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PostPosted: September 20th, 2016, 5:15 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5012
Location: Manchester, ME
I thought the waters I fished the 2nd week of September were pretty crowded, but I think several factors conspired against me.

(1) Slough Creek was closed to access, so all those anglers spilled over to the Lamar and Soda Butte where I was fishing.
(2) With the warm and low water, rivers like the Madison, Firehole and Gibbon hadn't turned on.
(3) I was two week earlier than the timing Hutch suggests.

Even so, I never had trouble finding an unmolested pool to have to myself. I did have anglers walking by, and all but two of them would pass me, and then go past the next good pool and leave it for me before they started fishing on the other side of me. (I'm still mad about the two guys who did not do this.) I talked to Parker yesterday--called his cell thinking he was home and I could return the books he lent me, and he answered from the top of Dunraven Pass! Apparently the bear sow and two cubs my wife went so gaga over is still parked in the same tree with the same traffic jam. :lol: He suggested that Slough Creek had a lot more people on it than I saw, but other waters were quieter than I experienced.

For all I know, August would have been much worse. The good news is that, unlike Maine, there are literally dozens of miles of good water with the fish spread out throughout it, rather than piled up at a few hotspots. That makes even pretty heavy pressure feel different than it does at one of Maine's fall honeyholes. I didn't see anyone hiking in with lawnchairs in the dark so they could occupy the best casting rock for the next 12 hours. (And yes, I have seen that at more than one Maine location this time of year.)


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PostPosted: September 20th, 2016, 9:33 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 482
Location: maine; now Salida, CO
I vote for late Sept for you to go fishing. One thing people just don't get about the west when we tell them to pick a spot and stick close by; it's HUGE. New England is 72,000 sq miles. MT is 147,000 sq miles, CO is 104,000 sq mi. Maine is 35,000 sq mi.

Go to W. Yellowstone and base out of there. Soooooo much water I bet you find yourself going back there with your wife to show her all of the cool sights. 8)


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PostPosted: September 21st, 2016, 6:21 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3249
Location: Vassalboro, Maine
Jeff- crowds are relative. In September, one may see (on Soda Butte near the bridge) 6-10 people. In the 2nd week of July in the same spot, if one stayed there counting all day- 50? 75? Even worse? Gussa can attest to seeing 35 people from the parking lot at the lower end of Soda Butte (above the Lemarr). On the Yellowstone this July 15th, a conservative estimate of fishers was 200- and not spread out. At Nez Perce crossing, the parking lot was full, the road was full and the was no room to stop all the way out to the tar (about 1/4 mile) There must have been 80 cars.

On the other hand...walk! We went to First meadow Slough in July and saw 6 other people fishing...and I never felt pushed. We fished way down Slough where the water picks up steam- and you were there also- and saw one guy-all day.

Parker will fish the Madison in the park (probably today) and will leave the "named" spots by 8am...and then have entire stretches of awesome water on the same river to himself...because he walks.

Changing topic-

I agree that West Yellowstone is the place to base, and a shameless plug for the place we stay (Faithful Street Inn)- has better accomodations that any of the hotels for about the same price. From West, the Henry's fork is an easy 45 minute drive, the Madison at Raynolds or $3 Bridge- also less than 45 minutes. The Madiosn in the park is (traffic dependent) less than 30 minutes...Firehole, Yellowstone, and N.E. Corner (longest drive) are all reachable. The smaller waters, often overlooked- the West Branch of the Madison, Duck creek, The Gllatin(certainly NOT overlooked!)-- all close.

Fishing there is like being in a candy shop...don't get distracted with or buried by all the options....pick one per day and fish it completely- learn it, and even better- spend 3 days on that water, and your skills and numbers (and size) will go up....running around to test all the waters reminds me of the Old Bull and the Young Bull...take your time.

Go.

Hutch

_________________
Summer! Fishing is on- go now! (you have permission...)


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PostPosted: September 21st, 2016, 9:24 am 
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Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
Posts: 665
Location: Brunswick
Hutch,
You might have just made up my mind with that.... West Yellowstone end of September now sounds pretty spectacular to me.

Peter

_________________
"A good game fish is too valuable to be caught only once"
Lee Wulff


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PostPosted: September 23rd, 2016, 9:13 am 
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Joined: May 14th, 2008, 6:49 am
Posts: 79
Location: Winthrop
September the tourist population drops steadily the later into the month you get.
The fishing for run up fish in the Madison in the park gets better.

