It's safe to say that fishing within our valley is always good. With such a variety of fisheries and drastic changes in elevation, you can always find a productive spot somewhere at any given time of the year, if you know where to look. That being said, we have several windows of time throughout the season that can be particularly good on the water.
Mid-March to Mid-May
Once we hit the month of May the temperatures warm to the point that the high country snow starts melting which begins runoff. The word 'runoff' typically scares most anglers, however, in the Platte River Valley we fish right through runoff. The majority of our fishing is done via boat as wading this big water isn't always feasible. Yes, the water might be high and off-color, but we target the banks and slower stretches and use brightly colored streamers and large nymphs. This is the time of year we witness the prolific Salmon Fly hatch on the North Platte. These massive aquatic insects hatch for up to 2 weeks and make up a huge portion of our trout's yearly protein intake. This time of year is always the most productive time of year on all of our stillwater fisheries. Runoff typically peaks during the first week of June, for the remainder of the month water levels drop and clarity improves and we see more and more caddis, yellow sallies, PMDs and the famed green drakes in late June. Mid-to-late June is a very versatile time to fish the valley with float and wade options and the ability to throw nymphs, dries, and streamers within any given day.
Early to Early August
During mid-July to mid-August we experience the heat of our summers. This often causes water temperatures to rise and fishing to slow down. On a low water year we are forced to restrict our fishing to the mornings only, once water temperatures reach 68 degrees we stop fishing in order to decrease the amount of stress put on our fishery. With that being said, we still see some very productive fishing during this month. Tricos start to hatch in prolific proportions on the North Platte and Encampment and terrestrials (hoppers, beetles, ants) become a staple in the trouts diet. A typical day starts with the trico spinner fall where hundreds of fish can be focused on the surface offering technical, but rewarding, dry-fly fishing. Float fishing becomes less viable as water levels drop and we start to focus mainly on wade fishing. This is a great time of year to escape the heat and head to the high country to find cooler water and more active fish.
Mid-August to Late September
This is by far the most consistent time period to fish our valley. Once we hit mid-August, water temps start to drop and fishing is phenomenal. The trico hatch usually starts dwindling down by early to mid-September and we start seeing more blue-winged olives (BWO). Terrestrials typically stick around until late September. Hopper-dropper rigs are the go-to this time of year and we focus mainly on wade fishing the upper stretches of the North Platte and all tributaries. Fall fishing is hard to beat in our Valley!
October to Late November
Once October hits, the only variable we worry about is the weather. Fishing can remain productive until the water freezes. Brown trout spawn in the fall which offers a great period of fishing as they prepare for the spawn and look for big meals, thus offering some excellent streamer fishing. All fish sense the colder temperatures and know winter is around the corner, causing them to feed heavily. Aside from an errant snowstorm, early to mid-October typically offers mild weather with cold nights and daytime highs averaging in the 60s. Once we hit mid-October, you start rolling the dice with Mother Nature. We say that this time of year 'isn't for the faint of heart' but it's some of our guides and locals favorite time of year to fish.
The only type of fish we fish for is trout. Rainbow and brown are the two most common catches, and are usually caught in about the same numbers and ratio. Certain areas can be more prolific with one or the other species, but it's usually a relative even split. On occasion you'll find a rouge brook trout or cutthroat trout, but they're not super prevalent within our fisheries. Your 'average' North Platte River trout is usually a very healthy 12-16 inches, with each summer always bringing a handful of trophy trout over two feet long. The ecosystems of the North Platte River, the Encampment River, and their major tributaries are so healthy and have such an abundance of food that these trout grow large relatively quickly.
Saying we typify the American West isn't enough. We are the American West. Nestled on over 45-square miles of expansive, rolling wilderness in South Central Wyoming's North Platte River Valley, you can find us just Southeast of the historic town of Saratoga.
Our ranch landscape combines native sagebrush and pastoral meadows with lush forests of aspen, cottonwood, and conifers. Did we mention the spectacular views of the Sierra Madre and Snowy Mountain ranges? You'll find that here, too.
Our adventures unfold from elevations beginning at 6,900 feet up to 12,000 feet at Medicine Bow's peak, one of the highest mountain elevations in the United States. We deliver our guests adventures for every season, leaving them with memories that last a lifetime.
Our summer guest season begins each May just as the ranch landscape is emerging from a long winter. Daytime temperatures are in the 70s while nighttime temperatures can still dip below freezing. As the summer progresses and we move into June/July, our average daily temperatures are in the high 70s/low 80s F while nighttime temperatures remain in the 50s. These are often the months we're most likely to see an afternoon thunderstorm move through. Though, our precipitation levels here are relatively low year-round. August is our honest month by far with daily temperatures in the 80s and 90s. As we move into September and October, fall weather returns, daily temperatures are only reaching the 60s and 70s while nightly temperatures are approaching freezing again. MId-November to March are the winter months for us with constant snowfall.