Gillette lies in northeast Wyoming. To the west are the Black Hills and to the east is Powder River Basin. Devil’s Tower is an icon in the northeast, and the Belle Fourche River and Little Powder River are the main waterways that drain this magnificent high country. Spectacular fishing opportunities for fly fishing warm and cool water species can be had in the reservoirs, lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks that surround Gillette. Here are ten angling spots that all offer a different experience.
1. Keyhole Reservoir
Keyhole Reservoir is this area’s best known fishing spot. The reservoir is located north of I-90 between Gillette and Sundance. Take Exit 165 to the Keyhole State Park headquarters. A good variety of warm water species predominate here: Black Crappie, White Crappie, Channel Catfish, Widemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike and Walleye. Toilet, camping and Boat ramp facilities are available at Keyhole Reservoir.
2. Gillette Fishing Lake
To get to Gillette Fishing Lake, take Wyoming 59 south from I-90 for two miles, heading towards Wright. Turn left into Darby Park and the 42 square mile lake is on the southeast side of the city, on the corner of State Highway 59 and Edwards Street. At Gillette Fishing Lake, anglers can enjoy fishing for Black Bullhead, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch and Carp. Toilet facilities are available at the lake.
3. Healy Reservoir
Healy Reservoir lies west of Gillette and can be approached from the north along U.S. 16 east from Buffalo for six miles. At Healy Reservoir, one may catch Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, Walleye and Yellow Perch. A boat ramp for launching is available at the reservoir.
4. Buffalo Wetlands Pond
Just south of Healy Reservoir is Buffalo Wetlands Pond, located near Buffalo, just east of I-25. Buffalo Wetlands Pond yields up Brook Trout, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout. Smallmouth Bass and Yellow Perch.
5. Cook Lake
Higher up in the mountains to the north of Gillette is Cook Lake, a trout anglers dream come true. Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Green Sunfish and Black Bullhead can all be found at Cook Lake. Campsites with toilets and developed trails are available here.
6. Panther Pond
Panther Pond lies south of Gillette in Wright. The pond is in the Wright City Park, located off Wyoming 387. Anglers here can fish for Black Bullhead, Channel Catfish, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout and Snake River Cutthroat. Toilet Facilities are available here.
7. Little Thunder Reservoir
Thunder Reservoir lies just south of Wright. Take Wyoming 59 south from Wright to Wyoming 450. The reservoir is on a rough two track road off of Hilight Road (visible after about two miles on County Road 52/Hilight Road). Wet conditions can make the road impassable. This reservoir yields up Black Bullhead, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass and Rainbow Trout.
8. Belle Fourche River (Devil’s Tower)
The Belle Fourche River flows through the iconic Devil’s Tower Monument, north of Gillette and Sundance. Aside from great scenery, Black Bullhead, Channel Catfish and Smallmouth Bass may all be caught. There are camping and toilet facilities available to the public at the Tower.
9. Sand Creek
Challenging and rewarding Sand Creek lies northeast of Gillette in Beulah. It is fed by a hidden spring and is one of veteran angler Jack Dennis’ favorite spots. Take the Sand Creek County Road south from I-90 at Beulah. Public access is available after about five miles. This lively spot yields Brook Trout, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. Camping and toilet facilities are available.
10. Clear Creek
Clear Creek lies west of Gillette in the environs of Buffalo. Access to Clear Creek and its forks is on U.S. 16. Fishing access is available through the town of Buffalo along a walking path. Clear Creek yields up Brook Trout, Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. Camping and toilet facilities are available.