Platte River Fly Shop & Casa Vieja Lodge
Friday, April 30, 2010
Platte River Fly Shop & Casa Vieja Lodge
Thursday, April 29, 2010
CATCHING A BROWN TROUT WITH A RAKE!!! By Jim Dean
This interesting situation came about a few years past. The location is on The Little Bighorn Ranch, a corporation owned by several good friends and the writer. The ranch sits just South of the Wyoming/Montana border and is bordered on the South/East by the Little Big Horn River. There is another stream running through the ranch property that is called the West Fork of The Little Big Horn River. It is on this stream that the following story occurred.
A few of us had gathered at the ranch to do some fall hunting for elk and deer. This happy occasion also called for some celebration and camaraderie to take place a day or two prior to the opening of hunting season. The following morning I was the first one up, and found myself in need of a refreshing drink of water, Martinis can cause a profound dryness of the mouth. The West Fork is unique as it is very pure, drinkable water and is probably one of the few streams left that you can safely drink from. The Wyoming Game and Fish tried to get a fish count at our request a few years back and found that their shocker would not work, no conductivity.
As I approached my goal, a nice pool about fifty yards from the main lodge, I noticed a wire basket about eight feet from the bank. I knew what this was as we had been using this basket for cooling pop and beer during the hot weather months. We had tied a piece of heavy twine to a galvanized wire crate that had previously been used in the dairy industry. The heavy twine would hold the crate and contents from washing down stream. At the end of a weekend the crate was usually hauled up on the bank for use on another occasion.
The first thing I noticed, as I was enjoying the first sips of my refreshing drink, was that the twine was missing. As I was staring at the crate I also noticed definite movement! There was something caught in the crate and was making swimming motions but no headway. This was all happening in about two feet of crystal clear water but the current in the riffle made it difficult to see normally. If you are a fisherman as I am you know that if you stare at a spot in the water long enough you get flat spots in the current that allow you a better window to see down further into the water. As this happened I was able to make out a nice sized trout that seemed to be stuck in one of the rectangular shaped holes formed on the sides of the crate. This fish was caught halfway into the crate with his head on the inside and his rear half sticking out; he also was facing across the stream.
I knew I wanted to free this fish if I could, but also wanted to do this without getting wet. We have a workshop located just upstream from the pool where this was taking place so I decided to go inside and get a rake and reach out into the pool and catch the side of the crate and slide it within reach and then release the fish. I also decided at this point that if I did this maneuver without out a witness maybe this would be laughed off as just another fish story.
This is the workshop; pool is just to the right and behind.
I went back to the lodge to see if anyone else was up and had the need for a cool drink of water. Upon entering the kitchen I discovered my witness, a good friend and one of our guests, Fred Clyncke had just appeared. I asked him if he would follow me over to the West Fork as I had something to show him that I thought was just amazing. Fred had a puzzled look on his face as we walked over to the pool. “Look into the water and tell me what you see”, I said. “Looks like a wire crate or basket in the water”, he said. “Look a little harder and longer”, I said. “Hey there’s something moving out there and it looks like a fish, it is a fish”, he said. I quickly confirmed his sighting and told him I wanted a witness and that I was now going to CATCH A FISH WITH A RAKE. I went over to the workshop and came back with a garden rake. I found that I could just reach the top of the crate by hanging on to the end of the rake handle. Carefully I engaged a couple of the rake tines over the heavy galvanized wire forming the top edge of the crate. By slowly easing the crate across the river rocks on the bottom of the pool I was able to get it into position to reach with my hands and drag it to the edge of the water. As I did this I noticed that this Brown Trout had indeed managed to wedge himself halfway into the crate, he had contusions on both sides of his body but seemed to be in remarkably good shape. He was a beautiful fish about fourteen inches long and was in full spawning colors, from his condition we guessed he had only been trapped for a short time, probably just a matter of days. We carefully released him and agreed we had witnessed something unique and that we had a good fish story. In the fall of the year the Brown Trout spawn and I have sometimes seen a half dozen of them in this small pool, they come up steam from the Little Big Horn confluence, which is just below our barn.
GO BACK TO GUEST ARTICLES
Friday, April 23, 2010
Wyoming Fly Fishing / Platte River Fly Shop
Gray Reef Update!!!
