South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Yellowstone Park

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

Yellowstone Park 8-10-19

Bechler Meadows

Madison River, especially Firehole River below Old Faithful, and Gibbon River below Norris are warm enough not to be recommended for good fly-fishing success.  Soda Butte Creek, the lowest two meadows on Slough Creek, and Lamar River in roadside meadows are very crowded.   There is fast fishing for small brook trout in the upper Gardner River drainage especially away from easy access points.   Diminishing green drake activity, PMD’s and evening caddis activity offer some action on the Yellowstone River above the upper falls. Number of cutts are down, but size is up. Streamers are best bet to encounter the larger cutts there.  Fall River Basin streams are running a bit high but clear and therefore fishing well. Hoppers and other terrestrial insect patterns are best bets for action. Trico activity should start any time. Beula Lake offers some of the fastest fishing in the park. Shoreline can get a bit crowded from time to time due to boy scout visits from nearby Camp Loll, so pack in a float tube and get out in the lake to fish back towards shorelines with speckled dun, damselfly, and cinnamon caddis life cycle and small leech patterns.

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Yellowstone Park 7-23-19

Major quality streams in the northeast portion of the park are now in good fishing shape ( green drakes, PMDs, PM caddis, sallys, terrestrial insects increasing) barring thundershowers that muddy the Lamar River in particular. The problem is that the easily accessed portions ( lower Soda Butte Creek, Slough Creek in meadow below the campground and the meadow just above it, Lamar River meadows) are crowded with visiting anglers.  Getting to these great waters is also frustrating because of the massive tourist traffic on park roads causing delays which shorten ” Time on the Water.”  Minimize these delays by traveling earlier in the day: the earlier the better.  Rewards are lighter tourist traffic and the chance to be first on the water.

Compare this to equivalent or even better quality Fall River Basin streams in the diagonally opposite (Southwest) corner of the Park. These streams ( Fall River and Bechler Rivers, Mountain Ash and  Boundary Creeks)  have non-existent crowding, especially on walking as far as one would on Slough Creek and the Lamar River to find equal social conditions.  And tourist traffic is always minimal.  True, Fall River Basin streams are considerably more remote, about 25 miles distant, half over which is gravel, by road from Ashton ID. But therein lies the reason for their giving a better chance of tranquility and an even a better fishing experience.

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Yellowstone Park 7-20-19

Streams in the northeast corner of the park are now in good fishing shape ( green drakes, sallys, PMDs, caddis). Slough Creek and the Lamar River are a bit high but clear. The lower end of Soda Butte will be the most crowded. A bit high will be a good situation in all waters considering the hot weather predicted for the coming week. Avoid fishing the Firehole below Old Faithful to give the already heat stressed fish a break.

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Yellowstone Park 7-16-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The only current problem with fishing in the park is tourist traffic. Best way to avoid it is to get there early.  Yellowstone River above Chittenden Bridge opened to fishing yesterday.  We have no reports on fishing there yet, but soon big stoneflies ( already in the canyons below) and then green drakes will bring on activity.

Please avoid fishing the Firehole River below Old Faithful until September. Daytime water temps now get into the seventy degrees F. making playing fish lethal. The Madison and Gibbon ( no salmonids above Virginia Cascade) are also warming up making evenings and early AMs (PMD spinner & caddis life cycle patterns) the best times to fish.  The upper Gallatin is shaping up, a bit high but clear, with stoneflies and caddis providing action. Traditional attractor patterns always work well on this stream.

Northeast corner streams are rounding into shape. Slough Creek is a bit high, but clear. Green drakes are beginning with PMDs and yellow sallies providing action there and on other streams.  Look for lower section of Soda Butte Creek to become crowded as soon as good fishing arrives.  Thunder showers can muddy the Lamar to the point of “you’ll have to wait a day or two.”

Water levels are dropping in all Fall River Basin streams ( Bechler & Fall rivers, Boundary & Mountain Ash Creeks). Terrestrial insect season is around the corner on these streams. PMDs are still around, but in smaller sizes. Beula Lake is offering some of the fastest fishing in the Park. You will need to complete a two and a half mile walk from the Ashton-Flagg Road to enjoy it, but the rewards are Yellowstone cutts with a few up to trophy size. Damselfly life cycle and small leech patterns work well. Soon speckled dun and cinnamon caddis will peak. Pack in a flotation device for best fishing, but wading the inlet and east side gets you into fish.

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Yellowstone Park 7-9-19

The Firehole is beginning to warm enough that the revival chances of  C&R fish diminish each day.   Fishing on the Madison depends mostly on quality of the PMD emergence. Because of the removal actions last year, the Gibbon above Virginia Cascade is essentially fishless. Meadow sections on the Gibbon below, however, are offering evening brown drake emergences. A more sporadic brown drake emergence is ongoing on Duck Creek.

