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

04/03/09


Planning Your Fly Fishing Trip to Yellowstone - Part 4

July

Late June and Early July starts the mega hatches in Yellowstone National Park.
The first of the month of July is as good of a time as you could come up with to
fish if you like catching fish on the dry fly. It is not exactly a secrete, so if you do
plan on fishing during the month of July, be prepared to have some company. It
is easy to get away from the crowds, however. All you have to do is get off the
roads a short distance. Ninety percent of the anglers fishing Yellowstone in the
park don't travel over a quarter of a mile from the roads to fish. That means that
most of the water in the park sees few anglers.

The upper Yellowstone River is still closed during first of the month. It doesn't
open until July 15 although Yellowstone Lake is open to fishing on June 15.
Other than that, after the first of the month of July, you should be able to catch
trout just about anywhere in the park. The Firehole River will begin to slow down
near the end of June and by the first of July its waters usually begin to get too
warm for good fishing. The Madison (in the park) will begin to slow down by the
first part of July but it strictly depends on the water levels. Some years it
continues to fish well during the first part of July and on low water years it
doesn't. The fast water sections of the Gibbon River will continue to produce
well but by the first week or two in July, water in the meadow sections will begin
to get relatively warm and the fishing will slow down.

The Gardner River usually comes into its prime around the first of July. It is
possible to fish it in late June but the water is usually not clear until around the
first of July. The lower Yellowstone in the park should also clear up enough for
good fishing by the first week or two of July. The stonefly hatches in the Gardner
and lower Yellowstone River (Black Canyon) can provide good fishing,
especially if the runoff ends early.

The Northeastern section of the park, or the Lamar River drainage area,
normally becomes fishable about the first week of July. This can vary from year
to year a week or two but normally by July the 4th you can begin to fish Soda
Butte Creek, Slough Creek and the Lamar River. This will provide some of the
best cutthroat trout fishing the park has to offer. The Canyon section of the
Yellowstone River usually becomes fishable around the first week of July.

The upper part of the Yellowstone River from the lake to the falls isn't open to
fishing until July 15 to help protect the cutthroat spawn. On July 15, you can
expect to see the most anglers you will see in the park in any one place on the
upper Yellowstone River below the Lake. The Yellowstone drainage above the
lake will become fishable by the middle of July for those that want to travel into
the back country to fish the Yellowstone headwaters.

The Snake River drainage and the Lewis River will also get into good shape by
the first week or two of July. The streams in the Southwestern Corner of the
park, called Cascade Corner, is usually clear enough by the first week of July to
provide good fishing. The Falls River and the Belcher River can provide some
good fishing in their meadows sections around the first of the month. This is a
more remote area of the park that sees fewer anglers and can be a good choice
if you ant to get away from the crowds.

The Gallatin River can provide some of the best small stream fishing the park
has to offer starting around the first week of July. It is a popular destination for
many anglers during July for good reasons. You can catch a lot of small to
average size trout in a beautiful, easy to access section of the park. Tomorrow I
will try to summarize fishing during July in the park.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh