.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

03/07/09

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 (record of video shot)
and  notes made on my daily note books.

Fly Fishing Soda Butte Creek - Lower Meadows - Part 2

In the lower meadows, the main areas of the stream that hold trout are the
pools, the undercut banks and just about anywhere there is deeper water. The
stream meanders back and forth through the valley. The valley opens up into
the Lamar Valley and gets wider the closer it is to the Lamar River.

It is not unusual for the buffalo to take over a part of the valley in the lower
meadow section. That is their home and they are not about to move for anglers
to gain access to the stream. You just have to let them have their space.
Sometimes you just have to wait until a later time to get to certain parts of the
stream. There is no point in pushing your luck.

In the very lowest part of the meadows, the stream can be a good distance from
the road, depending exactly on where you try to access it. You almost have to
know how to get to certain parts of it without wading through soft boggy areas.
Later in the season, anglers will make a visible trail through the grass to the
stream. There are a lot of twist and turns in the stream. You can park at any of
the pull off areas along the road, mostly not designated parking areas, and walk
across the meadows to intersect the stream. There is no magic area to fish in
that part of Soda Butte Creek. Just find the deeper water and rest assured the
cutthroats will be there. Mostly it is long sections of slower moving water or pools
located between short sections of riffles. You can see most of the trout in a
given area fairly easy, but even so, you are better off not letting them see you.
You will end up just playing hide-n-seek with the trout. If you walk up on one end
of a pool all of them will take off to the other end. When you get to the other end
they will all take off to their original location. They definitely see a lot of anglers
after the first few days of clear water.  By the end of August, they become much
more difficult to catch but are still quite catchable.

The best way to approach the cutthroats in the lower meadows after they have
seen a lot of anglers,, is to slip up on the lower end of a pool staying well back
from the edge of the water when you first begin to cast. There is nothing that
has to be precise about your presentation. If you just stay hidden and make a
few blind cast, you are likely going to catch one. The stream only averages
about twenty feet wide so there is not a lot of water to cover. We usually just
move up the stream, making short, upstream presentations. Most of the time, I
cast from my knees in order to stay as low as possible. The banks are lined with
grass and casting is easy. There are no trees or bushes to hang your fly in.

More tomorrow.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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