Sportfishing in Wyoming, USA

Province/state: Wyoming
Country: United States

About Wyoming Sportfishing:

Boasting over 27,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4200 lakes and 14 fishable reservoirs, Wyoming offers unparalleled fishing opportunities. From the High Plains in the east, to peaks and rangelands of the Rocky Mountains in the West, Wyoming also offers an incredible range of landscapes, and fishing experiences. The range of fish species is incredible: trout, bass, walleye, catfish, salmon, whitefish, and both freshwater fishing and ice fishing are available. In the winter, there’s even ice fishing. Bring your own axe!

What to Catch:

Man holding rainbow trout, Wyoming

  • Trout (Cutthroat, Rainbox, Brown, Brook and Lake Trout): can be found in the Green, Snake and North Platte Rivers. Rainbow Trout will typically be between 10 and 15 inches, though the more elusive Brown Trout are generally 12 to 18 inches. Cutthroat (or Colorado River Cuthroat), known for their striking colors, typically range between 9 to 16 inches. Brook Trout, usually found in high-altitude streams, range from 8 to 12 inches.Lake Trout are usually found in deeper lakes like the Flaming George Reservoir and Jackson Lake and can reach as much as 50 inches.
  • Bass (Largemouth, Smallmouth): Largemouth Bass can be found in warmer lakes and reservoirs, like the Boyson and Keyhole Reservoirs and typically range from 12 to 18 inches in length – though they can reach 20 inches! As predators, they favor areas with plenty of cover: submerged logs, dense weed beds. Smallmouth Bass can be found in cooler, cleaner waters like the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Will often leap out of the water when hooked! Typically measure 10 to 15 inches.
  • Catfish: Common in the North Platte River and the Glendo Reservoir, they generally range from 15 to 20 inches, though some big boys exceed 30 inches. Night fishing for catfish can be particularly rewarding, as catfish are more active when it is cooler out.
  • Pike and Walleye: Northern Pike, a bony fish that can also be delicious if filleted correctly, can be found in some lakes and reservoirs – though not all. However the Walleye is common in reservoirs like the Boysen and the Colorado.
  • Kokanee Salmon: Kokanee Salmon – cousin to the seagoing Sockeye Salmon – swim in deep cool water, like that found in the Flaming Gorge and Alcova Reservoirs. While not as common as other fish, there’s nothing like hooking a good salmon, saltwater or fresh!
  • Whitefish: Whitefish can be found in cold, clear rivers like the Snake and the Green. Slender fish, typically in the 10 to 16 inch range, they are perhaps more difficult to fish than some of the above. Fly fishing, using small nymphs or wet flies is recommended.

Types of Fishing Available in Wyoming:


  • Fly Fishing: Popular in streams, rivers, and some lakes.
  • Broadcasting and Spinning: Suitable for various fish species in lakes and reservoirs. Commonly used for bass, walleye and pike.
  • Ice Fishing: Popular in spots like the Keyhole Reservoir and Lake Hattie, where anglers can find Trout, Walleye and Perch. Will need an augur to drill through the ice, as well as portable shelter to keep out the cold. Jigging is a popular and effective method, using small lures or jigs, often tipped with bait.

Prime Fishing Locations in Wyoming:

Man fly fishing, river Wyoming

Wyoming has so many attractive fishing spots they probably deserve a book – and I’m sure many have been written! Generally, Wyoming can be divided between the plains of the eastern half of the state, the foothills and mountains of the Rockies in the west. Here are a few highlights:

Laramie Plains Lakes in southeast Wyoming (including the Hattie and Twin Buttes Lakes) are great for Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat Trout. The Alcova Reservoir lies on the North Platte River in Central Wyoming is known for fly fishing, and large Rainbow Trout. The Flaming George Reservoir: in Southeast Wyoming, is renowned for its Trout and Kokanee Salmon. Yellowstone Lake, in the Northwest, located in the iconic Yellowstone National Park, is known for Cutthroat Trout. The Glendo Reservoir in east-central Wyoming, offers Walleye and Catfish. The Snake River offers excellent trout fishing in scenic surroundings while the Green River is known for its brown and rainbow trout. The Boysen Reservoir is popular for walleye and perch.

Wyoming has excellent fishing year-round (assuming you can dress up for winter – at least it’s a ‘dry’ winter). Spring and early summer are ideal for most species, with cooler water temperatures and active fish. Rainbow Trout begin their spawning runs in the spring on the North Platte and Bighorn Rivers. Summers brings longer days and warmer waters: Bass, Walleye and Perch become more active. Fall is perfect for Brown and Brook Trout, particularly below Casper. Mid-October is often the best for trophy-size fish.

Wyoming also hosts various fishing tournaments, all through the year. Events are listed on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website (WGFD), and cover everything from fly fishing competitions to ice fishing derbies.

Wyoming Fishing Licenses

All anglers must have a valid fishing license to fish in Wyoming. Anglers under 14 can fish without a license, so long as they are accompanied by a licensed adult. Licenses can be purchased online through the WGFD’s website

Wyoming Fishing Limits

Wyoming enforces bag and size limits, depending on the species and location. Some areas are subject to special fishing regulations or are designed as restricted zones. These may include only catch-and-release, areas where only artificial lures and flies are allowed, or seasonal closures. 

Discover the Wild


Man fly-fishing in river with Flat-Top Mountain in background, Wyoming

Wyoming is much more than just fishing, as great as the fishing is! The ‘Cowboy State’ is home to everything from the iconic Grand Teton Mountains to the sweeping plains of the Great Divide Basin, and hot springs of Yellowknife National Park. Bison, elk and eagles can be found throughout the state, and the state features many walking and hiking trails, and offers opportunities from everything from horse-riding to camping, all under the vast Wyoming sky. Other wildlife include Black and Grizzly Bears, Gray Wolves, Deer, Moose, Pronghorns (the fastest land animal in North America – capable of sprinting up to 60 miles an hour!), Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Lions, Beavers, and Coyotes. A truly wondrous place.

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