You just have to be careful of water that gets too warm...
I doubt this will be one of those years.. but they have closed fishing in the park in July/August previously, or had restrictions.. like it's ok before noon and after 6pm
Sounds like it'll be a good trip
Check in with Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone on your way in
I've read that is a concern with the firehole. Is it still an issue with the nez perce and magpie as well? I'm still gathering info on fishing these creeks but a backpacking forum I'm on said this is a great trail to hike and fish. Granted that forum cares more for the backpacking aspect not the fishing so much.
Like I said, it is unlikely this year because of the snowpack.. just something to be conscious of
And it can be multiple rivers..
In 2012 - it was parts of Firehole, Madison and Gibbon
this was one in 2007 I was thinking of.. I thought it was more rivers than this
Northern Yellowstone: Gardner River below Osprey Falls, Lava Creek below Undine Falls, Lamar River below Cache Creek, all of Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek below Amphitheater Creek, and the Yellowstone River below Seven Mile Hole.
West side of the park: Madison River, Firehole River below Keppler Cascades, and the Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls.
Southern portion of Yellowstone: Bechler River below Ouzel Creek, Falls River below Rainbow Falls, Mountain Ash Creek below Union Falls, Proposition Creek, Boundary Creek below Dunanda Falls, Robinson Creek, and the Snake River below Six Mile Ford.
The guy who writes this blog lives in the city of West Yellowstone. He is very open about what rivers are fishing well, etc. and what time of year to fish each river. You can go back and research several years of fishing reports, and it will help you immensely in your planning.
If your goal is to get into some good fishing, then you need to be open as to where (what rivers) you choose to fish in the park. During June you want to fish the West Side of Yellowstone (Firehole, Gibbon, Madison, Nez Perce)...however, starting in July the water gets too warm. The trout migrate to cooler waters. The fishing on the Firehole is really not good at all starting in mid July through August. Nez Perce is a different story...it stays pretty cool all summer, but the Firehole, Gibbon and Madison get too warm starting pretty early in July, and it's just too risky to plan a trip to fish these rivers once you get past the 4th of July. In my opinon Nez Perce is not a destination fishery. If you are coming to YNP in late July, do yourself a huge favor and focus on the North East section of the park for fishing. If you are coming to YNP in June, then don't even bother fishing the Northeast rivers...they are completely blown out and unfishable till July...usually mid July.
The fishing in the Northeast section is awesome! Most of these rivers hold the beautiful native yellowstone cutthroat trout. Focus on these rivers: The Yellowstone (near Tower Falls), the Lamar, Soda Butte, Cache Creek, Slough Creek. There are many, many miles of streams and rivers for you to explore and get away from the crowds. However, it's a bit of a drive from the touristy things to do on the west side. One option would be to camp at a central location, like at Canyon campground. You can go online and see if there are any open dates to reserve a campsite. Also, do some research and find all the "first come / first serve" campgrounds. It's not hard to find a spot at these campgrounds if you arrive around 9:00 AM.
Things are shaping up to be really big snow packs this year.
You really need to take that into account as to when you, and anyone else planning a trip, come out here this year.
Unless we have a very dry and warm spring rivers and streams are going to run high a couple to several weeks later than they normally do.
If the Firehole is the goal you might get away with planning for hitting the normal good fishing window on that stream but I really expect it to run considerably higher than normal though it may stay clear enough to fish and for all I know, fish well.
The Madison and Gibbon could blow out for awhile longer than normal and will almost certainly run higher than normal longer. When the Madison in the park is big it's not that easy to wade and fish.
This MOST LIKELY high water season coming up isn't necessarily a bad thing.
It should provide some great later season fishing.
Personally, I like later in the summer for fishing the park and I also prefer the northeast side of the park. The Lamar, Soda Butte, Slough Creek and Yellowstone provide, IMO, the best, reasonably accessible, fishing in the park.
A hike into the second meadow of Slough, around five miles, is one of the true jewels of the park. You can do it in a day easy if you are in decent shape.
I've done it as a day trip from Bozeman many times. It's certainly an all day event but worth it. If you are staying in West it has to be at least an hour and a half drive to the trailhead. But it's two and half hours from Bozeman and as I said, I've done it quite a few times. Pretty tired on the long drives home but always happy.
If you were still looking for an overnight backpack in the park there are at least two campsites that I know of on the second meadow, maybe more, but picking up a permit could be tough. I haven't done it for quite a few years now so I don't know how hard they are to get.
I would seriously consider shooting for August or September this year, especially if you decide to mainly target the northeast.
Unfortunately, that time frame runs the risk of leaving the Firehole too hot to fish and could also mean the Madison and Gibbon not worth much as well.
It's really hard to say but if I had to chose a time for a planned trip it would be later in the summer this year with the emphasis NOT on the Firehole.
One final thing. If you are looking to stay inside the park at one of the inns/lodges you better look into it NOW. Old Faithful may already be booked up.
Ok rethinking this whole firehole river idea. I really don't know now haha. My girl is ok not doing any of the tourist things now (thank goodness). As for as a new location there are only a few things I need to keep in mind. More than likely ill be flying into west yellowstone and will spend my first night in town. Then will head to backcountry on 2nd day. Since we will be backpacking renting a car is pointless. There is no sense renting something for a week and not using it. I've looked into west yellowstone taxi and they will drop us off and pick us up anywhere (so they say). As far as dates its either going to be late july or september.
I'm looking into the streams posted above and they seem pretty awesome. Basicly my goal for this trip is some badass backcountry flyfishing and not seeing another person. I have no problems leaving the beaten trail in search of that honey hole. I'm getting pretty excited about this trip and will post up some research I've done later to keep it informative.
Side note: I can't stand it right now in NJ streams are closed for stocking, the weather is getting nice and I saw a stock truck yesterday...ahh cabin fever is near fatal.
Just a side note.
You really need to be off the beaten path if you are looking for solitude in the park. The best fishing is typically a destination for a good deal of packing trips in the park.
There really isn't anywhere on Slough, when it's in fishing shape, where you won't find at least a couple of other people.
The first meadow gets some serious pressure, you'll see people dotted all over the place. You can still have great fun but you won't be alone, at all.
The second meadow fills up too but most people walk until they find some decent room so it fills up from the bottom. If you just make for the middle of the meadow or higher when you hike in you can usually get some reasonable space around you and not feel pressured. That's about 6 miles one way.
You can hike up into the third meadow but that's pushing it for a day hike.
If you camp up there you can expect to have sections of the creek all to yourself in the last couple hours of light as well as the first couple as only the campers will be around.
Sough Creek is definitely ON the "beaten trail". I think it's worth it anyways but it is a destination on a lot of peoples list in the summer.
Lots of BUGS until things dry out later in the season...
Ok called parks fly shop. The only real idea is renting a car. But I figure I'm getting free airfare and 2 night in a hotel free. $200 for a rental isn't bad. I'm planning on going july 22-27 and they said I might have trouble getting a camping permit but can just wonder into the national forest where I don't need one.
Now as far as fishing locations on the slough, I don't mind a hike. I can do 15-20 miles a day no prob. Although I'm taking my girl and she isn't as experienced as me. So more than likely cut that in half. I've browsed over some topos quick and it seems like its not too bad. But need to look in more detail.