How To Play Tour Guide and Fly Fisherman at YNP

darkshadow

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My idea of a fishing vacation is where I fish from sunup to sunrise for a week straight. But, with non fly anglers in tow this year, some sacrifices have to be made so that the 14 hour car ride back home at the end of said vacation isn’t done in complete uncomfortable silence.

Here are a few points to think about that will ensure your dad doesn’t disown you, and your significant other remains significant by the end of the trip:

1. Staying in West Yellowstone

If you plan day trips into the park, have them end around 3 pm or so, so that it gives you time to drop off the weary travelers back at the resort, and you can sneak out with a 5 weight and bear spray in hand, muttering something about “be right back!….” knowing full well you won’t be right back, so you throw a granola bar and 2 cans of beer just in case you get hungry or thirsty.

After a 10 minute drive, you’re parking next to the other dozen vehicles river side, and after a fast paced walk to get away from the crowds, you’re hooking into the type of fish that would make this particular vacation unforgettable.





2. Waterfalls





Waterfalls are like puppies. Everyone loves seeing puppies. They are essential in getting some time on the water, and because waterfalls already have ‘water’ in its name, you’re near a river so you're already half way there! So, set aside some days where waterfalls are on the itinerary, send the troops down the trail to take pictures, (and they’ll take 100 of them) while you hop into your waders and go fish the Yellowstone, or whatever river is within earshot, even if it’s only for an hour or two.





3. American Bison











Traffic jams occur whenever bison are within view at the park, and getting pictures of these amazing beasts are on everyone's To Do List. What better way to get some time in the Lamar drainage than sending the group with their long lenses to photograph the bison in one of the most beautiful valleys in the world? The Lamar was chocolate milk and not one fly angler was spotted, and Soda Butte fished well for the 45 minutes I was on it. On the way back, I scrambled down a trail and fished the Yellowstone for 20 minutes and hooked 2 nice fish. I got about 2 hours of fishing in, and the amateur photogs got pics of some bison, elk and antelope.

I say that’s a Win-Win.



4. Old Faithful/Geothermal Features In General



Going to Yellowstone for the first time and not seeing Old Faithful I believe is a crime. Going to Yellowstone for the 3rd time and skipping the crowds at Old Faithful in order to get dropped off at a random turnout downstream of the Grand Prismatic Spring, in order to get into a fantastic dry fly bite on the Firehole because Fall arrived early to the Great Yellowstone Ecosystem?

I don’t think many juries would convict.

(Here's a good tip that I usually charge for: Tell your party that the view of Grand Prismatic is best if they take the overlook hike that starts at the Fairy Falls trailhead. That will buy you another additional 45 minutes to an hour on the Firehole, and it will get them better pictures. If you’re lucky, the hike will also tire them out enough so they don’t mind being dropped off back at the resort early. (See #1)





5. Buying Souvenirs



After navigating the terraces in Mammoth Hot Springs, you can easily convince anybody that they need to visit Gardiner to buy people back home yet another shot glass, fridge magnet or coffee mug that will never see the light of day. While the family is at Gardiner, you get dropped off at one of the many turnouts on the road, and try to fish the Gardner where you’ll encounter a high gradient and typical pocket water, with hungry browns at every turn. Free tip? Head upstream from the Boiling River instead of downstream.



6. Did I Mention Staying in West Yellowstone?

The resort we stayed in was amazing. The amenities are top notch, and it definitely assists in providing the angler some free time, as the tired non fly fisherman members of the group definitely didn’t mind cozying up to the hot tubs, the fireplace and the complimentary wifi. Being in town also allowed for walking trips to see the arts and crafts that are ever present in West Yellowstone.

Meanwhile, for the manic fly angler in me, a short 10 minute drive back into the park provided unforgettable action for the times I could get escape.







I can only imagine if you could spend an entire week focusing your efforts fishing YNP from sunup to sundown during the Fall. Plans are already being made for next year's visit, and hopefully the fishing and company are as amazing as they were this year, even with the limited amount of time spent on the water.
 

mcnerney

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Great trip report and awesome photos, congrats!
I'm glad you figured out a way to keep everyone happy and still get away for some amazing YNP fall fishing.
 

markfrid

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Great report! I know how you feel. Just got back from a trip to Colorado and it was the same situation. I loved the company and the hikes and the fall colors - all of it. But whenever I saw a great piece of water I couldn't fish for some reason - hiking, sightseeing, whatever - I started twitching like a reformed thief in a jewelry store.

Mark
 

darkshadow

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But whenever I saw a great piece of water I couldn't fish for some reason - hiking, sightseeing, whatever - I started twitching like a reformed thief in a jewelry store.

Mark
Yeah, driving through the park and wanting to stop at every turnout to fish was a common occurrence. The GF would tease me and say, 'that looks like a good spot, you should fish it' knowing full well that I couldn't.

But the sights and sounds of Yellowstone are a good replacement for actually fishing its waters.

Some more pics:




























 
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teardrop

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Love Yellowstone


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

---------- Post added at 05:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:27 PM ----------

When we go I have my wife drop me off to fish and hope she returns.... I guess if she doesn't it's a win, win for both of us! Lol


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dharkin

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Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing, some of the pictures are so cool that they look fake. I actually clicked on the icons at the top of the posting and voted on this post and contributed to your reputation.
 

yikes

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"Waterfalls are like puppies."
Classic!

darkshadow, you are a consistently great writer, and this is a fresh take on the Yellowstone travelogue. Seriously, you should submit this for publication. Send it to the guys at Hatch Magazine or similar.
 

h2ofishfloatski

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Really glad to see how well your trip came off this year and really appreciate the humorous (and very viable) tips! Looks like you stayed in the Park for the most part and ended up on the east side a bit, even. Just back from our own annual wedding anniversary weekend based out of West Yellowstone and the Firehole had some amazing hatches. Didn't cover the ground that you did though!
 

darkshadow

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"Waterfalls are like puppies."
Classic!

darkshadow, you are a consistently great writer, and this is a fresh take on the Yellowstone travelogue. Seriously, you should submit this for publication. Send it to the guys at Hatch Magazine or similar.
Thanks man!

I've definitely thought about it. I'd be ecstatic to get published somewhere.

Really glad to see how well your trip came off this year and really appreciate the humorous (and very viable) tips! Looks like you stayed in the Park for the most part and ended up on the east side a bit, even. Just back from our own annual wedding anniversary weekend based out of West Yellowstone and the Firehole had some amazing hatches. Didn't cover the ground that you did though!
Yeah, the Firehole was popping! I've never seen a consistent hatch anywhere, and the fish were eating well.

But I remember you telling me that I should investigate the ole Barn's Hole and boy did that tip ever pan out.

Thanks! I had some pretty amazing times out there, and even though I forgot to pack the 3x and broke off some big fish, the ones I caught make it all worth it.
 
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