Growing up I was raised on trips to National Parks. It all started with my Mother’s Grandparent’s taking my brother and I to Rocky Mountain National Park when I was about 10. I remember how exciting it was to be driving through the clouds and be holding snow in my hands in July. I also remember how exciting it was to see Black Bear, Grizzly, Moose, Bull Elk, Big Horn Sheep and the later the first time they took us to Yellowstone and the Tetons. Flash forward 20 years, I am now 30 years old and still just discovering the joys of the fly rod. The idea of combining something I have loved since my childhood with something new I love is a dream come true. To top it all off, I got to share it with the woman I love. During our trip I proposed to her and she said, “Yes.” Suffice to say, I was on joy overload on this trip.
Yellowstone has water to suit anyone’s taste. There’s technical high mountain Brookie streams, easy to wade and cross small mountain Cutthroat streams with plenty of casting room, larger rivers where you can swing or skate flies, large flat dry fly pools, tumbling streams with pocket water, high mountain lakes, beautiful meadow streams…you get the idea. If Yellowstone/Tetons isn’t on your bucket list, add it.
I was in Yellowstone/Tetons from 7-06 to 7-16 and the fishing was incredible. Word in the fly shops was the fishing was accelerated by weeks this year which meant I had fishable conditions for all rivers and streams that were in season. Almost all of the fish I landed were caught on dry flies regardless of the presence of bugs. The later were taken swinging wet hackles. Stimulator, stimulator, stimulator was the ticket almost everywhere. Any foam monstrosity or terrestrial consistently picked up fish along with attractor dries like royals…basically all of the most fun patterns to fish. I only ever saw the fish become selective to the PMD’s and when they got picky, they got really picky. It also wasn’t uncommon to see 5 or 6 bugs hatching at once and the formula was simple, pick the biggest bug out of the air and that’s what they were feeding on. Another thing I really loved was the fish always seemed to be right where they should. If you fish the Spring Creeks of the Driftless, you’ll have no problem catching your share of fish in the dozens. The Cutthroat’s in the NE section of Yellowstone were the easiest trout to please I’ve encountered except for the honkers in Slough Creek. Those fish be savvy but inclement weather and bugs chased me out of the first meadow well before the fun began. I had 3 Cuts around 18″ refuse my fly in the first half hour and I finally stuck one on an 11 foot leader with 5x tippet using a size 12 beetle. Of course he got away but that’s the “fun” of fishing for these large picky Cutts. You have to earn them.
There’s so much more to say but best check it out for yourself. Tight Lines!!!