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 Post subject: Big Horn in Wyoming?
PostPosted: April 16th, 2019, 3:39 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5449
Location: Manchester, ME
Anyone fished it? Just booked my September western trip. September 11-21. We try to mix up "the usual" inside the park with something new every year. This year a TU colleague suggested the most genetically intact Yellowstone cutts are in the Grey Bull River, a trib of the upper Big Horn. I've got 5 days in Meeteetse WY, south of Cody. The Grey Bull and the Wood are there, but nearby are the Big Horn, and its headwaters the Wind River. There is a big hot spring and state park with dinosaur fossils in Thermopolis, which is in day trip range of where we are staying and looks to be ground zero for fishing the upper Big Horn and for floating Wind River Canyon. If anyone has fished this area, post here or shoot me a PM.

Looks a lot quieter than inside the park, and we'll spend most of our time up on the small water in the Absarokas, but might try to squeeze in some time on the Big Horn.

After that I can put in my time with the crowds on the Lamar, Slough, and Soda Butte. I found a new meadow section of Soda Butte to explore last year that's a little farther from the road and therefore off the radar screen of the folding chair crowd. I found plenty of fish last year, through they were smaller than in the more popular sections. It needs further exploring to confirm . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Big Horn in Wyoming?
PostPosted: April 17th, 2019, 8:48 am 
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Joined: May 14th, 2008, 6:49 am
Posts: 114
Location: Winthrop
Well, I'll talk to you about it.
We have passed through all the locations you are planning on going except the Big Horn.

The water looks excellent. Access is the issue in Wyoming.
The land owner "owns" the stream bed, so jumping in at a bridge and walking the stream like in Montana is trespassing.

Head waters in national forest is the best option, bonus is it's what you want to do anyway.
Only caution there is that there is private property in the national forest. Ranchers reportedly are sometimes less than accommodating. I have fished the Clarks fork in Wyoming and had to be aware of the property boundaries.

Bears are common and one of the locations I wanted to try over that way last year was closed due to bear activity.
Local word was the states in that region all use the area west of Cody and east of the park up to Cooke city as a relocation destination for problem bears.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Horn in Wyoming?
PostPosted: April 17th, 2019, 11:00 pm 
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Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2392
Location: Lyons, CO
There's plenty of great water in that vicinity, which I've only scratched at on one summer trip. We did pretty well on the main Shoshone right through Cody and below, but the stuff you're talking about on the Greybull in the National Forest will probably fish faster and that's where you'll find the cutts -- some friends fished it and did well, I think. Big Horn at Thermopolis I have not fished, but heard good things and it's on the list to check out.

Really, I don't think you can go that wrong fishing September in Wyoming. I'd be prepared to fish tricos and BWOs and terrestrials. I'm hoping to spend the week of Labor Day fishing in Wyoming this year myself -- already shelled out for my season license.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Horn in Wyoming?
PostPosted: April 18th, 2019, 5:51 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5449
Location: Manchester, ME
Thanks to both of you. You have confirmed my intuition. Bring on the bears! (Last year an elk guide was killed and his client mauled during our trip. They surprised a grizzly on an elk they shot late in the day and didn't recover until the day after.)

A little dreaming with topo maps and Google Earth identified a gorgeous mile and half long meadow on the upper Wood River. A call to the District Ranger's office confirmed my suspicion it was a private ranch. DAMN!


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 Post subject: Re: Big Horn in Wyoming?
PostPosted: April 22nd, 2019, 12:00 pm 
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Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2392
Location: Lyons, CO
On the issue of what's public and what's private (which is critical out west and may occasionally be useful in Maine), you can do a few things.

I use National Forest Maps (or analogous BLM maps) for most of my fishing-related figuring of what's public vs private.

But I'm thinking really hard about getting this app called OnXHunt. My buddy had it on his phone while we were floating in WY and we could very easily see when we were approaching public land, which meant we could legally anchor up or pull off and wade. It tells you the name of the owner of every parcel of land and puts it on your map. It's not cheap ($100/year for the version with all states or $30/year for just one state). I don't know how they assembled their data. I'm assuming they pulled it from county and local tax assessor data sets, which you can typically access for free (and I will occasionally use), but the convenience of being able to pull it down quickly might be worth it.
https://www.onxmaps.com/pricing


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 Post subject: Re: Big Horn in Wyoming?
PostPosted: April 24th, 2019, 4:45 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 534
Location: maine; now Salida, CO
Jeff, tho I have not personally fished it in the Thermopolis area, there are BIG fish in there. And as many times as I have driven past it, I have never seen a driftboat on the Wind River.


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 Post subject: Re: Big Horn in Wyoming?
PostPosted: April 24th, 2019, 6:40 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5449
Location: Manchester, ME
pushaw wrote:
On the issue of what's public and what's private (which is critical out west and may occasionally be useful in Maine), you can do a few things.

I use National Forest Maps (or analogous BLM maps) for most of my fishing-related figuring of what's public vs private.

But I'm thinking really hard about getting this app called OnXHunt. My buddy had it on his phone while we were floating in WY and we could very easily see when we were approaching public land, which meant we could legally anchor up or pull off and wade. It tells you the name of the owner of every parcel of land and puts it on your map. It's not cheap ($100/year for the version with all states or $30/year for just one state). I don't know how they assembled their data. I'm assuming they pulled it from county and local tax assessor data sets, which you can typically access for free (and I will occasionally use), but the convenience of being able to pull it down quickly might be worth it.
https://www.onxmaps.com/pricing



So I looked at OnXHunt, and found a comparison website that indicated the same information is available for the GPS app I already use, GAIA GPS. OnXHunt was $30/state, or the entire US for $100/year. GAIA GPS gives me public and private lands layers for $40 a year. Works on my computer. Now need to figure out how to log in from my phone . . . .

Thanks for the tip!


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 Post subject: Re: Big Horn in Wyoming?
PostPosted: April 25th, 2019, 9:17 am 
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Joined: August 31st, 2016, 9:42 am
Posts: 2
I drifted the Big Horn a few years back. Can't remember where we put in exactly but pulled the boats right in Thermopolis by the hot springs. Amazing fishery. By FAR the biggest browns I have encountered. Drifted big foam hoppers as indicator with almost a helgramite type pattern and small flash nymph dropper. Not the most picturesque in terms of scenery but the fishing was outstanding. We were there in early August. I think we used North Fork Anglers out of Cody. Highly recommend fishing it if you can. I will definitely be back.


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