I often have to work hard to find true peace and quiet when I’m fly fishing peak season in Western Wyoming. Thankfully, the New Fork River on the east side of the Wind River Range has given me numerous days of large fish and interactions with very few people.
Quite a bit of the water is privately owned, but several public boat launches allow you to float your way down and land some phenomenal fish.
The New Fork River begins at the New Fork Lakes at the base of the Wind River Mountains. From there, it meanders south to the Pine Creek River Access. At this point, you’re able to float and find fish. All sorts of mountain streams feed this river, providing ample food and cover. Eventually, the New Fork River joins the Green River below State Highway 351.
Since access is more limited, you have a few areas you can launch your drift boat or canoe. This minimizes the choices, but still gives you great access to fish.
Airport PAA- Great Access
The first great access point for the New Fork River is a few miles south of Pinedale, Wyoming. You’ll travel on State Highway 191 for 4 miles south of town, turn right on Runway Road and travel towards the gravel pit. From here, you can scoot around the backside to a parking area near the river. This area is going to put you right in the midst of an extremely productive eddy. This bend in the river can be fairly deep and hold a nice amount of fish. You can either drop your boat in here or fish this section via wading.
Make sure you pay close attention to the no trespassing signs listed on this river. Since quite a bit of it is privately owned, you want to make sure you’re not breaking any laws! In Wyoming, it’s possible for landowners to own the riverbed, so make sure you stop when you see any posted areas.
You can fish streamers, nymphs, and dry flies in this section. You’re on the deep side of the eddy here, so be careful when you’re wading! Casting up into the bend in the river and letting your fly drift towards you is a great way to land fish in this area.
East Fork Confluence PAA- Great Drop In Location
To access the East Fork Confluence PAA, you’ll have to travel to the town of Boulder, WY. From here, go about a mile south of the bridge that crosses the East Fork River on Highway 191. Take a right on Sublette County Road 106 and drive for 1.5 miles. You’ll see a bend in the road and from here take a right and in a half-mile, you’ll be at the river.
There is a boat ramp here as well as some area to fish. This is a fairly straight and wide area of water! If possible, drifting this section of the river to give you access to both banks. If you can’t, feel free to wade in a bit to get to the great-looking seams throughout the water.
Again, pay close attention to any private property signs! Land owners are extremely protective over this area, and you don’t want to deal with their frustrations.
Throw streamers, nymphs, and dry flies throughout this portion of the river. Downstream a little ways you’ll find some nice eddies that give you perfect areas to throw your flies. It’s a bit of a trial and error method of fishing here.
Remmick PAA- Near the Green River
Right before the New Fork River enters the Green River you’ll find the Remmick Access point. It’s about 4 miles above the Highway 351 BLM boat ramp. Travel 11 miles on Paradise Road north of Boulder. You’ll see a Game and Fish Department access sign and it’ll be a quarter mile from there.
The river thins about a bit in this section providing anglers with some more access and easier wading! Streamers, nymphs and dries are all going to work here. Go in the mornings and the evenings to properly time out the hatches.
Why the New Fork River is Perfect for Fly Fishing
Not only does the New Fork River provide you with great access to local towns like Pinedale and Boulder, but it also gives you a chance to be alone. Most anglers spend their time on the Green River or other portions of the greater Yellowstone area.
You can find campsites and beautiful areas to visit all along the New Fork. Yes, access is a bit limited, but the areas that are available to the public are going to be productive and a blast to fish. If you want to try your hands at a simple float trip, this is the river for you. You won’t encounter anything too serious, and you can maneuver the water fairly easily.
What Stream Flow is Best for Fishing the New Fork River
If possible, you want to fish this river when it’s between 200-300 CFS. During runoff, you’ll find that it’s upwards of 800 to 1000 CFS. It’s a fairly quick-moving river, so be prepared to do a lot of stripping and mending to keep your fly in the right place.
Since there are so many streams that run into this river, you may find portions of it that are deeper and muddier than others. If there has been precipitation in the mountains, you’ll find that the flows increase!
What Kind of Fish Can You Catch on the New Fork River
The major species that you’re going to find in the New Fork River is brown trout. These are the most hearty of the trout, so even if temperatures are warm, you’ll still be able to find them. You also have a chance to find rainbow and cutthroat trout in the higher portions of the river near the confluence.
Reports say that there are around 900 or so trout per mile. This is somewhat similar to the Green River above the Fontenelle Reservoir.
Favorite Flies for the New Fork River
There are all sorts of patterns that are going to work on the New Fork River. The hatches are plentiful year round!
Elk Hair Caddis- Size 18
Elk Hair Caddis is a great pattern to use throughout the summer on the New Fork River. Make sure you’re using light tippet and casting near rises!
Zebra Midge- Size 16
The Zebra Midge is a smart pattern to use before the hatches begin. You can use it as the bottom of a dry dropper rig or fish it on its own. Find some riffles and you’ll be in look.
Chubby Chernobyl- Size 8
Come late summer, the Chubby Chernobyl is going to be your best friend! The terrestrial flies are all over waiting to be eaten. Use it as the top of a dry dropper rig.
Hatch Chart for the New Fork River
|Fly Name||Size||Start Date||End Date|
|Salmonfly||12-14||June 1||July 31|
|Golden Stone||14-20||June 1||August 31|
|Little Yellow Stone||16-22||July 1||September 31|
|Caddis||16-24||May 1||September 31|
|Baetis||16-20||March 1||November 31|
|PMD||14-20||July 1||September 31|
|Gray Drake||16-20||July 1||August 31|
|Trico||16-20||August 1||September 31|
|Mahogany Dun||14-22||September 1||October 31|
|Midge||16-24||March 1||November 31|
|Terrestrials||8-14||July 1||September 31|
|Callibaetis||16-20||July 1||August 31|
Fly Rod and Reel Setup for the New Fork River
When fly fishing the New Fork, a 5-weight 9’ or a 4-weight 8’6” rod is a good option. You can also use a floating line! The river isn’t overly large, but you’ll want to make some longer casts while on the drift boat.
Looking for the perfect fly rod combo for the New Fork River?
The Sage Foundation Fly Rod Combo comes with everything minus flies. The rod in made in the U.S.A. and comes with the typically lifetime warranty. The fast action allows you to cast in the windy conditions found along the Colorado. Even better – when your buddies see you casting a Sage you’ll get the jealousy looks.
Guides and Fly Shops
Upstream Anglers– Upstream Anglers is a great spot in Jackson Hole that provides anglers a full guided adventure on the New Fork River.
Great Outdoor Shop– The Great Outdoor Shop in Pinedale is one of the best places to visit for local knowledge on the New Fork River.
Last Cast for the New Fork River
Fly fishing in Wyoming is an absolute treat. The views are beautiful and the fish are plentiful! On the New Fork River, you’ll find a leisurely fishing experience with few interruptions by people throughout your day. If you want more information on fly fishing in Wyoming, visit the link here!
Danny Mooers is a high school English teacher in Arizona with a love for fly fishing. Growing up in Minnesota gave him the opportunity to experience all types of fishing and grow his skills. After living out in the Western United States for several summers in college, his fly fishing obsession grew. Having the opportunity to share in his passion for fishing through writing is a dream come true. It’s a lifelong hobby and he strives to make it understandable for people of all skill levels