Fishing Wind River Country
Wind River Country sports some of the best fishing in 43,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs and nearly 2,000 miles of streams fed by mountain snow melt. Try day fishing or go for the elusive golden trout on an epic backcountry trip.
Know Before You Go
You’ll need a fishing license, which are sold at most outdoor retail stores in the area. Here are the licenses offered:
- Non-Resident Annual License- $92
- Non-Resident Daily Pass- $14
- Annual Non-Resident Youth Pass (14 to 18 years old)- $15
- Annual Resident License- $24
- Resident Daily Pass- $6
- Resident Daily Youth Pass (14 to 18 years old)- $3
Be aware of where you plan to fish. If you plan to fish on the Wind River Indian Reservation you need a different permit. When you go to get your license, ask about the special fishing permit needed for the Reservation.
Wind River Experience
I’m never surprised when I hear someone spent their weekend fishing in Wind River Country. No matter the time of year, if you want, you can fish.
Most recreation enthusiasts are lured to Wind River Country by the mountains and rivers that share the name. Fishermen and women are no exception.
The Wind River Mountains boast incredible rugged scenery, complete with high mountain lakes that are home to cutthroat and brook trout, along with a smattering of rainbow and brown trout and grayling, Kevin Johnson, the regional fisheries supervisor with the Wyoming Game and Fish told me.
But it is usually the golden trout that people seek. Named for its coloring, golden with swaths of reds or pinks, the fish exist in few areas. They thrive in the high elevation backcountry lakes of the Wind River Mountains, which is one of the premier places for fishing golden trout in the United States, Johnson said.
Even those not specifically seek goldens are drawn to the alpine lakes of the Wind River Mountains. The scenery is stunning – walls of granite and trails that wind seemingly forever into the horizon. There’s the challenge of navigating difficult terrain for miles. And then, there is the reward of excellent fishing and, depending on where you go, a chance for solitude, peace and a fishing spot to yourself.
But don’t worry if you aren’t feeling up to a wilderness adventure. There are plenty of other fishing opportunities that don’t take quite as much effort, but still yield rewards.
There are public easements in the Dubois area, near the highway. Dubois is also the only place in Wind River Country where you can find Wyoming’s native Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Near Lander there is public fishing on the North and Middle Forks of the Popo Agie River. Actually there is access across the area. Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Fishing Guide provides information on access on dozens of lakes, reservoirs, stream and rivers in the area.
When the water is high and not conducive to fishing on the river, visit some of the lakes easily accessible from the Loop Road. The loop runs up the switchbacks at the end of Sinks Canyon outside of Lander to Highway 28 (or you can drive it in reverse). Fiddlers, Frye and Louis Lakes provide ample fishing opportunities, as well as campgrounds, a perfect combination of an outdoor experience without an arduous hike.
Boysen Reservoir, where you can catch walleye, sauger, perch, crappie, ling, largemouth bass, bluegill, stonecat, black bullhead, mountain whitefish, lake, brook, cutthroat and brown trout and splake as well as several non-game species, is as you can imagine after that diverse list of fish, known for its fishing. Several state-record fish have been caught in the reservoir and you can buy bait, food and fishing licenses at the concessions and marina at the north end of the lake. The fishing doesn’t end on Boysen when it gets cold.
In the winter I’ll see the shacks set up on Boysen Reservoir where the truly dedicated take advantage of the area’s first-rate ice fishing. The season starts when the water freezes, which usually begins in December and starts to thaw in March. And the cycle of year-round fishing continues.
Businesses & Packages
- Custom jet boat, drift boat and walk/wade fishing trips to anglers of all abilities.
- Located in Dubois. Pack trips and a luxurious base camp in the Shoshone National Forest specializing in riding, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Drop trips, hunting and custom trips available.Packages
Valid From 07/15/2018 to 07/19/2018Make the most of your summer break by filling it with many activities- all from the one vacation spot. The Dunoir Valley in the Shoshone National Forest, Dubois is a beautiful glaciated volcanic valley offering challenging hikes, meandering strolls, varied riding, fishing, and photography. The surrounding lakes and streams are good for cutthroat and brook trout fishing. Our pack trips offer all this plus delicious meals, comfortable camping, skilled guides, safe horses/tack and a fun unforgettable experience. All for a great price and all in one package! $1,580 per person. 5 days/ 4 nights. Book before February 1st and receive $80 off per person. Photo: Sarah WoltmanFor the trip to depart there needs to be a minimum of three guests.
