Looking to land the big one? Of course you are. With plenty to catch and places to reel ‘em in, there’s endless potential to create your ultimate fishing vacation in Rock Springs and Green River.
Sweetwater County’s combination of tailwaters, man-made lakes and reservoirs, mountain lakes, streams and rivers, makes our location in Southwest Wyoming a trout-lover’s paradise. From Lake Flaming Gorge to the Green River, there are many places to hook a choice fish whether you have your own boat and want to tie into a massive lake trout or you are more of a river rat. In addition to the 90-mile stretch of Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Jim Bridger Pond, Fontanelle Reservoir, Hams Fork, LaBarge Creek and Green River spots are prime Sweetwater County waterways for fisherman access. Fishing guides also operate in the area to take you to local spots or help you improve your technique.
Be sure to pick up or download your free copy of the current Wyoming Fishing Regulations and purchase your resident or nonresident fishing license before going fishing. Many local vendors sell fishing licenses. There is also a regional office of the Wyoming Game in Fish Department in the town of Green River, located at 351 Astle Avenue.
Green River & Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
The upper segment of the Green River flows through Sweetwater County and provides burbot, brown trout, channel catfish, kokanee salmon, lake trout, mountain whitefish, rainbow trout, and snake river cutthroat. The best thing about the Green River isn’t even what you’ll catch, but the scenic desert oasis you’ll be surrounded by as you cast your lure. Find a shoreline, or to make things more memorable, float the river in a drift boat or rubber raft. The Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge is 36 miles long and is open to the public.
Directions: There are several access points along Wyoming 372 between Green River and U.S. 189.
Jim Bridger Pond
Close to Green River and Rock Springs, Jim Bridger is a fantastic family fishery for you to get a day out on the water with your loved ones. There is plenty of room for you and yours to spread out and reel in the variety of fish that live here, including burbot, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, splake, and snake river cutthroat. The pond has a boat ramp, so bring your vessel and get out there!
Directions: Turn north from Exit 130 (Point of Rocks exit) on Interstate 80. Follow black-top road to the Jim Bridger Power Plant. The pond is on the left.
Big Sandy Reservoir
The Big Sandy Reservoir covers about 2,500 surface acres and allows for boating (complete with a boat ramp for easy in and out), camping, wind surfing, recreational opportunities, and fun! You’ll be able to lure in burbot and brown trout on these waters.
Directions: Follow U.S. 191 10 miles north from Farson, then turn right (east) and continue 1.8 miles to the reservoir.
Flaming Gorge Reservoir
The Flaming Gorge Reservoir is the crown jewel for fishing in Sweetwater County. These waters were home to the record-breaking 51 lb. 8 oz. lake trout, and the state’s largest fish are still found in the reservoir. What the reservoir provides in size, it also matches in variety, offering brown trout, burbot, channel catfish, kokanee salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout and maybe small-mouthed bass. Ample water surface and depth allows for various fishing techniques: trolling, vertical jigging, fly-fishing, and more. With boat ramps and camping spots, the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area has everything you need for your fishing vacation.
Directions: From Rock Springs, follow US 191 South for 17 miles, then turn right on County Road 33 to Big Firehole. Or follow Wyoming 530 South from Green River.
Tips for Catching Lake Trout
Flaming Gorge Reservoir is also known for its trophy-worthy lake trout. However, in recent years there has been a rise in small lake trout—less than 28 inches—which can increase competition and negatively impact the reservoir's ability too sustain trophy lake trout. Angler harvest is the most viable option for reducing numbers of small lake trout. So that is where you fit in! Grab your pole and go catch some lake trout!
We've put together some tips for catching lake trout, complements of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department:
Lake Trout are typically found on main channel flats and points ranging from 50- 100 feet of depth. A good map will not only help you select productive fishing locations but also identify roads to access those areas.
Medium action rods are good all-around rods for jigging, trolling and casting from shore. A medium-heavy action rod may help with setting the hook when jigging for deep water fish - as will low stretch lines like braid and fluorocarbon (8-10 lb.).
Eight to 10 lb. monofilament works well for trolling. Shore fishing is most productive during the spring and fall when water temperatures are 55o F or colder and pups are cruising near shore.
Try fishing shorelines adjacent to submerged flats and ridges that are close to deep water. Lake Trout will enter shallow water to forage but typically won’t stray far from deep water.
Throw spoons and soft bodied jigs, 2 to 4 inches in length, as far out as you can and vary the retrieve until you figure out what works.
Lures that glow help attract fish early and late in the day and if you are casting to depths over 30 feet. Try counting down your lure until you find the bottom and on your next cast start retrieving just before you hit the bottom.
If you own a boat your options increase substantially. Similar to shore fishing, you can catch pups close to shore in spring and fall. Try throwing white or luminescent tubes and curly tail grubs toward shore in the habitats described previously.
You don’t want to be down river without a paddle, so make sure you use Sweetwater’s many fishing resources to make the most of your experience. You’ll find that the most important resource you can contact is the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. This government organization has an extremely useful guide to make sure your fishing vacation is both safe and fun.
Local outfitters in Sweetwater County can make sure you have the most productive day out on the water. Here are a few of our suggested outfitters:
From fly fishing to vertical jigging and more, anglers can fish in their favorite style for channel catfish, mountain whitefish, smallmouth bass, kokanee salmon and brown, mackinaw and rainbow trout throughout Sweetwater County.