Firehole River offers the best dry fly fishing in the park with BWO, PMD and caddis life cycle patterns getting the most attention from trout. Be sure to try soft hackle versions of emerger patterns for these insects. Lewis River channel offers good streamer fishing for brown trout. Use generous insulating layers or insulated waders for comfort while wading the ultra-cold river water. Ice is off Shoshone Lake, but trails to it still have areas with snow and with muddy stretches. You will need a non-motorized boating permit and a free Yellowstone Park invasive species sticker on any floatation device to be used on the lake and on any park still water. Go to Yellowstone Park web site boating regulations page for details.
The Firehole River continues to produce well, but is somewhat crowded. Here’s a way to avoid its crowding; try Duck Creek. The creek is in great condition, and any thing that imitates an earthworm or dragonfly nymph will bring responses from rainbows ranging to over twenty inches as well as from some brown trout. Ice is off Shoshone and Lewis Lakes, but we have no reports on how fishing is going there.
As is usual in the early season, the Firehole River provides the best fishing. Your favorite BWO and caddis life cycle patterns as well as small bead head nymph patternsmwill bring responses, but do not overlook presenting the variety of soft hackled patterns including partridge and orange, partridge and olive, and partridge and purple, all in sizes 12-16. We have no word yet on ice-out on Shoshone and Lewis Lakes, but it is a sure bet that trails into Shoshone Lake remain clogged with snow.
Remember: you can purchase any class of Yellowstone Park fishing license here at Jimmy’s.
We have not heard much about quality of fishing in the Park. That is except that the Firehole River is fishing as expected with fish responding to BWO and caddis life cycle patterns. Don’t overlook presenting soft hackled patterns for the emerger phase of these insects.
Yellowstone Park fishing licenses are in the shop. These include:
Season permit ($40)
7-day permit ($25)
3-day permit ($18)
Non-Fee permit (Fifteen years or younger)
We also have 2017 Park fishing regulations, and they are on the Yellowstone Park Official Web Site under “THINGS TO DO.” Consider looking them over.
The Park fishing season opens on Saturday, May 27th. Most streams will be high with run-off opening day weekend and longer. The Firehole River will be the best place to fish. Look for BWO life cycle, white miller, small bead head and traditional nymphs of choice, and various caddis life cycle patterns to be the most effective there. Also expect plenty of accompanying fly-fishers. Nez Perce Creek may also be fishable, but certainly less crowded.
Yellowstone National Park management is evaluating prohibition of items having high potential to transport invasive species. Among these items is felt soles commonly used as secure footing on waders and boots. It is possible that felt soles could be prohibited for use in park waters in a few years.
All types of park fishing licenses will be available in Jimmy’s for the Memorial Day park fishing season opening
The park angling season closes at end of the day on Sunday, November 6th. Better hurry if you want to present streamer patterns to migrating brown trout in such as the Gardner, Gibbon, Lewis, Madison, and Snake Rivers!
Other than dry fly fishing (BWO & caddis life cycle patterns, terrestrial patterns) picking up on the Firehole River and the onset of killing frosts coming up, the big news is the beginning of brown trout runs. Browns accompanied by rainbows are running in increasing numbers from Hebgen Lake into the Madison River drainage, especially in the park. Browns from Lewis and Shoshone Lakes are moving into the “The Channel,” as the river between the lakes is known, as well as the Lewis Lake outlet. Good numbers of brown trout running into the Gardner and Snake Rivers will begin a bit later. Presenting streamer patterns is the name of the game for these runs. All these events attract anglers, so expect some crowding. One way to minimize crowding is to pick the worst weather days for a visit. Other park waters offering good fishing include Slough and Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River where morning trico events and mid-day terrestrial activity bring action. As long as the Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road is open, Beula Lake will offer some of the fastest fishing in the Park. Riddle Lake off the south entrance road near the Continental Divide will also offer eager cutthroat, albeit a bit smaller in size.
The south entrance is now open to traffic. Start thinking about brown trout migrating to “The Channel” between Lewis & Shoshone lakes as well as to the Lewis Lake outlet. Shoreline fishing on Lewis Lake will also pick up, but be sure to wade with reliable, leak-proof waders with warm clothing beneath! Pitching big streamers will be the name of the game here for the rest of the season.
Because of the Berry fire flaring up again along the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway between Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks, the south entrance road has been closed again. Slough Creek campground and surroundings remain closed because of the Buffalo fire. When we receive info on these areas re-opening we will post such here. The Norris Junction-Mammoth Hot Springs Road will re-open 7 AM, October 7th.
With respect to fishing, cooler weather means the Firehole River is offering improving conditions for fishing. Patterns for BWOs and caddis life cycle phases along with those for terrestrial insects will bring action. Hebgen Lake browns and rainbows are showing up in the Madison River, so streamer and large soft hackled patterns should be in the fly box. On most other streams terrestrial insect patterns will bring best chances for action until a killing frost happens.