Valid From 08/27/2018 to 08/31/2018Join Heath for some fantastic fishing in the beautiful Simpson Lake area on this great pack trip. The northern Wind River Range is fabulous country and the fly-fishing in the lakes is a treat. There will be the opportunity to fish the lake itself and other surrounding fisheries. The fishing is world renowned-fly-fishing or spin-casting. Brookies, Rainbows, Cutthroat Trout and Grayling all inhabit these healthy, pristine waters. We will take day rides or hikes to nearby lakes like Lost Lake, Sandra Lake, Pinto Lake and Rim Lake. The fishing will keep you busy and the scenery awestruck. Come enjoy these wonderful wild lands and water with us. Trip cost includes all meals, tent accommodations, riding, taxes and gratuities. Group bookings of three or more will receive $100 off per person. Photo by Steven Brutger
Valid From 07/08/2018 to 07/12/2018This is a special ladies trip into the beautiful Shoshone National Forest in Dubois Wyoming, staying at our comfortable base camp. We will gather as a small group to explore the serenity of the land, the quiet wisdom of horses, and daily movement and meditation practices tailored to create ease in body and mind. All levels of experience in yoga/meditation and horse riding are welcome. $1,700 per guest. All inclusive of meals, riding, yoga, tent accomodations, staff and taxes. Group bookings of three or more receive $100 off per guest. Photo by Meredith HardwickLadies trip only
- Hunting, fishing and pack trips in the Fitzpatrick Wilderness. Drop trips for climbers and backpackers into Gannett Peak.
- Hunting camp in Wind River Range. Fishing, drop pack trips.
- Dogsledding tours.
- Guided service includes wade and alpine fishing from a motor or drift boat. Fly fishing instruction for all levels of experience.
- Float or wade along the Big Horn, Snake and Wind River. Professional fly fishing guide service. Catch and release fishing.
- Half or full-day guided wade fishing trips in the Lander area. 3 & 5 day overnight pack trips available.
- Operates in the Wind River Range, Absaroka Range, and the Red Desert. Fly-fishing, low impact camping, family fun. Wilderness camping, and hunting for guided and unguided trips. Permitted by the USFS. Llama rentals.
- The only permitted base camp on the glacier trail located in the Fitzspatrick Wilderness. Weekly guided horsepacking trips July-Oct. This area is famous for Gannett Peak, the highest peak in Wyoming.
- Specializing in fly fishing trips. Horseback riding and ATV's can also be arranged.
- Licensed and insured Wyoming outfitting service offering experienced professional fishing and hunting guides, as well as certified mountain guides, for the back country traveler looking for sport or adventure. Drop trips. Rentals- horses, complete camps, wall tents, stoves, cooking gear.
- Guided fly fishing in the Wind River Range. Day trips or 3-10 day trips available. Golden Trout specialty.
- Day or overnight pack trips into the Absarokas and Wind River Mountains. Remote Golden Trout trips.
- Wind River Backcountry OutfittersHorsepacking into the Absaroka mountains, fishing and fall hunting. Drop trips. Day horseback rides.
- Whitewater rafting and guided fishing trips.
- Private and customizable instructional climbing courses at the base of the Wind River Range.
- Located at The Black Bear Inn. Guided morning half-day and full day wade trips, evening wade and a golden trout package. Daily afternoon free fly casting lessons (5pm).
- Fishing trips for anglers of all abilities with experienced guides. Walk and wade tours in the Wind River & North Fork rivers and below Boysen Reservoir.
- Cover the same ground as the pioneers in a wagon, on a horse, or both. Access to historical landmarks. Rent horses by the week for re-enactments, movies, outfitters, ranches, hunters, rodeos, etc.