It's All About The Trout
SO YOU'VE FINALLY DECIDED to take that weekend fishing trip you've been dreaming about for years. Good news-You couldn't have picked a better destination! Lakes, rivers, streams; you'll find plenty of places to cast your line in Casper.
The North Platte River runs right through Casper, which makes it the ideal headquarters for many of the top fly-fishing guides and outfitters in Wyoming. One such outfitter is the North Platte Lodge. Established in 1998, the Lodge is one of the very first to be established on Casper's popular river. "We run day trips and up to eight clients can stay in the lodge," explains owner and Adventure Guide Trent Tatum. "We employ nine or ten guides, and last year, we did 904 trips." According to Tatum, there are a number of experienced guides and outfitters who work the North Platte River. A typical Lodge package includes "a full-day guided trip, lunch, and all your flies, tippet, and leader material."
Before you head out for a big day on the water, you'll want to get your gear in order. Casper has plenty of convenient places to stock up. "[There is] a fly shop in Alcova called The Reef," Tatum explains. "If you forget something or if you want to pick up some flies, they're very well stocked. They have guides on the water every day, so they can give you an accurate fishing report." Other resources include Cowboy Drifters, Sportsman's Warehouse, The Ugly Bug Fly Shop, and the Platte River Fly Shop."
Once you've got everything you need for your adventure, Tatum recommends floating the river. "This is an extremely beginner-friendly river. I can't emphasize that enough. There's an abundance of fish, and it's easy to learn on." And although the North Platte can be fished for hundreds of miles, Tatum points out that many areas near Casper-Miracle Mile, Pathfinder Reservoir, Seminoe, and Alcova (Bureau of Land Management, 307.261.7600)-are growing in popularity. "American Angler Magazine voted the North Platte River Grey Reef section the number one big fish fishery in the world. Not in the United States - in the world!"
As for the kinds of fish you'll be coaxing onto your line? Anglers in Casper can expect to catch Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Snake River Cutthroat, Walleye, and even Cuttbow, a Cutthroat/Rainbow hybrid. Casper's combination of unsullied beauty and bountiful fish draws even the big guns to Casper. "I was floating along the Platte this past fall and there was a gentleman fishing in the middle of the river. It happened to be John Gierach. He's probably one of the more recognized names in the sport now because he's an author. It was kind of neat to see him out there!" Although not everyone you'll encounter along the North Platte is famous, Tatum insists that most of the folks are, at the very least, interesting. "It's a funny business," he grins. "Fly fishermen are a strange group.
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