Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Encampment River
The Encampment River starts in the alpine meadows
of northern Colorado and flows north into Wyoming
through an eighteen mile long canyon into a valley.
It is located near and is very similar to the nearby
North Platte River in that respect.
Access to the lower sections in the valley is very
difficult as the river flows through private property.
The canyon section is not accessible by road but it
does have a nice National Forest hiking trail that
runs along the entire length of the canyon. It can be
accessed from its upper or lower end.
The best access is in Commissary Park in Routt
National Forest. The river decline is steep and the
result is some great pocket water. Although it's a
nine mile hike to the center of the canyon you will
most likely be the only angler there.
The lower section is completely different. The
stream widens out and slows down. It's PH increases
due to the surrounding fertile valley and aquatic
insects exist in more plentiful quantities. The trout
average a larger size in the lower section than they
do in the canyon section of the river. The problem is
that access to the lower section of the river is limited
to a one-mile long section close to Baggott Rocks.
Stream flows are very important. You can click the
link on your left to see how they are running.
Wading can be very difficult and dangerous if the
flows are high.
The wild trout in the Encampment River can be very
picky at times. Matching what is hatching and just as
important, what is about to hatch is often the key to
success. The river is generally considered more of a
nymph fishing stream than a dry fly stream but at
certain times dry fly fishing can be very good.
Encampment River Wyoming
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Fly Fishing Guide to the
The methods and techniques used on the
Encampment River depends on whether you
are fishing the canyon or the lower section
of the river. The Encampment River gets
little attention in the fly fishing books and
magazines and not very much on the
Internet. That is because of the nearby
Platte River. It gets most of the attention and
while many locals would just as soon keep it
that way, those of you who enjoy fishing new
places may prefer to know the facts about
this fine stream.
As mentioned in the introduction page, the
problem with the lower section of the river in
the plains is access. That is where the
better hatches occur and that is where the
larger trout are. Trout from sixteen to twenty
inches are not uncommon in this section.
The trout in the canyon section of the river
do not average that large.
There is one public access in the lower
section that is only a mile long at Baggott
Rocks but that is it. If it were not for the
crowds during the prime hatches there
would be nothing wrong with that. Just make
sure you carry your own rock during the
Green Drake hatch.
Being a pure freestone stream means the
water levels are purely a product of the
Winter can be productive on some days, but
is usually tough fishing conditions.
Spring is great for fly fishing the
Encampment River because of the hatches
except during the runoff.
The lack of roadside access in the upper
section or canyon section is a blessing to
some and not a good thing for those who
aren't willing to put out some effort to walk
a ways to fish. The best way to fish the
canyon area is to hike in and camp. The
area is wild and beautiful and the trout are
plentiful, they are just not as large as the
You can bring your drift boat (raft types are
best) down a high bank to launch at the
Baggott and drift downstream but you must
stay in the water for about seven miles to
the Treasure Island takeout at the North
Platte River before you can take the boat
out of the water. In fact you cannot legally
even touch the bottom of the stream with
your anchor, much less the banks.
Under Wyoming laws, the land owners own
the streambed. If the water levels isn't high
enough, it is impossible to drift this section.
The only time they are high enough during
the times you could fish the river as a
general rule is from about the end of June
to the second or third week of July. It is
also during the best hatch that occurs on
the Encampment River - the Green Drake
hatch. If that isn't enough problems for you
to consider, be aware that there is a dam
with about a five foot drop in water levels to
negotiate near the takeout.
Encampment River Hatches and
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in the
Encampment River and in all stages of life
that are applicable to fishing. If you want to
fish better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.
The hatches vary some depending on the
section of the river but the insects listed
below are plentiful throughout most of the
stream from its headwaters to its lower
section. During the early season, before
runoff, the main hatches consist of Western
March Browns and Blue-winged Olives. The
BWOs can start as early as March but April
usually is the most consistent time for the
hatch to begin. There's also a Fall hatch of
the BWOs. It usually takes place from late
September and throughout most of the
month of October.
Of course, midges will work well anytime the
water is too cold for most other insects.
There's also plenty of small black winter
stoneflies that hatch in the early season,
even when there's snow on the ground.
