|.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
I am calling this series Yellowstone Journals and Additional Information. It is a collection of a
rambling mixture of experiences on the streams with some notes, tips and additional information
thrown in. Some of this comes from my video tape logs (records of video shot) and notes made on
my daily note books.
Blacktail Deer Creek:
The Blacktail Deer Creek is a lovely little stream that flows into the Yellowstone River.
You will cross it anytime you travel to the Northeast section of the park from the
Gardner area. It is on the Grand Loop Road about 7 miles east of Mammoth towards
Tower. It is one of our favorite little brook trout streams in the park.
The Blacktail Deer trail follows the stream all the way to the Yellowstone River. It is
about a 4 mile hike according to the topo maps in my GPS. We have been about 2
miles down the stream and that was it. It drops about a 1000 feet during the last part
of the trail down to the river and we haven't taken the trip down there yet. I want to
camp overnight and fish the Yellowstone when I do that. It would be at least an 8 mile
hike and that would not leave much time for fishing. We carry extra video camera
gear and that doesn't help such trips. I do think it would be a great place to fish the
There is no reason to travel far downstream or upstream from the bridge to catch
brook trout. In fact, you can catch about as many as you can anywhere right under
the bridge. You would think that it would be visited often by anglers but in at least 20
times or more that we have stopped to fish this little stream, we have never seen
another person fishing it. Most everyone wants the larger fish that are everywhere,
so there is little reason to fish such a small stream in the eyes of most anglers. I also
doubt many anglers even think about fishing it. It is very small stream. About the
widest places are around fifteen feet.
I usually hike down the trail and get in the stream and fish upstream. Sometimes you
can cast from the banks but there is a lot of brush along the stream making casing
tougher than it is if you just wade upstream. The creek is what I call "little pocket
water". It has its little pools with runs and riffles in between them just like the big
pocket water streams. You will catch at least one and usually several brook trout at
every sizeable pool in the stream. It is full of brook trout. They will average about 5 or
6 inches long. We have caught 3 or 4 during our many stops (out of a few hundred
brook trout) that measured 10 inches. You will get some around 8 and 9 inches but
the average size is less than that.
It is a great place to stop and catch several trout in a short time. I don't think we have
fished over 2 hours any one day except the one day we went downstream about 2
miles. We have caught as many as thirty trout in less than 2 hours. We have never
not caught any brook trout there. The fish are not picky about what they eat. We
have caught them using whatever we had tied on our 4 weight rods when we
stopped. If you want a specific fly recommendation, then I would say use our Perfect
Fly Blue-winged Olive dun in a hook size 16 or 18. You can catch them using the
generics and attractor flies but you want catch any more than you will using the one I
am suggesting. You very well may not catch as many.
This is a great stream to teach young anglers learning to fly fish. It is a lot of fun even
for us old guys. You want have any trouble getting strikes.