An angler’s dream, Wyoming is a sparsely populated state that is known for its exceptional fly-fishing, but you can also drop a line in a beautiful mountain lake or a calm reservoir. Almost everywhere you go, spectacular mountain and forest views await. Fishing in Wyoming offers something for everyone — hike deep into the Wind River Range for remarkable backcountry fishing or enjoy the views while you cast a line into the Flaming Gorge reservoir. Wyoming requires everyone aged 14 and over to have a valid fishing license. If you’re traveling with non-resident kids under the age of 14, at least one adult in the group must have a Wyoming fishing license. Make sure to check regulations for catch limits and size restrictions, especially if you’re planning to fish in a stream.
Fishing Spots in Wyoming
Wind River Range
If you’re interested in backcountry fishing away from the national park crowds, head straight to the Wind River Range near Lander. This remote mountain range is packed with good fishing spots in streams and lakes, so you can go fly-fishing or cast from the shore. Fish for golden trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout in Hobbs Lake, Island Lake, and the Fitzpatrick Wilderness Area. The Worthen Meadow Campground makes a good base camp.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir
Located in the stunning Flaming Gorge Recreation Area, Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a great place to fish for massive lake trout. The reservoir is also home to burbot, kokanee salmon, and rainbow trout. Book a spot at Firehole Campground, and you’ll be within walking distance of great shore-fishing spots near the mouth of Firehole Canyon. Launch a boat from the many boat ramps around the reservoir to fish for the deep-water rainbow trout and salmon. In the winter, join locals from the town of Green River for ice fishing.
If you’re coming into Yellowstone National Park from Moran or West Yellowstone, make sure to stop at the magnificent Yellowstone Lake to fish for cutthroat trout, Arctic grayling, and rainbow trout. The fishing season runs from Memorial Day weekend to the first weekend of November. Yellowstone requires a special fishing permit, and you can only use lead-free artificial lures. Grant Village Campground is a great home base; it sits close to the shore and offers more than 400 sites.
North Platte River
Fish year-round on the North Platte River; it’s one of the best fly-fishing destinations in Wyoming. You’ll have the best luck on the “Miracle Mile” section of the river near Casper; it’s known for enormous rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout. Set up camp at Pete’s Draw Campground or one of the other excellent campgrounds along the Alcova or Pathfinder Reservoirs.
When it comes to fly-fishing and float fishing in Wyoming, the Snake River is hard to beat. From the town of Jackson, you can drive to a wide variety of access points and cast for fine-spotted cutthroat or brown trout. Bring waders, and avoid coming during the spring snowmelt. A number of campgrounds, including East Table Creek Campground, sit right next to the river.
Where to Fish in Wyoming
The best places for fishing camping in Wyoming are located in the western and southern parts of the state. If you’re interested in beautiful mountain views and pristine high-elevation lakes, check out the areas near Jackson and Yellowstone National Park. The Bridger-Teton National Forest is home to a wide range of beautiful campgrounds, each sitting a stone’s throw from wild rivers and streams. To fish off the beaten path, head to Pinedale or Lander. These towns are the gateway to the Wind River Range; Pinedale is also a good base camp for fishing trips on the Green River. The best trout fishing in the state is located on the North Platte River south of Casper. If you’re wondering where to fish in Wyoming canyons, check out the Flaming Gorge area south of Green River.
Camping and Fishing in Wyoming
Fishing is a popular activity with both locals and visitors in Wyoming — you’ll find a solid infrastructure almost everywhere you go. If you’d like to access some of the backcountry spots, there are a wealth of outfitters near Jackson and Lander. Whether you’re fishing alone or with a guide, hip waders and insect repellent are essential. The fish can be enormous in places like the Miracle Mile and Flaming Gorge, so make sure to bring a large cooler. Warm, waterproof layers are essential, especially when you’re in the mountains.
Wyoming is home to a sizable bear population, so it’s a good idea to brush up on bear safety before you go. Always keep food in bear-safe containers in camp, and avoid leaving crumbs after a meal. Campground hosts, park rangers, and DNR officials are a valuable source of information about local bear activity.
When you’re prepared for the weather and the wildlife, fishing in Wyoming is a world-class experience. In some parts of the state, you can spend entire days on the river without running into another person. You might even return to camp with a trophy trout to cook for dinner. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.
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