It has been great to extend our fishable territory with the 2022 opening of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) over the Memorial Day weekend. YNP presents an extension of rivers, streams and creeks to our network of waters to get out and fish throughout the summer season. There is so much accessible water in the park and we are fortunate to be able to offer guided trips to and get out and fish when we can.
Early season tends to focus most of the fishing on the western portion of YNP. Primarily on the Firehole, Upper Madison and Gibbon Rivers. The beginning of runoff brings high flows and dirty water to the upper tributaries of the Yellowstone River. Typically, we start to see the Gardner River and the Yellowstone River start fishing as flows and water temps start to come back into shape. With all the rain and snow, we have been getting this spring, it’s anyone’s guess right now, but the end of June, even early July is possible. We will surely let you know once we know! Areas such as the Lamar River, Soda Butte and Slough Creek all take a little bit longer before they settle down and they actually need to warm up a bit for fishing to become good. A week or so after the Gardner river and the Yellowstone river outside the Park is when the others might become options.
If you are looking to get out and fish in YNP in the coming weeks, focus your time on the western portion of the park as mentioned above. As water temps start to rise, especially in rivers that receive geothermally heated water, like the Firehole River, we will start to see hatches and fishing that are really hard to beat this time of year. Raising temps, will bring caddis and PMD mayfly species into adulthood and provide great opportunities for dry fly fishing. This time of year can also present great wet fly fishing whether you are swinging soft hackles under an intermediate line or nymphing under a bobber.
Recommended soft hackles & nymphs for YNP: Neme’s Spider soft hackle, Hare & Lug Partridge, Verdant caddis, CJ Controller, GR Hare’s Ear, Soft Hackle PMD, Sawyer PT, CDC PMD emerger, Bailey’s brown-olive emerger
As mentioned, there will also be windows of rising fish as we see our bug life start to get going. Late spring/early summer caddis on the Firehole River can be hard to pass up! Additionally, an afternoon thunderstorm on the Gibbon River can offer stellar brown drake hatches if you time it right!
Recommended dry flies for YNP: Razor Caddis, Elk hair caddis, Bloom’s Para caddis, X-2 caddis, PMD comparadun, Hi-viz PMD parachute, Quigley’s Sparkle flag dun, Quigley’s Half-dun PMD, Wollum’s Brown Drake emerger, Lawson’s brown paradrake
Please remember that YNP requires an individual park license, and your Montana, Idaho or Wyoming licenses are not valid in YNP. Park licenses are available online this year at https://www.recreation.gov/activitypass/08486201-71ff-11eb-90d3-9eb840e09acc. We would also like to remind everyone that felt bottom boots are not permitted in YNP. Rubber soled wading boots are recommended.
For any more information regarding a guided trip to Yellowstone National Park or where you will have the best success this time of year, please call the shop and we can answer your questions.