Saturday, 2 March 2013

Fishing the Wind River Canyon

A nice rainbow caught in the Wind River canyon.
The Wind River starts up high near the summit of Togwotee pass, flows south and east through Doubois WY and then into Boysen Reservoir.  From Boysen reservoir it flows north into the Wind River canyon.  After exiting the canyon, at the "wedding of the waters" it becomes the Big Horn river which flows north through Thermopolis WY and into Montana eventually to flow into the Missouri.  

For about a mile (maybe less) after the Wind flows out of Boysen Reservoir and just before it drops into the  canyon proper, it flows through Boysen State Park.  In the state park a WY fishing license is all you need. Once past the park, the river flows on the Wind River reservation which is the home of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes.  To fish or hike in the canyon (or anywhere on the reservation) you need a Tribal Fishing/Trespass license plus a $5 conservation stamp. For WY residents the license costs $20/day, $50/7days and $80/year - non-residents pay $25, $75 and $125.  I purchased a yearly permit at the Fast Lane in Shoshoni.  Last year I tried to buy a permit on a Sunday in Thermopolis - no can do.

Looking upstream - I am bringing in a nice fish.
Starting around noon I fished a deep run low in the canyon for a couple of hours in the sun, the air temperature was around 50F.  I hooked up pretty consistently on a size 12 bead-head pheasant tail.  In an hour and a half or so I managed to land five nice fish and hooked up with another five I did not bring to hand.    I fished further upstream later in the day - after the sun had disappeared in the clouds - and was frustrated to not hook up again.

A smaller rainbow in beautiful form.

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