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Fly Fishing The Miracle Mile – Wyoming

The Miracle Mile is a remote stretch of the North Platte River in Wyoming. It boasts healthy populations of large trout, which can be caught with fly fishing gear. Due to the size of the trout, the views, and the remote location – the Miracle Mile is a favorite weekend getaway.

I absolutely love this stretch of river, and I have caught some of my best trout here.

Located between Seminoe Reservoir and Pathfinder Reservoir, the Miracle mile varies in length (depending on Pathfinder water levels). This can range anywhere from 6-15 miles. When Pathfinder is really low, the Miles length increases.

The Mile has amazing runs of rainbow and brown trout. The rainbow run is best in April, and the brown run is best in November and early December. During these times, hooking a trophy trout is not uncommon.

Accessing The Miracle Mile

 

If you are headed in from the north (Alcova), take Kortes Road (route 407) for 30 miles. This is a 45 minute drive that will lead you straight to the Miracle Mile bridge. Keep in mind that this is a dirt road that can get really nasty. 4 wheel drive is highly recommended, as the mud can get pretty ridiculous. Once you hit the Mile, you can use the variety of river roads to access the different holes. These roads are mostly unnamed, and are just used for accessing the river. Continuing on Kortes Road will take you up to the canyon, where the Kortes Dam is located. Although it is treacherous getting down the canyon, it provides some great fishing.

 

If you are coming in from the south (I-80), get off at exit 255 near the Elk Mountain Access Area. Here you will see a Conoco as your landmark. Follow route 72 until you get to Hanna. From here, take Hanna Draw Road until you hit Kortes Road. Take a left at Kortes Road and this will lead you straight to the Miracle Mile bridge. This entire route from I-80 to the Miracle Mile takes about 1.5 hours. It is a 58 mile long route. During bad weather conditions, it can take over 2 hours.

As you can tell, there isn’t much real civilization near the Miracle Mile. Alcova and Hanna are both tiny towns, with hardly any accommodations. Casper is the nearest major city, and it is 62 miles away from the Miracle Mile. If you have a real emergency, help is quite a ways away. This is why I never go alone to the Miracle Mile, it is always good to have buddies with you.

Best Months To Fish The Miracle Mile

I prefer to fish the spring run for Rainbow and Cutbow trout. These fish are very large and they aren’t too hard to catch. Simple nymph rigs and streamers will usually get the job done. These fish run out of Pathfinder reservoir to spawn.

My favorite time on the Mile is late November. The brown trout run is legendary, and I have seen multiple browns over 30 inches caught. These fish, on average, are larger than the rainbows. There are also way less crowds during November. Pathfinder is known for holding huge browns, and during November and December, they make their way up into the river.

Summer time can be great on the mile, but you are fishing to resident trout. The monsters that come out of Pathfinder reservoir aren’t usually in the river. However, it can still be an awesome time. The Mile is also a good stretch to float during summer time. Bring your raft or drift boat, and enjoy a beautiful float on this stretch of river.

Flies To Use On The Miracle Mile

For fishing the spring and fall, I fish pretty simple flies. When fishing nymphs, I like:

  • Egg Patterns – Glo Bugs, Trout Beads, etc.
  • Pats Rubber Legs
  • Annelids – usually red or purple
  • Scuds – mainly orange
  • San Juan Worms

For streamer fishing, I like:

  • White streamers of any kind
  • Platte River Spider – swing it!
  • Dungeons and Mini Dungeons
  • Sculpzillas

During the Summer months, fishing a dry dropper setup can be very effective. A big hopper or Chubby with a couple nymphs below it makes for a solid rig. Hares Ears, Princes, Caddis nymphs, etc.

The Mile is a really healthy stretch of river with lots of bug life. During the summer, you will see Stoneflies, PMD’s, Caddis, Sallies – all of the bugs you would expect on most trout streams.

The spring and fall can produce solid BWO hatches, but the trout are willing to eat bigger flies than that. For this reason, I don’t focus on Blue Wings too much during the Rainbow and Brown runs.

Nearest Accommodations

Alcova is your best bet if you are planning a trip to the Miracle Mile. My favorite cabins are the “Inn at Alcova”. They are relatively affordable, and you can pack in with a bunch of buddies to split the cost. These cabins are owned by Sloanes General Store, which is the local convenience store. Sloanes is the only real supply stop for miles, so be sure to stop in.

You can also stay at the Riverview inn, which is just up the road. However, the accomodations aren’t nearly as nice. I really prefer the Inn at Alcova.

For a quick bite, you can head to the Sunset Grill in Alcova. This is a great place to eat after a long day of fishing. If you are sick of eating sandwiches out of your cooler, then definitely check out the Sunset Grill.

Of course, staying in Casper is always an option – but the morning drive to the Mile is pretty long. Staying in Alcova will keep your commute shorter, and the Inn at Alcova isn’t that expensive. Especially when you split the cost with a few friends.

A Note On Safety

As stated previously, the Mile is a pretty remote place. If you find yourself in a bad situation, it will take awhile before help arrives. There is also no cell service, which adds another obstacle. Although I have previously taken solo trips to the Mile, it isn’t the smartest choice. Even having just one fishing buddy along can be beneficial if something goes wrong.

If you are planning a winter trip, beware of snow storms. It can easily snow 2 feet overnight, and it does that pretty regularly. The roads aren’t plowed regularly, so you can get yourself in a pickle – especially if you don’t have 4 wheel drive.

Snow storms aside, the weather on the Mile can turn extreme very quickly. Rain storms, insane winds, hail, all of these can happen. Wyoming is known for extreme weather patterns, and the Miracle Mile is no exception.