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  • Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Where To Fish In Yellowstone

    Learn The Names
    enjoy the conversation
    .. For the visiting fisher folk, Yellowstone National Park has some "must fish" destinations.
    .. Good, bad, or indifferent, if you come to Yellowstone you will probably fish one or more of the following: Firehole River, Slough Creek, Lamar River, Yellowstone River, Madison River, Soda Butte Creek, Gallatin River, Gibbon River, Snake River, Lewis River, Gardner River, and maybe a couple of other famous destinations.
    .. And if you do visit visit you will probably change into your wading gear on a paved road where buses full of other visitors will take your picture. Hardly the wilderness experience portrayed in the prose of tour guides, fishing magazines, and feather merchants alike. Kind'a like collecting postcards.
    .. If you can bear to fish where there are fewer elbows and no buses, there are fish to be caught, (yes Mable both the big and the little fish,) on the lessor known waters of Yellowstone National Park.
    .. And if you come to visit Yellowstone you probably will not fish Cabin Slough, or Solfaterra Creek, or Rock Run Creek, or Shoshone Lake, or Lewis Lake.
    .. You probably won't hear about Otter Creek, Sam's hole, or Hayden's Folly. These are not words bantered about in the corners of fly shops or the watering holes of Gardiner. They are too far from the paved road.
    .. The neighbors are screaming right now! "He's done it again!" Well, we will not reveal too much, but the fishing and catching right now is exceptional on: Grayling Creek, Winter Creek, Cache Creek, Obsidian Creek, and the Upper Firehole River along the Lone Star Geyser Trail, (ever seen a 16" Brook Trout in Spawning colors?)
    .. The feather merchants and sage guru's will warn you that there are no "Big Fish" in Duck Creek; "it's hardly worth fishing." Just ask them about when was the last time they were there? After all there's gravel on the road. And they know just the experience that you are looking for - after all they taught it to you. Too muddy, too many mosquitoes, bears, willows to eat your every cast.
    .. Don't bother with Nez Perce Creek or Iron Spring Creek, it's too far to walk. And, of course, the big fish need to rest in these cool waters.
    .. Why would anyone fish Blacktail Deer Creek? After all it's just a few more miles to the Lamar River or Slough Creek. And there's no dust on the paved road. Well, Mable, the most dense population of hoppers in Yellowstone may just be feeding the fish along the trail. But then, you do have to walk a bit.
    .. Ice Box Canyon is abandoned right now in favor of fishing a bit lower down. Poor upper Soda Butte Creek ignored for it's meadow water's near the Lamar River. There are only day hikers and lookee-lou's along the Pebble Creek trail. The fish are feeling neglected -- and loving it.
    .. Don't bother with Trout Lake. It's three miles from a paved road. And the fish don't eat anything during July and August. Hardly worth the trip. Oh, and, by the way, the water is the coldest in the Gibbon River drainage during those months too. And there are beautiful pools all along the trail - but you wouldn't want to leave the trail.
    .. Yes there are hoards of eager Brook Trout in Winter and Obsidian Creeks, but you do have to avoid the snags. And, sadly, even the little fish are particular about what they eat this time of year -- avoid it at all costs.
    .. The big meadows of the Gibbon River are far more interesting even if you have to crawl three miles between fish.
    .. Heavens Mable, look at how far down it is to the Yellowstone River. How far down do we have to walk before we can see Tower Falls? Look at all the people on the trail, it sure is crowded. How come there's no one with a fishing rod?
    .. If the social beast within your breast demands that you brave the crowds for your Yellowstone experience, try the Tower Falls Trail. When you get to the bottom you can fish -- generally unmolested. And there are many fish to be caught both in the creek and the river.
    .. Well, the crowds are in all the usual places, and you should follow the advice of the feather merchants and fishing guru's. Click your way around the web. Find the fishing reports and what flies to use. The advice is good and will take you to where "it's happening." Go the the glory waters of Yellowstone -- 'tis the season.
    .. We're going to . . . . 7-mile hole, it's a grunt; but then there's fewer elbows, no conversation, no traffic noise, and giant fish -- little ones too. There's not even a nice paved road for changing clothes, (why would you?) There's even thermal features and scenery. But then, dammit Mable, you've gott'a climb back out of that hole!