Yellowstone/Slough creek 7/25-08/01 report

skcwolfgang

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I stayed at eagle creek campground in Gardiner for the first two nights, which is remote with no water or trash, but I think 8$ per night. There is a trailhead in that campground that takes you into the black canyon of the Yellowstone. The canyon was beautiful and I was all alone. The hike was moderately difficult going down and worse coming out. I caught about a dozen fish.
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The rest of the time I spent at tower campground, and I fished Slough creek for four days in the first and second meadows. I stopped into parks flyshop on the way out of Gardiner. They gave me good advice and sent me off with some grey Drakes and small red ants. There was a good spinner fall of the drakes one day but the fish did not rise. The small red ant was the money fly and I ended up having to tie my own size 18 and 20 CDC and I fished this most of the time. I caught many fish with the biggest being the one in the picture below that was over 20”. It is pictured flying out of my hands as the picture was taken. I fished my winston Air 9’ 5wt with a cutthroat furled leader. It was the 76” leader utilizing a tippet ring. The leader performed very well. Slough creek is an amazing place.
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chechem

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Slough and Lamar were both tougher to fish this summer than usual.
Usually the hoppers are flying, and big flies are key. But I fished Lamar 5-7 times this summer during August and September, and ants or small green drakes were key. An odd summer.

Thanks for your post. I miss the fishing in YNP already, and look forward to next year.
 

mcnerney

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Thanks for the great trip report and photos, looks like you had an awesome time. Strange about the hoppers this year.
 

chechem

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Thanks for the great trip report and photos, looks like you had an awesome time. Strange about the hoppers this year.
Hoppers are well known to have boom-bust cycles. Trimerotropis verruculata is probably the common one in Lamar Valley, although I've never keyed out the species.
 

wwpool

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Great report..been there twice but never fished Lamar area,,,will one day!!!
 

fatbillybob

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Slough and Lamar were both tougher to fish this summer than usual.
Usually the hoppers are flying, and big flies are key. But I fished Lamar 5-7 times this summer during August and September, and ants or small green drakes were key. An odd summer.

Thanks for your post. I miss the fishing in YNP already, and look forward to next year.
Over a decade ago I fished that stream once where big fish were rising to something. I through the kitchen sink and nothing. Wife said they are taking green drakes. WTF! Why do you think that? There is one on your sleeve! OK so out come several different pretty store bought perfect GD patterns. Nada! So a GD is a big fly and the perfect fly to learn how to tie a mayfly. I dug deep and pulled out these abortions cocked wings, misshaped wings, generally nasty 1st ties. Why I still had them I don't know. FF'er can't throw anything away. Threw them in the water and landed fish until my bad tie fell apart to a bare hook. It was awesome.
 

chechem

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Over a decade ago I fished that stream once where big fish were rising to something. I through the kitchen sink and nothing. Wife said they are taking green drakes. WTF! Why do you think that? There is one on your sleeve! OK so out come several different pretty store bought perfect GD patterns. Nada! So a GD is a big fly and the perfect fly to learn how to tie a mayfly. I dug deep and pulled out these abortions cocked wings, misshaped wings, generally nasty 1st ties. Why I still had them I don't know. FF'er can't throw anything away. Threw them in the water and landed fish until my bad tie fell apart to a bare hook. It was awesome.
Really a cool story. And not a surprise. About a year ago someone posted on this forum about fishing Lamar without success, then got advice about GDs from a guide walking out. They returned with the flies he gave them and caught a bunch of fish.

Lamar can be weird. Indeed, as said, the fish see lots of pressure. They see those famous grasshopper patterns daily. I've had more luck with other patterns, especially smaller flies, than hoppers the past 3 years. Even caught a bunch one day there on a White Wulff pattern. Go figure!
 
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