada. This cold, clear water flows into the North, South and Middle forks of the Flathead, which merge together near Columbia Falls to begin a southward journey. Portions of the upper mainstem Flathead River are classified as 'Recreational' within the Wild and Scenic River Classification system.

About 20 miles into its journey, after flowing down the gentle, south-sloping gradient of the Flathead Basin floor, the river empties into Flathead Lake. The lower mainstem Flathead River drains from the southwest corner of the lake and draws waters from an arid valley basin throughout its 75-mile course. The Flathead River finally empties into the Clark Fork River at Paradise. 

The Flathead River System offers hundreds of miles of pristine waterways, while Flathead Lake is a scenic and recreational mecca. A diversity of fish and wildlife complement the land and water resources, and contribute to both the natural and cultural values of the Flathead Basin environment.
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Where does this river begin? This question remained unanswered well into the 19th century. In fact, the Wind River and the Bighorn River are one body of water artificially divided ... moreby two names. Because the river’s course is largely set by the surrounding mountain ranges, The Wind River Range that extends southeast to northwest along the continental divide and the Bighorn Range that rises east of Shoshoni and curves north to Montana, the river changes direction and appearance more than once during its long journey. Overhearing Native Americans describe this basin, mountain men, adventurers and mapmakers just assumed they were talking about different rivers. 

Today the Bighorn River arbitrarily starts at the end of Wind River Canyon at a spot known as the Wedding of the Waters near the town of Thermopolis. From Thermopolis to about 20 miles below the Wind River Canyon, the river runs cold enough to support ample trout, with the best fishing actually beginning on the Wind River below the Boysen Reservoir, 15 miles upstream. Roadside access to this year round, world-class destination is unlimited as long as you obtain a Wind River Indian Reservation fishing permit.

One of the vagaries of Wyoming law is that landowners can own and control access to shorelines and riverbeds, making it illegal for anglers to wade or anchor in private water. Thankfully, most of the Bighorn River around Thermopolis is owned by the town, which provides many points of public access. You’ll be fine with the law if you wade upstream or down, as long as you stay below the high-water mark. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has designated several fishing access points and easements over private lands to provide public use of the river.
Game Fish Opportunities:

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