Worm, lure, or fly — Albany County’s rivers, lakes, and ponds are brimming with excitement for anglers of all abilities. Trout are a local favorite and the Big and Little Laramie Rivers are abundant with Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown, and Brookies. Stop in at one of Laramie’s bait shops or fly fishing stores to schedule a float down the North Platte River, Laramie River, Little Laramie River, Lakes in the Medicine Bow National Forest, and the Laramie Plains Lakes.
Jelm is located just south of Highway 230, past Woods Landing on State Highway 10, 30 miles west of Laramie. Varied topography, including a small canyon, provides a wider range of fishing than the pasture land closer to town. Pocket water, undercut banks and abundant riffles characterize this section. Fishing is best from mid-May through early July and again in the fall. Many locals consider this the most beautiful public stretch of the Big Laramie River.
West of Laramie, Highway 130, also known as the Snowy Range Road, travels through Medicine Bow National Forest for 30 miles. This scenic drive passes countless alpine lakes and streams before crossing 10,847 ft. Snowy Range Pass, descending into the small town of Saratoga and meeting Interstate-80 at Walcott Junction.
Twin Lakes, North and South Gap, Bear Lake, the Shelf Lakes, Libby Lake, and Lewis Lake are all popular destinations for the serious angler. Rob Roy Reservoir, Lake Owen, and Turpin Reservoir have cement boat ramps and allow boats with combustion motors.
A short walk from the main highway will also reveal hidden gems. Longer walks transport the visitor to fishing nirvana; as with life, the more you put into your experience the more you get out of it. Pack a lunch and plan to spend the whole day discovering your own favorite fishing hole.
The alkaline Laramie Plains Lakes are known for abundant fish food and howling wind. These fertile waters support scud, caddis, damselflies, dragonflies, callibaetis, and chironomids, which in turn support enormous healthy trout. Fish are most abundant from early spring, right after ice-out, through mid-summer, and again in the fall.
Spring and fall are the windiest seasons on the Laramie Plains, but the wind can blow any day of the year. Sometimes the worst weather provides the best fishing, so be ready to gear up and step into adventure. Bring a 7-weight rod to help combat the powerful winds and be prepared to come home with exciting tales of battling the elements and the fish!