Yellowstone trip planning

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by darik, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. Does anyone have any experiences or recommendations for taking kids fly fishing in the park? I'm taking my 12-year old daughter sometime this summer (dates aren't set in stone yet, just has to fall during the summer school break), and I'm dedicating one day specifically to give her the best fly fishing experience she's ever had.

    I've heard some people have had good experiences with kids fishing Obsidian creek, it sounds like a nice meadow stream not too far from a campground with small but easy fish. I think something like that would be perfect - does anyone have any other suggestions? We don't mind a bit of a hike, but we don't mind other people fishing nearby either.

    I'm also open to suggestions about the best time to make the trip. I was thinking toward the end of July to avoid runoff, and hopper season I think would make for some fun fishing, although I realize some of the rivers will be off-limits because of high temperatures. Would August be a better bet?

    Thanks all.

    "I'm not a lurker, I'm just a slacker!"
     
  2. If you go in June or July the evening caddis catch on the Madison can be done without even getting in the water. Lots of fish right off the road. Nothing huge but lots of them. Also I just love the Gallatin which has a great little salmon fly hatch and again has some easy access right off the highway.
     
  3. I'd go with the Gibbon. It's smallish, pretty, and plenty of fish too. Try hiking to Little Gibbon Falls and fishing below the falls: http://www.trails.com/trail_reviews.asp?trailid=HGR121-013 . It's a beautiful spot, I hiked in and camped there in the snow one October. Awesome, and an easy hike.
     
  4. obsidian, cougar creek and one other (forget the name) right next to obsidian fit your need. I would recommend picking up Craig Matthews book on fly fishing yellowstone. He details most water in the park and lists multiple rivers for family fishing with plenty of 7-11 inch brookies/cutties. Another option is the Gardnier right below Mammoth. Mammoth would be a great place to stay with the family
     
  5. Sounds great guys, thanks. I know with all the great fishing in the park it'll be hard to go wrong. I'm going to take one day to fish the big-name waters but one day is going to be specifically for easy water and easy fish. I'll keep doing my homework but I think I'm on the right track.
     
  6. the gibbon meadow is great, as long as it is not crowded with moose and bison. Soda butte is also a great option if it is late enough into the summer. The upper gallatan and fan creek also have great road access and willing fish.
     
  7. Skate Creek is a great stream in the NE corner of the park...Also if you fish the madison outside the park below Earthquake Lake there are some extreamly big brown and rainbows that sit right against the shore.
     
  8. This is a fun little spot on the Firehole. Park at the picnic area and fish the meadow or take a nice walk up the trail to get away from people. It's one of those picture perfect spots where your daughter can catch fish fairly easily. Evening is fun with some Elk Hair or Goddard Caddis, Para Adams, maybe an attractor dry (Royal Wulff), and some small droppers such as Soft Hackle Bead Head Hares Ear/Pheasant Tail. Be aware of Bison, Moose and hot springs along the river. I got trapped once by a herd of Bison out there, not cool.

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  9. wow, a map even? that's awesome! thanks again guys. is it too early to be getting all giddy? i've been wanting to make this trip for years, i just can't believe it's taken so long to get to it.
     
  10. I second the Craig Mathews book as a great planning tool. Be aware that the Firehole, Madison, and lower Gibbon can be closed when water temps rise. The last time I was there was in the latter part of July and all those rivers inside the park were closed.
     
  11. We live 40 minutes from Old Faithful and timing is everything when fishing the park. Different rivers fish better at different times. For instance the Firehole gets too warm at the end of July. Hopper fishing is dependent upon how much rain occurs in the spring and during the early summer. Too much rain and hopper fishing is bad. We fish all the rivers but choose which ones are best based upon the time of the year. I like early July best. Crowds are not bad and you can catch the Salmon fly hatch on the Madison. The Firehole is still fishing good and so is Henry's Fork.

    Have fun and explore.
     
  12. I second the upper Gallatin in the NW corner of the Park. Access is good, it is small enough that kid won't be overwhelmed, and there is usually lots of fish. Some of the tribs also are supposed to be good. People often don't think about it when planning a YNP trip, because it is sort of out of the main portion of the park.
     
  13. There is one little thing about the Gallatin that you should know. I guess as with any place in the park just beware in the willowed areas to make plenty of noise and keep a eye out for those Moose they can show up at a time that you don't expect them !
     
