The North American Fly Fishing Forum


Go Back   The North American Fly Fishing Forum > Fly Fishing in the United States > Rocky Mountain Range

Rocky Mountain Range Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Post fishing reports, ask for information, discuss this area...

Like Tree21Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2014, 03:18 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 100
darkshadow is just really nicedarkshadow is just really nicedarkshadow is just really nicedarkshadow is just really nice
Default Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

Hi,

I'm planning a trip to fish Yellowstone National Park.



I've thought about doing the ole Yellow Dog thing, but I soon realized that I don't have the luxury of an infinite budget, and quite frankly, I don't really need a lot of the amenities that most of these amazing lodges and resorts offer. Yeah, sure, I'd love a steak and lobster dinner, and a full service spa after a day of fly fishing, but I'm perfectly happy with a PB&J sandwich, and flipping through the TV at the local Motel 6 while my waders dry in the tub if it means being able cut down immensely on expenses.

When:

I've pretty much realized that the spring run off is probably not the time to go. I'm shooting for the second week of August, hoping that winter doesn't show up too soon. I'm assuming that's the safest time to plan a week long trip? Or should the date be bumped up to July sometime? I am waiting for the last possible moment to actually select the dates, mostly because I'm watching the weather and it seems like a late winter?

Location:

I googled "Fly fishing Montana" and my computer exploded from all the hits. So, i figured the best way to approach it is to figure out where base camp is going to be, and I've narrowed it down to staying in a nice cabin on the outskirts of the western entrance to the park, more specifically, near "Cliff Lake," west of Hegben.

Getting there:

To fly, or to drive? That is the question. The drive time to base camp is 14 hours. I'm weighing the pros and cons. I prefer road trips, and my trip mate and I could knock it out driving in two 7 hour shifts.

Personal preferences:

Now, here comes something that I never really gave too much importance to, but realize it is definitely something I needed to think about.

I've started fly fishing 2 years ago, and I've found I've developed strengths and weaknesses, and preferences of types of waters I like to fish, and presentations that I am comfortable with.

For example, the word 'tail water' makes me shudder in my wading boots.

Freestone and spring creeks? Bring them on.

Larger bodies of water I would be extremely out of my element and comfort zone, and the last thing I need to be doing is having this trip become one where I'm having to buy a bunch of gear that I know will not get much use here in Southern California.

Having said that, my gear is heavy on the lighter 3 and 4 and 5 weight rods, 8 to 9 footers, representing my preference for smaller spring creeks or freestones. My fly selection is typical of your smaller 'California' fare, which consists of nymphs, dries and midges, favoring heavily in the 16 to 22 size range. i.e, terrestrials are completely foreign to me, and I see that many of these rivers in Montana are rich in terrestrial life, which makes me worry about the gear I currently have. In fact, it was recommended that I pick up a 6 or 7 weight outfit to throw the bigger hoppers....

Yes, I know hiring a guide and renting gear is an option, but I do not have an unlimited budget, BUT, I have honestly thought about it as a back up plan just in case I'm as incompetent as they come on my first two days. I'd like to think that I can hike into a stream in Yellowstone and not have too much problems adjusting.



I'd love to know the details if anybody has ever been out there. I'm not getting any younger and certain things from my To Do list need to start getting crossed out. I noticed the wear and tear my body is finally showing during my last hikes, and I had an epiphany that I needed to start planning this particular trip soon.

Obviously, since this planning is still in its infancy, I know I may have overlooked millions of things.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2014, 03:59 PM
mcnerney's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Pinedale, WY
Posts: 12,745
Blog Entries: 36
mcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

With the snow pack WY and MT has this year, the second week in August should be a perfect time for a visit to YNP. I would recommend reserving a motel room in Cook City, MT and concentrate your fishing on the NE section of the park. Looking at hitting Larmar river, Soda Butte, Slough Crk, Pebble Crk, etc. Your 4 and 5 wt rods will serve you well for YNP fishing. You might want to pick up some small terrestrial patterns: ants, beetles and hoppers.
Here is a really good map for the park:
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?gl=u...HAuGMARs2ub84w

Here is a blog that has a ton of information on fishing YNP: Fly Fishing In Yellowstone National Park

Larry
smoothie likes this.
__________________
Larry

Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2014, 08:46 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 30
Longs for Cutts is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

Bear in mind that Cliff Lake is a solid 45 minutes (at least) from the west gate of the park. If you're looking for anything even remotely centrally located, that ain't it. You will be limited to the lake itself, a few other lakes, a few small streams, and the Madison unless you want to drive an hour plus each way.
mcnerney likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2014, 08:23 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 215
al_a has a spectacular aura aboutal_a has a spectacular aura aboutal_a has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

I'd second the suggestion to stay in Cooke City and concentrate your efforts on that side of the park. Even if you stayed in West Yellowstone, your choices of short drives to good water are more limited. Of course, Cooke City is quite a bit farther to drive from California, but you could stay at West Yellowstone the first night you're there, fish the Madison the next day, and drive on through the park to Cooke City for the rest of your stay.

