As our 2018 season come to a close, we’ve seen exceptional late season fishing conditions on the North Platte, the Encampment, and all of their major tributaries. The summer heat is gone, leaves have change from green to vibrant yellow, and autumn fishing has truly arrived. Gorgeous fall weather through the first three weeks of October brought stronger flows back to our fishers and with nightly air temperatures dropping below freezing, our water temperatures remain cool and fishable all day long. Brown Trout are in full spawning mode at the moment and can be found paired-up on “reds” throughout the shallow gravel bars in our rivers. We make a specific effort to leave these spawning fish alone, however the Rainbow Trout lined up behind a spawning pair of Browns eating free-floating eggs are easy targets for a well presented nymph rig. As quickly as summer falls into autumn, winter replaces fall. Late October has brought considerable snowfall to the high-country, even with some decent accumulation here at the Sportsmen’s Club. Small ice shelves form on the river banks each night and break free in the mid-day sunlight. Fish remain territorial from spawning season, so when nymph rigs are not producing, big streamers have been successful in getting large trout to move from their feeding lanes or under cut-banks.
Our freestone fisheries will likely remain open and fishable throughout November until snow and ice freeze the rivers in December. Small pockets of fishable water may remain where there are spring creek confluences or if we happen to have some “warm” winter days. However, the vast majority of our fly fishing options are in hibernation until next spring’s float season when rivers open back up. We’re hoping for good snowpack levels in our neighboring mountains this winter to be able to feed out fisheries throughout next summer. We hope to see you then! – Updated October 2018