  14. My first experience fly fishing was on the madison. Had an absolute blast nymphing at the end of june. Lots of bow's, and two huge browns. And we actually had to worry about the elk more than anything else. They were particularly aggressive that year, chargin people left and right.
     
  15. The timing is something else I've been considering. I knew that by the end of July the Firehole and a couple others would be off-limits, which is a shame. I think that's one river that I'd love to fish on "my" day. Plus a salmonfly hatch on the Madision sounds pretty tempting, so maybe I'll consider moving it up to the end of June. Otherwise I'd look at August, but I just don't want to wait that long :)
     
  16. There are two options here of what I would do, I would put them on a secluded stream where there might not be many other anglers. And flat out my favorite river. the madison, will be a zoo unless you are willing to walk a decent distance and get up early. Two things you probably dont want to do with kids. If want them to get into flyfishing and learn a ton while doing it, get guided trip if you have the funds. I sent a fellow and three sons to the madison two years ago, he got two guided trips, they didnt catch a huge amount of fish, but when they got back to seattle the kids were livid. Before I could tell the oldest (12) was lookin at me like he wasnt entirely commited to the whole flyfishing thing, so I think meeting somebody who is really into it OUTSIDE of dad (aka the guide) can really get a kid into it. And now, the kids are all avid flyfisherman as well as the dad.
     
  17. To be totally honest, I'm horrified at some of the suggestions written here.

    There's no such thing as Skate creek. Matthews' book is good for hatches, though not perfect, but it is extremely biased towards flat technical water near West Yellowstone. A case in point: he says the Yellowstone in its Black and Grand Canyons is not worth fishing. This is completely insane: big water, no crowds, good stonefly and caddis hatches, and cutts from 10-20 inches depending on location. What many people do is buy Matthews' book for hatches and bugs and Richard Parks' book for directions and more accurate info on what the fishing is actually like.

    For kids, the Madison and Firehole are not good bets, especially not in July. Both will be over 70 degrees. What you want is a small creek with fairly open banks and dumb fish.

    Obsidian Creek itself is not very good. It's got too much weird geothermal input. After Winter Creek enters it (Winter is actually much larger) it's better. I'd actually fish Winter itself. Another option is the Gardner in Sheepeater Canyon. Walk downstream from the Sheepeater Cliffs picnic area at least into the first canyon meadow below the falls. The farther you go the more fish and more rainbows there'll be. The Gardner upstream of Sheepeater is good too. Park at the service road in the trees about a half mile north of Sheepeater. Walk in about a mile to the Mammoth water supply diversion dam and fish up. Bring bear spray --there are a lot of grizzlies in there. You can fish whatever small dry you want (hoppers are too big for most brookies to eat). Have the kid skate a peacock caddis about #14-16.

    I would suggest waiting to August. Bugs can be bad in July. This year we were wearing headnets and long sleeves, which wouldn't be good for a kid. This depends on snowpack, however.

    Feel free to e-mail me for info. I've been guiding Yellowstone for six seasons and take kids out quite a bit.
     
  18. That's funny, Cutts. I was just looking at your bio on your fly shop's website yesterday, considering a guided day trip for both my benefit and hers. I've done most of my learning in a vacuum, (aside of the friendly input from this site of course) having never even fished with anyone who knew more than me about the sport. I've been fishing quite a few years now and I'm an intermediate fly-fisher at best. I'll send you an email for some more info, you in particular were referenced on another site as being a great guide with kids.
     
  19. I guess everyone has different experiences and different opinions on any given stretch of water. I am no expert on Yellowstone, but I have fished it many times and taught both my kids to fly fish in the park.
    My kids cut their fly fishing teeth on Obsidian Creek when my daughter was 13 and my son was 10. We camped at the Indian Creek Campground which is right there. When the water is running higher (like in early July) the brookies in the creek loved to nail the kids flies. Later on, the water gets low and the fish are not nearly as cooperative.
    The creek meanders through the meadow between the campground and the road, easy walking, don't need to wade. Indian Creek on the other side of the campground is also good fishing for brookies, but not as user friendly for kids.
    I would agree that the Gibbon, below the bridge, by Sheepeater Cliffs is also good, but I found it tougher for kids to fish.
    Grebe Lake is another good place to take the little ones, but I would recommend that they fish it using a spinning rod with a bubble and fly set-up.
    My kids (now 20 and 23) still love to go to Yellowstone and love to fish Obsidian Creek.
    Good luck and hope all goes well on your trip.
     

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