The Rise of the Popo Agie in Sinks Canyon State Park may be Wyoming’s best approximation of trout paradise. For the trout, that is.
Located a half-mile downstream from the geologic marvel known as the Sinks — a cave where the river disappears into a series of underground channels — the Rise is where the river emerges again. Here, in a serene pool that is off-limits to fishermen, trout — primarily rainbows and browns — grow into lunkers as they nibble at insects as well as fish food that rains down from above, care of visitors.
According to the state park, the fish arrive at the Rise naturally, migrating from downstream, and stay because it is protected and has ample food. No one has weighed or measured the fish in the Rise, according to the park, but some of the larger creatures probably weigh 8-10 pounds.
Pacific Power and Light Company donated the Rise to the city of Lander in 1969 and it’s now a major draw of Sinks Canyon State Park.
Though they undoubtedly tempt many an angler, to protect the unique resource, fishing is not allowed.