You will find some hatches of Salmonflies
become to come off in early July in the fast
water sections of the river. LIttle Yellow
Stoneflies are also plentiful in some areas in
late July and early August.
Within a week or two of the end of the
Salmonfly hatch in July, you will usually find
Golden Stoneflies beginning to hatch. The
hatch last into the month of August,
depending on the location on the river.Both
the Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies start
hatching in the lower section and move
upstream as the days go by.
The first caddisflies to hatch are the Little
Black Caddis, called the Mothers Day hatch
in most places in the West. This hatch
starts in the lower section of the river in late
April and last about a month. In late June
and early July, there's plenty of Spotted
Sedges that begin to hatch.
The next most important caddisfly hatch are
the Green Sedges. They hatch from May
through August, depending on the species.
Imitations of the Green Rock Worms, or
their larvae, work year-round.
In late June, usually before the runoff ends,
Pale Morning Duns will start hatching.
There are a few Green Drakes that hatch
but the numbers are usually fairly low.
There are also some Flavs, or Small
Western Green Drakes, but the numbers of
them are relatively low.
The PMD hatch will last most of the summer
and is the most consistent mayfly hatch. In
some areas of the fast water you will find
some Pink Ladies that hatch in late August
Late Summer, in August and September,
terrestrials will play an important role in the
trout's diet. Don't forget imitations of
grasshopper, ants and beetles.
July is the best time to drift fish the lower
part of the stream.
The early fall months can be good for the
Encampment River Fishing Report:
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Fishing Report Updated 01/05/17
(Bottom Of Page)
01/09/14 We have not received any fishing
reports from customers the past two weeks.
According to our local contact, there has
been very little, if any, fishing due to very col
01/16/14 Still no reports of anyone fishing.
There is a week of clear weather ahead
with no snow or rain in the forecast.
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 71/2
ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
01/23/14 No reports from anyone fishing
the Encampment this past week. The
water is still very cold. Warmer weather is
01/30/14 Slush ice and very cold water
has continued to hamper the fishing
02/06/14 Still no reports from anglers
fishing the Encampment.
02/13/14 We had a local angler getting
ready to fish, ordering flies (Blue-winged
Olives and Midges) this past week. The
weather is going to be much warmer this
02/20/14 Same angler as above reported
catching some trout but he said it was
very slow with water in the mid thirties.
02/27/14 Cold weather and snow
returning and low water temperatures will
just about shut the fishing down again.
No reports from anyone fishing.
03/06/14 Slightly warmer air temperatures
has occurred and are forecast but no
reports from anyone fishing.
03/13/14 The water still has a lot of ice but
it slowly warming. No reports from anyone
fishing this past week.
03/20/14 There is only a slight chance of
snow (on Saturday) or rain for the next
week. The water has warmed up some
and conditions improving.
03/27/14 The water continues to warm up
some and trout can be caught. It is a little
high now but falling.
04/03/14 Customer ordering BWOs,
midges and streamers reported water is
warming up nicely.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
04/10/14 Same customer above reported
catching a few trout but said the fishing
was very slow and the water still very
cold. There is much warmer weather
forecast this coming week.
04/17/14 High water has stopped the
action. Little rain is in the foreccast and
the stream levels should subside soon.
04/24/14 Stream levels are still very high
and no reports have come in from
05/01/14 The stream levels are back just
above normal levels and no rain is forecast
for the next few days.
05/08/14 Stream is at 1185 cfs and
has been high for the past week. It will
probably remain high for a few more
05/15/15 Stream levels are back near
normal but no reports from anyone
fishing the past few days. One customer
ordering flies for a late May trip.
05/22/14 Stream levels are high and
likely to stay that way for this coming
05/29/14 Stream levels remain very high
and they are likely to do so for the next
few days due to spring runoff.
06/05/14 No reports from anyone fishing.
High stream levels remain a problem.
06/12/14 Customer ordering flies reported
he caught several trout yesterday. Stream
levels have resided to near normal levels.
06/19/14 Water levels are down, the
water is warmer and more insects are
hatching. Three very good reports from
anglers purchasing flies this past week.
07/17/14 The Encampment has only
recently been in decent shape. Insects are
hatching and customers are catching trout
and everything has stabilized. Plenty of
PMDs, caddis and Little Yellow Stoneflies.
