try the backcountry
.. Of course you better not miss the stupendously accessible parking at the Old faithful parking lot during the current construction frenzy.
.. And then, be sure to look for the rare and unusual vehicles that people choose to use when they visit the park.
.. Plan to arrive before 6:00 AM at the west entrance. Of course, if you're not an early riser, it's always fun to breath the exhaust fumes that accumulate from your neighbor's vehicle.
.. The wait is so long that life-long lasting friendships have been made while creeping toward the entrance station and visiting with the folks in the bus next to you.
.. You won't need a map, just follow the vehicles in front of you. Stop when they do, see what they see, (or don't,) and consider yourself just part of a giant Fourth Of July Parade.
.. This is the stuff of stories, and with the 4th falling on a Wednesday, you can count on two weekends of celebration - yes it's started already.
.. The water is still cool in Grayling Creek, (very low, but cool.) Walk down the scree at Horseshoe Hill for some early morning fun with a few scrappy small fish.
.. After you scramble back up the hill, head on up to the Gallatin River. Things are popping like they haven't in quite a while. Walk to the meanders and bends away from the road. Approach carefully, there are 16" - 18" fish for the taking. (Psssst . . . THE BIG BUGS ARE THERE NOW!) Stay until dark because the evening caddis are working right now.
.. A brief sojourn up the Fan Creek trail in the evening is pleasant and will gather up some fish - if you're quiet and don't let your shadow fall on the water, (pesky things, shadows.) This stream has suffered quite a bit from the warm dry weather, so land your fish quickly.
.. There are a few spots in the not too marshy meadows of Duck Creek that still hold fish. The low flows have driven most of the resident monsters to Hebgen Lake, but there are still fish to be had. Watch for fire closures and alerts in this area.
.. Do you have the legs of an 18-year-old? Walk up to Grebe Lake. Carry a tube if you can. Don't let on where you heard it, but, the fish are wild and very hungry.
.. One of the most busy roads in Yellowstone holds great fishing - if you can find a parking space. There are some places on the Gardner River that are still holding good fish and are away from the road. Check with Parks' Fly Shop for updated information. They let the cat out of the bag with this tip:
Fishin' Hole of the Week
Walk down the old railroad grade north from Gardiner. This bank of the river is actually in the Park down to Reese Creek. Fish a Salmonfly or Golden Stone ahead of your favorite attractor. No nymphs necessary for about two weeks here. Catch many trout, including surprising numbers of fish over 14" for this water.
.. If you're coming from Cody, you should pause along the Shoshone River and sample the offerings. Both above the dam and below are fishing very well right now. Click on over to North Fork Anglers for the latest information and stop in the shop on your way to the park. This entrance provides some of the best secluded fishing anywhere.
.. Scream it loud! Slough Creek has bloomed. The water temperature is perfect and very clear, (right now,) and is fishing very well. You can find good water below the entrance road on the sagebrush flats. Hoppers have started here and in the Lamar River valley. If you must fish the meadows, arrive extra early and walk until it hurts. Turn around, and fish down; and smile at the folks just coming in. Tell lies and be smug.
.. The little canyon section of the Lamar River between Buffalo Ranch and the Slough Creek confluence is fishing well to just about anything. This rapid water is well oxygenated and that's particularly important this year. The pressure is always low here and the rocks are slippery . . . be careful -- catch feisty fish.
.. If You are serious about fishing in Yellowstone National Park for the next 10 days or so, you'll be well served by stopping in at a local fly shop. The water conditions and hatches are highly variable this year and can change on a daily basis. Visit with your favorite shop and get the best available information. (Links in the sidebar.)
.. Now about that FREE ORVIS REEL! The Yellowstone Park Foundation has finally begun to concentrate on the park's environmental resources in a serious way, (you can only build so many buildings.) The $500,000 Yellowstone Fisheries Initiative is finally gaining steam, and they will reward your contribution of $1,000 or more with a Limited Edition Yellowstone Park Foundation Orvis Reel.
- Machined from bar stock 6262-T6 air-craft-grade aluminum for durability and low weight
- Stainless steel gearing is durable and virtually maintenance-free
- Adjustable Rulon® offset disc drag mechanism recognized as the most dependable in the industry
- Allows for easy switching from right-hand to left-hand operation
- Saltwater-proof 3” diameter, 3.95 oz., line wts. 4-7
.. From the web site:
.. The fishing on the southeast arm of Yellowstone lake is rumored to be exceptional. This is bear country and it's remote. Some of the best campsites are: WF2 & OD5 on Frank Island, Fern Lake Cabin on Peale Island, Calfee Cabin, 8c6 (known as mosquito central,) 8J4 if you can handle the 4 mile walk, and; 9D4 a bit farther; and 9D2 if you can get a boat ride. We always liked 1G5 - tough to get but absolutely beautiful.
.. Then there's Heart Lake, Clear Creek, Heart River, Beaver Creek and the often overlooked Cub Creek.
.. If you are going deep into the Thorofare you may find fish, but you should not expect exceptional fishing, (not like 40 years ago. The drought, fires and horse packing have made this area a bit more populated than in bygone days.) Enjoy the scenery and the solitude, carry copious quantities of bear spray, sing loud and ribald songs and camp far away from your food. Try 1Y8 for access to eager little fish.