Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Gros Ventre River
The Gros Ventre River begins in the Gros Ventre
Wilderness in a very rugged part of Wyoming. It starts at
Lunch Lake and Brewster Lake at a very high elevation.
In its upper section, it's mostly a pocket water stream
with short runs, plunges and pools. It flows though a
variety of terrain including some canyons and open
meadows. Always in sight are the beautiful Teton
Mountains in the background.
Its main species of fish are the Fine-spotted Cutthroat
trout, brook trout and whitefish. Fly fishing the Gros
Ventre River is almost beyond description. It would
almost be impossible to become bored, even if you
never caught a trout but that shouldn't ever be the case.
Its cutthroat and brook trout are very receptive to flies
and if one doesn't grab your fly, a whitefish will for sure.
Fishing access is good from the town of Kelly all the way
downstream to the Snake River. Access to the upper
river is provided by the Gros Ventre River Road which
starts just above Kelly. The road will take you to the
National Forest/Park Boundary and into the area of
Upper Slide Lake. Fishing is very good from Slide Lake
down to the confluence of Crystal Creek. The Gros
Ventre River Road ends at the Gooswing Ranger
Station. From this point upstream, you can hike or back
pack in and fish its headwaters. The uppermost section
of the river flows through open meadows in a beautiful
picture perfect setting.
The Gros Venture has an excellent Salmonfly hatch in
July. Golden and Little Yellow Stoneflies are also
present in large numbers. Pale Morning Duns and
Blue-winged Olives are the most important mayflies.
Terrestrial fishing can also be good during the late
Summer. Don't forget to have some sculpin imitations.
There are a huge population of them.
The trout average about ten to twelve inches with some
as large as 16 inches. They are plentiful in most of the
river and dry fly fishing is usually excellent.
The best time for fly fishing the Gros Ventre River is
from just after runoff to the end of August.
Parts of the river can be fished prior to runoff but it
usually isn't very productive.
Summertime is the best time for fly fishing the Gros
Early Fall provides some opportunities on the lower
section of the river.
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