2019 Season Dates:
May 24 - October 19, 2019
All of our gear is top-of-the-line Orvis product, and we provide everything you'll need for your fishing trip including: rods and reels for all applications, waders, boots, flies, and terminal tackle. Anglers should feel free to bring any personal tackle they are accustomed to or enjoy fishing with. There is plenty of storage and easy access to tackle from our shop. We provide meals for any full day fishing trips and early departures. While all fishing, guides, and gear are included in your stay, elite fishing excursions and float trips do require additional fees.
The crystalline waters of the North Platte River watershed in Saratoga Wyoming are celebrated as some of the most revered freestone fishing waters in the world.
Guests are granted exclusive access to the collection of historic ranchlands under the Brush Creek Ranch family of ranches, which totals 30,000 acres and over 20 miles of private water. We not only proudly manage these lands and waters but own them as well, ensuring a quality experience for all. The A Cross/Sanger Ranch is celebrated as one of the most iconic fly fishing destinations in North America, boasting nearly 7 miles of the North Platte River and over 4 miles of French Creek, a notable tributary of the North Platte. Both the Upper Encampment and Lower Encampment properties collectively provide over 3 miles of the renowned Encampment River. The Bird Cloud Ranch offers 1 mile of exclusive access to the North Platte downstream of Saratoga. Brush Creek Ranch proper offers 4 miles of Brush Creek and 6 ponds, providing a scenic alternative style of fishing for all ages, in nearly any weather condition. Lastly, the TZ Ranch has another pond and nearly 4 miles of Elk Hollow, a small spring creek loaded with wild brookies and browns. Both Wading and Floating options are endless in this trout rich valley. Our seasoned team provides a guide for every two guests, giving you attentive, personalized service, whether you desire detailed instruction or advice on how to maximize your time on these storied fishing waters.
Guests coming to ranch in the first couple weeks of our season should be aware that winter weather is still possible and fishing options are limited. Runoff dictates how early fishing starts. Usually, fishing really gets going in early to mid-June. Anglers wanting to fish in the early season should contact our lead fishing guide about conditions when scheduling a trip. End of June and early July are especially good times to fish, and the best time to fish the Encampment. This is when we see incredible dry-fly fishing. Hatches include Green Drakes, Yellow Sallies and PMD's (Pale Morning Dun).
While summer months average from the mid-40s to upper 70's in June and from 50's to the low 80's in August, there is always the possibility of Mother Nature offering some cooler temps and rain, so plan for layers accordingly. In August and September, water temps can be more comfortable for wet wading (no waders) if guests want to bring their own wet wading gear.
Like most freestone rivers, mid-summer can bring the water temperatures up, with the morning fishing during July and August bringing added benefits (Trico hatch!). Mid summer weather makes it much more pleasant to be out in the morning and avoid the heat of afternoon.
The fall is often some of the best fishing of the year. The water temperatures are almost always much cooler by the second week in September if not sooner. Beginning mid-October, the weather is at risk for snow. Yet, often times the fishing is amazing the last half of October for guests who can pick weather windows on a more flexible/short notice.
Anglers in the fall should be prepared with full foul weather gear. Multiple layers, heavy rain gear etc. In any season, staying hydrated and having chapstick and a good hand lotion are recommended for the high altitude and dry climate.
A typical trip to Brush Creek Ranch begins with your journey to the American West and the famed Platte River Valley, home to the historic town of Saratoga, Wyoming. You’re greeted in our Welcome Center and personally escorted to your chosen accommodations, whether lodge room, cabin suite or cabin residence. Depending on your arrival time, you can rest and refresh, walk the grounds, settle in for lunch or a cocktail at the saloon, or even sign up for an activity. Our staff will graciously take the time to make you feel comfortable about making selections for your adventures and your itinerary for the days ahead. If you have already spoken with our outfitters staff, we’ll get you connected directly to review your personal desires and to be fully prepared for your angling excursions.
Sessions begin at the Outfitters barn where you’ll meet your guide. To maximize your experience, all trips allow for the personal attention of one guide for every two guests. We get you outfitted with waders and boots along with all necessary fishing gear, hop in a ranger and head to the Brush Creek. This western free stone stream provides four miles of exclusive and private access, amidst a picturesque, cottonwood-lined riparian corridor, ideal for bringing up wild brown, brook or rainbow trout.
Fishing sessions are offered during the twice-daily activities sessions. Often times the fishing is better early in the morning so we will encourage guests to head out before 9:00a.m. Many times guests desire more time on the water, and we are pleased to leave early or fish late to maximize your experience.
Brush Creek Ranch also offers both wade and float fishing on the Encampment River, just 15 minutes from the core of the ranch. Float season on the Encampment can be very difficult to predict and is only possible for a short time just after the peak of run off. The dry fly-fishing during this season can be as good as it gets. We tend to start wade trips early to maximize time on the water. We also lead full day fishing trips into the Encampment River Wilderness area, offering a steep beautiful canyon with excellent wade fishing and a more robust, physical fishing experience.
The Platte River is where most of our float fishing takes place, in addition to our scenic rafting. The Platte gives us amazing fishing options all year and allows for great fishing options during the “post run-off period” when Brush Creek water levels are typically too high to wade. The fishing on the North Platte has many qualities that attract experienced anglers.
When you’re not fishing, the ranch offers a plethora of other activities to choose from including horseback riding, shooting at the BCR Gun Club, hiking, biking, paintball and our challenge ropes course. If you’re in the mood for something a little more relaxing, the Trailhead Spa offers a full menu of tranquil and rejuvenating services. And don’t miss cocktails and libations every night in the BCR Saloon featuring live music, billiards, poker, darts, shuffleboard and more.
