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Old 10-17-2011, 12:56 PM
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Default Yellowstone Trip 2012

Alright guys, here's the deal. I'm planning on taking a week or two solo trip out west this coming summer, but have a good many questions that I need to figure out. This will be my first time fishing western waters, Time wise it will be probably happen to be mid-July. Is this generally too early for the rivers to be back to fishable levels? Any specific campground recommendations? I'd prefer something very close to good fishing water. Other than proximity to the water, all that I really desire is to have a little privacy, and access to bathrooms and I guess one thing that has been in the back on my mind since thinking about doing this trip is safety. Would I be relatively safe fishing solo in Yellowstone, or is this something that I would need to be in a group for?

Also, if I do this trip I'll likely want to do a guided float trip at least one day. What guides would you recommend?



I'll pose more questions later, but these broad questions should suffice for now.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone Trip 2012

I know there are several other members who have lived/fished out here longer than I, but i will give you my 2 cents.

The Bechler/boundary creek area is the least visited part of the park because of its isolation/entry thru Idaho. And the meadows hold gigantic trout. It also has less grizzly bears, which is a key concern for safety on a solo trip. There are tons of campsites in this area, all really close to the water. Just know that there are some places where you can only camp for 1 night/per site.

Another area that is similar to this is the slough creek. It holds big fish, and the further you go, the fewer people you will see.

As far as runoff/fishability, usually rivers are clear by this time. 2010-11 winter was different, with lots of snow. We really didn't clear up on the big waters until late July this year.

Good luck! Benji
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone Trip 2012

On a normal year, most everything is fishable by mid July. This summer was NOT normal.

Be advised that the mosquitoes in the Bechler/Boundary area can be fierce in mid July. Bad enough that you would want a head net.

I think the Slough Creek area would be better. There is a campground on the creek, and the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creeks are a stone's throw away.

What I would do is camp three or four days at Slough Creek and throw in a float trip on the Yellowstone River. Park's fly shop in Gardiner can set that up for you.

Then I'd move camp to the campground just a couple miles north of West Yellowstone on Hwy 191, or one of the many campgrounds around Hebgen Lake. That gives you quick access to the Gallatin River. I like the area above and below Specimen Creek, but there is good water and lots of public access all the way north to Gallatin Gateway.

Hebgen Lake is worth a try also. It's famous for big "gulpers" that time of year.

Then throw in another guided float trip on the Madison River. Blue Ribbon Flies and Bud Lilly's fly shops in West Yellowstone have good guides as to just about all the fly shops in town.

You can also walk in and fish the Madison above and below Three Dollar Bridge.

Another fun walk in area on the Madison is the "braids" right above Ennis.

As for safety, invest $30 in a can of bear spray and bear bells. I did, and never gave the bears another thought.

Chris
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone Trip 2012

Never been to the Bechler area...sounds great! I would second or third the Slough Creek area for quiet, solitude (relative term in YNP), ease of access to fishing. The Lamar Valley is spectacular and Lamar River is good, close fishing to Slough, and the Yellowstone R on that side of the park is way less pressured.

Keep in mind that grizzly populations are concentrated in the park. Read about being "bear aware" and carry pepper spray. I always get the willies when I am alone in grizz country...it certainly heightens all of your senses and adds to the adventure. Also, fish you catch in the back country come with even more pride than usual. Another thing to remember, you are going into one of the most visited parks in the country at the height of the tourist season, so leave your expectations of uncrowded campgrounds and solitude at the entrance gate with your $25. It won't happen. The best you can do is to research and find the small campgrounds away from the main attractions (Madison Jct, Mammoth, Old Faithful)...Slough Ck is one of them. It will be mostly tents and campers and as quiet as you'll find. Madison Jct is a small city of RVs. The traffic will be worse than rush hour in a lot of small towns.

Do some research and study some maps. There are a plethora of "fishing Yellowstone" type books out there. I like the Falcon guidebooks personally, or something by a real fisherman, not just a publisher that sees the generic famous subject.

Good luck. Keep in touch.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone Trip 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
The traffic will be worse than rush hour in a lot of small towns.
Funny... more people visit Yellowstone every July, then Montana has in total population. The traffic at some of the junctions can be nuts. The whole road it seems from West Yellowstone gate to Madison can be bad as people stop to see their first ever Elk.. one of the thousands they'll see over the next day or two.. lol Definetly worse than Bozeman


Following up Deans book reference, this one is pretty good

Amazon.com: The Yellowstone Fly-Fishing Guide (9781558215450): Craig Mathews, Clayton Molinero: Books Amazon.com: The Yellowstone Fly-Fishing Guide (9781558215450): Craig Mathews, Clayton Molinero: Books

Bear spray comes by itself, or there's a couple type of 'holsters': belt and chest. Get one that's comfortable, but easy to get to, and you won't even notice it fishing. I use the belt holster type
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone Trip 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhayden View Post
The whole road it seems from West Yellowstone gate to Madison can be bad as people stop to see their first ever Elk.. one of the thousands they'll see over the next day or two.. lol Definetly worse than Bozeman
I really cannot bear it. I haven't been inside the park in years. The last time, the line of rental cars parked idling in the middle of the road, doors open was so long I almost lost it...look honey! a bison!!!!! and the ranger was on a bullhorn "...please do not stop in the middle of the road...please do not park on the side of the road...please do not get out of your vehicle..."

oye.
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