Ice Fishing in Sublette County, Wyoming
Page Summary: An ice fishing guide to Sublette County, Wyoming's popular ice fishing ares.
If you love to ice fish, you'll love our lakes! Between Christmas and mid-March, it's easy to pick a beautiful sunny day to stake out a spot on a frozen lake with your gear, perhaps a portable grill for cooking lunch, and the hope of pulling a monster Mackinaw (lake trout) through a hole in the ice.
On a good day, you can bring up a Mac (our largest species of fish), German brown trout or rainbow. A few select locations on New Fork and Boulder lakes are good for kokanee (freshwater salmon). And the latest word among the diehard ice fishermen is: the fish have grown dramatically in the last 5 - 7 years.
Annual ice fishing derbies add a competitive edge to the fun. March brings the Pinedale Boat Club Ice Fishing Derby. This event draws all levels of competitors from surrounding states, as well as locals.
Easy access to great ice fishing is one of Sublette County's crown jewels. You can drive right up to Fremont and Half Moon - two large and scenic Wind River mountain lakes - year round. To reach Willow, New Fork, Boulder, or Middle Piney lakes in the winter, you'll need to park in maintained turnouts and take your snowmobile for a 5 to 30 minute ride. If you want your very own spectacular all-day event, consider driving to the end of the Cora Highway and snowmobiling to Green River Lakes.
There's plenty of elbow room on Sublette County's lakes - consider yourself crowded if your nearest ice-fishing neighbor is a quarter-mile away. In fact, you may have enough solitude that you're just as likely to drive your sled over to see what he's catching.
To reach Fremont Lake, take Fremont Lake Rd. just east of Faler's General Store in Pinedale. The turnoff for Fremont Lake is 3.2 miles from town. Turn left and take the left fork for Sandy Beach and the Lower Boat Ramp, or park at the fork and walk or snowmobile to the campground, to the right.
The turnoff for Half Moon Lake is about 7 miles from town on Fremont Lake Rd. A few miles' drive on the access road will take you to the public boat ramp, and a little farther on, to Half Moon Lake Resort.
Middle Piney Lake is about 25 miles from the town of Big Piney on the Middle Piney Road (CR-111). The plowed section of the road ends at a parking area, and the lake is 5 miles beyond. There is an avalanche chute on the way, so check with the US Forest Service Ranger Station in Big Piney beforehand on current snow and avalanche conditions.
Fishing licenses and regulations, as well as bait and gear, are available in Pinedale at local hardware and sporting goods stores. In Boulder, equipment and supplies are available at the Boulder Store, and in Big Piney at Burney & Co. and the Midway Mall. Please pay special attention to winter ice fishing regulations pertaining to the lake where you plan to fish, as some lakes have slot limits.As with any outdoor recreation, go with a buddy when planning to ice fish on frozen lakes, and let someone else know where you are going and when you expect to return. Area lakes typically freeze to 17" thick and more, plenty to hold the weight of fishermen and their snowmobiles. If you're unfamiliar with the current lake conditions, ask someone who is knowledgeable about the current status (Forest Service, Game & Fish office, or local sporting goods store personnel). Caution is advised at all times when going onto frozen lake ice as unstable areas are common and not always easy to see. Watch for and avoid lake overflow, wet areas andwater.