Yellowstone's Small Streams

Practicalities I

Species: Brook, cutthroat, rainbow, some browns and maybe even a grayling if you're lucky. You might catch a whitefish if you're unlucky.

Gear: Lightweight rod 2-4 weight but even a 5-weight would be fine. Leave the 6-weight in the car. Hip waders or just wading boots and neoprene socks would work well. Fanny pack (first aid, flies, tippet, lunch, water, polarized sunglasses, insect repellant, weather gear for rain and cold). Bring a bear whistle, bear bell and even bear spray.

Flies: Attractor patterns for these un-finnicky trout (#1216). Royal Wulff, Royal Trude, Elk Hair Caddis, Adams, X-Caddis, H & L Variant, Goofus Bug, Irresistible. You might stick in some stonefly patterns for both salmonflies and golden stoneflies such as a Sofa Pillow or Stimulator, as well as a couple each of Green and Gray Drake patterns (especially for Slough Creek and Fan Creek).

Toss some grasshopper patterns in your box for the meadow streams. Most of the time, on these smaller streams, you won't have to match the hatch. But on larger streams or streams that occasionally get some traffic, like the Gallatin River and Slough Creek, you may have to cast a Flav or Pale Morning Dun or Drake. For the pools and undercut banks, running a beadhead through is a good idea. Stick with generic patterns like Prince Nymph, Hare's Ear and Pheasant Tail.

Suggested reading: The top book for fishing the park is The Yellowstone Fly-Fishing Guide by Craig Mathews and Clayton Molinero, (Lyons and Burford), which has a lot of solid information about creeks and small streams. See also Yellowstone Fishing Guide by Robert E. Charlton, (Flying Pencil Press).

Fly Shops & Guides: There are more great fly shops and guides in this region than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Here are some of the better shops and guides in the Yellowstone area.

Idaho: Henry's Fork Anglers, Inc., Michael Lawson, St. Anthony, (208) 558-7525.

Wyoming: Bressler Outfitters, Inc., Joe Bressler, Wilson, (307) 733-6934; Westbank Anglers, Reynolds Pomeroy, Teton Village, (307) 733-6483.

Montana: Arrick's Fishing Flies, Arrick Swanson, West Yellowstone, (406) 646-7290; Blue Ribbon Flies, Craig Mathews, West Yellowstone, (406) 646-9365; Boyne U.S.A., John Kircher, Big Sky, (406) 995-5000; Bud Lilly's Trout Shop, Jim Criner, West Yellowstone, (406) 646-7801; Gallatin River Guides, Steve French, Big Sky, (406) 995-2290; Greater Yellowstone Flyfishers, Robert & Chad Olsen, Bozeman,(406) 586-2489; Jacklin's, Inc., Bob Jacklin, West Yellowstone, (406) 646-7336; Madison River Outfitters, Brad Richey, Yellowstone, (406) 646-9644; Montana's Master Angler, Tom Travis, Livingston, (406) 222-2273; Parks' Fly Shop, Richard Parks, Gardiner, (406) 848-7314; Yellowstone Angler, George Anderson, South Livingston, (406) 222-7130.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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