The fishing opportunities in Wyoming’s Wind River Country are as varied as the species of fish. This itinerary will give you a taste of the choices, with a little breathing room to stick around and fish one more hole at your favorite spot.

Follow the Rockies to Tetons route from southeast Wyoming up to Yellowstone National Park, following your fly or lure, or leading your trolling gear as you go.

man fly-fishing Lander WY
Tie on a fly and settle into a rewarding road trip across Wind River Country. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

Boysen Reservoir and State Park/Shoshoni

Boysen Reservoir near Shoshoni provides excellent boating.
Whether you fish from the shore or bring a boat, you’ll find fish in Boysen. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

Boysen Reservoir in Boysen State Park, near Shoshoni, is well known as a fishing destination in the great state of Wyoming. It wouldn’t even be all that unusual for you to net a state record in these waters. Anglers can catch walleye, sauger, perch, crappie, ling and other species, including largemouth bass, bluegill, stonecat, black bullhead and mountain whitefish. There are also non-game species like carp, flathead, lake and creek chubs and golden and sand shiners, among others.

Whether you fish from the shore, a boat, or the ice, you’re bound to reel in something exciting.

Eat

Philly’s and Cream, Shoshoni

Sleep

Fish until you fall asleep, then wake up and fish by camping nearby at the Desert Inn RV Park and B&K Shoreline

Gear

Stock up on supplies in Riverton.

Wind River Canyon/Shoshoni

View down Wind River Canyon from a raft
Whitewater rafting in Wind River Canyon. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

There are two ways to fish Wind River Canyon: From the shore or with a guide on a raft. Because the canyon is on the Wind River Indian Reservation, a tribal fishing (trespass) license is required to fish here.

Park in one of the overlooks on this scenic byway and take the short stroll down to the shore with your rod to catch trout, specifically big browns.

Only Native American guides are allowed to operate in the Canyon, so if you’d like to float this stretch of river with a fly, call Wind River Canyon Whitewater & Fly Fishing.

Eat

Philly’s and Cream, Shoshoni

Sleep

Fish until you fall asleep, then wake up and fish by camping on Boysen State Park

Gear

Stock up in Riverton.

Louis Lake/ Shoshone National Forest, Lander

The lake trout on the Loop Road outside of Lander have been growing, and they’re primed to give you a fun fight. Get out on Louis Lake for lake trout over four pounds. You don’t have to bring a boat; you can rent one from Louis Lake Lodge.

Cutthroat Trout
Cutthroat Trout, including the Yellowstone variety, can be found in Wyoming’s Wind River Country

While you’re on the Loop Road, stop and fish some of the many creeks and streams to pick up some smaller, but equally fun, fish. There are a number of fishing guides and fly/fishing gear shops in Lander who would be happy to help make your trip a success.

Eat

Pick up a breakfast burrito at The Crux or Mr. D’s to start your morning off right. When you come back into town at the end of your adventure, grab a local microbrew at Gannett Grill or Cowfish while browsing their menus.

Sleep

If you’re camping, there are a number of campgrounds in the area, many with fishable waters nearby. If you’re looking for a hot shower and a freshly made bed, there are a number of lodging options in town.

Gear

Lander Fly Shop and Wind River Outdoor Co.

Upper Wind River/Crowheart

Father, daughter fishing
“Where did you catch it?”
“In the mouth.”

Like the Wind River Canyon, the upper Wind River near Crowheart is on the Wind River Indian Reservation, so you’ll need to secure a tribal fishing (trespass) license, if you didn’t already for Wind River Canyon. It’s always a good idea to fish with a knowledgeable guide or at least pick one’s brain before heading out, so call a permitted outfitter on the Reservation.

Eat

Grab a bite in Lander or Dubois before heading into the heart of Wind River Country. You can always pick up snacks at the Crowheart Store if you fish up an appetite.

Sleep

Sleep in Lander the night before and Dubois after departing from your Crowheart stage of the trip.

Gear

Pick up your fishing gear at the Crowheart Store.

Dubois area

fishermen near Dubois WY
Dubois fishing is varied, breathtaking, and uncrowded. Photo: Bill Sincavage

Some of the top fishing destinations in Wyoming’s Wind River Country are in Dubois, so by following this route to Yellowstone, you may have saved the best for last.

In 1948, the world record golden trout was caught in Cook Lake. The golden is an exciting and elusive trout to chase, but your luck increases when you’re in the area. You’ll also encounter rainbow, brown, and brook trout. More than a couple guides have put down roots here, for good reason. Reach out to them in advance or when you get to town for fresh fishing reports, recommendations, or some company on your quest for bites.

Eat

Pick up breakfast at Coyote Blue to start your day off, then settle into a delicious dinner at Nostalgia Bistro or, if you can’t go without pie, Cowboy Café.

Sleep

Dubois has a wide variety of places to recover after so many exciting days of fishing, ranging from camping to glamping to hotels to guest ranches.

Gear

Because fishing brings so many people—visitors and residents—to town, you have a few choices for resupplying: Cutthroat Fly Shop & Adventures, Wind River Flyfitter, and Wind River Gear.