07/24/14 Fishing has been excellent when
stream levels have been good. Lots of
hatches have been occurring. Two
customers reported good results.
07/31/14 The stream is flowing a little high
right now but should drop back down in the
near future. Lots of fish were caught when
the levels were normal. Lots of PMDs,
Spotted Sedges, and Little Yellow Stoneflies.
08/14/14 Better stream levels have
improved the fly fishing opportunities big
time. Customers had some very good
reports the past two weeks. Plenty of trout
are being caught.
08/28/14 Fishing has been and still is good.
There has been a few high water times.
There are plenty of caddis and still some
PMDs. Tricos are hatching in the slower
water in the lower section of the river.
09/11/14 During the past two weeks we
received two good reports and one not so
good. Water levels have varied the results.
Tricos are the main lower section insects
and terrestrials the upper part.
09/25/14 Fishing has been excellent when
the water levels have been reasonable
levels. They are still a little high but getting
10/09/14 High water levels have been a
problem but the river is falling rather fast.
Blue-winged Olives should begin hatching
10/16/14 Stream levels have continued to
be high but there's no rain forecast and
they should continue to fall.
10/23/14 No reports from this past week.
Stream levels have been high but currently
back on the way down.
12/21/14 Sorry for the lack of reports. Our
local contact moved. We have another one
that just started helping us. We will be
posting a current report soon.
01/01/14 Very cold conditions but trout were
caught on midges ten days ago in good
numbers. Cream pupa/larva
01/15/15 One good report from
yesterday. Stream levels are good and
weather a little warmer.
01/22/15 No reports from anyone fishing
last week but conditions remain good.
02/05/15 Still no reports from anyone
fishing but conditions in mid winter couldn't
be any better. Stream levels and the
weather forecast are good.
02/26/15 We had two reports from week
before last where customers caught a few
trout on streamers - our Brown Sculpin..
03/06/15 No reports from the past week but
conditions have remain decent.
03/19/15 The river is still running a little high
and off color due mostly to snow melt. It has
been much warmer but stream conditions still
need to improve.
04/02/15 High water levels have prevented
any fishing this past week.
04/09/15 The river continues to run high and
04/16/15 Still high and off color.
05/07/15 Still rolling at 1050 cfs and off color.
05/21/15 Flowing at 714 cfs @ 3.66 ft.at the
mouth near Encampment. It will be a while.
06/04/15 Still high and off color as usual for
this time of the year.
06/11/15 The river is still blown out from the
spring runoff. Rates in the 100 to 200 cfs
range are needed.
06/18/15 Still 954 cfs. It will be a while longer.
07/02/15 Stream levels are down from the
runoff and in great shape with lots of insects
hatching. Great conditions exist.
07/09/15 Mega hatches taking place. Send
us an email or give us a call and we can help
you plan your next trip.
07/16/15 Two good reports from customers
fishing this past week. Lots of PMDs.
07/23/15 Excellent stream levels, lots of
hatches and two customers reporting catching
lots of trout.
08/06/15 Two good reports from customers this
past week. PMDS, caddisflies and Little Yellow
stones are hatching. Terrestrials working.
08/12/15 Excellent stream conditions. Easy to
wade almost everywhere. Terrestrials, PMDs,
caddis and Little Yellow Stones.
08/20/15 Good stream levels, plenty of
hatching insects and everything as good as it
gets this time of the year. Let us hear from you.
08/27/15 The river is up just above normal
stream levels and in good shape. Mahogany
duns are hatching.
09/03/15 The stream levels have been running a
little too high for good wading opportunities but
great for boats. Terrestrials are working good.
09/10/15 Stream levels are down to normal
and otherwise, great conditions.
09/17/15 Much cooler weather is on the way.
Stream levels are on the way up and too high
at this time. There are still a lot of aquatic
insects to hatch.
09/24/15 Excellent conditions. The stream levels
are back to normal and the weather is fantastic.
You better get it while the gettin's good.
10/08/15 It appears that only local anglers are
taking advantage of great stream and weather
conditions. October Caddis are hatching.
