Your Mountain West Summer Fishing Guide

You’ll find world-renowned fishing locations in the mountains of Montana and Wyoming all the way south into New Mexico. How about prepping for summer fishing trips? See why tourists come from around the world for immersion in our western mountain fishing culture.

Whether you own a fishing ranch or want to invest in one, glance here at summer fishing trips in the Rocky Mountains. Take these treks to bring in at least 7 kinds of trout. We’ll even throw in a few bass fishing tips at the end. Always remember, our fishing shops in these areas have the gear and a few of their own unique fly fishing tips.

Fly Fishing – Montana

Let’s get started with Central Montana fly fishing. The “50 mile riffle” called the Madison River and its environs like Hebgen Lake and the areas below Quake Lake. For real adventures, go for trophy rainbow and brown trout in Bear Trap Canyon where impressive caddis and spinner hatches abound. Try the Rubber Legged Stone, bead head Prince Nymph, Salmon Flies, and Stimulator Patterns.

Advanced anglers will enjoy the Yellowstone River and its plethora of fish, massive amounts of water, and strong currents. A guide and a boat would be smart. For the cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout, bring larger streamers, Caddis, Salmon fly, terrestrial flies plus a 6 weight fly rod with a floating weigh forward line. Make it unforgettable by floating the Yellowstone through beautiful Paradise Valley, Gardiner to Livingston.

Then head east to Natural Bridge in Big Timber and wade the Boulder River. It flows out of the Beartooth Mountains and Yellowstone River. Pockets, riffles, and pools will be yours along with rainbow and brown trout. Proven flies in the fast water with pockets: Pheasant Tail and Prince Nymphs, drifting a nymph with a 4-weight, 10 foot fly rod.

The shallow and warmer Missouri River is the fourth largest river in the world. Take a float trip and watch the insects feeding its 4,000 fish per mile. Here for the 17 to 20 inch fish try a 6-weight with a bead head Hare’s Ear Nymphs, Sow Bugs, or Zebra Midges.

Fishing in Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park features lakes, clear streams, and wilderness with meadows, steep canyons, and the alkaline geothermal geysers. With determination, you’ll find cutthroat, brown, brook, rainbow, and lake trout as well as native mountain whitefish and grayling. Frequent hatches make it a favorite.

The Snake River watershed in Jackson Hole gives anglers abundant fishing nooks and wading places to catch fine-spotted cutthroat and brown trout. Near Jackson are several beginner spots. Off Highway 191, the Hoback River offers easy access. The nearby Gros Ventre River is quieter. Fishing’s good mid-summer through October and the scenery unsurpassed in the Grand Teton National Park.

The Upper Green River and New Fork in the ranching town of Pinedale lies at the foot of renowned Wind River Mountains. Find excellent drift boat fishing and wading, and bank casting nooks. Upper Green is large and features riffles, runs, pocket water, and pools. Experienced anglers often head to the New Fork. Fish species found in the Pinedale area include native Colorado cutthroat and mountain whitefish, as well as brown, golden, rainbow, brook, and lake trout. The nearby Wind River Range features 13,000-foot peaks, high-elevation lakes, beautiful streams, and wild rivers best early and late in the season.

In north-central Wyoming, the Tongue River, a Yellowstone River tributary flows through the Bighorn Mountains. West of Sheridan, the beautiful setting provides unparalleled fishing for any ability. Take Bighorn Scenic Byway. Pocket water, runs, and pools—with biggest fish in the North Tongue.

Also visit the Big Laramie and Little Laramie, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Bighorn River, Thermopolis, Two Ocean Creek, Teton Wilderness, Bighorn River, and North Platte River. You’ll never tire of the fishing in Wyoming. There are more than 22 species of gamefish. Catch all four native subspecies and earn a Cutt-Slam certificate from Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Fly Fishing Guide – Colorado

Conquer western Colorado lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Use this fly fishing guide Colorado to encourage yourself to hook up with a fishing outfitter for unlimited experiences. You’ll need a Colorado fishing license. lists these favorite spots, several are gold medal waters.

1. Upper Arkansas River. Near Leadville and east to Cañon City, the Arkansas River drops nearly 5,000 feet from sub-alpine meadows through rocky canyons and irrigated hayfields before entering Bighorn Sheep Canyon, a prime fly fishing destination for brown trout and rainbows.

2. Blue Mesa Reservoir. In 1995, Blue Mesa Reservoir was created from the Gunnison River. It features almost a hundred miles of shoreline and deep-waters accessible by boat. Lake trout, brown trout, rainbow, and brook trout live here.

3. Animas River. The gold medal waters of the Animas River from Durango to the New Mexico border supports rainbow and brown trout 14–18 inches in length.

4. Grand Mesa Lakes include over 100 natural lakes and reservoirs with pristine alpine water.

5. Gunnison River in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area asks for nymphs to lure the trophy trout. Bring a large net for the area between Crystal Dam and the North Fork. Rainbow trout and brown trout. Also visit Steamboat Lake State Park and Trappers Lake before heading to Utah.

Fly Fishing – Utah

The Green River in Utah is well known but the Weber River is quieter and slippery, to boot. Wear your felt bottoms. The middle and lower sections of the Weber through National Forest allow public access. Suggest Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, and Chernobyls with a 5-weight, floating and weight forward line along with 5x tippet.

Logan River, a Blue Ribbon trout stream in northern Utah features with pockets, riffles, and beautiful pools in picturesque landscapes. Brown, rainbow, brook, and cutthroat trout can be lured, especially on the Lower Logan near Cutler Reservoir. With a 4 or 5 weight, cast a light tippet–Trico’s, Royal Wulff’s, Prince Nymphs, and Humpy’s.

New Mexico Fly Fishing

Largemouth bass fishing starts early in the Southwest when waters are cooler and the fish rise. Get to the San Juan River. It is one of the coldest tailwaters in the USA. Waters do warm during summer slowing down the healthy 18-20 inch brown and rainbow trout. Fishing tips: Float along the Upper Flats and the Texas Hole. Try Wooly Buggers, Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tail nymphs, and caddis flies. Use a weight forward line balanced to a 5 or 6-weight fly rod. Be flexible with your setup.

Also, fish Elephant Butte, Conchas Lake and Ute Lake. Bass fishing tips: Go to coves and canyons with small creeks and streams that flow to the lake. Fish close to shore around the flooded vegetation for gizzard shad, green sunfish and bluegills. Use watermelon or smoke plastics and Fire Tiger Cranks.

In conclusion, the Mountain West offers almost unlimited summer fishing locations. We’ve mentioned a sampling, hopefully enough to get you out fishing new waters. Float or wade into the tranquility of clear water and wonderful scenery in 2022.

Ranch Brokers – Harrigan Land Co.

Harrigan Land Company knows flyfishing territory in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana. If you are interested in recreational properties or ranches near lakes and rivers in the Rocky Mountains, call us at (303) 908-1101.

We have over 30 years of experience throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and New Mexico. We know these states well, including some “undiscovered” places. We are offering best hunting ranches for sale along with other premier properties
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