Fishing in Wyoming already hot
Cheyenne - Temperatures are rising, the ice is retreating, and the fishing are biting. Get an early start on your fishing this year and head out to Flaming Gorge and Gray Reef where the fishing is heating up with the spring. Find out what our fisheries managers recommend when fishing these waters.
Green River Biologist John Walrath reports fish in the Flaming Gorge are typically aggressive as soon as the ice comes off and will continue to be aggressive well into spring. Fish also move in shallower this time of year, which makes them more susceptible to shore angling.
“Reports are coming in from anglers that shore fishing is hot right now on Flaming Gorge Reservoir,” Walrath said. “Rainbow trout and bear river cutthroat trout are typically caught from shore, but anglers are also having success for kokanee salmon and lake trout. The longer and warmer days we’ve been experiencing has the ice retreating. Productivity increases after ice-off with an increase in sunlight and runoff that brings with it a surge of nutrients into the bays, which attracts fish. There are a variety of fishing lures that are effective this time of year, but perhaps the most common is a casting spoon or Kastmaster, with a slow retrieve.”
“Catching multiple species of fish in one outing can also make following regulations more challenging,” said Robert Keith, Green River fisheries supervisor. “We remind anglers to read up on the 2017 Wyoming Fishing Regulations before heading out to fish. One recent change that went into effect January 1, 2017 is that smallmouth bass shall be released to the water immediately. Anglers are still allowed to keep four trout, with no more than three to be kokanee salmon, and lake trout have their own regulation, in which anglers can harvest eight with one greater than 28 inches in length.”
“Since Flaming Gorge Reservoir has an over abundant population of lake trout less than 28 inches, this is a great time for anglers to get out and harvest them,” Walrath said. “Small lake trout are especially tasty from now through June, while water temperatures are still cold. Anglers are our most effective tool for controlling fish populations. Wyoming and Utah fisheries biologists encourage anglers to harvest small lake trout to minimize their impact on the trout and kokanee salmon fishery. A reduction of small lake trout would help ensure healthy populations of trout and kokanee, while producing trophy lake trout.”
The fishing is hot right now on the Gray Reef reach of the North Platte River. Flows have begun increasing from the typical winter flow of 500 CFS and are now around 2000 CFS.
“The annual flushing flow was completed in March and the river is in great shape. The water has been clear and fish-able as far downstream as Casper, and anglers are taking advantage of the opportunity,” said Casper Regional Fisheries Supervisor, Matt Hahn. “The trout fishing has been fantastic with the typical Gray Reef fare. Midge patterns, San Juan worms and leech patterns are all producing fish right now.”
The rainbow trout spawn is also in full swing so egg patterns are producing fish for anglers.
“If you fish Gray Reef during the month of April remember, there is a fishing closure to protect spawning fish on a short reach of river about 1/2 mile downstream of Gray Reef Dam, specifically the area between the gauging station cables,” reminds Hahn.
All anglers should consult the current Wyoming fishing regulations for specifics in any area they decide to explore. Anglers can acquire a copy of the 2017 Wyoming Fishing Regulations at any Game and Fish regional office, most license selling vendors, or online. For questions and or more information call (307) 777-4600 or a Game and Fish Regional Office.
(Wyoming Game and Fish (307) 777-4600)
- WGFD -