10/15/15 Stream levels are low and you can
wade just about anywhere. October Caddis are
at their peak and fishing is great with few fishing
10/21/15 Stream levels are on the way up
some but should fall back soon. Blue-winged
olives are starting to hatch good again.
10/29/15 The stream level are back down near
normal levels and you should be able to wade
in many areas.
11/19/15 Two good reports this past week
came in from regular customers. Midges, fished
in tandem (larva and pupa) produced several
nice trout. Ice has the USGS gauge shut down.
12/03/15 No reports from anyone fishing but
conditions are not that bad at this time. Good
levels and weather.
12/10/15 Water temperature in the lowest
section of the river is only 39 degrees. You can
catch trout on midges but it is tough at that
12/25/15 Lots of snow is on the ground and
lots of ice in the water. The water temperature
ranges from 33 to 37. We recommend
choosing another location.
01/07/16 Same story. Lots of snow, ice on
most of the banks at the edges and any still
water frozen. It is just too cold to fish.
01/21/16 Strange that it is warmer weather and
colder water but that's the case. The water is
from 32 to 35 degrees and just not worth
fishing. Melting snow is keeping the temp down.
02/04/16 The river is just too cold to fish.
There is a lot of slush ice in the water and the
highest temperature around 33-34 degrees.
02/11/16 There is still too much ice in the water
but the temperature is going to be warmer and
conditions could improve.
03/31/16 The stream is just a little high but still
cold, with temperatures averaging about 38
degrees. Skwala stoneflies will soon be hatching.
04/14/16 Stream level is very high, blown out,
and off color. It will be a few days dropping and
clearing. More rain/snow coming through Sunday.
05/05/16 The water is a little high but on the
way up with rain in the forecast every day for
the next week. BWOs, midges and soon to be,
Mother's Day caddis but not by then.
05/19/16 The river is in full blown out mode
from runoff. It will be some time before it is
06/24/16 The flows are at 869 cfs at 3.91 ft.,
which is still very high, but it is falling and
should continue to fall all week. Keep
checking back with us.
06/30/16 The level is down to where you can
fish it with good expectations. It is still too high
to safely wade in places but dropping fast.
There are a lot of hatches underway. Send us
an email and we will list them for you.
07/07/16 The river is down in good shape with
good levels and clear water. Several insects
are hatching. Much of the stream can be
waded safely. Now is the time to fish the river.
07/21/16 Two good reports from the past
week. Lots of hatches and lots of trout being
caught. Pale Morning duns, spotted sedges,
Golden and Little Yellow stoneflies, Green
drakes and other insects are hatching.
08/04/16 Stream level is low, or 40 cfs, which
makes for easy wading but it is also easy to
spook the trout. Rain if forecast this weekend.
08/11/16 The levels were back up some this
past week but down at 40 cfs again. The
water temperature is okay. Lots of hatches
are taking place in the upper section.
08/18/16 Stream levels are still a little low
but good shape otherwise. We got some
good reports from customers fishing lately.
09/01/16 The stream levels are very low,
flowing at 25 cfs, but still okay. It makes
wading easy but you have to stay hidden from
the trout. Fish the canyon section.
09/08/16 Conditions remain the same, low
water levels but okay. We recommend the
upper part you have to hike into for the best
09/22/16 Stream levels are in good shape
and easy to wade most places. Our
customers are catching lots of trout. October
Caddis are starting to hatch in the upper part.
10/13/16 We have been getting good reports
for the past two weeks. Stream levels are
good, BWOs hatching good and October
Caddis. This is a great time to fish the river.
10/27/16 The stream levels are in good shape
and other conditions are good as well.
Blue-winged olives are hatching good.
11/10/16 Stream levels have been high but
back down near normal and in good shape.
Blue-winged Olives and midges are hatching.
11/24/16 The stream levels are in good
shape but the water it cold, averaging about
39 to 41 degrees. Midges is the best bet.
12/08/16 Lots of snow with a water temperature
about 34 or less. We don't recommend fishing
the river at this cold of a temperature.
01/05/17 There is a lot of ice in the water. The
levels are fine and it will warm up a little next
week. It isn't impossible to catch trout on
midges. You may find some clusters of them
and you may catch a few but conditions are
not good. Happy New Year.