Consistent and somewhat higher that normal flows in Fall River Basin streams ( Bechler and Fall Rivers, Boundary, Mountain Ash and Proposition Creeks) means that good fishing should result here for the rest of the Yellowstone Park fishing season. Other than AM trico activity (seems to turn off, like on command, just about noon), some speckled duns and later a few mahoganies blown in from faster waster below are what remains of the extensive late June-early July mayfly activity. Now until killing frosts arrive, is the time to concentrate on presenting terrestrial insect patterns. Doing so will seem obvious to the fly-fisher that ventures through meadows to reach water. Presenting these patterns in the proper manner is more important than pattern selection. That means presenting to the far bank or downstream, both through a slow drift. For sure, you will not experience crowding and early season mosquitoes swarms are much diminished. Deer and horseflies, however, reign supreme, so dress accordingly.
Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek, and Lamar River are shaping up with green & gray drake and PMD emergences. Terrestrial insects populations are growing to numbers that will attract fish. Fish are looking for these insects, and fly-fishers are looking for fish. Expect company when you fish these beautiful waters, so courtesy may be needed. These waters are physically similar to Fall River Basin waters in the southwest corner of the park. A major difference is that much of the best water in Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek is roadside, whereas the best waters in Fall River Basin streams are remote. That’s enough to show why Fall River Basin streams, of at least the same fishing quality, are much less visited.
Warm weather means giving Firehole River resident salmonids a break from the rigors of being hooked and played in warming waters. Try the nearby Madison or Gibbon Rivers where PMDs, yellow sallies, and afternoon caddis activity are interesting trout. Big salmonflies have pretty much left the Gallatin River within the park, but terrestrial insect populations are building and caddis are always active during PMs. Slough Creek and the Lamar River are shaping up with PMD, evening brown drake, and caddis activity interesting trout. Fall River Basin streams are reducing to base level flows, terrestrial insect populations are building but mosquitoes are still the most numerous insect.
Run-off waters are receding, but have a way to go yet on many streams. The Firehole is fishing quite well with PMD and caddis life cycle patterns producing. One of the best patterns to use here is a partridge and olive or partridge and orange soft hackle, size 12-16. These are great emerger patterns for caddisflies and mayflies. Be sure to have some in that fly box! White miller emerger patterns will also work well. Also be aware of new closures to protect thermal features along the river. Shoshone and Lewis Lakes are in good fishing shape, but be aware that trails are in soggy conditions with some snow remaining. Best fishing on both will be from boats and when streamer and leech patterns are presented. Duck Creek is fishing well or nice rainbows. The meadow is wet and mosquitoes are out in good numbers as is the case in just about anywhere in the park.
All streams in the park, including the Firehole River, are high. The Ashton-Flagg Road is open to the Jackass Loop just beyond the South Boone Creek crossing. This prevents access to Fall River in the Park where water is high with run-off and likely not offering good fishing. It is likely that this road will not open for about another month for those folks wanting access to Beula Lake and upper Fall River.
Yellowstone National Park fishing licenses and regulations arrived in the shop today. If you intend to fish in the park during the Memorial Day weekend opening, the Firehole River will likely offer the best fishing, but expect company. Bring BWO, soft hackle (partridge and olive), and caddis life cycle patterns and small nymph patterns with and without bead heads. Some Hebgen Lake run-up rainbows remain in the Madison River after spawning. These fish will take streamer patterns swung deep, and some of the best places to encounter them will be from the Barns Holes downstream to Baker’s Hole.
The Yellowstone Park fishing season ends at the end of the day Sunday, November 5th. Want enjoy those migrating brown and rainbow trout, or those BWO sipping Firehole browns and ‘bows? Better hurry! Looks like the right kind of weather (stormy) will be present
Brown and rainbow trout runs are the big attractions now. The run of Hebgen Lake browns and rainbows up the Madison River and mainly into the Gibbon River and the runs from Shoshone and Lewis Lakes into the channel section of the Lewis River have the most participants. The best locations for each of these events require specific activities for angling success. We at the shop can provide information that results in the best chances for enjoying these great angling events. Other brown trout runs in the park worth the effort to enjoy include Yellowstone River fish ascending the Gardner River and Snake River fish doing the same in the Snake River near the south entrance. All these runs are best enjoyed through presenting streamer patterns.
If you are looking at a trip to the interior of the park, it might be best to check its web site to see if roads to your planned location are open considering the storm that just passed through the area. Same recommendation with respect to trails to back country waters. Right now would be a great time for a trip into Lewis River Channel to experience some of the best brown trout fishing anywhere in the region. Presenting streamers is the name of the game. The only caveat is are trails to the river passable. Crowds certainly will be down considering the weather, so fish would be less disturbed.