Shore fishing picks up as ice clears off


By IKE FREDREGILL


With the ice beginning to melt, it’s time to put away the augur and dust off your fly rod.
Through the beauty of social media, Wyomingites can watch as the world thaws, flowers sprout and parents get creative with hiding Easter eggs, rather than simply burying them in a snow bank.
For the longest time, I thought we painted the eggs to make them easier to find in the snow.
So it is around these parts.
While the garden patch is still frozen over, the snow line is receding, the lake ice is starting to clear off and fishing is great way to cure cabin fever.
Rather than wasting an afternoon driving around to see which of your favorite fishing holes are open, both the West Laramie Fly Shop and Four Seasons Anglers offer online fishing reports.
At West Laramie, store clerk and Two Dogs Guide Service manager, Roger Bredehoft said fishing is fair on the Plains Lakes, but access to the mountain streams is still limited.
“Twin Buttes Lake is fishable from shore, but not the boat ramp yet,” Bredehoft said. “Meeboer and Gelatt lakes are both 100 percent open. Meeboer is starting off good this year.”
Gelatt and Meeboer lakes are currently the only viable options for using a boat, but the other lakes could soon follow, he said.
“The Laramie River is starting to open up, but it is a little off color and a little high, yet,” Bredehoft said. “Rainbow trout are starting to move into streams for spawning, but they haven’t started spawning yet. And, fish are starting to cruise the shores.”
While the ice is still thick in some areas, he said ice fishing could be dangerous this late in the season.
“Our recommendation would be not to get on the ice right now,” Bredehoft said. “There’s a couple places it might support you, but I just wouldn’t recommend it right now.”
If you prefer lakes, the West Laramie fishing report lists the fishing at Crystal Reservoir, Meeboer Lake, Alsop Lake and Leazenby Lake as good, with most others reporting in at fair.
For rivers, West Laramie reported both the Big and Little Laramie rivers are accessible, but ice may still be present at some access points such as Monolith Ranch.
“Blue wing Olives are going to start coming off anytime, but that’s not a real big hatch on the Laramie,” Bredehoft said. “Insect hatches are going to be pretty minimal in the next few weeks.”
Four Seasons lists the Big Laramie River flow at 60 cubic feet per second and reports the fishing is great.
If you’re wondering what to take with you, West Laramie’s fishing report offers lists of lures, baits and flies reported to be doing well at each location.
“Most the guys and gals that work here fish, so we use a lot of their info for our updates,” Bredehoft said. “As one of the state’s largest licensing points, we talk to lots of fisherman, and they give us lots of information for our report, too.”
Four Season’s reports also offer fly and streamer suggestions as well as information about the fish population and average catch sizes.
If you’re headed out, don’t let the warmer weather fool you. Be sure to take cold weather gear with you and check the weather before you go.
If you don’t have a license for this season, several locations around town offer them including West Laramie and Four Seasons.
Share your catches with the Laramie Area Visitor Center on our Facebook page and perhaps, we’ll see you out there!