This summer I will be going to Yellowstone National Park and I was wondering what are some easy streams to fish for a beginning trout fisherman. I am used to fishing the small streams of SE MN and SW WI. I will not be hiring a guide and we will be camping for a week. Could you please list some small streams that are productive around July and some campgrounds that have those streams nearby. Could you also list if any of the streams would be crowded around July.
Hey Jack, welcome to the forum--- glad you found us.
We should have a bunch of folks coming along shortly that can answer your questions about the fishing in YNP in July--- we have a lot of members out that way, and many from far away that make the trip out there for the fishing.
You may also want to consider picking up Craig Mathews' book---it's got a ton of useful info about fishing the park:
I have been to Mt twice, once ten years ago and once last summer. The stream/river that flows through the park (I think it is an off shoot of the Yellowstone river) is small, lazy and a lot of fun. You can hop and cross at will generally, and I caught a mess of Rainbows and Brookies. There are also several small ponds in the park, mostly with Brookies that are a lot of fun too. Any park ranger can point you to those. But I do think it could be crowded in June.
Last summer I stayed in Ennis, which is about 45 minutes from the park. There you have access to about five major rivers within a short drive. I fished the Madison, Gallatin, and Ruby. I had a great days on all of them. Bigger fish and miles and miles of fishing, although these are slightly bigger rivers. Crowding was just never a problem up there because there is so much water. The only catch you may face is that in June there will likely be run-off and it can be a major factor to deal with.
I took a guided float trip with Madison River Fly Fishing Company down the Madison. Possibly one of the most fund days I have ever had fishing. Worth doing if you get up that way and don't mind spending a little money.
I am from Colorado so I am not exactly hard up for good water. But Mt is just paradise and I am already planning my next trip there. If you want more info, message me and I will go into more detail. Have fun.
I have fished Yerllowstone a few times. A great place to go is the Madison Junction Campground. You have the firhole and the Gibbon meeting to form the Madison. There is some great fishing there. Also go to the lamar valley and fish Soda Butte. Its an easy stream to fish with lots of Yellowstone Cutties. We'll keep in touch, I am working in Grant Village in YNP from July 1- Oct. Ill just be there to fish really.
Fished in Yellowstone in July 2010, stayed at Tower Campground. Tower Creek flows beside the campground and a trail parallels the stream upstream. Tower creek is full of 8-12 inch trout and they were relatively easy to catch. Used Olive X-Caddis and Yellow and Orange Stimulators. Had a lot of fun several evenings after a day of sightseeing. Also fished Slough Creek in the first meadow, much more technical fishing with the slow water, but tons of fun because it was 100% sight fishing. I also agree with other posters that Craig Mathews books are excellent resources for fishing Yellowstone. Good Luck!! It is one of my favorite places on earth.
Another vote for the Matthews book...and the Blue Ribbon fly shop. I was sent there by my local fly shop owner, said he was good friends with Craig. Got there and talked to Craig himself and Craig was elated to hear a Hello from Ravenna OH, and Frank at TMF Sports. Guess they really are good friends, he used to come out here to OH and fish right in my county with my shop owner. TOP NOTCH help and gear. I can't vouch for the guiding, but I showed up at "guide o'clock" (6:45 before they opened and shipped out) and there was an entire parade of guide boats lined up for two blocks. Perhaps the old addage "look for the restuarant with the full parking lot" axiom meant something.
I was there the first or second week of July and what they told me was the season was just picking up. You will want to get good information because the river temps and hatches are so drastically different due to altitude, mountain runoff, etc. I think there is something like a 2500-3000ft elevation difference between the western yellowstone streams and the higher mountain streams. There are also wading warnings for the higher elevation late runoff streams still in effect in July.
I watched a 21" cut get landed on the Slough Creek during a gray drake afternoon; right across the bank from me. I was fishing the outside of a bend and the lady was fishing the inside, pulled him right off of the inside of the current.
I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH: GET SOME GOOD INFORMATION DAILY!!! Preferably from Craig Matthews. He is THE UNDISPUTED AUTHORITY on Yellowstone fishing and a very nice guy from my impressions.
Craig Mathews is a very neat guy and very knowledgeable, as is his wife, Jackie. Every time I've gone into that shop I've bumped into somebody I know from somewhere else; its quite a gathering spot.
Around the corner from BRF is Bob Jacklin's fly shop; he is extremely knowledgeable about Yellowstone waters as well.
Find BRF's website and get on their weekly email newsletter broadcast. You'll learn a lot that way.
An important little tidbit: find out about any road closures the Park Service has planned for construction, resurfacing, whatever. Those closures, if any, can really put a dent in your plans if you didn't see them coming.
Here Here on the road closures; ran into one nasty one on the NW part of the loop last july and it was a "stop and have a picnic" kind of delay; better part of 45 minutes i'd say. Aside from the construction jams, you will add to your lexicon words such as "bear-jam, eaglet-jam, moose-jam, elk-jam, wolf-jam (if you get that lucky)". These are not toppings for your toast at the lodge; these are nouns describing the situation on the two-lane roads when vairous species get close enough to photograph or gawk at.
You will have a blast, I didn't mind the "jams". I saw everything on the list except the wolf, and I saw one of them in Idaho on the way in. (several grizzlies, 3 moose, baby bald eagles, bison, elk)
As to your original comment "list some small streams that are productive in july"; I also am from the east, and I found Slough creek to be right up my alley. It is small enough to cast across and produced quite a few nice trout for me and the lady across the bend. The madison was great while I was there also, though it is very wide at parts. If they are feeding on the Madison do not hesitate to jump in, it is wide but mostly wadeable and it will be a great learning experience.
Weather patterns could change any of these conditions from year to year. From what I hear, though I did not fish the firehole, it fishes better earlier than the others if it stays cold into late spring. There are numerous thermo-hydro-wachamacalits (hot springs) going into the stream.