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Old 02-03-2012, 05:44 AM
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Default Yellowstone - Bechler River

I have never been to Yellowstone, but am going this summer. I am looking for a good backcountry fishing trip, and I'll be close to Ashton, Idaho. And I'm a backpacker that is use to a degree of solitude so I've picked this part of the park due to its decreased crowds, backcountry users, and traffic. I have heard this part of the park is less visited than the more popular areas and I'll have a better chance of getting a permit at short notice.

Thus, I am going to check out the Bechler River, focusing most of my time in the Bechler Meadows. I have read about fishing the meadows in Osthoff's FF the RM backountry book, he covers the area in pretty good detail. But the book is 15 years old now, and I still had a few questions.

At Bechler Meadows, he talks of some very good sized rainbows and the occasional Snake River Cutt, some cutting the tape at 18". But he also talks of them being some of the spookiest rainbows he's ever run into. Is this section hard to fish and are the bows still this big? And that in August he has yet to see a major mayfly or caddis hatch, yet simple drys and terrestrials will work. But presentation is so important due to the weariness of the rainbows.

I plan on camping in the meadows for 2-3 nights, giving me plenty of time to figure the fishing out and for exploring adjacent areas. I have never experienced a backcountry hot spring so I plan on taking some more time and running up Bechler Canyon to check out the hotsprings up the Ferris Fork. How is the fishing in the canyon?

I know the Bechler Meadows are easily reached by day hikers (only five miles from the ranger station). Has anyone ever fished the Bechler Meadows on day hikes and/or extended trips? How is the fishing? Have you seen a lot of other anglers and hikers in this area? Any other tidbits I should be aware of (please no speeches about bears)?

Before and after the backpacking part of the trip, I also plan on car camping at the Cave Falls campground right outside the Bechler River entrance. Is there any fishing within a short dayhike of the campground? Anyone ever camped here?

Need the info. Feed me.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone - Bechler River

No one that I know of knows Bechler better than my good friend Bruce Staples. Bruce wrote the River Journal - Yellowstone Park (
Amazon.com: Yellowstone Park (River Journal) (9781571880444): Bruce Staples: Books Amazon.com: Yellowstone Park (River Journal) (9781571880444): Bruce Staples: Books
) several years ago and is a foremost authority on the park's waters, but he is most knowledgeable about the Bechler Meadows area.

Bruce can be reached at Jimmy's All Season Angler in Idaho Falls, ID. Here is the number: 208-524-7160.

If anyone can and will give you the best info it will be Bruce.

Kelly.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Yellowstone - Bechler River

Kglissmeyer, tThank you for Bruce's info and book. I will be ordering it soon. I'm a backcountry-guidebook junkey, so this is a nice tip.

I was also thinking about ordering the Yellowstone Fly Fishing Guide by Matthews and Molinero. Anyone else have this book? Is it still relevant? Its original copyright is 1997 and Osthoff's RM backcountry book is from 1998. So these books are going on 15 years.

I would love a good, general fly fishing guidebook for Yellowstone's backcountry and the roadside waters. Anyone else have a better recommendation?

But I will be ordering Bruce's River Journal for sure.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Yellowstone - Bechler River

Bruce is the man, as is everyone at Jimmy's.

I went to the bechler in early sept. for a quick day trip. Beautiful country and i only saw one other fisherman and 5 boy scouts. and these rainbows are giants. and 18 incher weights in around 3 lbs, just footballs. I only hooked one big one, but i quickly lost him. My friend managed to land one of these big boys, then we chased his buddy up a small feeder stream, but could never get him settled down enough to fish to. Then right at dark, the fish at the confluence of boundary creek and bechler began rising like crazy and i managed to land a few small ones on an orange stimulator.


I personally cannot wait to get back in there. Oh yea, and the mosquitoes were worse than i had ever imagined. 100% DEET lasted about 20 minutes.
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