Wyoming is a beautiful and mountainous state in the western United States. It’s the least populated state in the country, and that’s evidenced by the huge amount of raw, untouched wilderness that this incredible state has to offer. Outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds will find something to love about Wyoming, although the state is particularly popular amongst fishing enthusiasts.
There’s nothing I love more in this world than fishing. Although I’m a fly fisherman at heart, recently I’ve been enjoying a new hobby – kayak fishing (plus I just got a new fish finder to try for my review)! If you’ve never tried it, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. It’s great fun being able to navigate into every nook and cranny of the lake, and sneak up on fishies, ninja-style! Just make sure you get quality angler ‘yak as the right rig is important.
Lucky for me, Wyoming (especially Jackson Hole) is a great place to kayak fish, for a number of reasons…
Wyoming is dotted with more than 4,200 lakes. Yup, 4,200. There are also a whopping 27,000+ miles of rivers and streams to explore. Simply put, there are plenty of places to fish in this state! And, there are plenty of tasty fish species to enjoy – Wyoming is home to a whopping 22 varieties of game fish! I’ve spent a lot of time fishing in Wyoming, and I’ve put together a list of my favorite places to kayak fish in Wyoming. Enjoy!
Located in Jackson Hole, Fremont Lake is Wyoming’s second largest natural lake. It’s a popular destination for fishers, boaters, and campers. It’s located quite close to Pinedale, so it’s very accessible. There are two public boat launches, so it can get a bit crowded. But despite all that, I love fishing here, which is why i never forget to bring a few of my favorite rods when I know I am coming!
Fremont Lake is home to brown trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon. Personally, I come here for the salmon. You can fish for trout anywhere, but salmon are much more elusive in this area of the country. I like kayak fishing here because I can stay out of the high traffic boating areas and find some hidden sweet spots. I’ve had a few epic days at Fremont Lake where I would have been well over legal limits if I wasn’t constantly releasing fish! I’ve also had days where I came up completely empty handed, but that’s lake fishing for ya…
The Yellowstone River is a popular destination among anglers. Here you will find brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and native cutthroat trout. You will also find gorgeous surroundings, clean mountain air, and a sense of peace and contentment (hopefully!)
I don’t know if you’ve tried fly fishing from a kayak, but I’ll tell you this much – it doesn’t work well. Don’t even try it unless you have the right kind of ‘yak. But fret not – I’ve found a way to combine my love of river kayaking with my intense and passionate love for fishing. What I do is this – I pack up all my gear, strap it to the back of my river kayak, then cruise down the river until my sixth sense starts tinglin’. I feel the fish. Once I find a god spot, I drag my yak on shore and set up for some angling! If the spot doesn’t pay off, I move on to the next one! It’s my new favorite way to fish – give it a try!
The Flaming Gorge Recreational Area offers over 200,000 acres of land set aside by the government for recreation. It includes one of my favorite fishing spots, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This massive reservoir offers a whopping 375+ miles of shoreline, as well as some of the best fishing in the region.
I kayak fish for trout in the Flaming Gorge year round. I’ve caught some MONSTER trout in this lake. My biggest was a 28 pounder! I recently learned that Flaming Gorge holds the state record for lake trout – a 50 pound lake trout was caught there a few years back! I fish in the gorge so often that I actually got a special license that allows me to fish the entire reservoir – this man made lake actually covers land owned by Wyoming and Utah both, so make sure you have the appropriate fishing license(s)!
I like Flaming Gorge because it’s massive, so there’s always a new hotspot to find. I also like the variety of fish that occupy its clear waters. Besides the typical lake trout species, you will also find catfish, bass (make sure to bring the right bait and lures in your toolbox), and the delicious walleye in these waters. If you’ve never eaten freshly caught walleye, you’re missing out!
Glendo State Park is home to the Glendo Reservoir, another of my favorite spots to kayak fish. As you might know by now, I LOVE walleye. Love ‘em. And the Glendo Reservoir is considered by experts and locals alike to be the best spot for big walleye fishing in the state of Wyoming. What more do you need to know?
One warning – Glendo is a popular destination for boaters and other watersport enthusiasts. I’d recommend avoiding it on weekends as it gets pretty loud and crowded. Early mornings and quiet weekdays offer the best fishing conditions here.
While this is not a specific location per say, I think it’s worth mentioning. I thoroughly enjoy going on guided fishing trips. Even though I’m a very experienced fisherman, I know that there is always more to learn. And I’ve been shown some super sweet spots by guides over the years. There are a huge amount of fishing guides in Wyoming, check them out!
I could keep going, but I don’t know if anyone’s still reading. If you’re reading this, thank you for making it through my ramblings. I have more spots I love in Wyoming, but the above are my favorites. Check them out, and let me know what you think!