With the avid fishing scene in the Roaring Fork Valley and a passion for the quiet complexity of the sport, it seems fitting to share a travel find for those looking for something new to add to their fishing tales and memories.
Cooler temperatures and fall foliage across the Sierra Madre Mountain range make September peak fly-fishing season at French Creek Sportsmen’s Club, an iconic destination that sits on 30,000 acres in Medicine Bow National Forest.
In the mid-1900s, Chuck Sanger and his new bride Millie took residence at the French Creek Ranch, where they eventually opened a successful hunting and fishing lodge known to welcome guests from all over the world—from Wall Street “tycoons” to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.
The Sanger Ranch was purchased by the White family with a mission to preserve the true spirit of the West—including refurbishing the four original homesteads tucked along French Creek, as well as expanding the amenities to include a shooting range, clubhouse and dining cabin. Unveiled in 2016, French Creek Sportsmen’s Club continues to provide the ultimate sporting hideaway known for some of the most sought-after fly fishing, upland hunting and game hunting found across the globe.
French Creek Sportsmen’s Club is a Beretta Trident and ORVIS Dual-Endorsed fly fishing and wing shooting lodge. Guests have exclusive access to 20 miles of the North Platte River Valley (named a “blue ribbon trout stream” by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department) and its tributaries that include Brush Creek, French Creek and Encampment River private waters.
Southern Wyoming has some of the most productive trout fisheries in the world, let alone the United States. French Creek Sportsman’s Club is positioned at the headwaters of the North Platte River, which is fed by snowmelt from neighboring Snowy Mountain Range and Sierra Madre Range. This blue-ribbon freestone fishery and its major tributaries offer float and wade fishing opportunities on some of the healthiest trout ecosystems in the world as it flows through a spectrum of stunning Wyoming landscapes. From steep rocky canyons to flat rolling sagebrush hills (and everything in between), even the most traveled anglers seldom get to experience such variety of landscape and fishing scenarios within a small watershed. Prolific insect hatches throughout the year and thousands of trout per river mile—over 20 miles of private water across 30,000 acres of ranch land accessible by foot and boat— make this a destination fishery for any serious angler.
French Creek Sportsmen’s Club offers four private luxury cabins for individuals or groups of up to 12 guests. The Club also boasts a “man cave” clubhouse with a spacious great room, fireplace, billiards, poker table, bar and dining room; creekside spa tents; and a campfire patio—all nestled along the banks of French Creek. In addition, the glamping yurt onsite at French Creek has been renovated for the 2022 season.
Taking a farm-to-table approach whenever possible, the restaurant utilizes fresh and hearty regional fare and the ranch’s own Wagyu cattle, which serve as the cornerstone of the beef program. Meals enjoyed among friends in the Covey Dining Room are skillfully prepared by a personal chef de cuisine, making for an unforgettable and unique experience. Additional experiences include events at The Farm at Brush Creek, which features Brush Creek Distillery, a wine cellar and spirit vault.
There’s a beauty to the North Platte that can’t be found anywhere else. It truly is one of the ultimate sporting paradises in the United States to add to your destination bucket list.