Sunday, 7 July 2013

North Platte, Wind River, Big Horn

Gerry fishing on the North Platte upstream from the raft.

Synopsis: Spent a week fishing with Gerry Cox.  We started with a day and a half on the North Platte river at Gray Reef. Wade fished the dam the first day and floated from the dam to Lusby the second.   We stayed at Sloan's cabins in Alcova.  From there we drove overland through the Rattlesnake Hills to the Wind River at Boysen State Park.  That was about 60 miles of dirt through some rather beautiful sage country.  We wade fished the Wind in Boysen State Park for the afternoon and into the evening catching many large rainbows (18" to 24") on size 18 caddis.  We probably should never have left Boysen. We drove north, spending the night at the Greybull Historic Hotel (which I can recommend should you happen to pass through Greybull WY.)  Continued north, over the Big Horns and up into Montana.  We did a quick tour of the Little Bighorn Battlefield and then to Fort Smith on the Big Horn below the Yellowtail damn.  Stayed in a small but very new and clean room at the Bighorn Angler. It was an unbearable 98°F and we waited until almost 5PM to wade fish at the three mile access - and it was still brutally hot with icy water at about 47°F.  On the fourth of July we floated the Big Horn from Afterbay below the dam to 13 mile takeout at Bighorn.  The final day we floated the three miles from the Afterbay to the three mile takeout.  The fishing on the Big Horn was difficult and the average fish is nowhere near the size they were fifteen years ago, and we were not the only ones saying so.  We left Fort Smith at 2PM and were at home, sitting on the couch sipping bourbon, a bit after 9PM.

Gerry with a nice North Platte rainbow.
Dates - 30 June 2013 to 5 July 2013
Miles Driven: 1042
Miles Floated: 24 - Grey Reef to Lusby (8), Afterbay to Bighorn (13), Afterbay to Three Mile (3)
Longest Overland: 42.5 of dirt (Dry Creek Rd. Alcova WY to Gas Hills Rd. Riverton WY)
Best Sleep: Greybull Historic Hotel, Greybull, WY
Best Meal:  Pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw, Up in Smoke BBQ, Buffalo WY
Weirdest Meal: Subway, Garryowen MT
Biggest Fish: 25" Rainbow - Wind River, Boysen State Park, Shoshoni WY
Coldest Water: 47°F - Big Horn River, Fort Smith, MT
Warmest Water: 66°F - Wind River, Boysen State Park, Shononi WY
Hottest Air Temp: 98°F - July 3rd, Fort Smith, MT

Wind River cutthroat - over 18"

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