If you fly, you'll have to rent a car, and you'll still have a drive from the nearest major airport to the park. And the way most flights are these days, flying pretty much takes up a full day anyway.
mcnerney likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2014, 10:06 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 100
darkshadow is just really nicedarkshadow is just really nicedarkshadow is just really nicedarkshadow is just really nice
Default Re: Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

The lodging thing so far has been the most difficult task, especially since rooms are already being filled at a ridiculous pace. Case in point, Cooke City has zero hotel rooms for an extended stay in the month of August. Perhaps I should've been making my plans late last year.

I did manage to find a nice cabin for $75 a night (on the western entrance side) which I couldn't believe considering the prices I was looking at inside Yellowstone proper.

Also worth noting is that I normally drive anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours normally on the weekends here to find an area to actually get into some decent fish, so the driving portion really isn't too much of a concern.

I do like the idea of spending a few days on the western side and then moving "base camp" to the north eastern side of the park.

Anybody know of any small cabin rentals on that side, near Cooke City? All of the lodging sites I've visited show the major motels/hotels booked.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2014, 11:44 AM
planettrout's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 952
planettrout has much to be proud ofplanettrout has much to be proud ofplanettrout has much to be proud ofplanettrout has much to be proud ofplanettrout has much to be proud ofplanettrout has much to be proud ofplanettrout has much to be proud ofplanettrout has much to be proud ofplanettrout has much to be proud of
Default Re: Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

From my own experience, I can only say this...I don't even think about FF in YNP until mid-September or early October and the reason is: too many people...

I live in the same area that you do and drive straight through. My favorite places to fish, in August, are the Madison, Gallatin, Yellowstone, Boulder, Stillwater,Big Horn, Jefferson, Missouri, Big Hole, Armstrong and DePuy Spring Creeks - outside of the Park...

Here are two good links that offer a lot of excellent information:

Montana Fly Fishing Information at Big Sky Fishing.Com

Fly Fishing In Yellowstone National Park

I am not intimidated by larger water, just break it down into small sections...anywhere one goes in July or August in MT, there will be a lot of folks...get used to hiking away from the crowds...This chart, from BRF, might be handy:

Click the image to open in full size.

Have fun !!!


PT/TB
__________________
Daughter to Father, " How many arms do you have, how many fly rods do you need?"

http://planettrout.wordpress.com/
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2014, 10:12 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Gallatin County, MT
Posts: 50
h2ofishfloatski has a spectacular aura abouth2ofishfloatski has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

Assuming you do not find any lodging open in Gardiner, Cooke City or West Yellowstone (Yellowstone Basin Inn in Gardiner, Kelly Inn in West recommended), move outward to Livingston, Bozeman - it's still very doable . I fish 1-2x a week in YNP from opening week to closing, driving from Bozeman and going in through Gardiner or West depending on where I'm headed. It is a full day each time, I apck a cooler of food the night before, carry lunch, water, snacks in a day pack. CARRY BEAR SPRAY on your hip and know how to use it, and not whimpy little cannisters.
I also prefer the type of fishing that you do. There are lots of anglers on the big name, big water fishing locations in YNP but you can have outstanding experiences on the smaller waters - the upper Gardner, Straight Creek, Upper Gibbon. A 2.5 mi walk in to Cascade lake near Canyon should be on your list for an opportunity to catch Grayling, as well as the waters mentioned by Longsforcutts. Stop in a local shop and tell them where you are headed that day for recommendations on particular flies. A 4-5 wt is fine for the above mentioned waters.

Last edited by h2ofishfloatski; 04-02-2014 at 10:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2014, 02:12 PM
smoothie's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Layton, UT
Posts: 101
smoothie will become famous soon enough
Default Re: Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post
With the snow pack WY and MT has this year, the second week in August should be a perfect time for a visit to YNP. I would recommend reserving a motel room in Cook City, MT and concentrate your fishing on the NE section of the park. Looking at hitting Larmar river, Soda Butte, Slough Crk, Pebble Crk, etc. Your 4 and 5 wt rods will serve you well for YNP fishing. You might want to pick up some small terrestrial patterns: ants, beetles and hoppers.
Here is a really good map for the park:
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?gl=u...HAuGMARs2ub84w

Here is a blog that has a ton of information on fishing YNP: Fly Fishing In Yellowstone National Park

Larry
Larry has given you some great advice.

