Probably the most famous and infamous section of the North Platte, Grey Reef has recently had some major publicity in some high profile fly fishing magazines, and rightfully so. The Reef is a fish factory. Nutrient rich water coupled with stable flows and consistent water temperature from Grey Reef Dam have created optimum conditions for trout to thrive. If you have had the chance to fish then you know that Grey Reef has an over-abundance of guides and outfitters. Turnover is high and guides come and go all of the time. We have close to a decade of experience on Grey Reef and promise to out-work any guide on the water. There are so many outfitters with not enough guides that many times they will send a trip out with just about anyone to make another buck.
Grey Reef is not the place to go for solitude; you will see other people. This is the place catch lots of hard fighting rainbow trout. Size of fish seems to be down the last few years but the numbers have definitely gone up. A couple of good spawn years has made the smaller fish plentiful. There is still a great shot at fish in the 2-4 pound range with a good chance at fish in the 5-7 pound range. There are fish in the 8+ range, however, they are rare to catch and in know way can you expect that. This section predominately consists of rainbow trout. However, cutthroat and brown trout and walleye do exist in lower numbers.
The reef offers excellent trout fishing nearly year round if you can tolerate the conditions. Some winter days can be pretty mild and make for a unique experience to be on the water with few crowds. The spring time during the month of April and May is probably the busiest time of the year. During this time the rainbow spawn is on. The river is loaded with tons of eggs, offering a huge food source and making fishing relatively easy. Especially for those who target spawning fish, which we definitely do not. There are more than enough fish eating in the runs.
As spring turns to summer the eggs disappear and the fish get into bug mode. While the fishing is still extremely good, it takes a little more knowledge of the fish and the bugs they eat to have a good day. Hatches in the spring start with midges, than shift to BWO’s and caddis. By early summer the hatch is mostly yellow sallies and PMDs. Each hatch can produce epic fishing. Late summer marks one of the most challenging hatch to fish. Tiny trico mayflies in super clear water make for quite the challenge.
Places to stay at Grey Reef