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Fly Fishing Fremont Canyon – Wyoming

Fremont Canyon is a wonderful fishery located in Wyoming. Situated on the North Platte River, Fremont lies below Pathfinder dam and Cardwell Meadows (which also offers fishing).

Fremont is not only an amazing fishery, but it is quite stunning as well. The massive vertical canyon walls leave you feeling like you’re on another planet. However, it can also be dangerous for wade fishing. There are many large, slick boulders that you must navigate while in the canyon. It is easy to take a spill here, so it is always best to go with a friend. The large trout are plentiful here, some 20 inches or even larger.

Fremont Canyon is often overlooked, since nearby Grey Reef and Miracle Mile areas are so popular. This often means that you can find some solitude in Fremont. This is often what we value most as fly fishers.

Fremont Canyon Access

One of the best ways to access Fremont is through the Cardwell Meadows area, which lies at the top of Fremont. From here, you can hike down into the canyon for a long ways. This is also the easiest access, and least dangerous. From Alcova, travel 6.2 miles on Kortes Road, and then merge right onto Fremont Canyon Road. From here, travel another 6.1 miles until you reach Cardwell Meadows. The whole drive only takes about 20 minutes from Alcova. These dirt roads can get pretty bad, so a 4 wheel drive vehicle is highly recommended.

You can also go in from several dirt pull offs by turning off Fremont Canyon Road. Simply park at these pull offs, and then hike down into the canyon. These pull offs are before you reach Cardwell access. These are very steep, and you must take your time. Although the parking is convenient, the walk in access is pretty tough. However, I like these access points because they put you further down in the canyon, and you’ll see less anglers.

All in all, there are only a few access points for Fremont Canyon. Besides Cardwell and the other dirt pull offs, the canyon is largely inaccessible due to its steep, vertical walls.

 

 

Size Of Fish At Fremont

Fremont trout are generally in the 16-20 inch range. Most of the fish are stout, and they fight really hard. However, there are plenty of trout that are over 20 inches. I have seen 2 foot long Rainbows and Browns caught on my several trips to Fremont. These fish are often hard to fool, and they usually break off on rocks or other debris. It is very difficult to land large fish in Fremont Canyon.

Even if you don’t encounter a large trout here, you will still catch nice fish. Every fish i’ve hooked in Fremont is decent, as there aren’t too many small trout.

If you’re looking for large trout on your next fishing trip, definitely consider Fremont.

Flies To Use

Fremont offers basically all the insects you’d expect to see in a western trout stream. It is a very healthy stretch of river, which lends itself to amazing bug life.

Winter bugs consist mainly of midges in sizes #18-#24. Make sure to have a good selection of nymphs, and midge dries as well. You can encounter some good hatches in here during the winter. Streamers can also be good in the winter, as long as you get them down and strip them slow.

Spring bugs consist of larger midges, but mainly Blue Winged Olives. You will also see a few caddis as well. For BWO imitations, make sure you have them in sizes #18-#22. Dries and nymphs can both be productive. The egg bite in the spring can be amazing, so having a variety of egg patterns is beneficial.

Summer time is really when all the bugs come out. You will see plenty of Caddis, Stoneflies, PMD’s, Sallies, Drakes, etc. Although the bug life is great, it can be hard to decipher what the fish are eating. They will really key in on a certain bug, so make sure to stock your fly boxes with all the main imitations.

Fall in Fremont offers Caddis, BWO and Midge hatches. It is also a wonderful time to fish streamers, as the brown trout start to get more aggressive. In general, I would mostly focus on BWO’s here in the fall. The egg bite does start to pick up again, so make sure to have your egg patterns.

Best Months To Fish

The spring, summer and fall are all wonderful times to fish Fremont.

Spring can be productive, since the rainbows are starting to spawn and get more aggressive. This can often mean good streamer fishing.

Summer offers a variety of insect hatches, which can be a blast. As long as you can match the hatch properly, you’ll have productive fishing here.

Fall is also a great time to fish Fremont. The browns are starting to spawn and get more aggressive, and this is often when you’ll hook your best brown of the season.

Although you can fish Fremont in the winter, it can be extremely cold! The canyon hardly gets any sun due to the steep walls, so you’ll likely be freezing the whole time. For winter fishing, I prefer to fish at Grey Reef or the Miracle Mile, as there is much more sunlight.

Conclusion

If you haven’t fished Fremont yet, definitely put it on your list. If you’re already taking a trip to the Grey Reef or the Miracle Mile, make sure to spend at least a day exploring Fremont.

The fish are large, and the bug life is prolific. Just the views alone are worth checking it out. I always recommend going to Fremont with friends. If you take a spill and get hurt, it can be a long, painful hike out. Even if you’re feeling tough, never go into Fremont alone.

As with anywhere in Wyoming, make sure to check the weather first. It can change within the blink of an eye, and the winds can get really bad as well.