Find a way to stay closer to the N.E. section of the park. I promise that you'll love fishing these small streams: Cache Creek, Tower Creek, Soda Butte, Lamar River, etc. Also, the very end of Slough Creek that enters the Lamar River is full of thousands of small rainbows and cutties who are more than willing to eat anything you throw at them.

Don't stay in W. Yellowstone in August. The drive is too far each day to the rivers in the N.E. corner of the park. And...the rivers on the west side fish horrible during late July and August.

Here's some additional good Yellowstone fishing sites:

Parks' Fly Shop Yellowstone fishing report, montana fishing report
https://troutfitters.com/site/yellow...waters-report/
Montana Fly Fishing Report , Blog, and Fishing Report - Madison & Missouri Rivers

---------- Post added at 01:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:10 PM ----------

Try calling the Alpine Motel or Super 8 in Cooke City. I've stayed at both places, and they both would meet your needs. Cooke City is a beautiful little town!
stenacron likes this.
__________________
--Matt H.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2014, 02:31 PM
mcnerney's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Pinedale, WY
Posts: 12,745
Blog Entries: 36
mcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond reputemcnerney has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkshadow View Post
The lodging thing so far has been the most difficult task, especially since rooms are already being filled at a ridiculous pace. Case in point, Cooke City has zero hotel rooms for an extended stay in the month of August. Perhaps I should've been making my plans late last year.

I did manage to find a nice cabin for $75 a night (on the western entrance side) which I couldn't believe considering the prices I was looking at inside Yellowstone proper.

Also worth noting is that I normally drive anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours normally on the weekends here to find an area to actually get into some decent fish, so the driving portion really isn't too much of a concern.

I do like the idea of spending a few days on the western side and then moving "base camp" to the north eastern side of the park.

Anybody know of any small cabin rentals on that side, near Cooke City? All of the lodging sites I've visited show the major motels/hotels booked.
Do a Google search for Cooke City, MT motels and then scroll down to the chamber of commerce listing of motels, then try clicking on the web sites for the actual hotels (not priceline, hotels.com, tripadvisor, etc)
There are rooms available at the Silver Gate Cabins ($140/night) the search I used was Aug 11-18.
https://secure.reservation-booking-s...7a221fa2e78dfa

Coming from the west coast, I really like the advice of stopping in West Yellowstone for a day or two and then making your way across the park. The issue with driving in the park, isn't the distance so much, but you will run into heavy traffic and also you will realize once you get there that people in big motohomes will stop in the middle of the road at the sight of ANY animal and get out and take pictures, so it makes getting across the park agonizingly slow.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the advice that PT offered about going in mid Sept is a very good idea, if you can shift your trip back. Last year Brian (liphookedau from Australia) was visiting with Hardyreels for a week of fishing in Alaska, so I offered him to fly into Jackson, WY at the end of his fishing in Alaska and I would come pick him up and we would go into the park for some fishing, this sounded good as he was flying in on Sept 6 (after Labor Day so I'm thinking the crowds would be way down). I drove up to Jackson the morning of Sept 6, the airport is a few miles north of town, I was totally surprised at the amount of tourists in town, it was absolutely packed and there was a steady stream of cars headed north into the park. When I got to the airport, I couldn't find a single parking spot open in long term parking (where I normally stop), I finally found the short term parking and it had plenty of spots open. When I picked up Brian we discussed whether he really wanted to fish the park or my second option was to fish SE Idaho, we opted for the Idaho fishing and never looked back and had an awesome time throwing dries to absolute hogs.

Larry
__________________
Larry

Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2014, 02:52 PM
dean_mt's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Western Montana
Posts: 2,883
dean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant futuredean_mt has a brilliant future
Default Re: Planning a YNP Trip - Seeking Advice

Hi. Certain places will be filling up for this season for sure, but there are so many options of places to stay, you should be able to find some options. One off the top of my head is Chico Hot Springs hotel in the Paradise Valley. Its the valley that the Yellowstone River flows out from the park, which is about 40 minutes to the South. Chico is one of my favorite places, it is clean, you can get inexpensive rooms with shared bath, hospitality is exceptional, great bar pool side the best swimming/soaking pool anywhere.
mcnerney likes this.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Planning trip to Missoula, MT usaalways General Discussion 7 05-26-2012 10:30 AM
Are You Planning a Trip to Alaska? Hardyreels Alaska General Discussion 12 11-15-2010 03:06 PM
planning sept/oct trip fishnator Northeast 5 08-10-2010 07:50 AM
Planning A Trip mikeo General Discussion 10 12-08-2008 07:30 AM
New Member: Wanting to start, seeking pre-purchase advice stevensj2 General Discussion 26 09-07-2007 07:53 PM













All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
2005-2014 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.