Just because the run-off has taken near-by streams and rivers out of play is no reason not to fish! We have trophy trout lakes in the area along with the Big Horn River at Ft. Smith or Thermopolis to keep us busy. Newton Lake near Cody, Luce and Hogan between Clark and Cody offer trophy trout opportunities. These lakes have been fishing well. Callibaetis are hatching along with damsel flies. Try a parachute Adams for the mayfly and a small olive wooly bugger for the damsel nymph. Emerald and West Rosebud lakes are also a great option this time of year. They are higher in elevation, so midges are still in evidence. Callibaetis are just starting. Try dropping a size 14 red or black midge larvae below a strike indicator, kick back and enjoy the scenery of the West Rosebud canyon.
All the usual suspects are working on the Big Horn: red worms, orange and tan scuds, tiny dark nymphs like a skinny Nelson or pheasant tail in size 18 or 20. Egg patterns and midge larvae are also working.
I just got back from a week on the North Platte at Casper, Wy. The fishing was excellent, with trout in the 18-20 inch range ready to play. We spent most of our time nymphing, but our biggest fish came on streamers. My favorite fish was an 18 inch rainbow taken on a size 22 midge dry. I was nymphing when I noticed a sporadic midge hatch with a few fish feeding regularly on them. I walked back to the truck and pulled out my three weight, custom built on a Loomis GLX blank. After a few drifts, the big ‘bow came up with a confident take. Fighting a large trout on a three weight is one of the most exciting angling experiences you can have. He gave me three good jumps and several long runs, but eventually came to hand. It doesn’t get any better than that!