Yellowstone trip planning

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

  1. darik

    darik resident lurker

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    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 :)
     
  2. Dan Soltau

    Dan Soltau New Member

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    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.
     
  3. Longs for Cutts

    Longs for Cutts Member

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    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.
     
  4. darik

    darik resident lurker

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    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.
     
  5. Bill Reed

    Bill Reed Member

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    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.
     
  6. TWD

    TWD Travis

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    Bill is dead on, I can't imagine taking any kids into the canyons. The madison would be ideal for kids on a float below quake lake. I think swinging nymphs on the firehole in June would produce also (try shallow riffles). I like the Gibbon advice but think the access by Mammoth is much better.

    The bugs were ferocious this past year! August makes for less bugs but the fishing gets much more difficult because you are primarily looking at terrestrails.

    O' yeah, its the Gardner ... the Gibbon is pretty tough fishing in my opinion ... flat water for small, smart fish
     
  7. Bill Reed

    Bill Reed Member

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    Sorry, knew it was one of those G rivers, but it ain't the Gibbon, it's the Gardner, as LFC pointed out.:eek:
     
  8. OhioOutdoorsman

    OhioOutdoorsman New Member

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    Took a week long trip to yellowstone this past september and I was surprised by the fishing. The Firehole, Gardiner, Gibbon, and Gallatian were getting pounded by fly-fisherman and this was the off-season. Combine that with barbless hook regs it made for some tough fishing. My wife was just learning and it was not a good place to learn.

    I did find some solitude on some smaller brookie streams and the fish were a bit more eager.....I would try their.....their are some youth only sections (drawing a blank where) but I would ASK someone local at a fly shop. Buying something tends to loosen their lips. I highly recomend richard parks' book. This compliments the matthews book nicely and has much more detailed and IMO more accurate information (the two books often have conflicting information).

    The Yellowstone fishing culture is pretty unique. You have a large group of tourists and a small group of local fisherman in the know. Most of the locals are tight-lipped about where to fish or worse yet give false info to misdirect the masses.
     
  9. Longs for Cutts

    Longs for Cutts Member

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    September is actually our peak month. About four years ago there was a rash of articles proclaiming how fall in Yellowstone was uncrowded, so now fall is no longer uncrowded. In addition, it tends to be the period when the "serious" fishermen come, as opposed to people on vacation with their families who happen to go fishing. It's also the worst time to learn to fly fish in the area (except the offseason), because most brook trout in the Gardner system jet upstream to the Fawn Creek area to spawn and because most cutts in easily accessable streams will have been caught 10 times already and are also feeding more slowly and selectively than in July or August. Labor Day until the equinox storm (we usually get a rain/snow storm within 3-4 days either side of the equinox) is my LEAST favorite period to fish during the high season. October or August are much better.
     
  10. OhioOutdoorsman

    OhioOutdoorsman New Member

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    This is the type of local info i'm talking about. Many of the mag/guidebooks will tell you the opposite. We enjoyed our trip the last week in September immensly. I fished several easily accesible locations of the Gardiner that were teeming with brook trout but were tough to catch because they were spawning. This is where I would go with kids in the summer of the limited places that I went.

    I had a guide take us to spot that the Matthews book said was devoid of fish that time of year. Multiple 14-16" cuts caught in a dramatic backcountry setting proved otherwise.
     
  11. NShorBrookie

    NShorBrookie Mud Duck

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    I fished Pebble Creek and Soda Butte Creek (upstream from the confluence of Pebble and Soda Butte) the first week of July last year and the cutts were pretty eager to hit almost any dry fly I threw at them. That's the only experience I have on those streams, but if those were typical days, she might be able to get into a good size cutt on just about any dry fly. It's small water with east wading and a lot of casting room. Hope you guys have fun.

    JJ
     
  12. Longs for Cutts

    Longs for Cutts Member

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    Those are not typical days. Early July is hit or miss on those streams --that's right in the timeframe in which they become fishable. A week later those fish become a lot smarter, and a lot more heavily-pressured. There's also a chance you were inadvertantly (I hope) targeting spawners, as some fish from the lower part of Round Prairie enter lower Pebble Creek to spawn.