Sheridan can be your headquarters for some of the best fishing the West has to offer. Whether you enjoy lake, stream or river fishing, opportunities abound to catch everything from walleye, crappie and perch, to the popular trout species of rainbow, brown, cutthroat and brook.
Two major lowland reservoirs provide lake fishermen with the prospect of catching virtually any cold or warm water fish their heart desires. Lake DeSmet, just 30 minutes south of Sheridan has good populations of rainbow and brown trout. Montana’s Tongue River Reservoir, just 30 minutes to the north, has good populations of walleye, smallmouth bass and a fair number of northern pike. It also boasts some of the best spring crappie fishing in the western U.S.
In the wintertime, both reservoirs, especially Lake DeSmet, are very popular with the ice fishermen. Some of the largest trout of the year (over 20 inches) have been caught through the ice. Healy Reservoir, just a few miles to the east of Lake DeSmet is a very popular spot for ice fishermen looking to catch a mess of perch for their favorite home-cooked fish recipes!
For the lake fisherman who enjoys the scenery and cooler summer temperatures of mountain lake fishing, there are numerous lakes in Bighorn National Forest with good populations of rainbow and brook trout, along with even a few lake trout. These include Sibley Reservoir, Twin Lakes and Park Reservoir. All three of these locations are within only about an hour’s drive of Sheridan.
For the adventurous fisherman, the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area in the south-central portion of the forest offers limitless possibilities for highmountain lake and stream fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout in one of our country’s most pristine and un-crowded environments. The
Wilderness Area can only be accessed by foot or horseback. Those wishing to pack-in and spend the night can find a good campsite along one of the dozens of lakes in the wilderness. You can choose to just go on a quick 4- mile backpack for the weekend to someplace like Lake Geneva, or make a multi-day 12-15 mile trek to the many lakes lying in every direction beneath the spectacular Black Tooth Mountain.
Lastly, and perhaps most popular, are the area stream and river fishing opportunities. You could almost visit a different mountain stream in the forest every weekend, and still not fish them all over the course of one summer.
One of the most popular destinations is the “catch ‘n release” section of the North Tongue River above Burgess Junction. Here you can use flies to catch cutthroat trout ranging from 10 to 20 inches in length! As each summer wears on, however, and as the fishing pressure increases, these fish become more wary which can provide an exciting challenge to even the most accomplished fly fisherman.
Other stream locations in the forest, like the upper reaches of the Little Big Horn River, the South Tongue River, the head waters of Shell Creek, the East Fork of Big Goose Creek, both above and below Park Reservoir, and the North Tongue between the canyon and the catch ‘n release section, all provide exciting fishing for small-to-medium-sized trout. The trout in these streams are abundant and very eager to participate in your fun, whether you’re fly fishing, lure fishing or dropping a worm off your bobber! Don’t forget that Montana’s Big Horn River, considered one of the best trout rivers in the country, lies only 90 minutes away to the north of Sheridan.
There’s no place like Sheridan to serve as your destination headquarters for such a wide variety of fun, scenic, accessible and productive fishing opportunities!