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  1. #11

    Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    Cutts, take it easy.

    I was not aware of the situation regarding the Yellowstone cutthroats. I am now aware and am not making the trip, at least this year. The reason why I was going to make the trip was because of reports I read about dated from the mid 90's describing the spawn and the fishing around Hawks Rest. As I said in my OP I was to fish the cutts in late June while they lingered in these waters before returning to the lake. I said I was to fish THE spawn, not spawning trout. The report I had read stated the spawn was almost 100% complete by late June and the fishing was fantastic because the fish were so intent on feeding. And the guy describing the Thorofare in late June is Rich Osthoff, I would trust his back country accounts over anyone in the Rockies, period. It's just a horrible occurrence about the Yellowstone Lake situation that wasn't a problem 15 years ago.

    Again, in my OP I said I might harvest a fish or two (I found out the limit in the wilderness is 2 fish), and since I thought there would be thousands of trout and very little fishing pressure (again, you're talking a 26 mile backpacking trip from Turpin Meadow or a 40 mile pack trip from Cody to access Hawks Rest), eating a fish or two would have absolutely zero impact considering the numbers. If you're not okay with that, you're on your own. Also, when I'm gonna hike 52 miles round trip, the last thing I'm taking is waders and wading boots. The Yellowstone Meadow, Bridger Lake, and Thorofare Creek are all fishable from shore. My Teva sandals are my waders in the backcountry. I never said I was taking waders. So no "tromping," okay?

    The idea of hooking into 25-30 sixteen inch Yellowstone Cutthroats in such a remote area sounds wonderfully appealing to me. It would have made for some incredible days on the river, memories, and photos to post to family and friends.

    It broke my heart to hear about the destruction of the Yellowstone Cutthroat population. I hope to goodness they are able to kill every damned lake trout in there. I saw pics with netted lake trout with their bellies sliced open with a dozen cutthroats in each fish. The Thorofare sounded like absolute cutthroat fishing heaven until this mess has arose in the Yellowstone Lake. I even called the author of the report I had read and even he confirmed the bad news. He was hoping that I make the trip anyway to give a current situation awareness of Yellowstone Meadow during the spawn.

    Not all is lost, I'll just throw an extra backpacking trip this summer to get into the high lakes of the Winds to catch my first Golden Trout.

    This whole situation got me so depressed earlier this week, I packed up my car camping gear and headed up to Trapper's Lake - but that's another story (see new post, I got skunked and need help here).
    Last edited by countr21; 06-05-2010 at 04:21 AM.

  2. Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    Sorry to hear the trip didn't work out, though there is definately nothing wrong with a bit of hiking in the Winds. We did our first trip in 2008 and will be returning Aug 20th of this year for another adventure.

  3. Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    I have been to this place, the Thorofare. I backpacked in from Turpin Meadows and camped under the Hawk's Rest for a week. It was just me and my two dogs. This was back in early July, 1999, a little late for the main cutthroat run. But it was still awesome fishing for 16"-19" cutts. There are some resident cutts in there too. The Thorofare River is just as good as the Upper Yellowstone.

    You asked about the trail conditions from Turpin Meadows... very few people backpack in there due to the distance but it is quite popular with pack horses so the trail is a freeway and in early season is a muddy mess in many places. But that's okay because the scenery is incredible and the place is teeming with grizzlies and moose. The wildflowers were amazing too.

    I suspect the fishing is still good back in there but perhaps not as good as before. Damn those mackinaw. But even if it's just 'pretty good' it's still awesome and wild and beautiful. Bridger Lake is fantastic fishing in itself and that is not dependent upon spawning cutts. I fished Enos Lake on the way out too and it was good but the trout were smaller, more in the 12" range. There are lots of remote small lakes and large ponds I wanted to explore but didn't have the time. I suspect some of them have trout.

    The Thorofare is considered the most remote area from a road in the lower 48, according to the U.S.G.S. It's the better part of 30 miles in any direction to a trailhead. It's pretty sweet to fall asleep to howling wolves.

    I also spent many days in remote areas of the Wind Rivers that you mentioned, fishing for big goldens... caught lots of goldens in the 19"-20" range in some unnamed basins and there were plenty of bigger fish I didn't hook. Finding the basins is part of the adventure. The book you mentioned, which I also have, is a great start.

    Another great fishing adventure for someone like yourself is backpacking into the South Fork of the Flathead River. It's the 2nd furthest place from a trailhead (lower 48) according to the U.S.G.S. and it's a dream trip for catching wild cutthroats... plenty in the 19" range... with the chance of hooking up with some really big bull trout in the process. The scenery is stunning and the river is perfect for fly fishing. I hiked in from Holland Lake (Swan Range), and hit some of the lakes along the way (Doctor Lake, etc.) and those are great too. It's grizzly country as well.

    Happy casting!

