Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Patagonia A/C Short Sleeve Shirts

Patagonia A/C Short Sleeve Shirts now in stock!!


Hatch Fly Reels now in stock at the Platte River Fly Shop


For the past 15 years Platte River Fly Shop guides and clients alike have experienced some of the best trout fishing offered in the lower 48 states. You will never see more bent rods, fighting bigger rainbows than on the miles and miles of trout heaven below Grey Reef Dam. But while we have watched this tailwater continue to improve over the years, I believe we have forgotten the miles of river above us that help create this paradise we fish all spring, summer, and fall. In the decades prior to the turn of the century, Wyoming enjoyed many years of big run-off in the spring, filling the reservoirs and reserving water for the numerous tailwaters that we are blessed to fish. During this time the 5.5 mile stretch we all know as "The Miracle Mile" was one of the premier destinations for fly fishing in the Mountain West. This well-known section of the North Platte, located in the Seminoe Mountain Range, flows downstream of Black Canyon, a 1000-foot gorge, home to Kortes Reservoir, whose dam feeds the Mile. Holding the lower end of the mile stretch is Pathfinder Reservoir. And believe it or not, with the exception of the Medicine Bow National Forest , this measly 5.5 mile tailwater is the longest continual stretch of public water on the Platte! And that is only part of what makes it so special. Upstream of the canyon, Seminoe Reservoir acts as a settling pond, controlling water levels, water temperatures, and even controlling the silt. On the other end, Pathfinder acts as a virtual fish hatchery. Beyond the 12 to 20-inch resident trout, feeding on the blanket hatches of caddis, baetis, and midges, the spawning seasons welcome larger rainbows and browns to run up from the reservoir, typically in the 24 to 30-inch range. These fish, satisfied with their deep water feeding habitats, are nothing short of carnivores, ready and willing to chase down streamers "Why haven't you been guiding there all along?" you might ask. Well, at the turn of the century mother nature started a vicious cycle of drought years, dropping the flows and enticing fewer and fewer of these lake-run trout into the Mile, while at the same time, negatively affecting the spawning habitat of the resident fish. The good news is that since 2004 our runoff has increased each year, refilling Pathfinder and restoring big spring flows to the Platte. Additionally, since 2004 the Game and Fish has put huge efforts into the restoration of the spawning habitat, and continues to devote numerous hours of research into the Mile's current and much improved condition. The result of all this came to fruition in 2009, with counts coming in at over 3600 fish per mile, Game and Fish shocking several rainbows and browns among them in the 6 to 10 pound range. Also, Pathfinder peaked at nearly 80% of capacity and the Mile held flows near 2500 cfs clear into August. That's an increase of nearly 140% on a 30-year average.

So, what am I getting at? I'm saying that 2010 is the year of the Miracle Mile's return, and a fantastic opportunity to branch out. Don't get me wrong, we still love floating you down the Reef and slamming fish; it's hard to beat. But why don't we take that second trip and huck streamers in search of that 10-pound rainbow or brown. Or we can drop anchor and throw a dry or a nymph in one of the hundreds of pockets, riffles, and seams along the five-and-a-half miles of fresh scenery. Either way, you know where I'll be on my day off, so why don't you join us in proving the MIRACLE is still in the MILE.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

3/6/10 Fishing Report.

3/6/10 Fishing Report....or I should say weather report. We had a typical rocky mountain spring snow storm hit Casper last nigh with about 8 inches of snow. Depending on how warm it gets in the next couple of days, it could blow out the river for awhile. Will keep you posted. Spring flushing flows slated for March 22-26.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Reef

By: Kray Lutz
The spring fishing on the Reef thus far in 2010 has been nothing short of fantastic! We have been fortunate to have a fairly mild last couple of month's weather wise and it has allowed us to spend a lot more time on the water than usual for this time of year. There has been little to no pressure on the river but the fishing has been outstanding. There are fish everywhere in the river but since the water is so low and clear you gotta be a little sneaky when targeting the fish in the shallower waters. The days I've spent out on the river have been spent mostly nyphing, but I've caught fish on dries and streamers when the conditions allowed for it... and BIG fish. The hot bugs of choice on "The Reef" have been the ever trustworthy rock worm, scuds, leeches, and midges. I spoke with the guys who head up the fish counts on the river and according to him the average fish size and fish numbers on the upper 9 miles (Gray Reef) are up from past years. I couldn't agree more! It seems to me like the fish are definitely a little bigger on average, but as most of you know it's the nature of our river to produce hogs. The trout have been super hungry, probably gearing up for the spawn. Spring fishing on Gray Reef is known for being the best time of year to catch consistent numbers of fish. There is no better time, whether you're a beginner or a expert, to catch more fish in a day than possible anywhere else. Spring time on Gray Reef is great for those just getting into fly fishing and allows them the opportunity to build confidence, skills, and catch lots of fish. Gray Reef is at its regular early spring flow of 500 cfs and the first flushing flows are scheduled for the middle of March. The flows should remain at 500 cfs until mid April when they open the damn and raise the river to its summer flow of 2300 cfs. If you've been waiting to come wet a line on the North Platte's Gray Reef section then this spring is that time.