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Fishing Lake DeSmet

AKA: DeSmet Lake

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Lake DeSmet, WY

Popular Fish Species Lake DeSmet, WY

Lake DeSmet Popular Fish - Walleye


Thanks to good fisheries management by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, a healthy population of walleye continue to thrive in the waters of Lake DeSmet. May and June can be the best time for weekend anglers to catch them. During this time they tend to move shallower and closer to shore. Other times of the year they are more likely to roam around in deeper water. As always, staying close by schools of baitfish. They are eager to feed throughout the lake, but tend to concentrate around structure on points, flats and ledges off the river channels. A proven method for catching walleye here is trolling with spinners tipped with live bait, or trolling with long-billed, deep diving crankbaits. However casting live bait, jigs, worms and spoons also works well at times.

Lake DeSmet Popular Fish - Lake Torut

Lake Trout

At Lake DeSmet, fishing for lake trout has been quite good, and the fish are abundant. These large trout can be caught from as shallow as 15 to 30 feet in Spring and Fall, to as deep as 100 feet or more during Summer and Winter. It is a monumental help to use fish finders, or other electronics to help in locating these roaming schools of lake trout. They feed on baitfish, so jigs rigged to imitate their prey often work well straight down under the boat. Trolling with numerous set-ups can also produce good catches.

Lake DeSmet Popular Fish - Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee Salmon

Although they have only been stocked into Lake DeSmet since 2020, kokanee salmon are doing well, and are now catchable. Sockeye salmon which remain landlocked, never migrating to the ocean, are called kokanee salmon. Stocking of kokanee salmon by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department created a nice population for the fishery. Typically kokanee average one to two pounds. As one of the premiere kokanee fishing lakes in Wyoming, Lake DeSmet delivers plenty of fishing success. These tasty fish school in lakes at depths which remain at ideal temperatures of between 48 and 58 degrees. Once this depth is identified, use a fish finder to locate schools. Use small lures trolled at the appropriate depth. The can also be caught using corn, but the main way they are caught is using flashy lures which they attack when the lure intrudes their space.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for walleye, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, rock bass and yellow perch at Lake DeSmet in Wyoming.

Boating, water skiing and fishing are all popular at Lake DeSmet, a 4,000-acre lake in north central Wyoming, 8 miles north of Buffalo. Anglers can access over 12 miles of shoreline via improved roads on the north, west and south shores of the lake.

Lake DeSmet, nestled in the beautiful Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, is a hidden gem for fishing enthusiasts seeking a tranquil angling experience. With its clear blue waters and picturesque surroundings, it offers a serene setting for casting a line. Anglers visiting Lake DeSmet can expect to find an abundance of fish species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, and kokanee salmon. These thriving populations make the lake a haven for anglers of all skill levels, providing ample opportunities for a successful day on the water.

Fishing from the bank is available along much of these access ares. Anglers come year round in pursuit of walleye, trout and perch. In winter, once the ice is safe, ice fishing with up to six lines per angler is allowed here. Two boat ramps, restrooms and parking is available during the season. Come prepared as there is no marina or rental boats.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Wyoming

Primary fish species residing in Lake DeSmet

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Walleye Rainbow Trout Brown trout Lake trout Rock Bass Yellow Perch

Lake DeSmet Amenities

Marina: NO
Boat Rental: NO
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Lake DeSmet not only offers fantastic fishing but also provides opportunities for boating enthusiasts to enjoy its scenic expanse. Whether you prefer cruising on a motorboat, kayaking, or canoeing, the calm waters of the lake are perfect for various water activities. Boat ramps are available for easy access, allowing boaters to explore the vastness of the lake and take in the breathtaking mountain views that surround it.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Island View Drive Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Island View Drive, this is a primitive, earthen ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Mikesell-Potts Recreation Area Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off JC Lake DeSmet Area Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Shell Creek Road Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Shell Creek Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Fishing Guides On Lake DeSmet

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Lake DeSmet Fishing Video
Fishing License

Click here for a Wyoming Fishing License.

For those looking to extend their stay, Lake DeSmet offers camping facilities that immerse visitors in the natural beauty of the area. Campgrounds equipped with amenities like picnic areas, fire pits, and restroom facilities provide a comfortable camping experience. Waking up to the gentle sounds of nature, spending the day fishing or boating, and ending the evening with a campfire under the starry sky create lasting memories of outdoor adventure.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Mikesell-Potts Recreation Area County Park Campground - 307 684-2262

Buffalo KOA Journey - 307 684-5423

Deer Park Campground - 307 684-5722

Indian Campground - 307 684-9601

Twin Creeks Campgrounds - 307 684-5423

Lake DeSmet WY Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Lake DeSmet
Mikesell-Potts Recreation Area County Park
Buffalo, WY 82834
307 684-2262


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