Go Trophy Hunting

North Platte River

Though the Platte River rises in a bowl between the snow-clad Rocky and Medicine Bow Mountains, you don't come here for scenery. You come for trout that can top that magic 20 mark-pounds, that is. There are two distinct tailwater stretches: the "Miracle Mile" (actually about 8 miles) between Seminoe and Pathfinder Reservoirs; and a little farther downriver, the Gray Reef tailwater from Gray Reef Dam to the Sechrist boat takeout. The former is walk-and-wade; the latter is mostly float fishing due to private landholdings. Bring a kick boat even if you plan to stick to the Miracle Mile because high water releases may force you to launch on the stabler Gray Reef water. More info: Grey Reef Outfitters, 307-232-9128. Platte River Fly Shop, 307-237-5997; wyomingflyfishing.com

Next Best: Bighorn River, Montana Rumors about the Bighorn's death were premature. Yes, drought has cut the trout population by more than half, but those that remain are bigger than ever; this is where you can hook a 12-pound brown on a 5X tippet. More info: Bighorn Trout Shop, 406-666-2375; bighorntroutshop.com. Bighorn River Lodge, 406-666-2368