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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Los Angeles

    Default Re: Memorial Day fly fishing destination struggle

    If numbers, rather than size is good enough, the Domelands wilderness in California has some great meadow creeks that fish really well that time of year. Just pay attention to the regulations for where you choose to go because a few streams don't open for fishing until later in the year to protect the goldens during their spawn.
    My best vacation is your worst nightmare. After all, it's only really fun if it is at least Type 2 fun.

  2. Likes cpiercem liked this post
  3. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Atlanta/West Yellowstone

    Default Re: Memorial Day fly fishing destination struggle

    Check with those who really know about Henry's fork in that timeframe. Much of it is dam controlled, and without a lot of research on my part...I THINK it is good late May early June. You can talk to folks at Henry's Fork Anglers or Trout Hunter, the two premier guide shops in the area.

    i concur with all of the others' prevarication about other areas of Montana and YNP. You never know til you get there. Or maybe a day or two before.

    ....actually two other thots: ck the missouri which in lower water years is fishing in late May and teh Big Horn which i fished around Mem Day last year in one of the big water years of all time.

    we are sorta ignoring your "backcountry" issue but a lot of backcountry locations will be under snow or water that time of year.

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Ladysmith, WI

    Default Re: Memorial Day fly fishing destination struggle

    Are you specifically looking for trout, or just fly fishing in general? If it doesn't need to be trout, there are lots of good options for smallmouth and pike in the upper Midwest or Ontario that time of year. In particular, the smallmouth fishing can be spectacular.

    The Backcountry options would be more paddle- or boat-in instead of hike-in but you can certainly find solitude. Most of what I'm thinking of would not meet the proximity to a major airport that you mentioned, though.

    PM me if this is interesting - can make some suggestions.


  5. Default Re: Memorial Day fly fishing destination struggle

    "Memorial Day" and "backcountry" in the Rockies won't work, or won't work well. No major tailwater is backcountry, as they're all in big valleys a reservoir can fill. Big valleys = roads. The Missouri is paralleled by the Interstate, for example.

    The Firehole and Gibbon may fish well at the end of May. We hope not on the Gibbon, as in contrast to what the other reply above stated, the Gibbon is usually marginal at best on the opener with runoff at peak or just beginning to recede and improves into early June. It's almost always ready by June 5 and prime by the 10th. The Firehole is always fishable Memorial Day weekend and some dry years (which we are looking at) is already starting to get shaky by June 10. In 2015 it was already hitting 70 degrees on June 10, for example. All this said, these and the upper Madison are the only rivers routinely fishable in YNP on the opener and as such will be getting fished hard, especially the Firehole and Madison, and nowhere on any of these rivers is more than a mile from a road.

    (2019 will be my 19th season guiding in Montana and Yellowstone Park, FYI.)

    You might want to look at somewhere in Appalachia (trout) or maybe the upper Midwest (warmwater, maybe some trout) for a trip in your timeframe.
    Owner/Outfitter, Yellowstone Country Fly Fishing
    Author, Yellowstone Country Flies, River Characters, and Fly Fishing Yellowstone Country.

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  7. #15

    Default Re: Memorial Day fly fishing destination struggle

    Quote Originally Posted by redietz View Post
    That's prime time in the Catskills. Or for landlocked salmon in Maine.
    I was about to say...sounds about right for a trip to the Catskills. Try the upper Delaware river with a guide. No such thing as runoff in the east, well except for last year when it rained damn near every day from early May through July. Rivers were a mess.

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