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Wyoming Rivers: - Encampment River
Fishing Wyoming's Encampment River

Article  by Ben Arellano of Angler Guide

The Encampment River begins in Colorado, and flows northwesterly through the Sierra Madre Mountains into the North Platte. Much of the river flows thru BLM or Medicine Bow National Forest land and partly Encampment River Wilderness. Wyoming's smallest Wilderness, approximately 16 square miles, is a strip less than one mile wide in the southern portion that widens to about five miles near the northern boundary. Throughout the canyon, the river runs from wild rapids to peacefully placid stretches, and is home to brook, rainbow, and brown trout (the fishing can be worth the hike). Sagebrush grows on the open slopes, and the canyon is full of riparian vegetation.

The Encampment River Trail runs the length of this narrow, rugged river canyon and is one of the main attractions of the Wilderness. The lower five miles are relatively easy to hike, although the terrain becomes increasingly difficult in the remaining 10 upper miles. The trail receives moderate use by hikers. Along the way you'll pass ruins of old cabins and mining operations. You may see members of a large wildlife population: mule deer, elk, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. The river runs wildly over rocks, creating rapids that only expert kayakers dare to attempt.

 Fishing the Encampment is rewarding, but can be difficult as many holding areas requires some extensive hiking. The river varies from about 20 to 40 feet in width and is not too deep. In late spring and early summer the lower section of the river is floatable. The remainder of the year the Encampment can be fished with hip waders.

Access: There are several access area available, however a majority of the anglers will elect to use two the first being at the south end, which allows you to fish the upper stretches of the river in Medicine Bow National Forest. This area can be reached by leaving Riverside and traveling west on WY Hwy 70 to Forest Road 550. This access is near Hog Park Reservoir. The second access is at the north end, very close to the town of Encampment. This part of the river is on BLM land, and there is a BLM campground close to the river.

Overall the Encampment River provides some good brown and rainbow fishing in an remote and peaceful wilderness environment.  

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