South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Yellowstone Park

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Yellowstone Park (Page 18)

Yellowstone Park 8-25-10

The season for using terrestrial patterns continues. Whether hoppers, ants, beetles or spruce moths: all should have representations in your fly box when you visit Park streams.  Because slower water is not as well oxygenated as that in riffles and runs, be sure to work these over, and expect more  larger fish to reside there until we begin cooling off.     Look  for tricos to become increasingly active and important to fish as we move through late summer.   There are terrific trico hatches and spinner falls on such as the Madison River and all Fall River Basin streams.  Lakes are tough fishing now with Beula Lake being the big exception.  Fishing there is good because of gulping cutts. All you have to do is walk a few miles and get speckled dun emerger and dun patterns onto the lake beyond shoreline lily pads.  Carrying a float tube to get out on the lake guarantees some great action.

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Yellowstone Park 8-21-10

It’s terrestrial season on most of Park streams.   Want to see how good your skills are with terrestrial patterns?  Here’s a few ” graduate school for fly fishers” waters this time of year:  Duck Creek,  meadow reaches of  Bechler River, meadow reaches of Fall River, Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek, Lewis River below Lewis Falls and between Lewis & Shoshone lakes, and the meadow reaches of the Gibbon River.  Want to try some small Park streams with good chances of action and the same with respect to solitude?  Try Polecat Creek just west of the South Entrance,  Cascade Creek, a tributary to Fall River off the Ashton-Flagg Road, or Winter Creek in the upper Gardner River Drainage.   If you prefer still waters, we have been saying it all along:  Beula Lake offers some of the fastest fishing in the Park.  Speckled dun and midge activities make for gulper action. Any time now flying ants will be around, and every fish in the lake will be near the surface looking for them making for even better gulper action. You can find action almost as fast on Riddle Lake, too.

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Yellowstone Park 8-17-10

Terrestrial patterns are the way to go on all streams. Choose one you are sure to see on swifter streams, and delicate ones for slower waters. Horseflies and deer flies are rampart throughout.   No better pattern exists for simulating them than a standard humpy!  Another terrestrial pattern that is sure to work along wooded reaches are ones for spruce moths.  This is the peak of their season, and trout know it.

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Yellowstone Park 8-07-10

Fastest action in the Park is from Beula Lake. Gulpers are going, and will continue through the month as speckled duns are emerging.  Yellowstone cutts are present, and they range to twenty inches.  It’s a 2.75 mile walk from the trail head across the road from the upper end of Grassy Lake Reservoir.   Packing a float tube gets you into the best fishing.   If walking this far with a float tube and other gear is not for you and you want fast fishing, try Obsidian, Winter, Indian and Panther creeks at the top of the Gardner River drainage.  Want to try larger streams?   Bring all your skills as this is the time of year when all are reaching base levels and trout become quite selective.   This applies to Fall River Basin streams, Slough, Soda Butte, Duck and Grayling creeks, and the Lamar, Gibbon, Snake and Lewis rivers.  Run-off from thundershowers can cloud many of these for a time, but after they clear some great fishing can be had. Try big hopper patterns after these as winds blow them around.  Also because some bank erosion goes on, going back to patterns that simulate earthworms and grubs are good for a while.

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Yellowstone Park 7-31-10

With the peak of early season mayfly emergences past and that of large stoneflies almost over (good stonefly hatches are moving up the Yellowstone River), terrestrial insects are increasing in importance. Hopper and spruce moth seasons are just beginning, and ant and beetle patterns will remain effective for many weeks to come.   Some great places for presenting  terrestrial insect patterns include the meadow sections of all Fall River Basin streams and the Lamar River, Slough and Soda Butte creeks,  Madison River along the West Entrance highway, Lewis River, and the upper Gibbon River.   The big browns in Duck Creek are a real challenge for fishing hopper, beetle and ant patterns.  Do not overlook smaller waters with meadow reaches such as Obsidian, Indian, Solfatara and Panther creeks.  They are great places for light weight equipment and safe for youngsters and physically challenged folks.