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  5. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Missouri City (near Houston), Texas
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    Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    Quote Originally Posted by buckforester View Post
    I have been to this place, the Thorofare. I backpacked in from Turpin Meadows and camped under the Hawk's Rest for a week. It was just me and my two dogs. This was back in early July, 1999, a little late for the main cutthroat run. But it was still awesome fishing for 16"-19" cutts. There are some resident cutts in there too. The Thorofare River is just as good as the Upper Yellowstone.

    You asked about the trail conditions from Turpin Meadows... very few people backpack in there due to the distance but it is quite popular with pack horses so the trail is a freeway and in early season is a muddy mess in many places. But that's okay because the scenery is incredible and the place is teeming with grizzlies and moose. The wildflowers were amazing too.

    I suspect the fishing is still good back in there but perhaps not as good as before. Damn those mackinaw. But even if it's just 'pretty good' it's still awesome and wild and beautiful. Bridger Lake is fantastic fishing in itself and that is not dependent upon spawning cutts. I fished Enos Lake on the way out too and it was good but the trout were smaller, more in the 12" range. There are lots of remote small lakes and large ponds I wanted to explore but didn't have the time. I suspect some of them have trout.

    The Thorofare is considered the most remote area from a road in the lower 48, according to the U.S.G.S. It's the better part of 30 miles in any direction to a trailhead. It's pretty sweet to fall asleep to howling wolves.

    I also spent many days in remote areas of the Wind Rivers that you mentioned, fishing for big goldens... caught lots of goldens in the 19"-20" range in some unnamed basins and there were plenty of bigger fish I didn't hook. Finding the basins is part of the adventure. The book you mentioned, which I also have, is a great start.

    Another great fishing adventure for someone like yourself is backpacking into the South Fork of the Flathead River. It's the 2nd furthest place from a trailhead (lower 48) according to the U.S.G.S. and it's a dream trip for catching wild cutthroats... plenty in the 19" range... with the chance of hooking up with some really big bull trout in the process. The scenery is stunning and the river is perfect for fly fishing. I hiked in from Holland Lake (Swan Range), and hit some of the lakes along the way (Doctor Lake, etc.) and those are great too. It's grizzly country as well.

    Happy casting!
    BuckForester, welcome to the Forum. Really appreciate your assessment; it adds a lot to the fount of knowledge on the site.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  6. #15

    Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    buckforester,

    Thanks for the great reply. Very encouraging report.

    I've decided I'm going to get in there either this summer or next. Late July sounds like a better time to go anyway - hopefully some of the swarms of bugs will have dissipated off. And I'll wait til some dry weather is forecasted before heading onto the trail.

  7. Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    I'm doing a trip to Bridger Lake and Enos Lake in the Yellowstone/Thorofare area in early August 2013. Just wondering if anyone has been in this area since the start of this thread in 2011. Also interested in Falcon/Mink creeks and how the fishing/camping is along these drainages. Thanks for any information available.

  8. Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    Hi everyone - I'm brand new to the forum and have been fishing for about a year now based out of salt lake city. I really like getting away from crowds and try to stay away from the rivers that are right next to the highways. I also have Osthoff's book and I am really interested in the Thorofare/Hawks Rest area.

    Did anyone from this thread ever actually make it there? How were the conditions? I am thinking about going around July 4th - in a couple weeks. Thinking two days in, three days of fishing, two days out. My wife would be coming too - she kicks ass and hits the trail like a champ.

    Please post or message me with any info!

  9. Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    There is still 26" of snow on Two Ocean Plateau. The snow has been melting in a hurry the last month, but there's still a fair amount up there. Just something to keep in mind.

    Here's an aerial photo of the area from just a few days ago. It looks like you could get in there without going through any snow, but the rivers may not be in great shape yet.

    http://ge.ssec.wisc.edu/modis-today/...esolution=250m

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  11. Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    It's been another couple of years, so I'm looking for an update on the fishing near Hawk's Rest. I'll be going in late this month with a group of boys and several adult leaders. The boys especially want to fish, but I want to make sure we're ethical about it.

    Are we going to be OK to fish in this area? Besides fishing for the trout spawning over the gravel, what practices should we be sure to avoid?

    Thanks,

  12. Default Re: Teton Wilderness - Yellowstone River and Thorofare Creek

    I can't give you much help either because it's been fifteen years since I've been to that region. I went in late August and most of the cutthroat had moved back downstream to the lake, but still managed to catch a few each day. The river in that area(at that time of year) was almost creek like. Very low and clear, so it was easy to spot a nice trout if one was laying in a run or pool. Dry flies did it for me because most places, the water was very shallow so when you would find a trout, they would hit it with reckless abandon.
    Grizzilies would come down every night but fortunately, they would go along the river and not by camp.
    With the lake trout doing a number on the cutthroats in the lake, I sure can't tell you what it would be like now up in the Thorofare region, but it was a very pretty place to visit and Two Ocean Pass was really neat. I keep saying I'd like to visit there again, but time will tell.

    Donny

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