Yellowstone pack trip advice [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Yellowstone pack trip advice

02-23-2005, 09:31 AM
I'm planning a trip out west with my 19 yo son this summer (early July). We're already scheduled for a couple of days in UT with my buddy Greg, but then heading up through WY/MT...trying to do a bit of the trip spontaneously but thinking about a pack in (horse or hike) to Slough Creek or other good fishing site. Any suggestions on outfitters, experiences, what to look out for, etc. will be greatly appreciated.

Thx, Fro

02-23-2005, 11:26 AM
Greater Yellowstone FF

These guys presented a slide show at the Chicago Flyfishing show. They look credible - and it got me enthused about a trip there.

Good luck -- sounds like fun

02-25-2005, 02:36 PM
You might have some issues with water quality that time of year with the spring run off. Some rivers like the Lamar will not really be fishable. Any tail waters or bigger waters will be smoking like the Green or Mircle mile on the North Platt, or the snake river tribs which would be closer then Yellowstone. But Yellowstone is so beautifull at that time it is worth the trip. Slough Creek is still a great river but it is no longer a secret it once was. It is still worth the hike though. In the park I would think the lower rivers like the Yellowstone and the Gibbon would treat you the best. but I think they open mid July so you might be too early. It really depends what the spring is like. Firehole might be fishing good too. It will be toward the end of it's season. It is the coolest river to fish though.

PMD, Flavs, yellow sallys, maybe some salmon flies

03-15-2005, 05:34 PM

I went out to YNP in 2003 right around the 4th of July, and people were telling me then that I was just a bit early for the 'good' fishing. I still had a great time. I've been to the shop for GYFF as recommened above and they run a great shop and can certainly give you what you're looking for, although its going to cost!! I also highly recommend you take a look at Randell Ziegler as a guide

His prices are low compared to other guides in the area that I checked on (not sure if he does pack-in trips tho), and his float down the yellowstone river is AMAZING. Randell also said I should try the Lamar river in the park but when I checked with a fly shop in Gardiner they told me the Lamar wasn't fishing well due to all of the runoff at that time of year. Slough Creek was fishable but was CROWDED - although at the time you're going it might not be too busy. I mostly stuck to the Madison River inside the park and had it mostly to myself and caught 'enough' fish.

If you've never been to YNP, plan on at least 1 day of NOT fishing just to get around and see everything. Have a great trip, its one you won't forget!

03-22-2005, 02:42 AM
My family and I take two trips up to Yellowstone every year. We fish mostly the Madison and the Fire Hole. I don't remember ever having a trip where I didn't catch fish. Usually, about the forth of July, and some time in early Augest. Often the rivers are muddy and high during the first trip, but we still manage to do pretty well. The later trip is usually the better of the two. It's been a pretty dry year, so I doubt that it'll be too much of a problem. Catch a hatch, and your arms will fall off before the fish quit. The smaller waters, of corse, have smaller fish, but I seem to do better on them. The madison, in the evening, produces best for me. I don't fish the yellowstone iteself much, but I wouldn't discourage you from giving it a try. Lots of the little tributary streams may have small fish, topping out at 10" or so, but they have large numbers. It never hurts to pick a little stream, and go for a walk.

If you're looking for other good spots to fish, the mountains around Lander, or Dubois Wy, offer some great opportunities. If you're willing to do some hikeing, you can catch some wonderful scenery, and have a great day of fishing, weather permiting. If you're really lucky, you may even catch a golden trout or two, if your willing to spend half a day hiking. Cody has some good areas for fishing, too, but I havn't spent too much time there. The area near Saratoga has some good little lakes, and if you don't mind small fish, you can catch brookies by the hundred in the streams.

The Wind River/Bighorn provides exelent fishign in spots. I've seen browns up to 12# come out of those waters. Rainbows 9#+ and 5 or 6# cuts. Catching a 3# rainbow is common. Its close, so I know the waters pretty well. I lived in Thermopolis for 5 years, but the first summer I lived there, I walked down to the river, in town, and cought some pretty nice rainbow. They averaged about 1#, but I got some good ones just below the terraces, the largest being about 22".

My advice, plan a rout to drive, through the mountainous areas. Stop at the tackle shops in the areas that look good, and talk to the guys running them. They may not tell you the secret spots the locals fish, but the'll give you enough info to have a great time. Most fo them are just old fishermen who make a living with their favorite hobby, after all.

Geordie Shanks
03-25-2005, 01:05 PM
The Thorofare region of the park is absolutely spectacular that time of the year. The weather and runoff is obviously a huge factor for that time of year, but if we get an early runoff and if the snowpack stays below average on the caldera, you might be able to get in that time of the year with a minimum of residual snow on the ground. I backpacked into the Thorofare valley from the park side about five years ago the second week of July, and it was one of the harder packs of my life but well, well worth it. There are tons of side streams up there that are packed with cutties, and we got lucky with the runoff and had epic fishing. If I were going to do it again, I would enter from the Teton Park side and go over two ocean pass. That way is about the same distance wise, but is less undulating and has a more established trail the whole way. I've heard of people hiking in in one full day. That's pretty manly (about 18 miles), but doable, and the fishing could be unreal. The stories you hear about fish every cast and 20" all over the place are indeed correct, if timed right. I know there are numerous outfitters that go into the Thorofare region and could horseback you and your gear in then pick you up a few days later. If you have that kind of time and fortitude, and the elements look right, you will be in the game. Have fun whatever you decide to do.

Heart Lake in another good one and is less strenous (about five hard miles). I have done that, but I believe it might be closed until July 15th. Huge, huge fish and one of the highest bear concentrations in the park. Nothing like the extra element of death in your fishing. We don't have nearly enough of that. Enjoy yourself.

The Winds will likely be out of the picture at that time year, particularly for anything in the interior. The foothill streams might be ok, but I would imagine that they will be running high that time of year. The earliest I've been able to pack into the Winds is the second week of July. They are above average for snowpack right now so I would probably save that for a late July/early August trip.

03-25-2005, 04:57 PM
I was out there three years ago right around the 4th - actually went all over the state in a 6 day trip. We did some fishing, but the water levels were iffy. My wife was with me and was not that enthused to wade very much in the faster flows - she did catch a beautiful bull trout at Rock Creek. If there is any wiggle room in the dates - then I would recommend August. The flows are down and if towards the middle of the month you should be into hopper season. I hope you have a great time - I can't wait to get out that way again - it is fantastic