NATIONAL ELK REFUGE CELEBRATES 100 YEARS — AUGUST 10-12, 2012

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NATIONAL ELK REFUGE TO HOST A SERIES OF CENTENNIAL EVENTS

From the National Elk Refuge:

National Elk Refuge Manager Steve Kallin is pleased to announce an exciting line-up of programs scheduled for Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12 to celebrate and honor the Refuge’s 100-year history. The weekend centennial celebration dates were selected to coincide with the historic date of August 10, 1912 when an Act of Congress set aside lands “for the establishment of a winter game (elk) reserve in the State of Wyoming, lying south of the Yellowstone Park . . .”

Centennial activities will kick off at 10:30 am on Friday, August 10 at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson. An hour-long program, free of charge and open to the public, will take place on the Visitor Center lawn. Invited guests include Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar or his representative, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, and Regional Director Steve Guertin. The program will features music, speakers, a short performance by Theodore Roosevelt impersonator Case Hicks, and birthday cake. Parking will be limited; persons attending the event are encouraged to car pool, use off-site parking, or walk from START bus stops such as the Home Ranch Parking Lot located three blocks south of the Visitor Center at the corner of North Cache and Gill Streets.

The National Elk Refuge administrative offices at 675 E. Broadway Street and the Historic Miller House, located  three-quarter mile north of the Refuge’s entrance off East Broadway Street, will be closed on Friday, August 10 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm so all Refuge staff can attend the ceremony. Case Hicks, portraying Theodore Roosevelt at Friday’s ceremony, will also offer two hour-long programs later that same weekend, giving audiences an opportunity to learn about Roosevelt’s establishment of the nation’s first wildlife refuge in 1903 and his important contributions to present-day conservation efforts. In character, Hicks will offer a special children’s program on Friday, August 10 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, entertaining the audience with stories of his childhood and adventures. Free prizes will be given to all children ages 5-12 attending the program, including a limited number of “Teddy Bears.” A second full performance for persons of all ages will be held on Saturday, August 11 from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Both Theodore Roosevelt performances will be at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center and are free of charge.

Other events at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center include:

Friday, August 10, 3:00 to 3:30 pm: Slideshow and talk by the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum entitled “Homesteader Hopes and Reality in the High Country of Jackson Hole.” The program will share the history of homesteaders and settlers in the valley through stories of early day residents and historic photographs.

Friday, August 10, 4:30 to 6:30 pm: “Partners in Pathways” celebration, bicycle ride and free barbecue. Sponsored by Friends of Pathways, Jackson Hole Community Pathways, Town of Jackson, Teton County, and the National Elk Refuge. Persons planning to leave the Visitor Center to participate in the ride should park at the Home Ranch Parking Lot located three blocks south of the Visitor Center.

Saturday, August 11, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm: A ranger-led presentation giving insight to the legendary mountain men or fur trappers who lived and trapped in Jackson Hole in the 1820s and 1830s. Dressed in appropriate attire, a Grand Teton National Park ranger will discuss and demonstrate many of the specialized skills that were required of these brave and industrious individuals.

Sunday, August 12, 4:00 pm: Raffle drawing for a Henry Holdworth’s framed photo entitled, “Winter’s Refuge.” The photo is currently on display at the Visitor Center, with ticket sales available through August 12 at 3:30 pm.

A number of weekend events are also scheduled for the Historic Miller House, located ¾ mile north of the Refuge’s entrance off East Broadway Street in Jackson. They include:

Friday, August 10, 12:00 to 4:00 pm: Flint knapping demonstration by artist Tom Lucas, who has a working knowledge of the methods of ancestral tool making.

Friday, August 10, 12:00 to 4:00 pm ; Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm:

Period costumes and props on loan from the Jackson Hole Playhouse. A variety of costumes of all sizes will be on display and available for try-on and photographs.

Saturday, August 11, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm: Chuckwagon cooking demonstration with free samples, provided by Western Range Catering.

Sunday, August 12, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm: Quilting demonstration by the Jackson Hole Quilt Guild.

Two additional public programs will be offered at locations other than the Refuge’s two primary visitor services facilities. They include:

Friday, August 10, 1:00 to 2:30 pm: Refuge staff will lead a public feed shed tour to give participants an opportunity to learn more about the Refuge’s supplemental feeding and irrigation programs. Persons on the tour will drive caravan-style to the feed shed and must provide their own transportation. The tour, offered free of charge, will depart from the Historic Miller House at 1:00 pm.