Northeast side streams  (Slough, Soda Butte, Buffalo Fork, and Pebble  Creeks and Lamar River) are beginning to drop and therefore need more time to offer good fishing.  Trout Lake is “mossing up” making dropper and surface fishing the only ways to go.

Fall River streams are under going erratic flows because of weather and snow remaining on Madison and Pitchstone Plateaus above.  This is mosquito season in the basin (and at many other park locations), so dress accordingly. Beula Lake offers very good fishing especially for those willing to carry a flotation device into the lake. Speckled dun and damselfly activity there means life cycle patterns will work. So will small leech and bead head nymph patterns.  The same applies on a smaller scale to Riddle Lake with a shorter walk  (about a mile) off the South Entrance Highway

Streams of the upper Gardner River drainage, such as Glen, Indian, and Obsidian Creeks, etc. are now great places to take entry level fly-fishers.  Small but aggressive brook trout make up the fishing here, and the best action is away from the roads.

The Upper Yellowstone River (above the Falls) opens July 15th.  Below Grand Canyon the river is discolored from Lamar River inflow, but offers some success for those presenting streamer, woolly bugger, and rubber leg patterns.

 

 

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Yellowstone Park 7-2-19

Traffic conditions will slow you down going to any fishing destination in the Park.  To avoid these conditions on the west side of the park, try such as the Madison River near Baker’s Hole and Duck Creek.   Fall River Basin streams will not be crowded and are in good fishing shape. Because the Ashton-Flagg Road is passable, Beula Lake can be reached and will provide some of the fastest fishing in the Park.

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Yellowstone Park 6-25-19

The Firehole currently provides the best fishing in the park, and that is the reason for it being crowded.  Gibbon also providing good fishing for those presenting nymph patterns in size ranging from small (#16) to large (#8). Being not far from the Firehole, it is getting some fishing pressure. No big PMD hatches yet on the Madison. Warmer weather coming up will change that, but will begin putting the seasonal damper on Firehole hatches.   All streams in the northeast corner are high and discolored with run-off.  The Ashton-Flagg Road is open  west of the Bridger-Teton boundary, so Beula Lake can be reached. It will soon provide perhaps the best still water fishing the park offers.  Bechler Meadows look almost like a rice paddy but is draining. For those able to put boats on them, Lewis and Shoshone Lakes are currently providing that.  Lewis River in the meadow below the south entrance highway hosts perhaps the world’s most wary large brown trout. But they are susceptible during the upcoming green drake hatch and to a hair mouse pattern presented during the evening and in a manner of one struggling to swim.

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Yellowstone Park 6-18-19

The Yellowstone River opened to fishing last Saturday (June 15th). The river is running high & clear, so woolly bugger types and streamer patterns are likely to bring best results. Firehole River continues to offer the best stream fishing in the park with BWO, caddis (including white millers) patterns offering best chances for action. A few PMDs are showing up there.  Duck Creek is in fishing shape with streamers being effective.   Be aware that mosquitoes are showing up big time with all the park’s standing water, so have that DEET handy.

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Yellowstone Park 6-15-19

Most rivers are running high and discolored. The Firehole River is an exception where white miller and soft hackle patterns produce best. The Gibbon River in the canyon offers good fishing when traditional wet and dry attractor patterns are presented.   The Madison River also offers some success through presenting caddis life cycle, BWO life cycle, and streamer patterns.   Trout Lake opens for fishing today and offers a chance for big cutthroat and cuttbows. Packing in a flotation device is not needed for success here because much of the shoreline is open. Yellowstone Lake is offering good fishing near shorelines for lake trout (kill ’em) and some cruising cutthroat when streamer and woolly bugger types are presented.  The same goes for Lewis Lake. You will walk through snow patches  on going into Shoshone Lake. But by packing in a flotation device your reward will be great fishing through presenting leech and streamer patterns around submerged weed beds. The Ashton-Flagg Road will take several days to be passable, so access to Beula Lake and high and discolored Fall River and Mountain Ash Creek is several days away. Bechler Meadows remains submerged with icy cold run-off water.

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Yellowstone Park 6-11-19

Firehole River still offers best fishing with BWO, PMD, and caddis life cycle patterns effective, especially soft hackle patterns. Look for increasing white miller activity.  Lower Gibbon River (canyon stretch) good fishing with streamers.   Lewis River high and clear. Try streamers in meadow stretch off South Entrance Highway crossing below Lewis Falls.  Almost all other streams high and discolored.   Ice is off Shoshone and Lewis Lakes. Trails into Shoshone Lake have large areas of snow.

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