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Old 05-27-2013, 05:52 PM
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Default Fishing the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming

Hi there. I am new to this site and am probably resurrecting an old thread but I was unable to find it.

I have recently moved to Sheridan, Wyoming and am really excited to explore the Bighorns and all of the fishing that they have to offer. I have hit the Bighorn River a few times already and had a great time, but I want to get away from the crowds and into the mountains some. I was hoping that someone could help me out with some great fishing spots in the Bighorns. I'd be interested in both lakes or streams. Preferably on the Sheridan side (HWY 14 or 14A), but would also be willing to make the drive over to the Buffalo/Ten Sleep side. I am not opposed to significant overnight hiking, but some quick hikes that I could be in and out in a day would also be nice too.

I've heard some whispers about Goldens being sprinkled around and would love to find them out.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Fishing the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming

Check out the N. Fork of the Tongue River. Nice little river full of bows, browns, and cutties.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Fishing the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming

Thanks SD. That seems to be a solid location that I keep hearing. I will try it out for sure. I'd love to get into some of these mountain lakes as well.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:49 PM
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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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