As the holidays approach, treat yourself to a little soul time on the water. Winter fishing on the North Platte and Big Horn rivers is a special time to hit the river (old man winter permitting). It can be cold; it can be windy but if you were good all year it can be that day you’ve asked Santa for. The Big fish that swim these hallowed waters get a lot less pressure this time of year.
The Reef is such an amazing winter fishery. The fish slide down a little because of the water temps. We recommend focusing on the bottom ¾’s of the run. The guides go to patterns are the mayhem midge 18, pink sow bugs 16 and 18, barbwire midges 18, and the ever-trusty rock worm in purple and red. As we focus on the tail outs this time of year don’t be afraid to tie on a big bug and slow swing it. Trout spey can produce some amazing fish on the Reef in the winter. Our two favorite offerings are the white and olive two hook Johnny’s. Cast straight out 90 degrees and swing all the way to the dangle! Deadly!
Current CFS: 446
The Mile fishes much like the Reef in the winter months. Focus on the mid-runs and tail outs.
Up and down from the bridge are both kicking out fish. Hot bugs are the hot head sowbug in pink or tan, scuds in pink or grey, mayhem midges, zebra midges, and rock worms in purple and red. Swung bugs will also take big fish at the Mile. The formula for winter fishing at the Mile is to catch two fish, thaw out in the truck, and bust two more. Bundle up…..it’s worth it!
Current CFS: 544
The winter fishing at Fremont has been a lot of fun. We recommend going with light weight and getting buggy. Mayhems, barbwires, foam posts RS2, and Chocolate Thunders are the move. Scuds and rock worms are great upper flies too.
Current CFS: 80
The Big Horn river is always great this time of year. The hot springs in the Thermopolis valley add a few degrees to the water and the result is happy fish. Streamer fishing is on!!! Both white and olive streamers are a few of our favs! Nymph fishing with San Juan worms both red and purple, sow bugs, and your favorite midge will all take fish.
Be on the look out for heads! These fish will pod up on sunny days and take dries. Our favorite rig is a parachute Adams size 18 gooed up and a mayhem dropped off just below the surface.
Current CFS: 900