Friday, August 10, 7:00 to 9:00 pm: An evening of storytelling and reminiscing, entitled “Refuge Reflections: A Manager’s Perspective,” will be held at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, located on the west side of Highway 89, 2½ miles north of Jackson’s Town Square. The program will include interviews with four National Elk Refuge Managers, followed by a social hour to meet and visit with each of the speakers. A schedule of activities, listed by day, can be found on the National Elk Refuge’s home page at www.fws.gov/nationalelkrefuge. “We encourage families to come out and enjoy a variety of fun, educational programs and be a part of the celebration,” Kallin said.

For further information on any of the individual events, please call the Refuge administrative offices at 307.733.9212.

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Calendar & Food News: June 7, 2012

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LANDER BREW FEST IS THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 8-9! Click on the image above for more info!

Are you making plans to hit the Lander Brew Fest this year? It’s coming this Fri & Sat, June 8-9, and is going to be another great event! Click on the image above to connect with the fest’s website — activities kick off Friday, June 8, with a from 5-9 PM (adults only), and Saturday, June 9, from 2-7 PM. Activities take place at the soccer fields adjacent to Lander Valley High School, 400 Baldwin Creek Road. Check out amazing Rocky Mountain breweries and dig the music — groups like Musketeer Gripweed & The Foot Friday night, and The Codi Jordan Band and Fluffy Buffalo on Saturday. They’re also offering a NEW feature this year — whiskey & wine tasting on Friday night only. Whiskey tasting cards will be for sale, 4 samples for $10. The wine tasting will be included in the cost of admission. There will also be non-alcoholic drinks available.

While you’re there, check out the Central WY Speedboat Rugby Club and the Jackson Hole Moose Rugby Club as they compete in the inaugural Wind River Rugby Challenge — held Saturday, June 9 at 12:30 PM at the same soccer fields adjacent to LVHS.  Check out the action, then hit the brew fest!

Call the Lander Chamber of Commerce at 307-332-3892 for more info — and be sure to click on the Brew Fest image above to connect with their website!

COKEVILLE ANGLER’S SIDEKICK FISHING DERBY, JUNE 30

Check-in: 7:00 AM-8:00 AM @ Cokeville Town Park

Judging: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM @ Cokeville Town Park
Contestants must participate as a team of 2.  Each participant will need a fishing license in accordance with Wyoming Game and Fish Department policy. Visit the Cokeville community website to download the PDF of rules. Thanks to the Cokeville Arts Council for the information on this event!

JACKSON – BE PREPARED TO PLAY IN THE BACKCOUNTRY — Community Presentation: Summer Backcountry Preparedness from the Community Health Info Ctr, St John’s Medical Center & Teton Wellness Institute

Ever wondered: Where the bears are?  The correct way to use bear spray? Are there trails in the Tetons where you DON’T need to carry bear spray? What you need to take with you – for safety – on a day hike? What simple steps can keep you safe in a backcountry emergency?

Presented by Stephanie Thomas, AJ Wheeler, MD and Kate Wilmot: Stephanie Thomas is the Executive Director of the Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation and TCSAR member. Dr. AJ Wheeler is an emergency medicine physician and TCSAR member. Kate Wilmot is the Bear Management Specialist for Grand Teton National Park.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm St. John’s Medical Center, Moose-Wapiti Classrooms

SARATOGA — Jalan Crossland at “The Yard” June 9 — Call the Sartoga/Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce for more info!

EVANSTON BLUEGRASS JUNE 23 — Click on the image above for more info!

Bluegrass Evanston is a great event — a free, one day outdoor concert, the event hosts four bands from all over the bluegrass spectrum:  traditional and progressive bluegrass to Newgrass. Artists, food and beverage booths also make up the festival.  A kids’ fest, “Pop, Dogs & Songs” will be held from noon to 3 PM prior to the main event, which runs from 5-10 PM. Activities and crafts such as shoebox banjo making will be available for the kiddos!

Fine artists range from jewelry, fiber artists, potters and painters.  ”The bluegrass festival in Evanston will serve to enhance economic development and cultural tourism, while providing the residents of Evanston, Bridger Valley and the Wasatch front with great musical entertainment, fine arts and a sense of community,” the festival says via its website. “It also strives to pass on a love of bluegrass music to the next generation.”  Be sure to check out this great musical event in Southwest Wyoming — and while you’re there, hang out and try some of Evanston’s great restaurants, shopping, lodging and recreation — be sure to check out the Bear River State Park for all sorts of summer fun!

image by Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

LARAMIE — BUTCH CASSIDY DAYS JUNE 9

Butch Cassidy Days involve a lot of fun at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, in West Laramie. Kite-flying will be a fun activity of the day, and with Laramie’s recent windy weather, a lot of fun will be had! Also catch a concert by Mary Kaye & cream can dinner … more details here!