The 2010 season has kicked off with a bang. The weather has been great and the fishing has been even better. I wanted to send an email to give everyone a little update. 2010 is shaping up to be our best season to date. All the trips have been reporting big numbers and size on a daily basis. The river is consistently producing big fish and lots of them. With the average fish on the upper section running 19 to 20 inches and even 24s and 25s being caught, this spring is definitely the time to get out on the Reef!!!!!
In these cold clear waters, a legendary race of trout has evolved, renowned for thier aggressive takes, long hard runs, acrobatic leaps and unparalleled beauty. Considering the reputation of the fish, there is no better place to pursue them than below Gray Reef Dam in the spring. Spring means the biggest trout are navigating the currents of the North Platte toward the prime spawning grounds below Gray Reef Dam. Although we definitely do not target these fish on the redds, the deep classic runs and tailout glides fill with these monster trout and they are on the feed!
Wyoming Fly Fishing Guide Service and Platte River Fly Shop started running guide trips on the Gray Reef sections of the North Platte in 1987, a full eleven years before any other outfitters. We were the first outfitters to start targeting the big trout that these waters have become famous for. The most experienced guide staff, combined with some of the biggest wild trout in the country, add to that the best time of year to catch them and you can only produce a trip of a lifetime.
Due to the great fishing this spring, our guided float trips have been in high demand and our books have been filling up very quickly. So if you would like to get in on this unbelievable fishing opportunity, call the shop (307-237-5997) we will get you all set up. Come share a day with us on the water.
Wyoming Fly Fishing / Platte River Fly Shop
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
TYPICAL FLY FISHING NYMPH RIG AND TECHNIQUES FOR GRAY REEF
Fly fishing Gray Reef on the North Platte River can be intimidating for the first timer as it is big water and for the most part has undefined water that the fish like to feed in. Understanding the water and the fish you are after is the first step to becoming successful not only on Gray Reef but all the waters you may fish. I will try to break down the different aspects of reading water for different times of the year as well as how to set up and fish a nymph rig properly.
SEASONS OF THE YEAR AND READING THE WATER
First you must understand that trout are very energy efficient machines. In other words they are not going to expend any more energy than what they consume. So if you are fishing very fast water in the middle of winter you will more than likely go home skunked. The trout just are not going to hold in that kind of cold water if there is very little food coming to them. Conversely, the same holds true in the middle of the summer with high water temperatures and low oxygen levels, the trout are going to seek out faster water or riffles where it is cooler and more oxygen is being dissolved into the river. That is why a lot of tailwaters fish best in spring and fall. With plenty of insect activity, moderate water temperatures, and good oxygen levels their feeding activity increases. Because some tailwaters are controlled and reservoirs are drawn down from different levels of the water column you have a better controlled water temperature. This is why some tailwaters such as the San Juan River, Green River and Big Horn
SETTING UP A TYPICAL FLY FISHING NYMPH RIG FOR GRAY REEF
A typical nymph rig consists of a tapered leader with a strike indicator; split shot and one to two flies.
The key to success for catching Gray Reef trout whether your nymphing or streamer fishing, is to be on the bottom. The Rainbows are big and lazy; they lie right on the bottom and wait for food to come to them. Setting up a nymph rig for Gray Reef or any water for that matter depends on the depth of the water you are going to fish. Typically you want to set your indicator twice the depth of the water you are going to fish. The fly shop guides will fish a nine foot leader when the flows are running at 500 cfs and will go to 12 or 14 feet when the flows are running above two thousand. The most important thing to remember is to keep adding tippet and or split shot until your flies are bouncing on the bottom. You will know this when you see your indicator ticking as it is floating during your drift.
Next let’s talk about leader size. The water at Gray Reef is rarely gin clear, so that eliminates the need for fluorocarbon leaders which are expensive to begin with. The trout are not leader shy, so typically we use a 3x (8 lb.) tapered leader to our point fly and 4x (6 lb) tippet to the trailer fly.
We add our trailer flies by adding 20 inch piece of tippet to the point fly. We tie the tippet right to the bend of the hook with the same kind of knot you tie your fly on with. I like to have the same amount of distance (about 18 inches) between the split shot to the point fly as I do from the point fly to the trailer fly. This lets the whole rig turnover while you are casting.