Your fly fishing experience is complemented by the luxurious accommodations and amenities of Brush Creek Ranch. Choose from one of our three refined lodging destinations:
The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch
A robust, family-friendly community setting, offering a collection of well-appointed accommodations with refined Western personality for groups of any size up to 150 guests. The expansive resort features a 38,000-square foot Trailhead Lodge, a rejuvenating spa, a collection of lodge rooms, cabin suites and residences and a variety of authentic outdoor adventures.
The Magee Homestead
The ultimate in sophisticated luxury; a prairie hideaway that unfolds as a romantic and spellbinding retreat for a maximum of 24 adults and small groups. Here, take the reins of your own time enjoying bespoke, personal attention, richly-appointed accommodations, sumptuous culinary experiences, and adventures that rekindle your sense discovery and wellness.
French Creek Sportsman's Club
Located on the historic Platte River Valley sporting paradise known as Sanger Ranch, offering blissful, exclusive fly fishing and hunting adventures for up to 10 guests. The ultimate personal indulgence of sheer privacy of this Wyoming wilderness promises an unrivaled sporting experience.
Our signature Inclusive Luxury experience ensures a convenient and streamlined stay, with all lodging, food, premium beverages, wine cellar and a wide assortment of activities included in our rates.
From dawn until dusk, enjoy all daily hearty feasts, outdoor picnics, inspiring happy hours, campfire 'smores and elegant dinners presented in a variety of venues, including our outdoor Chuckwagon & Saloon, Creekside Dinner Camp on the banks of Brush Creek, on our Falcon Peak overlook, and in the Trailhead Lodge. All beverages, including premium spirits, beers and open wine cellar access are included throughout your stay.
Our species - wild rainbow, brown and brook trout - don’t change by season, but the way we fish for them varies greatly by season. Early season (Mid-June into early July) is known as “prime time” throughout the Rockies and the same applies for the North Platte (post run-off). This time of year we often fish streamer and large nypmhs. This is the time of year we float the Platte River Wilderness Area and the Encampment River. The two most significant hatches are Salmon Flies on the Platte and Green Drakes on the Encampment. Fishing these hatches is one of the most sought after experiences in Western fly fishing and and timing can prove difficult.
As July progresses, the next major hatch is Trico (tiny black and white May Flies). This is one of our best hatches (via the North Platte). The clouds of bugs are so thick they look like smoke. This hatch will last well into August depending on conditions. Trico fishing is sought after by anglers because of the technical nature of fishing small flies to big rising (feeding) fish. Often times our day will consist of dry fly fishing in the morning, and nymph fishing later in the afternoon. There are also options to dry fly fish using terrestrial insect imitations.
The mid summer month is almost exclusively dry fly fishing on Brush Creek, mostly using hoppers and other terrestrial imitations. We sometimes use what is called a dry dropper rig which is a combination of dry fly fishing and nymphing.
As the weather starts to turn colder, a lot of big fish come out to play. The fall is known for Blue Wing Olive (BWO) hatches. Afternoon fishing gets much better in September and October and you don’t need to leave as early. Fall is a great season to be able to have successful fishing using dry flies, nymphs or streamers.
ALL-INCLUSIVE RATES FROM: $700 - $1,300 per person, per night*
*based on standard unit occupancy
All-inclusive Activites with Gear, Guides & Instruction
Inspired Dining Experiences
Excludes 23% Ranch Fee (Inclusive of All Gratuities and All Applicable Taxes) as well as spa experiences and select elite à la carte experiences. Inquire for details.
Q. What if I have never fished before?
A. Not to worry! Brush Creek Ranch’s experienced guides are there to help you “learn to do, or learn to do better.” We accommodate beginners to the very advanced.
Q. Are there any additional fees for fly fishing adventures?
A. Yes, elite fishing excursions and float fishing trips on the North Platte and Encampment Rivers have additional fees. Please inquire for more details.
Q. What gear do I need to bring?
A. We have all the top of the line gear you could need including: rods and reels for all applications, waders, boots, flies, and terminal tackle. Anglers should feel free to bring any personal tackle they are accustomed to or enjoy fishing with. There is plenty of storage and easy access to tackle from our shop. Everyone coming to the ranch, but especially fishermen who plan on spending lots of time on the water, should always bring extra synthetic warm clothes and adequate rain gear. Early and late season anglers should bring gloves and hats and never rule out the possibility of snow.
Q. Can my kids learn to fly-fish?
A. We pride ourselves in teaching people of all ages to fly-fish. We offer casting lessons in the evenings and introduction to fishing on our ponds. We stress teaching beginning anglers not only the fundamentals of casting and fishing but also the understanding of the aquatic habitat and the local eco system. All of our fly fishing trips go out with only two anglers per guide which allows ample time for personal instruction and supervision of youngsters. We recommended that kids be at least 10-12 years old before they undertake fly fishing.
Q. How many miles of private access do you have?
A. We have 20 miles of access via Brush Creek, the Encampment and the North Platte.
Q. Where exactly is the ranch?
A. Brush Creek Ranch is located in the idyllic mountain high country of south central Wyoming, approximately 3-1/2 to 4 hours northwest of Denver.
Q. How do I get to the property?
A. Guests either fly to Denver, rent a car and drive up, or fly to Saratoga or Laramie and arrange pickup by the ranch.
Q. Where do guests typically fly in and out of?
A. Commercial flights fly into Denver International Airport (DIA) and Laramie Airport (LAR). Private/charter aircraft access is available into Shively Field Saratoga Airport (SAA), only 13 miles from the front gate.
Q. Can you accommodate groups?
A. Definitely, we can accommodate up to 100 people. From corporate retreats, to family reunions and wedding events, we will work with you to create a unique itinerary that will be unforgettable for your group. Contact Group Sales Director Amanda Wascher at 720-379-5377 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.