Thanks for the tip Richard. I hadn't though of those. I've got Matthews' and Molinaro's 'Flyfishing the Yellowstone Hatches' but it seems waaaay too technical (with lots of strong suggestions that the only way to catch fish there is with 15 foot 7X leaders and size 24 precisely-matched patterns.)
The companion DVDs on fishing the park and tying the fly patterns are better but IMHO not worth spending $30 or so each on. Some of the better shops will let good customers borrow the DVDs or VHS tapes.
While DVD's are cool, it's probably a lot easier to pack and refer to a book or two while you're on your trip.
Those "Flyfisher's Guides To . . . " are incredible. You'll be happy your bought 'em. The maps and general info (hatches, seasons, etc.) will probably stay pretty current for a long, long time, too, so the books shouldn't really ever become too obsolete.
The mosquitoes around Grebe Lake are as thick and relentless as boxcar said. So why should you want to hike into the lake? Well, the trail is just three miles, and dead-level, and even my silver-haired mother handled it easily. But the main reason: GRAYLING. Yes, this is one of the few places in the lower 48 where you can catch grayling. And I did, fly-casting from shore. (And there was a moose on the far shore, and abundant waterfowl, if you care about that sort of thing.)
I wouldn't go to Yellowstone Park (or anywhere else) without a 6- or 7-weight outfit. The Madison, Yellowstone, Henrys Fork, and other area streams are big, and deep in places.
Many of the streams open with the general opener - the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. However the Yellowstone River from the Lake to Canyon opens July 15. Cutthroat spawning tribs to Yellowstone Lake have special seasons as well. Sounds like he was fishing the YR around Tower, which opens early.
The Firehole and Madison generally fish best around Memorial Day through June, before the combination of long hot days and thermal features raises the temps too much.
>Thanks Richard I'll look into the books. Due they
>list places to camp sites or just fishing areas?? Not
>that it matters, just trying to find that one spot with
>access to most of the waters.
With up to 6,000 cars entering the park every day at the west entrance alone, YNP is a pretty popular place during peak season. I was under the impression that most if not all of the campgrounds are on a reservation basis, with many spots having been booked months in advance. Is it possible to drive in and camp without a reservation?
Don't forget your Chironomids. All the fish in all the rivers (Browns, Bows, Cuts, Lakers, Whites, Grayling, Brookies, etc...) will and do eat them when other bugs are popping, and when they're not. Last year at the time of year you'll be there I had luck on the Gibbon, the Madison, Lewis Channel, Grebe Lake, and Hebegen Lake Madison arm.
If all else fails, go to Hebgen Lake by the West Side of Yellowstone. Take the dirt road that takes you to the Firehole Rance, on the right side there are some campgrounds. Between 3-6pm, the gulpers arrive by the hundreds close to the bank. Wade in up to your waist, not to worry of sinking, the bottom is hard gravel. Average size for us were 20" browns and rainbows, had at least a 24" brown snap my tippet in seconds. Very exciting. My wife got here very first fish on an Adams dry there, a 19" beautiful rainbow.
Also if no luck in the rivers, don't be afraid to get a guide, its worth the money cause the fish you catch will be BIG!
Fish the madison in august! Thousands of huge hoppers buzzing around with fish chomping at the bit. Attractor patterns all day! Maybe the best time to fish the madison beside in April and may. You couldnt have picked a better time. Hopefully I will find to to do so as well. Sorry about not replying until now. I was looking up info on the madison and saw your post.
if the fishing doesn't pan out on the rivers try a little lake in the south of the park named beulah lake it's quite a hike but it was worth it. there were 4 of us and we caught near 50 fish and there were a few good size cutts