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Already, I've heard a few anglers and hunters talk about how they plan to accommodate these added expenses without giving up something they really want to do. It's no secret the added expenses has affected most of us in our pursuits of our outdoor pastimes. Time was when I thought little of leaving my home in Cheyenne, and driving to the North Platte River 110 miles away for an evening of fly fishing. I would get there about 3 p.m., fish for five hours and drive home. Nowadays these trips are becoming fewer and fewer and are usually made with the assistance of a companion to split gas costs. The following then, are a few suggestions on some of the places you can go in Wyoming to get the most bang for your buck, fishing wise. We'll do another one later on for hunting as we approach the fall seasons.
I'm sure as I go through this, that I will miss some of the favorite spots many of you have been accustomed to, but what I'm going to suggest are destinations where you can camp and fish a variety of waters and in general, enjoy the outdoors. Gas savings will be realized by being close to a number of areas to fish and savings will also be realized by camping.
Miracle Mile Not that the Miracle Mile is any secret, but it is close to numerous waters and the camping is free. At the "Mile," you have the North Platte River flowing past the camping areas and if you want to branch out, you have the famed Gray Reef section of the Platte only 30 miles distant, a pleasant drive on a combo of a good gravel and paved road. If lake fishing is your bent, you have Pathfinder and Alcova Reservoirs to the north and Seminoe Reservoir to the south.
Saratoga area Here you have lots of camping in regular U.S. Forest Service campgrounds, at Saratoga Lake or at large camping areas in numerous places in the Medicine Bow National Forest. And after a day of fishing you can soak in the free hot springs, "Hobo Pool," in downtown Saratoga. The North Platte River runs through town and has a number of public access areas. Saratoga Lake also offers good fishing and there are numerous small streams and alpine lakes in the Snowy Range area of the Medicine Bow National Forest. A little to the south you have the Encampment River and Hog Park Reservoir, and to the West lies the relatively new High Savery Reservoir with Colorado River Cutthroat and Tiger trout.
Western Wyoming The western part of the state is also very good with numerous streams and lakes within a short driving distance of each other. Those of you seeking your cutt-slam might try the tri-basin divide area near the head of the Grey's River. In additional to spectacular scenery, there is U.S. Forest Service and at-large camping available and a number of species of cutthroat trout. The Grey's has Snake River cutthroat; Salt Creek, Smith's Fork and tributaries have Bonneville cutthroat and La Barge Creek has Colorado River cutthroat…(La Barge Creek and its tributaries were treated to remove non native fish for several years, and Colorado River cutthroat have just recently been reintroduced. It could be another year or so before these fish get to size to keep anglers happy.) But, there are Colorado River cutthroat in the small streams to the north of La Barge Creek in the Green River Drainage.
Sinks Canyon This area near Lander gets its name from the Popo Agie River that sinks into the ground and comes out at an area called the Rise. At "The Rise" fishing is closed, but a short path leads you to a viewing area where you can look into a pool and see numerous large trout that have taken refuge in this closed area of the river. There is U.S. Forest Service camping in the canyon and fishing in the Popo Agie River. If you want to head further in the mountains you can also fish at Frye Lake and Worthen Meadows reservoir. If large reservoir fishing or boating is your thing, you can drive to Boysen Reservoir near Riverton and enjoy fishing for walleye, trout and the occasional sauger. If boating and big river fishing is what you really like, you might consider camping in Boysen State Park, fishing the stretch of river just below the dam and just out of the canyon before you get to Thermopolis. (The section in Wind River Canyon is also good fishing, but a Wind River Indian Reservation fishing permit is required for this section.) Thermopolis also has a hot spring and water park area for summer enjoyment.
Big Horns There are so many areas in the Big Horn Mountains that it hard to pick just one spot. From Buffalo, you can cruise up Highway 16 and camp near and fish Meadowlark Lake. On the west side is Tensleep Creek that also offers good fishing and numerous smaller streams and lakes on top. The other main access across the Bighorns, Highway 14-14A, also has excellent fishing and camping. There are beaver ponds, the North Fork of the Tongue River and Shell Creek on the western slope.
The important thing is than any of these areas is you can make a base camp can usually be in a new spot in less than an hour's drive from your camping area. Than means you'll spend a lot more time fishing than you will in the car and save fuel costs in the process.
With these suggestions, I've only scratched the surface of places to go. For those more into boating and warm water fishing, there are numerous lowland reservoirs. There are many camping areas and lots of things to do around the towns of Cody and Jackson. Likewise Dubois and Pinedale also have an abundance of fishing and camping. All you need to do is decide what type of fishing and camping you like and then do it
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