We'll leave a bit of the cowboy out of Wyoming and show you some amazing prehistoric treasures buried in the town of Thermopolis. Dinosaurs in Wyoming? You bet! Discover what's to be found at a real fossil site and follow the bones from their earth-covered tombs to the Wyoming Dinosaur Center display arena. Along with that you'll learn some techniques for successfully fly fishing the Wind River for amazing wild brown trout. Oh, and don't forget to take a dip in the world's largest mineral hot springs.
For our trip down the Wind River Canyon I used a 9' 6wt. Thomas & Thomas rod and Robin used a 9' 5wt. We battled some fairly strong wind, which was magnified inside the canyon. The stiffer, fast-action rods helped punch into the wind and deliver our flies where we wanted them to go. Both rod weights worked for the job at hand. The difference in weight was more a matter of personal preference.
Our reels were made by the J. Ryall Company and we both used the Julianne model. When catching small fish a fly reel is often just something to hold your line. But a few of the fish made us appreciate a reel with a smooth drag system.
A friend of ours, Simon Gawesworth, who just happens to be a world-champion fly caster, recommended that we try a line made by Jim Vincent's Rio Company designed for cutting into the wind. We took Simon's advice and we were glad we did.
Our guide, Darren Calhoun, set us up with some big old flies called Chernobyl Ants. One look at those flies and we knew that any trout that would eat a fly so big and ugly would be a trout worth catching! We also used a Turks Tarantula, another good choice to entice these beautiful browns.
If your idea of temperate weather includes lots of sunshine and temperatures in the 80's, you'll enjoy Thermopolis, WY during the summer months, from June 15th to September 15th. The elevation being around 3500 ft. means that the evening cools off nicely for a good nights' sleep.
To get to Thermopolis you will need to drive or take a bus, unless you have your own plane that can take you to the private airport. It's quite a long drive from Denver International Airport (about 7 hours) but it's a great way to see the diverse landscape along the way. Casper, WY is a closer drive if you fly into that airport, about 3 hours away.
When you arrive, you will find a number of chain hotels and smaller, locally owned motels and campgrounds. Inside Hot Springs State Park you'll find all of that, making your site-seeing trip to the Rainbow Terraces very convenient.
When you've worked up a good appetite, you'll be able to choose between a number of great restaurants. From Mexican to Vegetarian, with the obvious steak and potatoes in between, you won't go hungry.
Besides dinosaur digs and drift boat fishing, Thermopolis offers its guests a wide variety of activities. Tour an old wax museum, stay outdoors and get some exercise on the hiking and biking trails, or just sit back and relax in the mineral hot springs. Thermopolis is a friendly, laid-back town that you'll want to visit again.
Don't forget to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water to compensate for the dry, sunny climate. And if you plan to dig for fossils, bring a hat, wear sturdy shoes, and don't be afraid to get dusty!
General Information on Wyoming