LANDER — LANDER DAYS MAIN STREET EVENT JUNE 30 — The Lander Downtown Merchants Association invite you to kick off the 4th of July festivities with a fun event on Main Street! Event runs 4-10 PM on June 30.  Find the Lander Downtown Merchants Association on Facebook — or call Chisholm’s Jewelry and ask Eric & Tami for more information!

CASPER — NIC FEST AT THE NICOLAYSEN ART MUSEUM — JUNE 22-24

From Nicolaysen Executive Director Connie Gibbons:  “Every June, the Nicolaysen Art Museum throws open its doors to music, art and family fun for the 2 1/2 day event that features artist booths, artist demonstrations, food and two stages with music and entertainment. For 2012, the Nic Fest introduces a celebration of folk-life. Each year a different cultural region, country or tradition will be explored and this year the festival integrates a celebration of Mexican culture, art, music, dance and food.”

The 3rd Annual Firefighter ‘Downtown Throwdown’ Competition will take place in conjunction with Nic Fest. Dates are June 22 (5-9 PM) and June 23 (10 AM – 5 PM), between 1st & 2nd St. on Beech St. Watch the ‘toughest two minutes in sports’ as local firefighters face off against other firefighters from across the area, region and nation.

Click here to visit the Nic’s informative, online Nic Fest brochure — exhibitors, musicians, schedule and more. VERY cool feature!

SHERIDAN — 3RD THURSDAY EVENTS KICK OFF JUNE 21!

image courtesy 3rd Thursday Festival Committee

Sheridan’s 3rd Thursday Festival kicks off for the months of June, July, August & September. Located on Main Street from Loucks to Alger and including Grinell Plaza, the festival includes strong man competitions, chicken roping, the ROTC Rock Wall, steak grilling competitions in July (w/a $500 cash prize!), live music performances, various local & regional vendors, a food court, beer & wine gardens and extended hours for downtown local merchants.

In June, dig the musical talents of Gary Small and the Coyote Brothers. This event is sponsored in part by the Downtown Sheridan Association, Sheridan Chamber, Sheridan Travel & Tourism, the City of Sheridan, Bighorn Beverage — and “…the greatest group of voulnteers and local support a committee could ever ask for,” says committee member Chad Franklin.

LARAMIE — Downtown Laramie Continues Lighting Infrastructure Project

The City of Laramie, in partnership with the Laramie Main Street Alliance, has begun the second phase of the downtown street light improvement project that was initially started in 2009. The 2012 lighting project includes upgrades to the wiring system, existing light fixtures as well as the installation of new, antique decorative light poles on 3rd and 4th Streets between University Avenue and Custer.

The lighting project is funded by the City of Laramie with a Business Ready Community Loan from the Wyoming Business Council. The project is expected to cost between $1.3 and $1.9 million. The addition of the new antique poles will aesthetically tie 3rd and 4th Streets in with the rest of historic downtown Laramie. Studies show that shoppers enjoy a well lit, inviting atmosphere and are more likely to linger in an area that is welcoming and well designed.

The downtown lighting project began on June 4th at 3rd and University and will conclude October 19th at 4th and Ivinson. Work will be done weekly on a block-by-block basis. No street closures are expected and sidewalks, driveways and alleyways will remain open. During construction, there will be no on street parking. Contact the Laramie Main Street office at 307-760-3355, or David Derragon, Assistant City Manager at 307-721-5304 for more information.

Brand 307

BURNS DAY — JUNE 9

LOTS of excitement coming up Saturday, June 9 for Burns Day! Some of the events and time schedules that we know of:  PANCAKE BREAKFAST (7-9 AM); 9:30 Police Dog Demo; 9:45 Kids’ Parade; Burns Chptr Order Of Eastern Star Bake Sale (9-11); FOOD IN PARK; Hands In Harmony Performance@Gazebo (1:00); Search & Rescue Dog Presentation; Service Dog Presentation; Cheyenne Animal Shelter Will Be Present All Day For Adoption Info; Cheyenne Quick Draw booth; BRAND 307 playing from 7-11 PM

LARAMIE — SPECIALS FROM LOVEJOY’S BAR & GRILL

bbq pork sandwich Shredded pork, drenched in bbq sauce, topped with melted cheddar cheese and tucked in a hoagie. Served with your choice of fries, chips and salsa, creamy mashed potatoes, cottage cheese or dinner salad. 8.5
lovejoy’s pasta Grilled chicken breast and sauteed artichoke hearts tossed in a sauce of chicken stock and sundried tomato pesto. Served over cavitappi pasta with a sprinkle of asiago cheese. Accompanied by your choice of soup or salad. 11.

