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Laramie River
From Colorado into Wyoming

by Karen Christopherson
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Few rivers flow from Colorado into Wyoming, from south to north. The Laramie is one such river, uniquely divided from the Poudre and North Platte drainages by a confusion of mountains in the northern part of Colorado. The Laramie River has a few things worth traveling for - some great scenery and some potentially large brown trout. This river may seem a bit off the beaten path, but is well worth a visit.

The Laramie doesn't seem to get too crowded - maybe it's the drive, or perhaps the variety of water close by. On the right day, you might be frequented by a caddis or drake hatch. Summer brings out the mosquitoes and hoppers. In the canyon section you can try the bigger flies. Strip a streamer or a plop a mouse near the bank and you might tempt one of the large browns from its hiding place.

Spring, summer or fall are great times to fish this area. The color contrast offered by the aspens, firs, pines, rocks, and grasses is spectacular any time of year. Thinking of winter? You might think again, or at least check ahead and be prepared as road conditions, ice, cold, and snow might impede your trip.

laramie river hohnholz Hohnholz State Wildlife Area
laramie river colorado Laramie River Valley in the Arapaho & Roosevelt Nat'l Forests

The Colorado portion of the Laramie lies in a reasonably broad valley; some sections are fairly brushy. Once in Wyoming, the river valley gets narrower and portions flow through a narrow canyon (it is rumoured that this is where the REALLY large browns hang out - let us know...)

Over the years, a few of the ranchers on the Colorado side have allowed access to the river across their private lands for a small fee - it might be worth checking into, and asking any friendly locals you meet. (I happen to know a bit about this, but am not going to advertise it here - I'll leave you to do your own detective work!)

laramie river wyoming South end of the canyon at the BLM/USFS access in WY
Access north of Jelm laramie river jelm
laramie river woods landing Just south of Woods Landing

While you in the area of the Laramie, there are lots of other places to fish. On the Wyoming side, you'll pass by the Laramie Plains Lakes and the Snowy Range (full of lakes and streams). On the Colorado side, there's the Poudre River, numerous streams and lakes in North Park, the Rawah Wilderness, and on the north side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Make sure you're organized and have licenses for both states before making this trip. This is not an area teeming in flyshops or sports stores. You'll need to get your licenses ahead, either online or in the closest towns of Laramie, Walden, Ft. Collins; Woods Landing does have a small store where you can get a WY license.

Coming from the Colorado side:

Coming from the Wyoming side: