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  1. #1

    Default Yellowstone/Teton late April/early May

    The wife and I started kicking around the idea of a trip to Yellowstone around the last week of April/first week of May.

    I know the weather may be a crapshoot but my initial thought was a) it won't be as crowded as the summer and b) maybe I could hit the river before runoff gets going.

    Well it didn't take much research to find out you can't fish in Yellowstone until late May and it looks like some of the rivers in Teton are closed until late summer too.

    So the long winded question is what would be open and offer the chance at a good experience that time of year? (Yes I'm aware that in addition to weather being unpredictable the flows will be as well given the snowpack). Thought about staying around Jackson and doing a float on the Snake. That would provide a jumping off point to hit up the parks for sight seeing for a couple days. While the trip wouldn't be "only" for fishing I definitely want to get a couple days in (wife fishes too). We'll probably have 5-6 days to kill outside of travel there and back (I also will likely need to go to western Wyoming for work leading up to the trip which is part of the reason I'm targeting this time period...being able to piggyback the vacation onto the work trip will cut down on some of the expenses and vacation days needed)
    Life is like a box of chocolates...and a river runs through it. Or something like that.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Rky. Mtn. West
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    Default Re: Yellowstone/Teton late April/early May

    It really depends on the weather (temperatures) as to what will be fishable, and it will likely be changing almost daily depending on the amount of melt and location. I know, not a specific answer, but its the truth from about mid-April through much of June in these parts. Your best bet is to make some contacts with locals/fly shops just a day or two before arriving, and again when you arrive to see what's fishing and whats raging. You might hit the upper Green before runoff if its cold. The Henry's Fork between Ashton and St. Anthony Idaho is often fishing well then. The Teton near Driggs? Maybe. The Salt or Greys? Could be. There's lots of water around in every direction, but as you said, the Park is closed. Points south, east, and west of Jackson all have possibilities though. If its cold in early May, most area waters might be clear. If its been very warm, you might have to search far and wide, and hope some tailwaters are clear. (Snake below Jackson Lake and/or Palisades comes to mind.)

    I have a week off in late May this year to take a short trip, and as I sit here pondering where I'll go, I keep telling myself the same thing. "Just wait, pack-up, make some calls, and head where I can find clear water and a hatch." There will be a place or three, even at that high runoff time, but I won't know which ones or in which direction until I'm pulling out of my driveway!

    Springtime in the Rockies. Love/hate. Pack the gear and check it out.

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  4. Default Re: Yellowstone/Teton late April/early May

    If you want to see Yellowstone at that time, Jackson's not the place to stay. The South Entrance Road into Yellowstone will still be closed. For Grand Teton it will be fine. For Yellowstone, you want to stay in West Yellowstone or Gardiner. The later in the spring you get, the more unlikely the Yellowstone River north of the park itself remains fishable, which argues for West to fish the Madison. If it's in April, the Yellowstone will be fine as well, so Gardiner would be good. The Yellowstone, private lakes, and spring creeks are all good in late April. Early May and the Yellowstone gets Mother's Day caddis, though also mud, sometimes on the same day...
    Owner/Outfitter, Yellowstone Country Fly Fishing
    Head Guide, Parks' Fly Shop
    Author, Yellowstone Country Flies, River Characters, and Fly Fishing Yellowstone Country.

  5. Thanks tx_newb thanked for this post
  6. #4

    Default Re: Yellowstone/Teton late April/early May

    Thanks for the responses guys. As I think it about it more, perhaps it might be better to just target Teton NP and surrounding area for this trip and save Yellowstone for a late fall trip as I've wanted to do for some time. Given the risk of weather and water conditions turning things (fishing-wise) into a bust I'd rather take my chances at Teton. It would save some driving time, not to mention many of the attractions at Yellowstone would still be closed if I understand correctly.
    Life is like a box of chocolates...and a river runs through it. Or something like that.

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