Yesterday we hooked several on the Madison only landed 3, all nice fish two rainbows and a brown.
18 and 19 inches but fat. The largest I personally have landed is a measured 23 inch brown.
The hatches are less prolific but we had a baetis hatch yesterday that had fish feeding in water less than knee deep for three hours even in the wind every piece soft water behind a rock had rising fish.
That occurred the length of the river-for those that don't know that's about fifty (50) miles of water.

Some water may not be worth fishing.
The Yellowstone river in the park above the falls will be almost devoid of fish as the cutthroat do not stay in the river.
The Henry's fork water is low and there are massive weed beds, you can hook some nice fish on mahogany dries but landing them is very difficult. On the plus side you may not see another person all day.

Snow has closed the beartooth pass from Cooke city to Red Lodge every year I have been here, this week for two days and with snow forcast maybe for a couple more.

The fly shops in West Yellowstone are all running sales of 20 to 80 % off .
Last night Madison river outfitters had all Patagonia and Simms waders at $100 off list.

Your expectations of what you want should be the determining factor.
Warm weather and caddis hatches with the opportunity for fish on the Yellowstone river in the park come the third week of July. Be prepared for huge crowds and just stupidly on the part of humans and you can have an excellent experience. Wildlife viewing is superb.

Less people iffy weather less outright major hatches but very good to excellent dry fly fishing, excellent wet fly and streamer fishing come last week in September.
You may not see any bears in September but just after I got off the phone with Jeff a black bear walked across the road less than 30 feet in front of the car and proceeded to feed next to me on the opposite side of the road. I did get a poor quality picture so there is proof.


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PostPosted: September 23rd, 2016, 11:55 am 
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Joined: February 22nd, 2009, 1:36 pm
Posts: 291
Location: Sebago Lake and Moosehead Lake Regions
Parker wrote:
Some water may not be worth fishing.
The Yellowstone river in the park above the falls will be almost devoid of fish as the cutthroat do not stay in the river.
The Henry's fork water is low and there are massive weed beds, you can hook some nice fish on mahogany dries but landing them is very difficult. On the plus side you may not see another person all day.


Parker...

Thanks for the comments... Interesting... With regard to the Yellowstone, I understood that decent fish could be had the closer you get to the lake (in Sept.)? Obviously you need to be aware of the sections that are closed for geo-thermal features and for the protection of the fishery, but I had been told such info by several sources?

With regard to the Henry's Fork... Totally agree with the low water/weed situation. Add to that a sunny day, you will get no where near a fish. Warm River to Ashton section should still be fishing good in Sept and makes for a good back up plan should you want to try a section of the Henry's Fork and find it is not doing well... Depending on flows, Box Canyon could be a location to consider as well (weeds will be a challenge here also)...

Thanks,

- ZG -


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PostPosted: September 23rd, 2016, 7:13 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 482
Location: maine; now Salida, CO
Peter010786 wrote:
Hutch,
You might have just made up my mind with that.... West Yellowstone end of September now sounds pretty spectacular to me.

Peter


An excellent decision. 8)


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PostPosted: September 23rd, 2016, 9:52 pm 
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Joined: May 14th, 2008, 6:49 am
Posts: 79
Location: Winthrop
ZG
The local shops in West Yellowstone say there may be a few fish left above the falls,but you might have to walk a long way up/down the river to find one.
They also all agree it will be a nice fish.
None of the shops run guides over there this time of year,it's just not worth their time.


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PostPosted: April 9th, 2017, 2:39 pm 
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Joined: April 17th, 2016, 2:18 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Bath, ME
I know the reply is late but I have cabin fever...I recommend late fall around the Madison. I have been going to the Madison in MT once or twice a year for around 20 years. The fishing wont be as reliable as July but ...compared to wherever you fish regularly it will be outstanding. The crowds can get stupid in summer, it will be easier to find a room, pay a little less and you will still have outstanding fishing for the most part if you can wait until fall. I will say many of the shops in West willl bull**** you on conditions in the park or with regard to the lake run. I have recently found Arricks to be a reliable shop. BRO was once a favorite shop but I much prefer Arricks now, I wont get into it. The very best info I have found comes from Troutstalkers/MRFC down in Ennis. Joe Dilschnieder and crew tell you the truth. If you want to get away from crowds, not wait in line for dinner, fish lots of open water and have a shot at some lake run toads I recommend the early October time frame and the El Western in Ennis(owned by a native Mainer BTW) and the Stagecoach Inn in West(its the cleanest place out there).


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