Wyoming is a state that has not been as built up as other parts of America, allowing for an array of unblemished wilderness. There are over four thousand lakes in Wyoming to give anglers plenty of options for the beginner or seasoned fisherman. Then add to that its ample fish population and availability of trophy fish. So it is no wonder that so many anglers travel there!
Trout fishing is the most popular of Wyoming’s numerous fishing options. The lengthy list of species ranges from the common rainbow down to subspecies of cutthroat like Bonneville, Colorado River, Snake River, and Yellowstone. Within the Grand Teton National Park you can admire breathtaking views while fishing for Snake River cutthroat. The Grand Teton National Park also has a boat launch, rock climbing, biking, hiking and even horseback riding for a fee, making it a great outdoor family vacation destination.
The upper Yellowstone River within Wyoming gets a good portion of the trout run annually. If you visit Wyoming during this yearly festival of fish you will quickly reach your creel limit! The fall run for browns is legendary.
The North Platte River is an excellent trout river, renown for its fly fishing for rainbow and brown trout. In particular its sections known by the names Gray Reef and Miracle Mile are some of the state’s best fishing spots. In addition to its trout fame, this river is known for its large catfish. North Platte River is also the home of the state record Ohrid trout, over fourteen pounds. There are few locations in America to find an Ohrid trout, making North Platte a great all around destination.
Wyoming has good bass fishing opportunities, though most anglers flock to it for its trout. The state is home to smallmouth, largemouth, and rock bass. Boysen Reservoir is know for plentiful and numerous bass. Many ponds do well through stocking.
Keyhole Reservoir is an excellent smallmouth bass habitat. Not only a fine bass fishery, its walleye and catfish thrive. Keyhole Reservoir is honored to hold the state record northern pike and freshwater drum. Its pike population is especially vigorous, consistently producing fish over eighteen inches. Plus, some of the reservoir offers a view of Devil’s Tower.
At Flaming Gorge Reservoir it is not altogether uncommon to catch three or four pound smallmouth bass, with the state record holding of nearly six coming from Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The trout and salmon fishing is excellent as well, particularly for lake trout which thrive in the large reservoir, and for kokanee salmon. This reservoir holds the state records for brown and lake trout at twenty-five and fifty pounds respectively. Flaming Gorge Reservoir provides the best combination of variety and size in the state.
Even for salmon, Flaming Gorge Reservoir takes the cake. It holds the state record kokanee of over six pounds. Salmon are vibrant figures in the Wyoming waters, and other populations can be found in Fremont Lake and Boulder Lake. Although you are as likely to catch trout in both lakes as you are salmon – not that, that is a bad thing.
Wyoming has a free fishing day every year, or you can buy a license at state agencies or on the web. Anyone can buy a daily or annual license, and youth licenses are cheaper. Anyone fifteen or older must have a license on them. Fees for non-residents are much more expensive. Residents are defined as persons who have lived within Wyoming for one year without claiming residency elsewhere. Active members of the Armed Forces must be stationed in Wyoming for over ninety days before qualifying for resident licenses. Big Wyoming? More like big fish!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.