Fishing on the North Platte River is a treat for both novices and experts. Hunting in the Platte Valley is exceptional, and with abundant numbers of antelope, deer and elk, your chances of bagging some big game are excellent. With a variety of terrain and the cool mountain weather, the Platte Valley provides the idea habitat for all kinds of animals. As the North Platte flows through our valley, the diverse terrain of Wyoming is apparent, changing from alpine mountains to high-desert plains in less than 70 miles. Wildlife is abundant, including deer, antelope, big horn sheep, elk, bald eagles and blue herons, just to name a few. Look for topography maps published by the BLM and the North Platte River float map by WY Game & Fish.
The North Platte River is one of the few rivers that flows north, and more than 65 miles have been designated as a “Blue Ribbon” trout fishery by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. There are more than 3,200 fish per mile, and with ratings among the highest for productivity, availability and aesthetics, the North Platte is well deserving of the “Blue Ribbon” title. Implementing a “fishing slot” limit, the North Platte River has returned to a natural state, enhanced by the fact that the North Platte is not damned for 141 miles, creating the longest freestone river in Wyoming.
If you’ve been fishing on the North Platte and you yearn for a slightly smaller river, some hiking, and a little bit more remote experience, head to the Encampment River – a remarkable river with a mountain feel to it. The Encampment River starts in Colorado, winding northwest then north, flowing through its own canyon before reaching the towns of Encampment and Riverside and merging with the North Platte. One of the best things about this stream is remoteness. Find yourself in the middle of the wilderness area, and you can bet that there will be no one else around, and the fish are waiting to be caught! The river banks vary from 20′ to 50′ wide and are not too deep, so waders are a must.
Spin fisherman are encouraged to visit mid-June through July, while fly fishing is best from mid-July through the fall. In Wyoming, it is important to remember that the water surrounded by and over private land is public, and the river banks and river bottom are considered private property. Although there are many public access areas along the North Platte, many people hire the services of a local outfitter for the ultimate fishing experience.
Not a sportsman? Floating the river to view and enjoy the abundant wildlife and birds can be just as fun. Whether you use an intertube (recommended later in the season) or a rubber raft, folks of all ages and abilities enjoy the cool river waters.
Hunting in the Platte Valley is exceptional, and with abundant numbers of antelope, mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose and elk, your chances of bagging some big game are excellent. With a variety of terrain and the cool mountain weather, the Platte Valley provides the idea habitat for all kinds of animals. As the North Platte flows through our valley, the diverse terrain of Wyoming is apparent, changing from alpine mountains to high-desert plains in less than 70 miles. You will find coyote, rabbits, prairie dogs and other small game in most of the area, too.
Outfitters in the area offer hunting trips and will help you complete all the necessary paper work for out-of-state hunters. Working with an outfitting businesses is a great way to take advantage of someone who knows the lay of the land and has scouted the area already.
Although the deadlines vary, most license applications are due by February 1st of each year.
photo credit: Rocky Mountain Elk Bull | Michel Hersen
Elk hunting and deer hunting on private land is usually contracted out to a professional outfitter . See our membership directory for a list of outfitters.
Below is a list of private landowners in the Saratoga and Encampment areas who currently allow unguided antelope hunting on their land and charge a trespass fee.
Antelope Area 50
PO Box 63, Elk Mountain, WY 82324
Antelope Area 52
PO Box 1343, Saratoga, WY 82331
Antelope Area 51
- Water and Climate Database
- Stream Flow
- Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
- Medicine Bow National Forest
- Wyoming Game & Fish
- VIP’s Southern Wyoming Recreation Guide
- Carbon County Tourism
- road conditions
- Explore Carbon County
Good News from the “Good Times Valley”
- Wyoming Wildlife Magazine “Using Predators for Progress” (March 2019)
- Boone and Crocket Club “Top 125 Trophy Counties" Carbon County ranked #1 (October 2012)
- Outdoor Life Magazine “35 Best Hunting and Fishing Towns in the US” Saratoga #10 (2012)
- Outdoor Life Magazine “Top 200 Towns for Sportsmen” Saratoga, WY ranked #5 in 2011, #8 in 2010, #17 in 2009
- Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine (Sept/Oct, 2009)
- Dallas News (August 16, 2009)