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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Three years ago, in midsummer, while in Yellowstone Park I found that the Firehole and upper Madison Rivers, which I'd so looked forward to fishing again, were too warm for the trout's safety to fish; like tepid bathwater. It was heartbreaking. This time I went early, braving Yellowstone's "early summer" weather uncertainties.

These are some of the temperatures I recorded: May 31: Madison River at Madison Campground (where the Firehole and Gibbon join to fo to form the Madison): 56 degrees Fnht. June 1: Firehole, above the falls: 59 degrees; about 1 1/2' visability. June 17 (air temp. around 40 Fnht: 54 degrees.

The early June weather produced frequently cool and rainy weather that at times discolored these streams and raised them above their banks. For a few days, the Firehole's "meanders" above Bisquit Basin disappeared under standing water. But these wonderful little streams clear quickly, compared to Montana's lower elevation freestone streams, which are presently bank-high and the color of chocolate milk.

It occurs to me that the many fly fishermen who dote on Yellowstone waters could use a reliable source ofstream height, clarity, and temperature data. Since I'm retired, I'd like to provide such a valuable service. Of course, it would require some logistical support. Three weeks in a 9' x 12' wall tent got a bit trying, even with periodic trips to West Yellowstone for groceries and a shower and laundry. What I need as an observational base is one of those bus-size trailers or motor homes. Perhaps if every Yellowstone fishing fan contributed to a fund, I could afford to do it throughout the season. Perhaps an Economic Stimulous grant could be arranged. Come on, folks, we can do this! We're Americans!
 

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Sculpin Enterprises
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Hi Mac,

What a spirit of generosity!!! Such selfless devotion to your fellow flyfishers. I feel a tear welling up in the corner of my eye. I'm 1000% behind your initiative. Unfortunately, my fishing addiction has thinned my wallet. I suggest that you seek out my contribution from the various flyshops, filling stations, fast-food marts, etc. to whom I have (and will continue) to patronize as part of my addiction. If there is a 12 step program, I don't want to hear about it.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jim:

Thanks for nothing, Job-Killer!
 

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Long Lost Member
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Nooksack Mac, great idea. Sure beats getting all your information from the interwebs. Always nice to get a personal touch on information, like you get from the local shops or a shuttle service driver.
 

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North Bend, WA
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Was pretty odd yesterday bringing a flat out "warm" brown trout to hand on the Firehole. Of course it was just down from the Midway section with a lot of thermal influence but even so I'd expect they would stay off the hot bank. Anyway, the wind and pressure change yesterday have been more a factor than the temps. A lot of bugs on the water when things calmed down for a few minutes.

The last week in Yellowstone. Today in Cody. Tomorrow, on to Teton...
 

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We found the Firehole one day in late July.... didn't get to fish it, but while sitting on the sandy bottom with water up to my neck, I half submerged my eye glasses and had a wonderful view of all the trout swimming around. I was surprised to see so many fish among all the people splashing around. I guess all the activity stured up the botton... the fish seemed to be feeding.
 

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Just an Old Man
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The Fire Hole today is like this.

At Old Faithful YNP the temps are 8.9 degrees C.(48 degrees F) And at or near West Yellowstone, Mt 16.9 degrees C. (62 degrees F)

I got this off of the USGS web page for Montana, which I keep Book marked.

Simple,huh
 

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Actually, it's not so simple. If you haven't fished the Firehole, it varies wildly from stretch to stretch. You can't rely on USGS data. We were there last July, about 2 miles up from the Firehole Geyser basin is. . . we figured it would be far enough away from the basin to be much cooler. I had been fishing for a few minutes when I felt the water, it was quite warm, and I put my $2 themometer in and found the water to be about 75 degrees F. ( A storm came through about then and the air temperature was in the 60's)

Leaving the water, my wife stepped on the bank and her foot sank into a hot mudhole well above her ankle. Ask at the fly fishing shops in West Yellowstone (there's one about every other store or so). Get an inexpensive thermometer on a line to submerge. Ask lots of other fisherman you see there. The shops have reader boards with temperatures posted from info their guides have relayed back.
 
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