by Karen Christopherson
Hiking, Camping, and Flyfishing
You've been fishing the North Platte and you yearn for a slightly smaller river, some hiking and a little bit more remote experience. Head to the Encampment - a great river with a mountain feel to it.
The Encampment starts in Colorado, winding northwest then north, flowing through its own canyon before reaching the town of Encampment and merging with the North Platte beyond Riverside. For most of its journey, the Encampment is difficult to reach - about 10 miles of its course runs through the Encampment River Wilderness.
Looking for Browns
There are two main access points to the Encampment. One, at the south end, allows you to flyfish the upper stretches of the river in Medicine Bow National Forest. This area is reached by leaving Riverside and traveling west on WY Hwy 70 to Forest Road 550. This access is near Hog Park Reservoir.
The other access is at the north end, very close to the town of Encampment. This part of the river is on BLM land, and there is a BLM campground right next to the river.
To reach the portion of the river in-between these two points you will need to hike. You can start at one end or the other and hike on the trail which follows the river. You could even plan an overnight camping trip. Or, you can get a map, ask some locals (NICELY) and find one of the few areas where you can park within one mile or so with a hike into the Encampment.
Thus, one of the great things about this stream is its remoteness. Get yourself in the middle of the wilderness area and you can almost be guaranteed that there will be no one else there. And, the fish are pretty eager to please. The river varies from about 20 to 50 feet wide and is not too deep, so waders are a must.
A great day for dries
In the Spring, several companies float the lower part of the Encampment which is always a great way to fish a river. Then the next day you can hop onto the North Platte.