The important key here is to understand what a dead drift is. Insect nymphs do not have the ability to swim very fast and are therefore carried along the bottom by the current, so a dead drift replicates this. The next time you see something floating down the river, notice how it is floating. It will be floating along at the same approximate speed as the water. Now envision your flies floating along the bottom of the river. They must be floating along at the same speed as the water, or they will look unnatural to the fish.
A dead drift is achieved by casting up river and as your line and indicator is floating downstream you must put a mend in the line. A mend is basically achieved by putting a belly in the line in the opposite direction than what the current is naturally forming. For example if you see a belly forming downstream during your drift, you will need to pick up the fly line a flip a belly upstream. All this does is to take the drag off the line so that the flies are not being pulled through the water and are drifting freely.
Now while you’re doing all this, you must keep an eye on your indicator. If you see it stop or twitch it is time to set the hook. Setting the hook is something that some do well and others struggle with. Ninety nine percent of the time the fish will be facing upstream, therefore you must set by lifting your rod with an up and downstream motion. Since this is in the opposite direction the fish are facing you will have a much better hooking angle. You can also increase the time to pick up the line when setting by pulling or stripping on the line that is in your hand. You do not need to set the hook hard, but rather fast and smooth. As soon as you feel resistance on the other end stop your setting motion or you will break off the fish and the jerk will be on the wrong end. If you have a successful hookup let the fish run and get all the excess line your reel. I see so many fishermen that have $300 reels with smooth drags, but fail to use them. They think stripping the fish back to them is the way to fight the fish. Believe me, the drag on the reel is a lot smoother than what you can achieve by pinching the line between your fingers.
I hope this information helps some of the beginners and first timers to Gray Reef. Feel free to call us at anytime if you have questions or need help on how to fish our waters.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A note to all fly fishing writers, film makers and fly tyers. Here is a new site that will probably become one of the top sites for this type of information. Please help out by submitting some of your articles, vedios, or fly patterns and it is FREE!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Now in two colors in the smaller hand net series....Black or Clear
Thursday, April 8, 2010
RED ROCK WORM AND WHY DOES IT WORK SO WELL
Or the “red crack worm” as it is affectionately known as by our guide staff!
Red Rock Worm - Yes we know! It does not imitate a rock worm, which is a common name for a caddis larva. But, rather it imitates a red aquatic worm or midge larva. Somehow through the years here on the
Not only is red an instinctive fish feeding color but the fact that it represents both red aquatic worms and red midge larva increases its effectiveness.
Red Aquatic Worm (Phylum Annelida and others). Many aquatic worms look similar to earthworms. In streams, you may also find very long, slender worms (such as horsehair worms), or flatworms, like planaria, which are small, sticky and soft-bodied.
Red Midge Larva (Family Chironomidae) Midge larvae are often a distinct red color, though they can also be brown or even whitish in color. The best way to identify these larvae is by their small size and spastic squirming action.
Red Rock Worm Recipe
Color: Red, Cream, Brown Rock Worm
Hook: Size 8 -22 Dai Riki 270 or Tiemco 200R (natural bend)
Thread: Red, White, Brown (color to match)
Body: Red, White or Cream, Brown stretch tubing or d-rib (color to match)
- Tie in thread just behind the eye
- Tie in stretch tubing and wrap it down back toward bend of hook
- Return thread to just behind the eye
- Palmer tubing forward to give worm a segmented look
- Tie off just behind the eye and whip finish.
POSTED BY CAPT. MARK BONAME
POSTED BY CAPT. MARK BONAME
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Fishing Report 4-7-10......Fishing remains excellent on the upper Gray Reef section, however with all the wet snow we've had this week the river is cloudy to muddy below Gov. Bridge. Egg patterns, red rock worm, midges and leeches still the best patterns. Looks like we will get out of this snow pattern today and will see nice weather into the weekend. Miracle Mile and Fremont are also fishing well.
Hatch Fly Reels Plus, Monsoon, Pulse
Hatch was created for the hardcore and recreational angler alike. It’s dedicated to pioneers and pirates. It’s a brand whose sole focus is on providing the most stylish, high performance fly-fishing reels on the market today. And I think that’s just what we’ve done.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Simms Headwaters Waist Pack
Headwaters Waist Pack Features