This episode is filled with the allure of both small town and old west charm. Wyoming is a state of great diversity. Find out what keeps a small group of residents content with their little bit of paradise. Could it be the history? The friendly atmosphere? The wonderful wild trout fishing in the canyons of the Rocky Mountains? It's all of that and more! This show also brings you an in-depth fly fishing lesson from nationally known guide Jeff Streeter.

Depending on the time of year and the amount of precipitation, conditions on the river will vary. During our stay, the Encampment River, which flows into the North Platte River, one of Wyoming's Blue Ribbon fisheries, was very low and clear. There was also a brisk wind that made accurate casting difficult. With that combination to deal with, the advanced casting lessons from world-renowned fly fishing instructor, Jeff Streeter, were very helpful.

Because we needed to make short, accurate casts, Jeff suggested an 8 1/2' by 4wt. Thomas & Thomas fast action rod with a Rio 4wt. double taper floating line. It's a good combination for making quick, delicate presentations to wary trout.

The fly hatches are abundant. A size 20 Parachute Adams with a 9' leader tapered down to a 6x tippet was one setup that proved effective. Another commonly used fly is the Elk Hair Caddis in a variety of sizes and colors depending on the water level and time of year. Check with your guide or a local fly shop.

PRIME TIME: July 1 -October 15

GETTING THERE: Laramie Regional Airport
(1 hour drive), Denver Int'l. (4 hour drive) Interstate 80
most direct highway access

LODGING & DINING: Historic Hotel Wolf & other Inns, camping, B&B's

ACTIVITIES: Hot Springs, hiking, fishing, history
museum, galleries and gift shops, day trips into mountains, downhill skiing and snowmobiling in winter

THINGS TO REMEMBER: Respect private land -
permission is required to access most of the river.

Prime time to enjoy the Saratoga area is during the summer and fall, from about July 1st to October15th. The fish are biting, the weather is sunny and mild, and you can enjoy a walk in the woods without the threat of snow. If you prefer the snow, Saratoga also offers access to some amazing snowmobile trails and downhill skiing.

If you're taking an old-fashioned road trip to get there you'll want to travel on Interstate 80. You can take the exit for Saratoga off that interstate, or you can head into Laramie, WY and take Highway 130 West. It's a spectacular drive that will acquaint you with the beautiful granite peaks and wildflower meadows of the Snowy Range Mountains and Lake Marie Peak.

Once you arrive, you can check in at the historic Hotel Wolf or perhaps a local Bed & Breakfast or Guest Ranch. Enjoy delicious meals served up with western hospitality at any one of the many local restaurants.

Don't be afraid to enjoy dessert because there are plenty of ways to work off the extra calories. Hiking, rafting, fishing, horseback riding, golfing, and more, are the obvious choices. But don't forget to stop in at the hot springs and enjoy the warmth and relaxation offered both summer and winter.

Finally, remember that access to the N. Platte and Encampent Rivers is mostly private. Therefore we recommend hiring a guide, at least for the first day or so. Not only will that increase your odds of landing a nice rainbow trout, it will also save time spent looking for safe and convenient access points to approach the rivers.

General Information on Wyoming

For a FREE Vacation Planner, call or visit us on line

Saratoga Information

Saratoga Chamber of Commerce

Recommended Lodging & Dining

The Hotel Wolf
101 E. Bridge Street
Saratoga, WY
This is some of the best food west of the Mississippi!

Recommended Guide Service

Jeff & Sandy Streeter
Guide service just doesn't get any better than this.

Things to see and do

Saratoga National Fish Hatchery: Self-guided tours are available year round. For a guided or group tour call ahead for reservations (307) 326-5662

Hat Creek Saddlery & Trading Post: 107 W. Bridge Street, Saratoga (307) 326-5755 When you walk through the front door you will feel like you stepped back in time. Bill and Chris Fournier will show you what the well-dressed cowboy & cowgirl wore 100 years ago. They'll help outfit you for a modern day western adventure too. Custom saddles and tack are their specialty. It's a really fun store to visit.

Take a Dip in the Hot Springs: Saratoga was originally named Warm Springs for its natural hot springs. They are open year 'round, 24 hours a day. And they're FREE!

Visit Encampment: This town is located about 15 miles south of Saratoga and has a wonderfully restored Old West town, complete with wooden sidewalks, a general store, and a two-story outhouse! The outhouse is a long story, but you'll just have to see it to understand! Encampment is also home to one of the oldest soda fountains in Wyoming. Stop in for an ice-cream soda!

Scenic By-Pass 130: Highway 130, which connects Saratoga with Laramie, traverses the beautiful Snowy Range mountains. It is a drive worth seeing. Mirror Lake and Lake Marie are nestled at the base of massive granite peaks that reach over 12,000 feet in elevation. Deer, elk, moose, and other wildlife abound in this wilderness area. Highway 130 is open from Memorial Day to the first heavy snow, usually mid-October. After that it becomes a snowmobiler's dream come true. Along the way, stop at the Snowy Mountain Lodge for a great meal served up with plenty of Western Hospitality. If you want to sleep among the whispering pines they have cabins to rent. There are also numerous uncrowded campgrounds throughout the Snowy Range area.