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Old 05-28-2013, 07:49 PM
countr21 countr21 is offline
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Default Re: Fishing the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming

I've backpacked into the high lakes of the Bighorns twice. It's a pretty nice range for hiking and fishing but in my two trips I found heavy traffic, even at some of the better off trail lakes. The Bighorns are the closest range to the Midwest and the folks from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, etc come in droves during the summer. I won't pinpoint my best lakes but there are some very nice cutthroat and rainbow lakes to be fished.

And again, I recommend you explore the off trail lakes. My best trip came when I hiked out of the Circle Park trailhead. I quickly came upon Sherd Lake which had about 5-6 other anglers with children everywhere. I quickly caught a 10" cutthroat on a dry fly and got back on the trail. I found great camping at Old Crow Lake, which has small brookies and from there did day hikes to some surrounding off trail lakes. At one I found awesome rainbows up to 18". To get to the lake you must walk up a brutal boulder field for a mile, but the rainbows are worth it. Even at this lake I found another group of anglers that were also camped below at Old Crow even though I never saw them there. At another set of off-trail lakes in the Old Crow vicinity, I went searching for goldens but only caught rainbow and cuttbow hybrids. And again, I saw another angler on the off trail hike to the lake. We shared info on the trail. I pointed out the awesome rainbow lake and he gave me some nice dry flies he had tied.

The major creek that drains that area looked to have nice habitat for trout, but I was there in June during peak runoff so I did not fish it. But I did have to attempt an extremely terrifying and screaming cold crossing of it.

Just take a few trips and go exploring. You are bound to find some nice fish around. Be warned that even some of the regular mapped trails are not maintained.......bring a compass and good topos. I've had to navigate my way around a little after losing the trail a handful of times.
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