The lakes and rivers around Laramie are loaded with Cutthroat, Rainbow, Brown, and Brook Trout. From the deep runs of the Big Laramie River to the still waters of the Snowy Range and the windy abundance of the Laramie Plains Lakes, this area has something for everyone.
PUBLIC ACCESS POINTS ALONG THE BIG LARAMIE RIVER
Though much of the river is privately owned, several convenient public access points allow everyone to enjoy this angler's paradise.
Some of the best fishing in the area is just a short walk from historic downtown Laramie. Anglers report catching wild brown trout up to 20 inches long from the Greenbelt Access, just east of Interstate 80 on Snowy Range Road. The area has also been stocked with catchable rainbows. The best fishing is in late fall, right after runoff. This section of the river is slow and meandering with deep runs and undercut banks.
Monolith Ranch Access
Located six miles west of Laramie on Highway 230, the Monolith Ranch Access features flat, slow-moving water with a few deep runs. Anglers will find wild brown trout between 10 and 20 inches long and an occasional rainbow in this placid section of the Big Laramie.
Pioneer Canal Access
The Pioneer Canal Access is a half-mile walk from Highway 230, 20 miles west of Laramie. This cottonwood-lined stretch of river with long deep runs is perfect for dry fly-fishing. The eight weeks from the beginning of June to the end of July provide the best fishing for this section, which is well worth the short walk.
The Jelm Access
The Jelm Access is located just south of Highway 230, 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.
Information provided by John Blythe of Four Seasons Anglers
Medicine Bow National Forest
West of Laramie, Highway 130, the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, travels through the Medicine Bow National Forest for 30 miles. This scenic drive passes countless alpine lakes and streams before crossing the 10,847-foot 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 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.
Laramie Plains Lakes
The alkaline Laramie Plains Lakes are known for abundant fish food and abundant 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 and be prepared to come home with exciting tales of battling enormous trout!
In late summer, water temperatures can reach the mid-70s, making fishing difficult. Plan on dawn and moonlight fishing during these times of year to improve your chances of catching the big fish that love these waters.
Watercraft Inspection Requirements
Watercraft regulations exist to preserve fishing opportunities and protect Wyoming's wild waters. Any watercraft transported into Wyoming between March 1st and November 30th must undergo authorized inspection prior to launch. Any watercraft that has been in water known to host zebra or quagga mussels within the last 30 days must undergo authorized inspection prior to launch EVERY month of the year.
Forest Service Information
2468 Jackson Street Laramie, WY 82070-6535
Phone: (307) 745-2300 TDD Phone: (307) 745-2307
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in winter)
The Supervisor’s Office and Laramie Ranger District office are located in the same building.
Big Laramie River | Laramie Plains Lakes | Medicine Bow National Forest
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