This past weekend was all about the Gray Reef. The road to the Miracle Mile is still closed due to snow drifts. The river below Government Bridge is also iced up so all efforts focused on the Reef.
Winter fishing still has its hold on the river system. Fortunately for us, that means that the crowds are virtually non-existent and for those with a little patience and plenty of layers, the fishing can be outstanding. There was a bit of everything in terms of weather— snow, sun, clouds, and occasionally a very minimal amount of “W”. Most of the time, we had that peaceful calm, normal for this time of year in Bates Hole. It doesn’t snow or get windy underwater, and the fish continue to eat like linemen at an all you can eat buffet.
Eggs and leeches are at the top of the menu, so make sure you have plenty of trout beads and Hamrick’s Pine Squirrel Leeches. We also caught plenty of fish on small midge patterns like the Krystal Flash Midge and the Hamrick’s Top Secret Midge. Small Baetis patterns like the Mercury Baetis also produced some fish. Yes, you read it correctly, the BWO’s made their 2020 debut.
Come by the shop, grab some coffee and grab some of our Grey Reef Specialty flies. Jason will also be glad to show you some of his favorite streamers for this time of year or how to whip something up on the vice. If you like to tie, we have a few Cowboy Leech kits in stock with instructions. Great flies for the tyer trying to learn, and a staple on the North Platte this time of year.
Brad Nicol, CD Guide
Click HERE for the best weather forecasts we can find for the Gray Reef.