Connect with Lovejoy’s:  Facebook  FourSquare  on the web

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WY TRAVEL: Guernsey Lake – Did You Miss This?

Thanks to Rob McIntosh for sending in this editorial and images — Guernsey Reservoir is a popular destination for many folks, and I appreciate this perspective on the little details that are commonly overlooked…all images and article are by Rob McIntosh of Torrington. Thanks Rob!

Keep in mind while reading this that in no way am I saying there is anything wrong with fishing, camping, boating, skiing, and other water sports that go on at Guernsey Reservoir.  This is my attempt to focus (pun intended) on what the majority of the people spending time at the lake will never see. High above the beaches and crisp blue water of the lake lies an all together different world that is seldom seen unless a person takes time to climb the cliffs.  Since the lake area was carved over a vast amount of time and most of the cliffs were under water at some point in that time, there are dozens of things worth photographing as you climb to the top.  In addition to the cliffs themselves, you will find all kinds of interesting and seldom seen sights.

As the layers of shale were being formed, small animals and plants became trapped in the mud.  As time went on, these areas were exposed to the elements and eventually those fossilized plants and animals showed up on the surface where you can clearly see them.  In other areas, the air pockets had created crystallized formations called geodes. Again, these areas worked their way to the outside world and became visible to those climbing the cliffs.

With the Earth shifting and water wearing away at these areas for eons, those layers are lined along the cliffs so they look like old books or newspapers stacked up so someone could grab them and leaf through the pages.  One such book fell off the stack and is sitting on edge waiting to be picked up and returned to the pile.

There’s an area where water flowed over the layers of sedimentary rock cutting a channel into it.  Then, that channel filled with sediment and eventually turned to rock.  It boggles the mind to think that these cliffs high above the lake were at one time under the lake.

Eventually through erosion and wind, the area began to support plant and animal life again.  Obviously, the water below supports an abundance of life, both plant and animal, but the life on the cliffs is all together different. As the cedar trees grow and die, they leave behind pinecones and needles and eventually themselves as nature’s artwork. The cactus plants bloom with their waxy flowers along with the yucca and thistles all surrounded by thorny leaves or threatening spikes.   Plants sprout and grow in the cracks of the rocks where it doesn’t seem there is enough soil to support even the tiniest sprig.  Bees, bugs, and other signs of life appear everywhere.  All this and more exists high above the water and the beaches just waiting for those people like me to see them and photograph them.  So, sometime when you are at the lake and get tired of the water and all the activity that surrounds it, take a hike up the cliffs and see this other world that exists within the confines of Guernsey Reservoir.  It is a wonderful sight, especially from the top.

Thanks Rob! I appreciate this new view, and will be sure to share it with my boating family so they too can appreciate what they’ve been missing…Guernsey Reservoir and the town of Guernsey, along with Platte County Wyoming, are a fun point of tourism in the state. Water sports and historical points (such as Fort Laramie!) are popular destinations — be sure to add them to your Wyoming tourism bucket list!

‘Til Next Time…

Kati Hime, Editor

editor@wyolifestyle.com

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WY HUNTING & FISHING: “The Tug Is The Drug – It’s Streamer Time On The North Platte River”

Thanks to Platte River Fly Shop & Mark Boname Photography for our latest installment in our look at Wyoming hunting & fishing!


Fall is definitely known as “trophy trout time” on the North Platte River Tail Waters and it’s one of our favorite times to fish. Because of the heavy snow pack runoff, the North Platte has been high all summer and is finally starting to recede to its normal fall clear low levels.

Photo by Mark Boname Photography

Streamer fishing is probably our most favorite way to fish the North Platte because it produces so many large fish. As the river drops this fall, the lower flows will give fisherman access to classic runs, flat-water glides, and undercut banks that are typically obscured by higher flows during the summer. With this clear water most of the time you can actually see the fish come out of nowhere and eat your fly. Streamer fishing in general involves a little more casting than other methods but the reward is definitely there. It is truly something special when a big fish almost pulls the rod from your hand while attacking your fly on the retrieve.

