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

04/05/09


Planning Your Fly Fishing Trip to Yellowstone - Part 6

August

The month of August brings on a change in the weather in Yellowstone National
Park. Again, the changes depend greatly on the weather but more so on the
amount of rainfall and the snow pack from the previous winter and spring
season. If there is a lot of water or what the locals call a good water year, then
August can continue the great fishing July had to offer in most of the streams in
the park. If it is a bad water year, meaning low snow pack and rainfall conditions,
the summer can bring the water temperature in many of the streams up to the
point it borders becoming too warm. There was a recent season where several
streams were shut down or restrictions were placed on when the fishing could
take place due to low water and hot air temperatures. Normally, this doesn't
happen.

The streams that will bear the dog days of August the best are those in the
Northeastern corner of the park, or the Lamar Drainage. The surrounding
mountains are high and the last ones to cease bringing melting snow into the
streams in the lower elevations. Even in low water years, the Lamar River, Soda
Butte Creek and Slough Creek usually continue to provide good fishing. You
should keep in mind that the streams receive a lot of pressure during July and
the fish have seen a few flies by August, but the cutthroat are not all that picky
and you can still catch a lot of them provided you use the right strategies and
stay hidden from them.

Most of the spawning cutthroats in the Yellowstone River below the lake will
have moved back into the lake by August. A few fish are always remaining and
apparently they are some that reside in the river all the time. You can still catch
trout there but the fishing will slow down from what it was the middle of July. The
later in the month of August, the fewer the fish. That sounds like it means the
Yellowstone is not worth fishing. That is not the case. We have caught some
nice trout between the lake and the off limit water above the canyon through the
end of September, so you may not want to ignore it.

The Yellowstone River in the canyon will continue to fish good through he month
of August and so will the Black Canyon. The water will probably be lower and the
river will look different than it did in July but the fish are still there and still very
willing to take your fly if you will go to the trouble to hike down to the river.

The Gibbon River, Firehole River and Madison River will continue to be to warm
for the most part until around the middle of August. From then until the end of
the month the weather is subject to make some changes for the good. Before
the month is over, it may cool down to the point sections of these river become
fishable again.

I will continue with August tomorrow.


Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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