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Yellowstone Park 7-22-10

All streams except the Firehole River are in top fishing condition.  Terrestrial patterns will be effective on all, especially when hoppers kick in soon.  For now your best choice of when to fish would be the more humid, thundershower threatening days.  These offer more overhead cover than bright days, and humid conditions bring on delayed hatches.    Beware of the growing horse fly and deer fly populations (but they make humpy variations very effective!),  but be happy that mosquitoes are beginning to diminish. If you have not seen our Yellowstone Park small stream discussion posted on July 19th, take a look because there are some gems within!

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Yellowstone Park 7-19-10

One of the less advertised features about fishing the Park is the abundance of small streams.  Every drainage has them, and they tend to be less crowded than the well advertised big waters like the Madison, Yellowstone, Gallatin, Lamar rivers and Slough Creek. On the Gardner river drainage, such a Obsidian, Indian, and Panther creeks provide day long action, have easy access and are relatively safe.  All these feature scrappy , but small brook trout.   Bring your lightweight equipment.  Along the Gibbon River drainage, the upper river and Solfatara Creek near Norris feature small  brook trout and browns that can reach decent sizes. The river also has rainbows and a few grayling.   Boundary and Mountain Ash creeks in Fall River Basin would be destinations worthy of media attention but for the fact that walks of a few miles are needed to enjoy them. On the Lewis River side Polecat Creek features brookies, browns and cutts. Some browns reach very respectable sizes.   A few miles north of West Yellowstone Duck, Cougar and Grayling creek feature brookies, browns, ‘bows and a few and cutts.  All host trout of sizes that do justice to those in the nearby Madison River.  All these are just a few of what the Park offers.  Get in touch with us for more information on these and how to approach them.

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Yellowstone Park 7-15-10

Except for the Firehole River, all streams are in best fishing shape.   Fall River Basin streams feature afternoon PMD and sally hatches and evening brown drakes.  Green drakes are  pretty much finished on these. The Lamar River has cleared and is a good choice with caddis, PMDs, golden stones, and sallys attracting fish.   The Gibbon River around Norris Jct. is a small stream but the browns, ‘bows, rainbows and a very few grayling are quite active there. Try PMD and sally life cycle patterns.  Speaking of small streams: Obsidian, Indian and Panther creeks are loaded with small but aggressive  brookies.    Do you have an entry level person or one that must stay away from challenging terrain?  Take very light weight equipment, PMD life cycle,  caddis, sally and attractor patterns (all in sizes 12-18), and try one of these easily approached streams.  You might experience some of the fastest fishing in the Park. On all these waters and others in the Park, be sure to have beetle and ant patterns.  Good hopper fishing is soon in the future.  And remember, for fast still water fishing in the Park, nothing beats Beula Lake.

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Yellowstone Park 7-09-10

Fall River Basin streams have dropped dramatically in the last week. This means they are in prime dry fly fishing condition.  Green drakes & PMDs  emerge in the mid afternoon, and brown drakes emerge during evenings.  With drying and warming beetles and ants are out and are a significant part of trout’s diet. So are adult damselflies.   The next few weeks should be great dry fly fishing on such as Bechler River and Boundary Creek and on Fall River, Mountain Ash and Proposition creeks.   After that time frame hoppers will make for great fun, but as waters drop take all you skills.  Mosquitoes and deer flies make DEET a necessity.  Want to see the fastest fishing in all of Yellowstone Park?  Try Beula Lake at the head of Fall River.  The inlet and the north shore make for the best wading, but packing a float tube opens the whole lake. Get in touch with us for more information on this great fishery and others that the Park offers.

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Yellowstone Park 7-05-10

Only real change since our last report is that the Firehole River is warming to levels where fish are having trouble getting enough dissolved oxygen to live comfortably.  So let’s give ’em a break until we cool off during the Fall season.   Other than that, looks like the Lamar River is the last of Park streams to clear up to join most other Park streams being in great fishing shape.  Through the season Beula Lake will offer some of the fastest fishing in the Park.   Some easily approached and great smaller streams in the Park are now in good shape.  These include Cascade, Polecat, Cougar, Crawfish, Fan, Spirea, Indian, Obsidian, Tower, and Lava creeks.  Get in touch with us or stop by the shop to get information on where and how to fish these great Park waters.

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