It can also be said with reasonable confidence that fall on the North Platte offers anglers their best shot at a true trophy. Double digit browns as well as rainbows are caught every year in the fall. On these fall streamer trips you won’t catch as many fish as nymphing  in the spring and summer months but the size and quality will make up for it.

To streamer fish effectively you must cover a lot of water; so fishing from a boat is the most effective way to cover long sections of the river. However, those that wade can also do well by using a heavier sinking line. We recommend a 7 to 8 weight fly rod with a sink tip line for throwing big streamers all day.

Photo by Mark Boname Photography

Don’t forget to bring your dry fly rod and a box of small dry flies as well. Fall is one of the best dry fly fishing times of  the year. We have both a good Blue Wing Olive and Pseudo hatch along with some left over hoppers and caddis. Watch the banks as you float down river as these fish are feeding very quietly and half the time you have to see them to know they are there.

We hope you have a great successful fall fishing season and please don’t hesitate to visit our website at www.wyomingflyfishing.com, our Facebook page at North Platte River Fly Shop, or call the Platte River Fly Shop at 307-237-5997.

Article by the Platte River Fly Shop Guide Staff / Photography Mark Boname

Thanks Mark & Platte River Fly Shop for this column!  Happy fishing this fall season — the weather is still gorgeous, so be sure to get out there!

‘Til Next Time…I’m craving more outdoor activities while the weather’s so beautiful!

Kati Hime, Editor

editor@wyolifestyle.com

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WY TRAVEL: Hiking Hot Spots (from the fans!)

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Image by Cece Tolin of Casper, Wyoming

Thanks to our social media friends for helping with our search for hiking hot spots!  Below are some of the suggestions we heard for great places to hike in Wyoming…

From Jean:  Big Horns!

From Hoz:  The Winds, Cirque of the Towers

From Melissa:  Sinks Canyon, to Popo Agie Falls

From Patty:  Vedauwoo

From Tammy:  Laramie Peak trails, around Greyrocks Reservoir

From Sandy:  Rock Creek Trail in the summer is gorgeous!

From Jenny:  Snowy Range in Fall and Summer/ Vedauwoo in fall and summer.

From Bob:  If I keep it to “non-Yellowstone” hikes, I like Bucking Mule Falls in the Bighorns off of 14A.

From Casey:  Medicine Wheel area in the late summer, early fall

Erik was heading to hike Cliff Creek to see the falls…I’d love to see some pics, Erik! 🙂

From Lori:  Hiking in the Wind Rivers is an indescribable experience!

From Lyle:  ENCAMPMENT RIVER TRAIL, follows the Encampment river just South of Encampment (odd fellows camp) to Commissary Park (Colorado border). 16 miles of enchantment on the Encampment 🙂

Have one to add? We’d love to hear from you! We’ll add your comment to this blog post!

Til Next Time…Stay tuned to our social media pages for more opportunities to weigh in on your favorite WY places! Visit us on Facebook, or check us on Twitter @wyolifestylemag!

Kati Hime, Editor

editor@wyolifestyle.com

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WY Camping Recommendations — From the Fans!

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Image by Brant Nyberg Photography, http://brantnyberg.zenfolio.com/

Thanks to Brant from Riverton for suggesting a blog on camping recommendations! GREAT idea!  We polled fans on our Facebook page and gathered their camping recommendations…so from the best resource out there (the WY enthusiasts!) here are our recommendations for camping spots in Wyoming…

From Casey:  “Friend Park…Laramie Peak”

From Andrea:  “Laramie Peak area is absolutely beautiful! And then there is closeby and reliable ol’ Glendo! Love them both”

From Jennifer:  “Camp Bethel in the Bighorns”

From Patricia:  “Buffalo Bill Reservoir”

From John:  “Anywhere on the Red Desert — I tend to like the area around Oregon Butte .. Oh the memories and dreams to once again view God’s awesome wonders He created!”

From Mary:  “Up Granite Creek near the hot springs and the waterfall which is on the edge of the Gros Ventre Wilderness.”

From Jean:  “We camped as a family at Medicine Bow Creek up by Hyattsville. Great place!!!”

From Laura:  “Anywhere near Granite Hot Springs and Big Sandy Openings are great choices…”

From Sonja Caywood Landscapes, Western and Wildlife Art in Dayton, WY:  “Lake Adelaide or Sawmill Flats in the Big Horns :)”

From Bearlodge Mtn Classic, a mountain bike race near Sundance (check out the first issue of Wyovore to learn more!): “Reuter Campground in the Bearlodge Mountains of North East Wyoming’s, Black Hills — Saturday, September 17 so that you will wake up at the Start/Finish of the Bearlodge Mtn Classic mountain bike race/ride!”

