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If you’re eager to limber up your casting arm prior to a trip after goldens in the Bridger Wilderness area of Wyoming, or you want to do something after your pack trip, there are two quality rivers you should visit in the Pinedale area the Green and New Fork. Both these rivers flow through rolling, sage covered hills at about 7,200 feet in elevation.
The Green River is a world class rainbow trout fishery that passes through the outskirts of Pinedale. Fifty fish days are not uncommon, with most of the fish in the 12 to 14 inch range. Much larger trout are present, including two to five pound browns, some grayling and an occasional Mackinaw to four pounds. The river varies from 30 to 65 feet in width and is extremely susceptible to, runoff from rain storms until October. August and September are peak months.
The best sections of the Green flow through private ranches. Access to these areas is strictly guarded by local ranchers. Using the services of an outfitter will insure a problem free trip. I recommend the following three outfitters: Bridger Wilderness Outfitters (*); Box R Ranch (*); and White Pine Lodge (*).
The New Fork River is a major tributary of the Green. It joins the Green just east of Big Piney some 40 miles southwest of Pinedale. It offers good numbers of two to three pound browns, with some fish reaching six to eight pounds. Twelve to 14 inch rainbows and smaller brook trout are also present. August and September are prime months and the services of a guide are needed to avoid conflicts with ranchers and to negotiate narrow stretches of the water that are overhung with willows, obstructed by stick jams or rendered dangerous by barbed wire strung from bank to bank in spots.
In addition to woolly buggers and streamers for fall fishing, Adams, Elk Hair caddis and Royal Wulffs (Nos. 12 to 14) are good patterns for both rivers. Bitch Creeks, Girdle Bugs and Muddler Minnows also work well. John Holt.