North Platte River Special Recreation Management Area: Grey Reef
In 2003/2004, the Bureau of Land Management acquired a sizeable parcel of land from Bret Van Rensselaer in an effort to provide public access to previously held private land. The Wyoming Fly Casters made a considerable donation of $28,000 to help aid with the purchase of the Van Rensselaer property.
Located immediately below Grey Reef damn, the upper section of this Blue-Ribbon quality water has rapidly developed a reputation for being one of the best, if not the best, fishery in North America. With an average trout population of 3,000 fish per mile and with an average trout size of 16-18 inches, anglers will be more than pleased with both the quantity and quality of the fish on this section of the North Platte River. In addition to those fish, trophy-size trout ranging in size from 25-30 inches and weighing upwards of 15 pounds have also been known to lurk in these waters.
Also located on this stretch of the North Platte are multiple camp sites, walk-and-wade access points and a public boat ramp. Visitors and anglers alike have ample opportunities to enjoy this section of the river, from viewing wildlife to enjoying a nice picnic with the family. The WFC is proud to welcome you to Grey Reef!
Cardwell Access- Fremont Canyon 8/3/2003
August 03, 2003
Saturday, Aug. 3, 2003 marked one of the greatest days for the Wyoming Fly Casters. The grand
opening ceremony for the returned flows to Fremont Canyon was held below Pathfinder Dam at 10:00
The project was a joint effort of the WFC, the Wyoming Game and Fish Dept. and the Bureau of
Reclamation. The WFC negotiated a three-quarter of a mile easement with the landowner (and with
adjacent existing public land) to create a new public fishing area. The easement was transferred to
the G&F. The WFC raised $75,000 for the easement purchase.
Ron Dutton represented our club and he received a rousing ovation from the crowd (the members
present were a spirited bunch). He presented an outstanding speech, providing a succinct history
covering the last 15 years of efforts between the G&F, the BuRec, the coun- ty, several other
organization and individuals along with our club.
Not many clubs can say they have been involved with recreating a river section from scratch that is
destined to be another blue ribbon trout fishery in the very near future. Comments supplied by
several of the speakers were: G&F commissioner: “This is the best proj- ect I have ever seen.”
BuRec commissioner: “When I return to Washington I’m going to tell everyone this is the best
example of a successful public/private partnership I’ve seen and one that exemplifies what we are
striving to accomplish.” And regional BuRec director: “You all should be very proud of what you
John Dolan and Jim Sparks floated several of the dignitaries down the river below Grey Reef after
the ceremony. They all caught several fish and were very impressed with the quali- ty of the river.
After the ceremony many members walked the new public access section where the G&F have skillfully
sculpted a stream channel within the old river bot- tom. They have done a beautiful job with many
differing sections representing classic runs, seams and pools. This section will offer something
for everyone. Then WFC president, John Dolan, quickly brought out his rod and began to fish.
“Any bets on who will catch the first fish -- our president or the pelican?”
The club erected a stone monument that was unobtrusively laid into the river bank at the entrance
to the public access in appreciation for many of the donors who helped provide the funds necessary
for our club to buy a $75,000 ease- ment from the Cardwell Ranch which was then transferred over to
the Wyoming G&F. A time capsule listing all the donors was buried under the stone.
I’m sure our club members will be spending many enjoyable days on this stretch of the river, one
that we can say we helped bring about.
Handicapped Pier, Yesness Park 2005
This pier was constructed in 2005 by club members
as a means to provide fishing access opportunities
for physically handicapped anglers, particularly those
in wheelchairs. It was constructed to handicapped
standards by club members.
The structure and deck were constructed of polywood
recycled structural plastic lumber. The pier
requires little to no maintenance.
It began as a dream by Herb Waterman. Art
VanRenssalaer led the fund-raising project and the
physical pier was designed by Ed Rate.
The Wyoming Fly Casters raised $15,000, with
other contributions from the City of Casper.
After completing the pier, the club fashioned
rock borders parallel to the concrete walkway.
Speas - WFC Memorial Access
An additional parcel of property for the Speas Rearing Station was
purchased, through funding assistance from the Wyoming Fly Casters,
in order to construct improvements to comply with an order by the
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to address effluent discharge
by the hatchery into the North Platte River.
The property purchase, known as the Wyoming Fly Casters
Memorial Access, allows for public fishing and recreation between the
river and the hatchery.
The Wyoming Fly Casters contributed $40,000 to help with the