From Kathy:  “Fremont Lake campground, outside Pinedale! :-)”

From Brant:  “Brook’s Lake above Dubois is one of our family favorites.”

From Daniel:  “Bighorns!!!”

From Margaret:  “Cheyenne”

From Mary:  “Big Horns, Ft Laramie, Douglas during the State Fair this month, Laramie, Yellowstone, Pathfinder if you like to fish, Glendo but only if you like to fish, Thermopolis, Cody, Snowy Range out of Laramie, Saratoga”

From Jessie:  “French Creek Campground in the Snowies is absolutely beautiful. Full of aspens, so it’s great in early fall!”

From Shasta:  “Have 2 favorite spots- Signal Mountain Campground in Grand Teton National Park and Porcupine Campground in The Bighorns! Both have beautiful views and lots of wildlife!”

From Ranchweb:  “Don’t forget to check out a dude or guest ranch in Wyoming!”

From Wyoming Outdoors, an awesome Facebook page: “There are pics of some favorite camp areas on this page too. My personal favorite is Deer Creek area.”

From Suzanne:  “Anywhere in Yellowstone.”

THANKS guys!!! Do you have more suggestions? We’d love to hear them! Email us at editor@wyolifestyle.com, post on our Facebook page for Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine or Wyovore (our bookstore version!) or give us a tweet at @wyolifestylemag or @wyovore!

‘Til Next Time…Camp On!

Kati Hime, Editor

editor@wyolifestyle.com

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Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine — Read the summer issue, and the fall 2011 issue will come out in August! www.wyolifestyle.com

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WY HUNTING & FISHING: It’s Hopper Time!

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All images copyright and courtesy of Mark Boname Photography

Thanks to Mark Boname of North Platte River Fly Shop in Casper for providing us with our first Wyoming hunting & fishing blog!  Mark has some great input as well as remarkable photography — visit their website or their Facebook page, and give them a call for your Wyoming fishing answers…and THANKS Mark for the blog post and great photos!

It’s that time of year again! If you’re a farmer or rancher, you are probably saying some four letter words under your breath, but if you’re a fisherman you’ve got to love it. The Natrona County Extension Agency is predicting another record infestation of grass hoppers this year. By what I’ve seen so far they’re correct, however it seems that there are pockets around the county where the hopper populations are higher than others. Unfortunately for fisherman this year, in anticipation a lot of property owners below Gray Reef Dam have sprayed and we are not seeing as many hoppers in the upper reaches of the river.

Last year was the first real hopper fly fishing season on the North Platte River since I started guiding in 1987. With the culmination of a high hopper population, high water and windy conditions, fishing hopper patterns along the banks has been unbelievable. Watching 20 inch rainbows rise from nowhere to smash your fly is a more aggressive style of fishing and quite thrilling. Half the time it would scare you to death with a reaction that caused you to take the fly away from them.

Hopper fishing on the North Platte is definitely better done from a boat as you can drift down along the banks and cover more of the water. You can wade fish using hopper patterns, but can only present the pattern for so long over a single piece of water before you will have to move on and find a new stretch of untouched water.  In addition, if you quarter your casts up river you will get better drag free drifts.

High mountain hopper fishing is exceptionally good and usually lags a couple weeks behind what we find down along the valley floors. As with any dry fly, it is best to fish hoppers upstream, casting to pockets and seams and letting the fly drift back to you. Just make sure that you’re stripping enough line so that when it comes back to you and you get a strike, you can set the hook more efficiently.

With the introduction of high density foam into the fly tying arena, a lot of great new hopper patterns are out on the market today. These new patterns are not only more durable, but also float higher and longer without the need for putting fly floating on them. Although the old spun deer hair hoppers like Joe’s Hoppers are still just as effective, I’m noticing the hoppers right now in all different colors and sizes – so don’t worry too much about the color as much as the durability and floatation factor.

For more information about fishing or getting a guide trip for the hopper season please contact us at the Platte River Fly Shop — 307-237-5997,info@wyomingflyfishing.com

Thanks again Mark!  Stay tuned to our new blog category for info on hunting & fishing, as well as the other category topics listed…  Our fall issues of Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine and Wyovore will be coming out before long for fall 2011!

‘Til next Time,

Kati Hime, Editor

editor@wyolifestyle.com

Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine

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