South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Yellowstone Park

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Yellowstone Park (Page 2)

Yellowstone Park, August 15th, 2020

If you intend to fish waters off the main park highways, expect big time delays because of hoards of tourists.  Traffic lines at the west entrance extend for a half mile back west by mid morning. You can hear accents from all languages on the globe.  The same is happening at other entrances. So get there early enough to be about the first in line. When you finally arrive at your fishing destination terrestrial insect  patterns (including spruce moths around forested areas) are working as good as anything. Present these patterns with long, drag-free floats.


Yellowstone Park, August 8th, 2020

Almost anywhere you go fishing is crowded. That applies not only streams and smaller still waters, but roads going there (travel as early in the day as possible).  The best way to avoid crowds is to walk away from easily accessed waters once you reach them. That means try such as Fall River Basin, Lewis River between Shoshone and Lewis Lakes, second meadow above on Slough Creek, Cache Creek area on the Lamar River, Black Canyon of the Yellowstone and so forth.  Even in those places you will have company, but to a lesser amount.  For almost all streams presenting terrestrial insect patterns is the best way to fishing success.


Yellowstone Park, July 25th, 2020

Without  a doubt, Beula Lake currently offers the fastest fishing in the Park!   Only Yellowstone cutthroat occupy the lake.  You can enjoy this best by packing a flotation device the 2.5 miles into the lake then fish outside the lily pads and other vegetation. If you cannot pack such a device, hike over to the inlet at the southeast corner and fish out into the lake.  Small leech, speckled dun, damsel fly, and cinnamon caddis life cycle patterns will provide action. On all Fall River Basin streams stealth is the word with waters nearing base levels but hopper populations building.

The Yellowstone River from the Lake down to the upper falls offers fishing for a few very large cutthroat. Streamer patterns fished in the deepest water is the best way to encounter these fish.

Northeast corner streams ( Lamar, Slough, Soda Butte) are in great shape with green drakes, PMDs, PM caddis and building terrestrial insects, but easy access places on each are crowded.


Yellowstone Park, July 18th, 2020

Boundary Creek

The Yellowstone River below the lake opened to fishing on July 15th, and crowds converged there to try for the large cutthroat. Streams in the northeast corner of the park are coming into good fishing condition, but for those of us in the southwest corner of the Greater Yellowstone area they are a near 200 mile drive and likely crowded on arrival. That makes Fall River Basin streams more attractive with respect to traveling, but you will have to walk further to approach them. Meadow reaches on these streams are drying and  flows are bit lower than normal.  That means stealth, long casts, and fine tippets are required for success. PMDs are decreasing and sallies are at minimal abundance  with a few wind blown golden stones present.  Traditional attractor patterns in moderate (#12-16) sizes will be effective.  Be bear aware!


Yellowstone Park, July 11th, 2020

Bechler Meadows

The upper Gallatin River is coming on with caddis , some PMDs and big stoneflies. As word of good fishing gets out visits will increase to the easily approached river adjacent to the highway. If you venture there and note filled parking areas, walk upstream on the Big Horn Pass trail a few miles to find more tranquility in the river running through the sloping meadow.  Be bear aware!

If you live in the southwest corner of the Greater Yellowstone Area, why travel nearly 200 miles to fish the northeast corner of the park when the four major Fall River Basin streams (Bechler and Fall Rivers, Boundary and Mountain Ash Creeks), currently are in great dry fly shape and offer PMD, yellow sally, damsel fly, green and brown drake activity with oncoming terrestrial insect activity.  In addition, Beula Lake at the top of Fall River offers some of the fastest fishing in the area. All one needs to do is walk a few miles to enjoy the best waters in Fall River Basin.


Yellowstone Park, June 30th, 2020

Mtn Ash

Where is it?

This cool, wet weather could make an exception to leaving the Firehole River alone. Overcast to rainy conditions allow some fishing here. Try swinging soft hackles or presenting white miller, sally, and PMD life cycle patterns in areas above larger thermal features until about noon. Then head elsewhere to such as the Madison River where PMD and caddis activities can make afternoon visits enjoyable.  With the Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road now open, access to the Fall River, Beulah Lake and other great waters is possible. Streams in the northeast portion of the park still hold run-off waters, but should begin shaping up in a week or two.  Fall River Basin streams are shaping up.  Look for small stone flies to be the first aquatic insects to emerge followed by PMDs. Fish in these streams know what wind-blown giant stone and golden stone flies are.


Yellowstone Park, June 27, 2020

The Madison River features PMD and caddis activity while the Firehole River is warming enough to discourage fishing. It is in the best interest of trout here that they be left alone until early autumn when the river cools back to temperatures allowing more dissolved oxygen.   Shoshone Lake weed beds offer fast fishing for juvenile lake trout if you are able to pack a flotation device and equipment to present leech patterns from a full-sink line.  Streams in the northwest corner of the Park still hold run-off waters.


Yellowstone Park, June 23rd, 2020

The Firehole River is warming. Some of the best fishing in the Park can be enjoyed in the upper Lewis River drainage where getting out onto water of Lewis and Shoshone Lakes to locate weed beds will bring on action from leech patterns presented on full-sink lines.  The meadow section of Lewis River between the two lakes still provides the fastest fishing around for brown trout chasing streamer patterns.


Yellowstone Park, June 6th, 2020

Although beginning to warm up, the Firehole River offers the best fishing in the park right now. Soft hackled patterns to simulate PMD and BWO emergers work well as do life cycle patterns for both. White miller patterns are another ” must have” item in that fly box. Also the smallish stonefly event in the canyon will offer wind-pushed big and golden stone adults into the river above, and you can bet the resident trout know what they are. With stormy weather predicted through most of the upcoming week, the Firehole River will be a great place to fish, but will also be well attended with fly-fishers. Consider giving Nez Perce Creek a try with above patterns, but be “bear aware” if you do.

Other places to consider right now in the Park including wading Lewis Lake shoreline to pitch streamers at cruising brown and juvenile lake trout. Some snow remains on the trail to the Lewis River channel above the lake, but if you can break through it to the meadow, the brown trout responding to streamer patterns there will offer great fishing.  Fishing in the Lewis River meadow below the lake offers a chance at very large brown trout, but they are the most cautious of browns anywhere.  Streamer patterns might offer the best choice in the Gibbon River below the falls and in Duck Creek.  Again be very “bear aware” at any of these locations.  The Madison River is in a streamer mode for now as post-spawning rainbows head back down to Hebgen Lake.