North Platte Trouters

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The Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River

Wyoming's only Federally Designated "WILD AND SCENIC" river, the Clarks Fork begins high in the Beartooth and Absaroka mountain ranges. Flowing from Montana through Wyoming for 40 miles and returning to Montana near Laurel to join the Yellowstone River. The Clarks Fork has a rich and storied past, once used as an escape route by the Nez Perce Indians and favored by Ernest Hemingway, this river has earned it's reputation as an unbelievable fishery with spectacular scenery.

Broken into three different sections: The upper, middle, and lower Clarks Fork, each is unique in its character.

The upper Clarks Fork is a challenging walk and wade early in the season; ice out to about mid July. It is after this time of year that the dry fly fishing to cutthroats and rainbows becomes extraordinary. This is the place to use small 2, 3, and 4 weight fly rods during hatches of caddis, stoneflies , green and grey drakes, PMD's, and blue wing olives to perfect pocket water.

The middle section of the Clarks Fork begins at Crandall Creek dropping on average 260 feet per mile through a 1000 foot deep canyon over this 10 mile stretch. Early season wading must be respected with late summer, August through October, recommended here. Access and trails into this middle section are difficult and strenuous, but the rewards can be great. Mid day hatches of mayflies and evening caddis provide excellent fishing and unparalelled scenery to hungry brook, cutthroat, and rainbow trout behind every boulder.

The lower Clarks Fork is where we can finally launch a raft since most of this section is in private holdings. The season here begins in March and most years runs through November. Large fly rods (5, 6, 7 weight) are the norm casting big attractor patterns, nymphs, and streamers to these "wild" Yellowstone cutthroats, rainbows, and browns, with the occasional whitefish thrown in. This river has everything to offer the adventurous angler.

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