Fly Fishing Bucket List Destination: Monster Lake
Part 4 of a 4 part series
Monster Lake Ranch is a premier fly-fishing destination offering 280 acres of fishing on two private lakes, Quick Lake and Monster Lake. Well named, Monster Lake Ranch offers anglers a chance to catch trophy size Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, Brook and Tigers. If you want to experience big trout, Monster Lake will not disappoint.
Located 15 minutes south of Cody, Wyoming, Monster Lake is a place where you can go back in time and experience the true spirit of the American West on a 10,000-acre working ranch. Cabins and RV hook ups are available. Evening meals are provided for those anglers too weary from catching big fish to go into town.
Monster Lake is a two-mile drive on a dirt road from the cabins. Two new cabins have been built situated next to Monster Lake. Note that cell phone service can be dodgy at the lake.
Quick Lake, located near the entrance to Monster Lake Ranch, contains brown and brook trout. When trout are rising, you will be inspired to grab your rod and fish the shoreline edges or launch your pontoon boat.
How to fish this lake:
You should bring nothing less than a 6-weight rod, and I recommend at least 1X leaders and 2X tippets due to the size of trout. Even with this size of leader, break offs can occur when trout weed you. Boats with electric motors and pontoon boats are the best way to fish Monster Lake, which is open year-round.
In April right after ice-out, fish the south end of the lake. This is because trout will cruise close to the shoreline edges along the weed line due to the warmer water. During this time of year, the fishing window begins late morning, and midge patterns have worked well.
In May, various insect hatches become more prevalent. Fishing nymph patterns has proven productive for me as seen in the following video:
During the last part of June, one of the most spectacular annual events begins on Monster Lake: the annual traveling sedge caddis hatch. Fishing Monster Lake during this hatch has become an annual pilgrimage for me. It is a unique opportunity to fish the traveling sedge hatch on a lake with such large trout. The size of these trout demands a number 8 hook, 13-pound leader, and 12-pound tippet.
If wind puts the hatches down, fishing nymph patterns can yield big trout as they cruise in the top few feet seeking emerging damsels and caddis nymphs. Here’s a trout caught on my All Purpose Nymph pattern:
Fall fishing at Monster lake will further delight anglers. During a mayfly hatch in September, trout cruised in less than two feet of water next to the shoreline, feasting on mayfly spinners. Positioning my pontoon boat in a few feet of water close to the aquatic plants, I enjoyed hot action using my UV Emerger pattern.
Vickie’s UV Emerger
I hope you enjoyed my Fly Fishing Bucket List and are inspired to visit and fish these lakes! Now is the time to start making your plans. Call your buddies and consider including any of the lakes featured in this series on your schedule. May your travels bring you big fish, good company, and of course generate great fish stories!
Let me know if I can answer any questions you may have on any of the featured lakes. If you would like to join me at anyone of these locations, follow my blog to see my upcoming hosted trip schedule for 2019. You may reach me clicking on my contact page.
For more information about Monster Lake, check out the following video:
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