What an amazing Spring this was on the North Platte River! For all who fished the river this Spring, you know Grey Reef, Fremont Canyon and the Miracle Mile are truly special places.
No where else in the United States does such a fishery exist. Many clients who fished with us this Spring have spent a great deal of time in Alaska and all would agree that the North Platte River rivals Alaska. Let’s just say it was really tough leaving this Spring!
Now that Summer is around the corner, a lot of people have been asking how the river fishes through the hot months. The answer is the N. Platte fishes well 365. Here is what you need to know about Grey Reef, Fremont and the Miracle Mile this summer.
The upper section (Reef to Lusby) will remain steady through July before the weeds really start to grow. Once the weeds get bad, it’s tough to fish. That being said, we generally switch our focus to the Lower river. Bessemmer Bend to Robertson Rd is one of my favorite summer floats. Wade fishing around the dam, Government Bridge and the Trappers Rout accesses are all solid wade fishing accesses. If flows stay around 3,500 (they probably won’t) then this could be a great hopper year. Unlike last season, the hoppers have already grown up big this year. Expect the leach bite to pick up in the Middle of June and remain steady on the entire river until fall and beyond.
Fish stopped spawning in early May yet plenty (thousands) of fish have decided to hang around the Mile post spawn in the Chalk Bluffs area. These are hard fighting healthy rainbows averaging 19″ with plenty of bigger fish around. I’d imagine a good amount of these fish will eventually make there way back to the lake but it won’t be void of fish anytime soon. The canyon section will fish well through the summer and offers anglers the best oppurtunity at dry fly action on adult golden stones through June. This is all public, easy to read water and a must do trip if you have never fished the mile.
Flows should come down to around 500-1,000 (possibly lower) in Fremont which will keep people away yet still makes reaching the main channel where fish sit manageable. Lot’s of big fish that I have always found willing to eat big fun dries. Amy’s Ant & mice can make for some exiting afternoons and evenings. If you want to stick with the norm, nymphing a red annelid with whatever the fly of the day is behind it (soft hackle PT #16-20), will keep the rods bent.
North Platte Summer Hatches
Caddis are already around should linger through summer, PMD’s, Yellow Sallies beginning in June. Trico are thick and like clockwork from the beginning of July all the way through September. Look for adult Golden Stones on the Mile through June.
Summer Flies to Have for the Grey Reef, Miracle Mile & Fremont Canyon
Point Flies: Brown & Black Hothead & Pine Squirrel Leeches, #10-16 annelids, #10-14 Purple San Juan Worms, #6-10 Rubberlegs
Trailer Flies: #14-18 Mercer’s Golden Stone, #14-18 Tungstones, #16-18 Juju PMD, #18-20 Black RS2’s, 16-20Soft Hackle PT
Streamers: Intruders in White, Black, Purple & Olive, Olive Pick Pockets, Black String Leaches, Rusty Brown Gongas
Dry Flies: #10-12 Puturbaughs Golden Stone, #14-18 Yellow Sally Stimulators, #14-18 Puturbaughs foam Caddis (yellow & black), #18-22 Black Parachute Adams, #18-20 Trico Spinners, #16-18 Rusty Spinners, #8-12 Amy’s Ant.