Yellowstone Advice
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Author:  LJP [ April 17th, 2019, 8:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Yellowstone Advice

Will finally be headed west to Yellowstone for a week in mid June. Will be meeting a friend who has fished the are several times so have some experience to act as a guide. We will be in the South West corner of the park staying in Idaho, about 20-30 minutes from the park. We have one float trip booked right now for the Henry s fork Ashton dam area. Any thoughts or suggestions on areas to fish, expected hatches and things to be prepared for would be appreciated, I've been told it should be prime Salmon fly time.

Author:  kmudgn [ April 17th, 2019, 11:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yellowstone Advice

I was out there last summer with my son. We did not know before we left, but felt soles are not permitted inside YNP. We only had light weight felt wading boots with us and I did not want to spend a lot of money on boots in one of the many, but expensive fly shops in the area. We fished many rivers, just not in the park. The Madison and Gallatin were two very productive waters, but there were a lot of other opportunities as well. I have the "geezer pass" for all US Parks so there was no fee for entry. I believe the weekly rate was $25 per car if you don't have a pass.
The only other suggestion I would make is to make sure of the car you rent. I tried to cheap out and rented a sub-compact 4 cyl vehicle out of Bozeman. It was really not suited for MT driving. Between the elevation changes and the 80 mph speed limit on the hiways it was a bad choice.

Author:  Parker [ April 18th, 2019, 6:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yellowstone Advice

We went to Yellowstone once last week of June.
The northeast corner streams were high and muddy.

Run off is not over in some locations.
Areas are experiencing 120% or more of average snow totals.
Depending many factors runoff may be late/early/fast or slow.

The Yellowstone in the Park is closed to fishing above the falls until July 15th.
The Firehole will fish well for fish averaging 10-12" on dries, the Madison will fish well even if it is high as long as there is 2' of visibility in the water. There will be some very large browns held over from the fall run in the park section of the Madison.
The Madison below Hebgen lake fished very well with dries.

The Henry's fork at Harriman state park opens June 15th and the fishing will be excellent, crowded and difficult but the fish are magnificent.
The area in Ashton will be very good during June.

Local fly shops have hatch charts and most have Archives of past season fishing reports.

The Madison River Fishing Company in Ennis will have local reports for the Salmon fly hatch on the Madison. The hatch works upstream about 2 miles per day. Fish a couple of miles above the head with big nymphs. Fish a couple of miles behind the head with dries. The fish are shy of big flies at first and we have had better luck with dries behind the hatch rather right at the head of the hatch. According to Gussa the salmon fly doesn't taste like salmon/lobster or chicken. But he did get a dollar for eating one.

Parks Fly Shop in Gardiner is excellent for the northern sections of the park. They also have a forecast on when the local rivers will be fishable.

The Henry's fork angler or Trout Hunters in Last Chance Idaho both have information.
Just looked at the H'fork Anglers fishing report archives, most of the well known rivers in the area are listed with reports on flows and conditions.

Author:  dryflie [ April 18th, 2019, 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yellowstone Advice

As mentioned above the northeast corner will be in runoff. The best bet in the park in June is the Firehole and the Madison. Outside the park you really want to fish the Henry's Fork.

Author:  Jeff Reardon [ April 18th, 2019, 11:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yellowstone Advice

I believe your time frame will put you in prime time for the Green Drake hatch (not the same as our Green Drake/Hex) on the Henry's Fork. I am told--by a TU colleague ,who used to work for the Henry's Fork Foundation, that this one of the "bucket list" fly fishing events on earth. Expect a crowd, but it's said to be worth it.

I suspect the SW park waters like the Fall River and the Bechler will also be in run-off, but it might be worth checking. You can also make the run over Teton Pass to the Snake and Jackson Hole waters. The Snake is dam controlled and should be fishable. Fly shops in West Yellowstone, JAckson Hole, and on the Henry's Fork will all have frequent water conditions reports.

In the Henry's Fork valley you also have some excellent lake fishing on Henry's Lake, if that's your thing. And a buddy says the early season fishing on the Henry's Fork upstream on the Nature Conservancy's "Flat Ranch" water can be excellent. I think you need to sign in and there may be a daily limit on the number of rods, but I don't think there is a fee.


And an option I did not pursue on our trip last year but wish I had is the cutts and grayling over in the Red Rock River, just north and west of you in Montana. Not sure about run off or whether that area is open in June.


Author:  Hunter [ April 18th, 2019, 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yellowstone Advice

dryflie wrote:
And an option I did not pursue on our trip last year but wish I had is the cutts and grayling over in the Red Rock River, just north and west of you in Montana. Not sure about run off or whether that area is open in June.

A few of us tried fishing it a few years back in early August. It's an alder thicket with lots of warning signs about the local grizzly population. Given the elevation that it's at- I would expect it to be in runoff mode in June.

Author:  Parker [ April 18th, 2019, 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Yellowstone Advice

Per Jeff's comment.
I have been into Red Rock Creek in the wildlife reserve area, really nice valley meadow stream.
Lots of willows on the bank, not snake country but had bear all over it.

Couldn't get the people with me to fish but I will be alone for 3 days this year and will fish it. There are supposed to be big brook trout and cutthroat trout. I do know the Montana Fish and Wildlife changed the rules on cutthroat to 5 fish per day I think to get the numbers down. Caused much comment on the local boards in opposition to the move as some of the fish were quite large. If you want to try it call Blue Ribbon Flies in west Yellowstone and ask for information.
17 miles on dirt roads in June may require a 4 wheel drive.

Henry's lake outlet as Jeff mentioned is good and is dam controlled to some extent, smaller water than below Island Park reservoir. Henry's lake has a very healthy trophy brook trout fishery.

Author:  Dave in Maine [ April 27th, 2019, 2:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yellowstone Advice

If you're after grayling, go into the Park to Grebe Lake or the one next to it, or the Gibbon meadows above the falls. Just watch so you don't step in a vent hole to a thermal feature.

But, that early I'd be leery of high water/runoff even there.

Author:  Parker [ April 27th, 2019, 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Yellowstone Advice

Grebe lake was poisoned in 2017 to get rid of non native fish. It as well as the upper Gibbon above Cascade falls are essentially fishless until the reintroduction of native species.
Upper Grayling creek is undergoing the same recovery processes.
Mid June the Fire hole, Gibbon in Elk or Gibbon meadows and the Madison River in the park will all fish well. The fish on the Gibbon are super spooky in the meadow sections. The fish on the Firehole are fun on dries.
Best advice is go to local fly shop web sites and read the reports and blogs.

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