Fly Fishing in Wyoming

Key Takeaways

  • Wyoming is home to some of the best fly fishing in the United States, with diverse fish species and stunning landscapes to explore.
  • Top fly fishing spots in Wyoming include Flat Creek, Gros Ventre River, Snake River, Hoback River, and many more, each known for its unique characteristics and abundant fish populations.
  • The best time to fly fish in Wyoming varies by season, with spring, summer, and fall offering excellent opportunities in different locations across the state.
  • Fish species you can catch through fly fishing in Wyoming include various types of trout, such as brown, rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and lake trout, as well as bass, pike, crappie, bluegill, and mountain whitefish.
  • Wyoming’s fly fishing regulations are in place to conserve fish populations and maintain aquatic ecosystems, with specific rules regarding licensing, creel limits, bait use, and methods.

List of Wyoming’s Top 17 Fly Fishing Spots

Wyoming boasts a diverse and stunning landscape that offers some of the finest fly fishing opportunities in the United States. Here’s a list of the top fly fishing spots in this State, each with its unique charm and abundant fish populations.

  • Flat Creek
  • Gros Ventre River
  • Snake River
  • Hoback River 
  • Leigh Lake
  • Miracle Mile 
  • Green River
  • Fremont Canyon
  • Grey Reef
  • Thermopolis 
  • North Fork of the Buffalo Fork
  • Tongue River
  • Jackson Lake
  • Flaming Gorge Reservoir 
  • Big Laramie River
  • Pinedale
  • The Wind River Range

Now check out each Wyoming fly fishing spot’s location and specialty.

1. Flat Creek

  • Located in the National Elk Refuge, just outside Jackson, WY.
  • Specializes in native Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroat Trout.
  • Easily accessible with crystal-clear waters and an abundance of challenging spring creek fishing.

2. Gros Ventre River

  • Flows out of the Gros Ventre Wilderness, north of Jackson, WY.
  • Known for spectacular scenery and world-class trout fishing.
  • Ideal for targeting Cutthroat Trout, offering opportunities for both beginners and seasoned anglers.

3. Snake River

  • Flows through Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole, WY.
  • Iconic Western fly fishing destination with opportunities for casting huge dry flies to Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroat Trout.
  • Offers both wade and float fishing. Braids and side streams provide unique fishing opportunities.

4. Hoback River

  • Begins in the Wyoming Range, flows through Hoback Canyon.
  • Famous for its legendary salmon fly hatches and stonefly hatches.
  • Ideal for anglers seeking the thrill of catching trout during prolific insect hatches.

5. Leigh Lake

  • Situated in Grand Teton National Park, accessible from the base of Paintbrush Canyon and Leigh Canyon.
  • Excellent still-water fly fishing option when rivers are less accessible.
  • Home to cutthroat and lake trout, providing exciting sight fishing opportunities.

6. Miracle Mile

  • Located between Pathfinder Reservoir and Kortes Reservoir, central WY.
  • Incredibly popular for its populations of monster rainbow and brown trout.
  • Productive for nymphing and streamer fishing, with tandem nymph rigs as a favorite setup.

7. Green River

  • Flows through Bridger-Teton National Forest, accessible from north of Warren Bridge.
  • Offers diverse fishing experiences for rainbow, brown, brook, and cutthroat trout.
  • Ideal for both wading and floating, with a tailwater section below Fontenelle Reservoir.

8. Fremont Canyon

  • Located between Pathfinder Reservoir and Alcova Reservoir.
  • Great for dry fly fishing during hatches and effective nymphing and streamer fishing.
  • Maintains minimum flows, resulting in healthy populations of big rainbow and brown trout.

9. Grey Reef

  • Part of the North Platte River, central WY.
  • Known for its impressive trout population with fish often exceeding 20 pounds.
  • Best for nymphing and streamer fishing, offering a chance to catch trophy-sized trout.

