Fishing Wind River Canyon Near Thermopolis, Wyoming - My Yellowstone Park

Fishing Wind River Canyon Near Thermopolis, Wyoming

Fishing Wind River Canyon Near Thermopolis, Wyoming. Pete is an obsessed fly fisherman, but who wouldn't be a total trout nut if they lived up here?
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I’m an obsessed fly fisherman…I’m not going to lie. But then again, who wouldn’t be a total trout nut if they lived up here. The fishing is just THAT GOOD!!...and I don’t want to say it’s easy because I will probably jinx myself into catching whitefish and suckers the rest of the summer, but it’s definitely unpressured to say the least. My first major outing of the spring was to the Wind River Canyon right outside the town of Thermopolis, Wyoming. We fished just above the “Wedding of the Waters”, where the Wind Turns into the Bighorn River and flows north into Montana. This vast canyon, like everything else up here is a testament to the awesome power of the earth and nature. Like a knife cutting thru butter, the flowing waters of the Wind River carved out this canyon over thousands of years into its pristine form. Then, with the construction of Boysen Dam in 1952, the Wind River becomes a premier tail water for trout fishing…more specifically brown trout fishing. To say it was good is an understatement. It was EPIC!!

As we started our day, my good fishing buddy John and I were hungry for the hungry. Brownies are notorious for not only going after the big meals, but going after them with force. They are like an MMA fighter playing musical chairs at Thanksgiving dinner. Brown Trout want their assigned seat at the table and their Turkey leg to go with it. So, needless to say we were hungry for the hungry. After a few aimless casts to get the rust out from a long winter John hooks into the first big meat rocket: a solid 20+ inch brown. We continued to fish upstream catching 18 inch fish behind pretty much every rock. We determined, however that because these are extra feisty, territorial brown trout that these were all one fish holes. Good!! The bigger the hole the bigger the fish. Finally we came to what looked to be the best run on the river: Deep drop off, highly oxygenated water, lots of fast to slow seams. Two casts in my indicator sinks like a stone. FISH ON!! After a handful of jumps, revealing it’s true size and drawing the “ooohhs” and “aaahhhs” from the peanut gallery, my gracious net caddy John landed the big brown trout, one of the healthiest and fattest I’ve ever angled!!

I’m an obsessed fly fisherman....not going to lie. But, it’s days like this in a place like this that get me coming back. The Wind River is an amazing place to visit whether fishing or simply taking in the scenery. The road going thru the canyon, US 20 / WYO 789 is a designated scenic byway and won’t disappoint. If you are fishing make sure to get a Wind River Indian Reservation fishing license as majority of the canyon is on Reservation Land. Also check out Wind River Casino in Riverton if you are really feeling lucky.

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Yellowstone Fish Fact File

Yellowstone cutthroat were once widely distributed throughout the Yellowstone River system, including portions of northwestern Wyoming, southeastern Idaho, southern Montana, plus northern Nevada and Utah.