100 Best: North Platte River

Location: Southeastern Wyoming

Type of stream: Freestone, then tailwater

Angling methods Fly, Spin

Species: Browns, Rainbows, Cutthroat

Access Moderate

Season: Year-round Supporting

Services: Saratoga, Casper

Short take: Secluded untamed river in the south, marvelous tailwaters to the north

Handicapped access: Grey Reef Dam

Closest TU Chapter: Platte Valley

For 109 miles, the North Platte River in Wyoming provides some of the best trout fishing in the West. The upper section downstream from the Colorado border follows through the Medicine Bow National Forest and is difficult to reach afoot. Below Bennett Peak Access, the valley widens and flattens. Farms frame the river. North of the town, the river continues to seem as if it were one large cobbly channel that braids here and there.

While the North Platte from Saratoga to Seminoe Reservoir is trout water, most anglers either fish above the town or make tracks for the Miracle Mile below Kortes Dam. This 240 foot tall plug in the gorge creates a marvelous and justly famed seven and a half-mile long tailwater. Add to it the 30-mile stretch below Grey Reef Dam, a structure designed to average out releases from Pathfinder and Alcova reservoirs, and you have one long lovely run of trophy trout water. The first eight miles below Grey Reef Dam are reserved for artificial only angling as is .8 mile below Pathfinder Dam. Riffles, runs, pockets behind boulders, undercut banks, this, the blue ribbon section of the North Platte contains every kind of water one could wish.


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