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

03/10/09

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 - Stories

The first time we traveled to the Northeast part of Yellowstone National Park was
several years ago after we had just finished a day long float trip on the Madison
River. We had gotten up early that morning and spent a long day fighting some
good size brown and rainbow trout. Angie had run the camera all day and I had
done all the fishing. When we finished for the day and returned to West
Yellowstone, Montana, we were very tired. We had already booked a motel in
Cooke City and were checked out of our place in West Yellowstone so we had
no choice. The water had just cleared in the Lamar Valley area and we were
looking forward to fishing it for the first time. After a short break, we headed out
across the park. We went around the loop to the north through Mammoth
Springs and from there to the Tower area. When we reached the Tower area we
took the wrong turn or I should say, we failed to turn on the Northeast Entrance
Road. We headed up the mountain to Canyon. I noticed something was wrong
when we just continued up the mountain forever it seemed. I had looked at the
maps closely, studying them for weeks before our first trip, and I knew that
wasn't right. Never-the-less, all I could do was follow the very curvy road over
the mountain. When I realized what I had done, I had gone too far. I just
continued on to Canyon. From there I choose to go back to where we had just
come from. I went back via the Norris-Canyon Road to Norris where I proceeded
to follow the same route we had just made. I was very tired and was not about to
go back over the huge mountain at night. There was no traffic on the road
across the mountain. We were by ourselves the entire way. When we got to
Cooke City, we were drop dead tired. It was very late but thank goodness, we
were checked in with a late arrival. There was nothing open in town. Everyone
was in bed. In just a matter of minutes, so were we.

When we woke up the next morning, I had to have coffee as usual, but I had not
unpacked our gear for the room. I drove up through town looking for coffee
which I found very quickly. What I saw I really liked. A little Western town just like
you would dream of, surrounded by beautiful mountains. After we finally got to
going that morning, we headed back into the park around 10:00 AM,  much later
than normal for us. We are usually the first ones on a stream. We stopped at a
pull off area near the Soda Butte. The stream was downhill a ways but in full
view for a long ways. There were only two guys in sight that were fishing. I let
Angie give it a try first while I ran the video camera.

We had no idea of what fly to use or how to fish the beautiful stream. She tied
on the old standby fly at the time, a Parachute Adams, and proceeded to cast.
Within the next couple of hours she hooded and landed over a dozen nice trout.
What more could anyone ask for. It was difficult for her to fish because she
wanted to look at the mountains instead of her fly. It was difficult for me to run
the camera for wanting to look at the mountains. It finally occurred to me that I
should be videoing the instead of starring at them.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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