|.............................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 (record of video shot)
and notes made on my daily note books.
Fly Fishing Specimen Creek
The third creek of any size that flows into the Gallatin River within Yellowstone
National Park boundaries is Specimen Creek. This little stream starts high in the
Gallatin Range of mountains from several small lakes. According to the maps,
Shelf and Crescent Lakes start the North Fork of Specimen Creek. High Lake is
the beginning of the East Fork of Specimen Creek. We have never been past
the junction of the North and East Forks of the stream. There is a lot of water
upstream in both of the Forks according to the map. They join just a couple of
miles from highway 191.
The Specimen Creek Trail follows fairly close to the stream in its lower portion.
The best part of the stream (we think) is the first several hundred yards from its
confluence with the Gallatin. Part of that lies on the West side of Highway 191.
Although there are probably some brown trout in that part of the stream, we
have not caught any. I say that because they do exist in the Gallatin River where
Specimen Creek enters it.
We have fished the lower section four or five times over the last ten years and
we have always been able to catch a lot of small trout. Like most of the other
small tributary streams of the Gallatin, the fish are mostly cutbows. They are
mostly under ten inches but every once in a while you will get a 12 inch long
one. Although we would not recommend Specimen Creek over the Gallatin, it is
just another one of those creeks you may want to explore if you have the time to
The lower section of the stream can be a little spooky, especially if you keep
one eye out for the big bears. There is a lot of trees and thick bushes and
willows along much of the stream. We have not seen any bears in the area. It is
just that I don't exactly like climbing around through thick brushes in Yellowstone.
We have seen a bull moose in the area.
Copyright 2009 James Marsh