Wyoming- T Cross Ranch Fly Fishing

Experience fly-fishing at a Wyoming dude ranch.

by Darley Newman

I am a beginning fly-fisher. I've had one lesson in Wyoming prior to T Cross Ranch, a historic Wyoming dude ranch. Though it was a spot well known for great fly fishing, I did not catch anything. The instructor didn't either, but maybe that's because I was talking too much during the lesson. Those trout are skiddish!

Phil from The T Cross Ranch took me out for a fly fishing lesson and to hopefully catch a fish. We began by practicing my casting technique out in the field, so that we wouldn't scare the fish down at Horse Creek, a fly fishing spot just down from my cabin on the ranch property. 

T Cross fly fishing

Horse Creek is stocked with Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Cutthroat Trout. There are multiple pools on the creek that Phil said would hold some big fish, so hit those to test our luck. 

Phil and other fly fishing aficionados give guests at the T Cross Ranch lessons in fishing or you can go out on you own. It's catch and release, using barbless hooks. Guests can keep some fish for meals if they wish, but we would be putting ours back, as salmon was on the menu for dinner.

Within a minute, Phil caught his first fish, a colorful Brook Trout. He also challenged me to a fish catching contest. I couldn't refuse the challenge and decided that we were not leaving until we caught another fish.

T Cross Ranch Fly fishing

Phil gave me some helpful tips, like casting between 10 and 2 o'clock. You are striving to emulate a fly, so that the fish will want to bite on your line. 

We used dry flies. Please don't ask me which kind, because Phil had a colorful multitude of bright and furry plastic flies. He even tied some of his own.

We move to a new pool down the creek and put on our polarized sunglasses, in order to try to see the fish. I was able to spot one and began to cast its way, hoping to make it my big win. The fish did bite, but I was unsuccessful in reeling him in. You had to be fast to catch these fish!

The clouds began rolling in and a cold breeze , making it harder to cast my line out. After hooking myself a few times, I was sort of ready to give up and head in for dinner. I don't think that Phil, who had already caught three fish, was going to let me leave the T Cross without catching a fish, so I figured I'd better really try to catch something now or have to fish again tomorrow instead of enjoying a horse ride.

I headed to a further pool for another try. This time, I got a bite and quickly reeled the fish in. It was a 10-inch Brook Trout, and I couldn't have been happier. I actually can't believe how great I felt from catching this fish. 

You have to be stealth to catch those fish, but now that I've experienced it on my travel adventures, I can see how it's addictive.

Learn more about horse riding vacations at T Cross Ranch in the Equitrekking Vacation Guide and on T Cross Ranch's website.