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Fishing in Yellowstone WY


squeedunk

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I am heading to Yellowstone National Park this week to do some hiking and fishing and am just wondering if anyone has any tips for fishing out there. I will be staying with a friend who lives on the north end of Lake Yellowstone. I have fished the Gallitin and Madison Rivers in Montana in the spring a few times but have never been to Yellowstone. I don't have a fly rod so I will be using a spinning rod with either small spinners or casting bubbles and flies. Would powerbait work out there at all? I thought the power nymphs might work. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks~Dan

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I've seen people catch cutthroats on power bait before but just on little mountain lakes, not Yellowstone. My experience is you might as well forget the spinners there. A good excuse to get a fly rod! The key to catching the cutthroat there late July and early August is the callibaetis hatch. It begins around 10am and lasts till around 1pm. The other pattern that works is the scud. If you hit the hatch right, you can fish from shore and sight cast to cruising, gulping fish 17-23inches. A good bet is to get a hold of a local fly shop and ask question (and buy a few flies to get on their good side). Try to avoid flies from the park stores. The folks at Blue Ribbon in West Yellowstone, MT have been a great help, they have a website. Break out the spinning gear for the streams and rivers.

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Strongly suggest you take cooter's advice and get a fly rod (sunnies are great on them and hook into a decent sized northern and you'll fish that way for life - so in my opinion you'll never regret having a fly rod). Definately talk to the local shops - spending a lil will definately get you some better advice - if you're gonna get "bait" do that after the advice wink.gif

Dusk was awesome - saw the "shadows" appear and start rising. I'd used a fly rod earlier in the day but finished the day with an ultra-light so that's what I had in hand - a small jig tipped with powerbait (think it was pink) worked well. Don't remember the name of the jigs but I'd used them successfully on Montana waters and some of the streams in Wisconsin - come in packs of 3 with skirts on them that are a little see-through (small). Also remember talking to some locals that said small raps worked well - check the regs though because I remember thinking that I'd seen a limit on trebs for that lake - probably a faulty memory on my part.

Good luck, it's a beautiful area - used to head to yellowstone after snowboarding to soak in the boiling river - didn't visit it much in the summer, but in the fall we'd see animals like nowhere else (including some bighorn). Don't forget the camerra

Cooter - not sure if it's the pic or my computer, but what are you holding in your avatar?

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Dan- So you'll be staying on the north end of Yellowstone Lake- great area to be getting out in Yellowstone. I would definately suggest using a fly rod because many of the streams out there limit the spinning angler unless you use a floating bubble w/fly. You will manage to catch fish if using the bubble w/fly but you'll have to fish in currents so the splash of the bubble does not spook the fish.

I guided out in Yellowstone country for 2 years and would definately put a plug in for the NE part of the park...Lamar, Slough, Soda Butte. The Yellowstone as it comes into the lake is a beautiful streach of water as well. Also don't over look the lake as well.

Hatches I'd definately be looking at are the Callibeatis for the lake BUT if you are fishing the rivers: give these selections PMD's, Caddis, Yellow Sallies and Green Drakes a shot.

You'll know if a hatch is going off or not because the mayflies will be coming off in numbers. Typically up in the NE corner the drakes and PMD's are strong this time of year. Don't over look hopper, ant or beetle patterns as well. I've caught plenty of 18" plus cutts on those patterns.

Depending on how you go in, if you are coming through the south, stop in at Jackson Hole I'm sure there is a shop in there; if you are coming in from the north, stop in to Dan Bailey's Fly Shop. Great shop and great service. I'd definately pick up flies there or George Anderson's Fly Shop. Otherwise the flies in the park aren't as good (my opinion) and cost a bit more.

Have fun and good luck!

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If you are fishing in Yellowstone, you are fishing some of the hardest hit fish. These Cutthroat's have seen every offering possible and you'll have to show them something different. When I was there I had good luck on Hopper patterns, Caddis fly's (Yellow hair!?) and a fly that I invented called the CB special. This fly is a simple fly to tie. It resembles a Wolly Bugger but can be fished dry and wet. To tie this fly, just use some red yarn for the body and wrap Grizzly Hackle around the fly to the eye of the hook. Try differnt sizes and see how they work for you. I'll check my fly box to see if I have any tied up and I'll post the picture later.

You have to let us know how you do and share some pictures with us when you get back. It's a beautiful park and has some spectacular scenery/fishing as well.

Good Luck,

Corey Bechtold

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Thanks for all the pointers!! I printed them off so I remember which shops to go to when I get there and what lures to try. The friend that I am going to visit out there works for the park, her job is to study and restore the cutthroat population! Not a bad gig if you ask me. I think she will have some ideas too but it will be nice to pick up some flies on the way there.

As for the fly rod, i used to have one but a buddy of mine cast half of it in the Gallatin river near Big Sky Montana a few years back and I haven't replaced it since then. I still have the reel but never got another rod to go with it. Maybe I will pick one up tomorrow before I go. I usually had better success with the casting bubble anyways. I wasn't much of a fly fisherman!

I'll update when I return. Thanks again, this website is great!!

~Dan

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Not your computer, its a half arse picture of flathead. Got her resting on the boat seat and cooler. Gonna have to get a better un.

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I just returned from a vacation in Wyoming. Stayed just outside of Jackson Hole and visited most of the lakes North into Yellowstone. If time allows, I would suggest hitting Jenny Lake at the foot of the Tetans. From shore we saw big groups of cutthroat in 3-4 feet of water. Watched a guy toss his fly along the shore and either experienced a bite or catch with almost every cast. He would show it to the crowd and release the cutthroat. Just my 2 cents.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My wife and I each caught 2 cutthroat trout ranging from 18"-20.5". We caught 3 on the lake using spoons and the other on the Yellowstone River with a nymph imitating plastic. We spent most time hiking and sightseeing but the fishing was pretty good. It is like a whole other world out there. We saw elk, black bear, bison, pelicans, moose, and a badger among other creatures. It seemed like a zoo without the bars. It was a great vacation! Thanks for the tips everyone~Dan

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Quote:

It seemed like a zoo without the bars.


I'd like to know where that zoo is...Bartender! another summit please while I watch the dromadary eating some grass!

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Hehe, I didn't think of that while I was typing! It would have been nice to sit back with a pitcher of beer and watch some of the critters there though. As the wise Homer Simpson would say, "MMMMM BEEEEER".

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Or one of my favorites..."Beer bring pain" grin.gif

Gotta love the Simpsons!

Glad to hear you had a good trip,

Corey Bechtold

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