Re: Colorado to Montana Road Trip Advice Needed
I have experience fishing north central Wyoming for warm water species. I would recomend the west side of the Bighorns. Driving from Casper to Worland to Greybull to Powell to Red Lodge to Columubus.
This will give you easy public access to rivers that contain warmwater fish, and countless smaller ponds. The downside is smallies are extremely hard to find in the Bighorn basin. The warmwater species that you can catch are going to be catfish, walleye, sauger, and carp.
The Bighorn River is going to be your best bets. The Bighorn river contains a fair number of sauger/saugeye in the 12-14" range and the occasional walleye up to 3 pounds. This is definitely not a trophy fishery for walleye. There are nice catfish though. Bring the two heaviest duty rods you have, rig them up with a ton of weight and some nightcrawlers, and just let the bait sit on the bottom while you and your son fish streamers for the walleye.
There are 3-4 well marked Bighorn River public accesses for warmwater fishing on the highway between Worland and Greybull, and a few other public access points that are not so well marked. I mainly fish inside Greybull city limits though. There is good public access the entire length of town, and just outside of town on the north side. When the fishing is good you will see a few other groups of fisherman, this certainly is not a secret spot, although it can be fun.
The shoshone river, shell creek, greybull river, nowood river, all contain warmwater species in their very lower reaches. Greybull, nowood, and shell are mostly private and are off the path for you. The shoshone will be right along your drive, and you will be going over public access, I am sure there are fish in there, but I have never fished the Shoshone for warmwater species.
Feel free to send me a PM closer to your trip, I can give you the location of an access or two.
I lived in Sheridan and Gillette for a much longer time than I lived in the Bighorn Basin, but for warmwater fishing the Bighorn basin has northeast part of the state beaten hands down.