Go Fish: Discover Your Favorite Fishing Spot in Northwest Wyoming | Big Horn Basin Media

Go Fish: Discover Your Favorite Fishing Spot in Northwest Wyoming

Written by on June 28, 2023

Wyoming is known for its’ picturesque landscapes, amazing wildlife, and top notch fishing.

Wyoming is blessed with incredible fishing opportunities, and the Bighorn Basin is no exception. Whether you are looking for a well known fishing hole or a remote location to call your new favorite “secret” fishing spot, there is so many options to choose from.

We recently reached out to Sam Hochhalter, the Regional Fisheries Supervisor from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, for information on the best places to fish in Northwest Wyoming. “For those looking for a remote, ‘secret’ fishing spot, my advice is get out and explore,” said Hochhalter.

Avid fishermen tend to safe guard their favorite fishing spots, but taking the time to discover your own special fishing spot is half the fun. The memories made discovering a backcountry fishing spot are priceless and taking the time to explore the outdoors to find one makes it even more special.

But if you are new to the area or new to fishing, you may not know where to go. Hochhalter shared with us a list of areas that have been known for great fishing to help you get started.

Photo by Mac Watson

Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River

This area is a big river drainage.  Its headwaters begin near Cooke City, MT and venture through the town of Clark and hold  decades worth of exploration. Hochhalter says, “It’s generally a nutrient poor system which contributes to long sections of streams with low trout density.”  Rest assured that this area is worth the time and energy. “There are locations where the scenery and fishing are worth the time invested to find them,” said Hochhalter.

Paintrock Creek 

Flowing from the Bighorn Mountains, this drainage is much smaller in comparison to the Clarks Fork.  When you explore into this area, there are dozens of lakes and tributaries. Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path or you can stick to the trails. No matter your path, you will like find plenty of wide open spaces and plenty of hungry trout.

Photo by Mac Watson

South of Tensleep 

Between Tensleep to Lysite lies what Hochhalter calls “the quintessential Wyoming”. For as far as you can see there are rolling sagebrush hills, breathtaking geology, more cattle than people, and you guessed it, excellent fishing. Fair warning, accessing public land in this area can be tricky, but the fish that can be caught in the area are worth the challenge.

Absaroka Mountain Streams 

The Absaroka Mountains have an abundance of creeks, with many of them home to trout. Across this incredible mountain range are streams that offer some of the best summer fishing this side of Yellowstone National Park.  You’ll need to wear some comfortable hiking boots because you will need to cover some ground to find these fishing honey holes.

No matter which direction you decide to head, there is an abundance of high quality fishing throughout the state. When ever you venture into the Wyoming backcountry, remember to be prepared. Always bring plenty of food and water, pack bear spray just in case, and remember to leave nothing behind on your adventure.

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