10. Thermopolis

  • Bighorn River tailwater stretch in Thermopolis, WY.
  • Renowned for Trico, PMD, and BWO hatches, providing exceptional dry fly fishing.
  • A great destination for both traditional and streamer patterns.

11. North Fork of the Buffalo Fork

  • Situated in the Teton Wilderness of Wyoming.
  • Ideal for early season fishing with stonefly hatches.
  • Best accessed from Turpin Meadows Ranch.

12. Tongue River

  • Starts in the Bighorn National Forest and flows northeast into Montana.
  • Offers diverse fishing experiences, from fast pocket water to meandering grass-lined banks.
  • Best in spring or fall, hopper-dropper rig recommended.

13. Jackson Lake

  • Located in Grand Teton National Park.
  • Home to Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat and Lake Trout.
  • Best during the spring thaw when Lake Trout ventures into the shallows.

14. Flaming Gorge Reservoir

  • A spectacular water body nestled in the northeastern corner of Utah and the southwestern corner of Wyoming.
  • Offers diverse fly fishing experiences with multiple fish species, including trout and bass.
  • Sight fishing for carp can be fun. Delicate presentation for carp.

15. Big Laramie River

  • Located west of Laramie, Wyoming, off Wyoming State Highway 230.
  • Known for its wild brown trout fishery.
  • Offers diverse fishing experiences, including riffles, runs, and pocket water.

16. Pinedale

  • Nestled at the base of the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming
  • Gateway to Wind River Range fishing adventures.
  • Offers access to high-mountain lakes and creeks.

17. The Wind River Range

  • Begins near Togwotee Pass and spans across the north-central region.
  • Remote and adventurous fishing, diverse trout species.
  • Excellent small-stream fishing, ideal for brookies, rainbows, cutthroat, and brown trout.

When is the optimal time for fly fishing in Wyoming?

For the optimal fly fishing experience in Wyoming, consider the following times of the year:

Spring (May through October): You’ll find great fishing spots at Snake River in Jackson Hole, and Green River in the Fontenelle Reservoir area.

Also, you may decide to fly fish at Grey Reef on the North Platte River, Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, and various sections of Yellowstone National Park.

Summer (June through August): Explore Snake River Canyon in Jackson Hole, Green River in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, and various high-mountain lakes and creeks in the Wind River Range.

Fall (September through October): Your best bets will be Fremont Canyon below Pathfinder Reservoir, North Fork of the Buffalo Fork in Teton Wilderness, and Tongue River near Dayton and Ranchester.

What fish species can you catch in Wyoming through fly fishing?

In Wyoming, you can target a diverse range of fish species through fly fishing. Some of the most sought-after species include brown trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, lake trout, golden trout, tiger trout.

Also, you may be able to catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, crappie, bluegill, and mountain whitefish.

What are the fly fishing regulations in Wyoming?

In Wyoming, fly fishing regulations are governed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to ensure the conservation of fish populations and maintain aquatic ecosystems.

Fly fishing requires you to be a U.S. citizen or legal alien domiciled in Wyoming for at least one year without claiming residency elsewhere.

For youth under 14, no fishing license is required, but they follow the creel limits of licensed anglers. Every angler, regardless of residency, must possess a conservation stamp.

Creel limits vary by species, with trout having specific limits. Exceptional regulations exist for different drainage areas, so consult the regulations booklet for specifics. 

Fly fishing is generally allowed year-round, 24 hours a day, with exceptions for certain areas. You can use artificial flies and lures, but bait use is restricted in fly fishing areas.

Regulations prohibit snagging, firearms, poisons, and other harmful methods, while winter ice fishing has specific method restrictions. Always carry your fishing license and conservation stamp while enjoying Wyoming’s fly fishing opportunities.

The fly fishing rules and regulations may be subject to change, so you have to stay updated on the latest guidelines.

Check with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department or the specific water body you plan to fish to ensure you have the most current information before heading out on your fly fishing adventure.